“Let’s go Jago!”

File Jan 11, 10 41 31 PM


Your swell letter came today, as usual. Thelma’s and your letters are always on the dot.

Well, darlings, your son has completed his basic flying. I do’od it. Boy! Am I ever happy. Our captain is such a swell guy.

We are the only flight out of six that has completed all our time. That’s a feather for our Captain’s hat. He is very strict but just-everyone likes him.

It was our last day with our instructors today. Our poor instructor sighed and said “Well I’ll get four more dodos in a week. Wonder what they will be like.” He certainly is a swell fellow.

Some instructors just love to have everyone pop to when they come in but, Antonuca just pokes his head in the door and says, “Let’s go Jago!” He is the best flyer of the whole bunch. The other instructors know that too. Even though he is only 21 he has more flying time than all the others.

When he parted – he shook my hand and said, “When you come back in a P40 check me out in it will you?” Gosh! I idolize that guy. He has never said a harsh word to me-and I needed it plenty of times. I hope I get an instructor in Advanced who is just half as good.

I have my wristband on all the time dad. It’s really a honey-everybody wishes they had one. One Jew boy had enough nerve to ask me if I wanted to sell it-leave it up to those darn Jews. You should’ve heard the answer that guy got.

Well, darlings, tonight will be New Year’s Eve. It won’t be very exciting-that’s for sure but, I’m not kicking.

Say, mom, didn’t I tell you that I received that wonderful package of yours. It’s so nice to have a cookie every once in a while.

Well darlings, I will close my letter now.

So long.

Your loving son,


Cigarettes are the best thing a service man could have



So happy to hear your Christmas Day was so nice. I wish I could’ve been there. Gosh! Mom-you always eat too much-you old darling!

My Christmas was swell-it wasn’t very exciting but, when I think of those poor boys fighting on Christmas-I figure I have it pretty soft.

Say, Dad, that band you sent me-really makes my watch look like a million bucks. All the guys think I got a new watch for Christmas. It really is a beauty. Jocelyn, your much-needed carton of cigarettes arrived today. Thank you so much darling. It was so nice of my little sister to remember her brother. Cigarettes are the best thing a service man could have. Thanks again darling.

I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to buy with my mom’s wonderful present. I think I will save it for my officers uniform-aren’t I talking big! I had better simmer down.

Well, darlings, Pete and I got Fighter-isn’t that wonderful. Our new station will be in Arizona. I can’t say the place but, Arizona has wonderful flying weather, I guess. Have you ever seen pictures of a P40-or P39? Well, your little son will probably be flying them pretty soon-I hope.

Well, darlings, I’m so glad you had a merry Christmas. It makes me feel so happy when I know everything is okay back home.

Your loving son,


Thanks again Jocie darling, your brother misses his little sister.

the bars really talk



I have only two hours and 20 minutes of basic flying left. Gosh! It doesn’t seem possible the Jim Jago has gone as far he has. Just think-in a week I will most likely be stationed at an Advanced school-probably Luke field, Arizona. The best single-engine school in the United States.

I certainly hope I can make it all the way now. I really would be disappointed if I washed now but, I’m really going to fight for those wings now.

If I am commissioned and receive those coveted silver wings I will always have a feeling that I have amounted to something-that I have given my lovely family something to be proud of.

Enough of that stuff-gosh! I’m talking like I have them already.

We flew two hours last night and three hours and 40 minutes today. Our squadron is far ahead of the other squadrons as far as time goes. Our captain is a wonderful man. He’s very strict-you can’t monkey around with him but, he’s so just-you just have to work your hardest for him. It seems funny to see a man just 24 years old ordering men nearly twice his age around. Our captain is only 24-you can see how rapid the promotions in the Air Corps move. The enlisted men hate to take orders from younger men but, the bars really talk. The mechanics always answer “Yes sir!!” even to me.

Boy! Does that make me feel big.

Well darlings, that’s all for now.

Your loving son,


Just received your cookies. Thanks a million mom, are they ever good.

I hope you have the best Christmas yet.

