I have a gas mask now.

gas mask

Hello Jocie, how are you darling? I hear you and Thelma have been swimming lately. I certainly wish I could go with you.

I have the picture of you and Thelma taken at Excelsior. I think it’s very good-so good in fact that I carry it all the time so I can show my friends what a pretty sister and girlfriend I have.

I’m sending some pictures of me and my roommates. They aren’t so very good but, it will give you some idea of the place anyway.

I have a gas mask now, you know, we are only 4 miles from the ocean and they want to be prepared for anything. We have gas mask drill tomorrow for practice in putting our gas masks on quickly. We have inspection every day and they’re very strict about the way our clothes are hung, shoes cleaned, and beds made.

I wrote Rubymae a letter today and I hope you receive this as soon as she does. Sometimes the mail is slowed up in the office but it gets there eventually. Well Jocie give Mother and Dad and Tammie my best love and write to your brother.

Your loving brother,


I’m a pilot!

Dear Mother & Dad,

I’m a pilot!!! Well at least I’m classified as one anyway. That means I will receive my class A uniform. As soon as I receive my uniform I will have $150 worth of uniform. You should see it, it really is nice.

You know, I suppose, that we can’t get off of the base for 30 days. If I get off for a day or two I would like to see Betty Gunkle if it is possible.

Gosh I’m glad I’m classified as a pilot. Now we are considered as upperclassman. We get a little button to pin on our chest, which distinguishes us from the new boys.

I really have a tough course ahead of me now. We start school pretty soon. The courses we take up are the same as college Aeronautics courses. It means a lot of study but, I’ve made up my mind that I want to be a commissioned pilot.

The fellows are nearly perfect and I have made numerous friends. Well pater and mater it’s time to eat now so keep your faith in me.

Your loving son,


P. S. Write soon

P. S. Hello Jocie darling all the fellows are crazy about that picture you sent me.

Letters from the Air Corps


Dear Mother, Dad, and Jocie;

I received your sweet letter yesterday and enjoyed it very much. All the fellows in the barracks read Jocie’s letter and marveled at the wording and penmanship. I haven’t much chance to sit down and write out here because we’ve been on the go most of the time.

I almost forgot-I passed my flying physical!! My eyes were excellent, at least, that’s what the doctor said. They register 20-15 instead of the normal 20-20. If you have 20-20 that is good enough but the doctor said only one person out of 5000 has 20-15 eyes. I felt terribly proud and I hope you are too. I haven’t been classified yet but we expect to be in a week or so. I certainly hope I’m a pilot. I’m afraid they might make me a bombardier because of my good eyes, but I told them I wanted to be a pilot so we’ll see how it works out. Bombardiers have to have excellent eyesight, even better than the pilot’s. You see they have to hit the target every time with that new bomb sight. This requires excellent vision.

I really don’t care what I am just so I get my wings. You certainly can tell the difference between the air cadets and enlisted men. Everybody I have met so far has been very nice and very helpful, which is important here.

My experience at St. Thomas has helped me ever since I arrived. I teach the awkward squad how to drill daily. Some of these fellows are pretty dumb when it comes to drilling. I really am fortunate as far as having good roommates goes. They are really nice fellows–very easy to get along with and a all-around bunch of swell guys.

I get a little lonesome for you and Thelma once in a while but I really like it out here. I think all the exercises we do will really make men of us. Remember when I was worried about my weight, well the doctor said he has never seen such a difference between my shoulders and waist measurement before.

Well darlings I have to go to drill now so write soon and I will try to write back as soon as possible.

Love Jim.

Trip to U. S. Air Corps


Dear Mother, Dad, and Jocie;

We had a wonderful trip down here, but we went through the mountains at night, so I didn’t see some of the biggest ones.

We arrived here yesterday and did we work. We learned how to make beds, correct table manners, and all of the Air Corps customs.

The only heartbreaking thing about it is that Eric and I are split up. It could have been avoided so easily but, that’s the Air Corps life I guess.

I am with a swell bunch of fellows that I met on the train. We all work together on our rooms and I haven’t heard any griping yet.

Today I was assigned latrine duty (cleaning the toilet). It was quite a job but, we had a lot of fun doing it.

When we arrived we were hazed by the older fellows but, that’s all you can expect from the upperclassmen. They made fun of us in many ways. They asked us if we have brought our P. 38’s with us. The P. 38 is a type of airplane.

We have been issued our “zoot suit”. This is a mechanic suit. It is made a very good material and looks very neat. It fits tightly about the ankles to keep the Santa Anna dust out. The dust is terrible out here but, I guess everybody gets used to it.

Well dear family I miss you all and please do write soon.


Pinch Penny


Hello darlings,

I certainly put in a grueling day today. We started school today you know. We get up at 5:30-fall out for roll call at 5:45-eat breakfast at 6:00. After breakfast we are given a half an hour to clean our barracks after that is finished we go out for a physical drill until 8 o’clock as soon as we come back tired as the devil from exercises we have to dress up in our Class B uniforms then-off to school for four hours.

Well that’s just half of the day you can imagine how tired you are by 10:00 PM. I think they will build us up pretty well don’t you think. Say before I forget I have received my check and I thank you very much. I didn’t think we would have to worry about spending money. That $75 a month is a lot of baloney. By the time they get done cutting things off such as gym suits, schoolbooks, school paper, etc. You will receive about $30 if you’re lucky. I have been saving my money like a pinch penny and I hope it holds out for quite a while.

Say Dad that Bud Peterson is from Alexandria Minnesota, I don’t think Cliff knows him.

Well darlings I will try and make it longer next time. If you see Ned tell him I wrote him a long time ago and I will write him again.