Shields Family Documents
1943, Pvt Frank

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These files are from Frank Shields' collection of letters pamphlets, postcards, V-mail, tickets, etc.

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03/09/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Upton, NY

Dear Mom,

Well, I've finally put in my first day in the Army. I suppose you'll get my postcard first, and all the preliminaries are noted there. nothing much happened after that. What we were waiting for in the recreation tent (read postcard), was to be assigned to a tent for the duration of our stay here. We have a regular tent city here, mud & all. I've been assigned to the 5th Receiving Company (all the boys call it the Frozen 5th; it's cold) here at this meat mill. That's all it is: a meat mill. The first thing you notice when you land here is that everybody is waiting to pull out to permanent camps. And that's the way you feel when you've been here a day. But let's not get off on the wrong track. From here, the Army in general looks good, and the eats are swell and plenty of 'em too (we had ice cream tonite). But between waiting for things to do, and taking a lot of guff from buck privates who've been here only 2 or 3 weeks, it's a crying shame. The whole trouble is there's too damn many jerks running around in circles. Tomorrow I'm due for processing (medical, intellectual & mechanical aptitude tests, & maybe classification), and there's a slight chance that I may get my GI issue.

At any rate, from what I've heard, I'll probably be here for anywhere from 3 to 6 or 8 days. Some fellows stay 20, 40 or 60 days. Tell Dot there's a lot of WAAC's here. Take a chance on writing. The address is on the envelope, and I may get the letter, altho I'm not sure. Boys I bun with are reg'lar fellows. Can't telephone, caused we're restricted to area. More later.

Full Transcript.

03/09/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard Camp Upton, NY

Dear Mom: Was about a 2 hr. trip coming out. And about a 40 min. ride on the bus. There's about 20 of us fellows here. First thing we did was eat. Roast beef, potatoes, cabbage, applesauce, bread, gravy, and sugarless coffee. At chow time I met Gil Eaton, From St. Francis, & Mike Burns, St. John's b, both former Michaelmen. After chow we got some tags & went for a short med. inspection. The real thing comes later. Right now we're biding our time in a long tent here, reading, drinking coke, and taking life easy. It's only 2:15 so I don't know what's in store for us. Guess we'll get our GI issue in about 3 days. No address yet. Let you know more later. Can't telephone.

Note on front in Gen's handwriting: "First mail from Fan"

Full Transcript.
03/10/1943 Shields, Frank Family Letter Camp Upton, NY

Ash Wednesday, 10:15 PM, Camp Upton, L.I.

Dear Everybody,

By now I suppose you are all wondering what in hades happened to me after I sent that short postcard note. Please rest assured that I am very much alive, and still kicking. As you will note, I wrote a previous letter. That was last nite, Tues. But I did not get a chance to mail it. Then this morning we were rousted out of our tents at 5:30 and the next time I laid eyes on my tent, and my featherbed bunk with its Simmons mattress was exactly 15 ½ hrs later, at 9:30 tonite.

When we lined up in the company street at 5:45 this morn, I forgot to bring along the letter I wrote last nite. But I'll try to enlighten you as to my whereabouts and actions subsequent to this error. After a ½ hr stand in the company street, we marched a quarter mile to chow. Breakfast was good. After the morning repast our motherly 7-day generals (who are really only 7-day old buck privates) marched us in company to the latrine. It seems that one never goes to the latrine unless marched there by the generals. And then it's too damn bad if you're not in the mood for a bowel movement. Because later you're too busy to go to the willie by yourself. Busy doing what?? Why waiting, of course. Waiting, waiting, waiting. That's all we seem to do out here. But, at any rate, after latrine we went for our mental or I.Q. test. I think I did pretty well on this, or at least I hope so. After the I.Q., it was back to the latrine for us. And after that came lunch, which was also good (ham, 4 vegs., ice cream, apricots, bread, grapefruit, and coffee.) After lunch came latrine again. And then an hour and a half of waiting for the medical exam, which I passed with flying colors. The med. took about 2½ or 3 hours. After the medical, latrine, and then supper which was very good (Liver, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, tossed salad, bread pudding, coffee,bread and ice cream). Latrine right after supper. Oh! By the way, I put the money belt on loosely in the morning, and after every meal the damn thing felt like a girdle. Oh well, I should live so!!

Then we marched back to barracks, but before I could get to my tent, I, and 13 other fellows were told to report to the dispensary. We were more or less resigned to this after running around naked all afternoon during the med. We got to the dispensary at 6:30. And, believe it or not, spent 2 hours and 45 minutes getting the wax removed from our ears. Wait! Wait! wait!! 14 fellows. At 9:15 it was all over, so I came back to my tent, went to the latrine, then washed, shaved and brushed my teeth (all of which must  be done at night: orders.)

Tomorrow is going to be my big day. 3 injections (I took my blood test today [RESULT: NEGATIVE]), one of which i for tetanus. The boys call this "the hook." The injection is intramuscular, with a curved needle 2 in. long. The RESULT: one fellow in my tent who had his shots today can't raise his right arm above the shoulder. Oh, well.!! [Just started to rain]

After my shots I'm to get my G.I. issue. Then to the Mickey Mouse movies, next to the classification office, and then to wait for shipping orders, which may come an hour later, but will probably take about 3 or 4 days, with K.P. in the meantime. So wish me luck.