XMAS card - Chico field


Dad’s Christmas present arrived today. Thanks a million dad. That’s about the only thing I needed. You should’ve seen the boys when I opened that package. Bob Thomas is going to try to get one like it in town. It certainly is a wonderful present dad. Gosh! I’m the luckiest guy on earth. My mother, dad, and little sis certainly were kind to Jimmy this Christmas.

What do you think-we flew today-I flew three straight periods without stopping. Boy, did I ever enjoy a cigarette after that. I have a total of 58 hours even now. 12 hours to go. I thought we were behind in our time but I have a letter from Ralph Fleming today and he says they have only 47 hours at Lemoore Field. They haven’t any night flying time, formation flying or even beam flying so I think we are okay after all.

It seems kind of funny that Jim Jago will go to Advanced training in a few days. Nine long months of work and worry nearly completed-I hope!

I’ll bet the little Christmas tree looks so cute in the corner, packages piled by. Gosh! I certainly will miss the swell times we had together. Tonight will be Christmas Eve. We are scheduled to fly but I don’t care. Many of my friends who washed would give their left arm to get the chance to fly again for Uncle Sam.

I will be praying for my loved ones at home. I hope you have the best Christmas yet.

your loving son,


Thanks again Dad, Mom, and Jocie.

P.S. Thelm sent me some beautiful gloves and a great big box of goodies-I’m a lucky boy.

that phone call was wonderful


Boy oh boy!! Was it ever perfect to hear your voice again darlings. So happy to hear you received my pictures and Christmas presents. I don’t want you to feel that I sent too much mom and dad! Gosh! I could never repay you in a million years for all the trouble you had with me.

I want you to buy something for yourselves with it. Nothing would make me happier. Maybe dad needs a new pair of shoes-maybe mom wants a new dress-I want you to buy them for me-won’t you? Tell Jocie she sounds like a young woman now. Gosh! What a difference. Big brother certainly is proud of his sis-yes sir!!

Thank dear Mrs. Driscoll for the lovely card. I haven’t her address so I can’t write-it was really nice for Mrs. Driscoll to remember me-she’s swell.

I still can’t get over that telephone call-I couldn’t even undress myself for bed when I came back to the room. Pete told me to thank you for the nice note you sent him but, I was so excited I forgot, naturally.

I suppose Christmas is really in full swing now-gosh! I wish I were home. I lay in bed last night thinking of Christmas days gone by-my throat choked a bit but I kicked myself and said “Gosh, Jim, think of those guys fighting-you shouldn’t kick!” So I went to sleep feeling a little better.

Well, darlings, that phone call was wonderful-thank you so much.

Your loving son,


Be sure and see “Thunderbirds” it’s all about the cadets.

it has been six long months since I talked to my lovely family



Happy birthday mother! I hope you have received my picture by now. I am a little worried about it because I couldn’t get into town in time to send it myself so I had the man send them. I had it insured so I think it will be okay.

Mother, darling, you shouldn’t have sent me so much for Christmas. I certainly can use it though. I need some new underclothing and lots of odds and ends. It will come in very handy-thanks again darling-

So happy to hear that Jocie and Mrs. Haynes are getting better. I was really worried about poor Mrs. Haynes. I think it would be pretty hard on Dr. Haynes alone in that big house.

I’m going to try and call tonight-I can hardly wait it has been six long months since I talked to my lovely family. Gosh! I hope I can get that call in. If you don’t hear from me today you can expect a call tomorrow.

I can’t realize that I am 3,000 miles from home and Christmas is so near. It doesn’t seem possible that I won’t wake up in the morning to rush downstairs and open my packages.

Well darlings we haven’t been flying for a week now. The weather has been too bad. They say if we can’t fly they will send us to Advanced anyway. I hope we fly soon though I need plenty of practice before I get into that fast advanced ship. The advanced ship will fly about 250 mph-hot stuff-

Well, darlings, we have been laying off on flying but we have covered two days of ground school in one, ever since the bad weather. They won’t let us rest, I guess.



the faster the better



Your letter came today-so you are proud of your big sergeant son. I’m really up there-about time!! Ha! Ha!

Our squadron Commander (a young flying Captain) asked us today which we preferred, single-engine or twin-engine planes in Advanced school. Only six of us out of 47 chose fighter (single engine). Pete and I both wanted the fighter plane. I hope we get it. The Captain asked the other guys what the matter was.

He said, “You can’t have any fun flying a big boxcar around!” My height and weight are okay. We should be around 5’9″ and under 160 pounds. Everyone except one of us that chose single engine hails from good old Minnesota. He also remarked about that too. He said, “The Minnesota boys must be pretty rough boys!” We said, “That’s right sir, the faster the better.”

If we succeed in our choice we will be sent to a single-engine Advanced school. It will probably be Luke Field. Luke Field is well known all over the country for being a tough school. Some of our instructors graduated from Luke. They always kid the other instructors and say “if you went to Luke you probably wouldn’t have those wings today.”

Well, darlings. I hope I do go to Luke Field because it’s one of the oldest and best established Advanced schools in the US.

Well, darlings, I must end my letter-get better little sis, I don’t want you sick now.

Your loving son and brother,


We have been fogged in all the time

Chico Field Graduates - The Beam 1943


I’m slowly killing myself with that wonderful box of candy you sent. Gosh! It’s so good. I will try my darndest to make a telephone call. It’s pretty hard for us to put a call through from here-I was wondering if you could place the call from Minneapolis. It works much better that way. The best time to call me is after 7 o’clock-then my flying won’t interfere.

I’m all done with night flying now except for the two hour night cross country. That’s a dual ride so don’t worry I can’t get lost.

We haven’t been flying for three days now. We have been fogged in all the time-I really mean fog too. You can’t see 200 feet ahead.

Gosh! I hope Jocie gets better-don’t want my little sis sick for Christmas.

Have I ever grown a beard lately – I think my electric razor works wonderfully though. I’m so glad I bought that electric razor before I left. It has saved me so many precious minutes – minutes really count here.

I am starting beam work on the Link trainer now. Gosh! It’s so darn complicated I wonder if I’ll ever learn. I have only four hours left in the Link now. We are required to have 15 hours and, in those 15 hours we are required to cover 17 preliminary lessons plus 4 lessons on the beam. Our roommate Bill Hart has had 13 hours and hasn’t finished his 14th preliminary lessons yet. Wonder what they will do. I have 11 hours and I am on my first beam lesson. Thank heaven! I’m not behind. Buck privates or corporals are usually Link instructors so they don’t particularly love the cadets so it’s pretty hard to get a good mark in the Link unless you really are good.

Well so long,

Your loving son,


Season’s Greetings to Mother

XMAS card - Chico field

Darling Mother,

I wish I could get you something really nice, darling, but, our passes are so limited it’s impossible to get into town.

Your son really misses his Mother – I would give anything to kiss my Mom again. I want you to buy something for yourself, darling.

I could never repay my parents if I sent a million dollars home.

I hope you have the best Xmas yet. I will be thinking of our old Xmas days spent together.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

your loving son,


I really miss you mother

XMAS card - inside

the fog is so thick we can’t even see the field



No flying today-the fog is so thick we can’t even see the field from our barracks.

Thelma called me today-gosh! She’s really swell-I really go for that gal-she really likes her new job I guess.

You darlings-that candy was swell. The boys thank you from the bottom of their hearts (or should I say stomachs).

I think our room is the most inhabited room in the barracks. It seems that everyone knows Pete and Jago. I’m so glad I make friends easily. That counts a lot in this army.

Pete was thrilled to death with his box of candy from you, mom. Poor Pete is the worst letter writer I have ever seen. I don’t think he writes home more than once a week. He always says he can’t seem to find time. I really can’t figure out how I write as many letters as I do. Most of the guys write their home about once a week and figure that’s plenty. I don’t know-I like to receive letters and the only way you can receive them is to write them.

Thelm said you were so nice to her-thanks darlings-you really rate with this kid. You were right mom-the girls have fun with themselves just like the last war. They have to get along without us, I guess, and, we learn to get along without them, so everybody’s happy.

Your loving son,