You can try writing to me via the address on the envelope. I may get it but probably won't.
NOTE: the old timers here tell me if I like the food they serve at Upton I won't have any trouble with Army food hereafter.

Well, here I have run plumb out of news. So I'll sign off. I'll try to write soon, when I get the chance.

Love, and As ever, Frank

Enclosed in Frank's 3/9/43 letter to Gen.

Full Transcript.

03/11/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Upton, NY

Thurs, 9:45P.M.

Camp Upton.

Dear Mom:

Well, I hope that by now you've gotten the letters I sent yesterday. I went down to telephone you tonite, but there was about 100 other soldiers ahead of me, and it would have taken me an hour to put the call thru. Meantime, I was due back at quarters to pick up some trousers I had to have altered. So consequently I'm writing this note while waiting for the pants.

Everything went well today. I saw the Mickey Mouse Movies, was classified (don't know in what, but think it may be in the Signal Corps for photography or electricity), got my G.I. issue, which looks swell, and then took out $10,000 insurance and War Bonds (6.50 & 6.25 per. mo. respectively), and finally got my injections. They weren't bad, and I hardly felt them. But there is the natural consequence of a sore arm now; I had a slight headache but got rid of it.

You'd be surprised at how different we soldiers look and feel in uniform. Now that we're outfitted, we have only to do K.P. or special detail, and wait for our shipping orders. I hope they come thru soon.

The food continues to be good; and there's a helluva lot of it. I feel like a bloated pig after every meal. So I ought to put on some weight here in the army. So far, everythings going swell; I feel fine, and like being a soldier. I only hope I don't lose this feeling.

Gee, you should see my shoes (2 pr., size 9½); they're like canal boats with oars. And we've got "long John's," commonly called long underwear. Then there's leggings and 2 fatigue suits, and 4 hats & a plastic helmet; also a swell overcoat, a blouse, 2 summer tans (shirt, cap & trousers), 2 wool trousers, summer underwear, handkerchiefs, gloves, ties, socks, mess kit & canteen, comb, toothbrush and shaving kit, field jacket and an olive drab raincoat. By the way, the boys out here don't call it olive-drab; they name it "diarrhea brown."

When I got to the bottom of the first page, I was interrupted. It's now 11:15. So I guess I'll get to bed. They'll probably roll me out at 3:00 AM for about 17 or 19 hours of K.P.

Be good & keep smiling

As ever, Frank

P.S. When I get to my permanent camp I'm going to need that collapsible hanger we have, & my Vaseline Hair Tonic.

Full Transcript.
03/12/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Joe Letter Camp Upton, NY

The KP stint was murder! You probably didn't get it, buy my stint was 16.5 hours long, standing all the time! Army life OK so far. But we have to take so damn much sit from shit-heeling "7-day general" privates! Finished processing: medical, records, insurance, GI issue, classification and shots. Draftee's shipped out quickly, but we ERC's have to wait.  May go to Signal Corps for photography or electricity. Met Mike Burns & Harry Staley.

Enclosed in Frank's 3/9/43 letter to Gen.
03/16/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Aboard Train, Enroute to Gok Knows Where

Tues, 9:45 PM

 March 16 -/43 [ in pencil, Gen's handwriting?]

Dear Mom,

Well, I'm on my way at last!! I phoned you last night, as you know; this morn we were awakened at two A.M. and told we were going to be shipped. At 5:00 A.M. we were rolled out and packed our barracks bags. But we traipsed around in the rain all day, and only boarded the train at Upton at 6:15 P.M. Penn Station was reached at 9 o'clock, and we pulled out of there at 9:25 P.M. Seems strange, my leaving just a day ahead of Dot. We don't know where we're going, but one of the fellows heard a Louie being told that the dining car would be on as far as Harrisburg, Pa. So we figure we're going West or South.

Please don't mind the writing but the damn train is swaying so much it's hard to write. We're not permitted to mail these enroute, so I guess I'll finish this letter by telling you where and wehn we arrived at our destination.

I think that hereafter, if I'm shipped any place, I'll just telegraph my address when I reach my destination. So if you receive the telegram (which should arrive before this letter), you'll know where to write. However, if I'm allowed to gelegraphy my arrival before I know my address, I'll just send the name of the city or camp. Then you'll have to wait for an air-mail letter for the address.

[Section crossed out:

 At any rate, when you write, always include my Army Serial Number (A.S.N.) which is 12110488. More later. ]

[Postscript added to crossed-out section:]

P.P.S. don't put in my A.S.N

Later: Well, here we are at last!! At 9:30 A.M. this St. Patrick's Day morn we rolled across the North Carolina Border. And at 2:30 PM this afternoon, 17 hours after leaving New York, we arrived at our destination. It is Camp Croft, South Carolina, 6 miles from Spartansburg. This is where Richie was, but is he here now? if he is, send me his address and I'll look him up.

This is an infantry unit, Mom, and my training, which will take 13 weeks, begins next Monday. It doesn't look easy but please God, we'll all make it. After the training, I don't know what happens. But this is the Army, and you can never tell. If you write to Joe, give him my address.

Im the first part of this letter I mentioned telegraphing. Well, I can't telegraph my arrival here, since the Telegraph office is out of bounds. I'm going to need a few things, Mom, so send me a carton of cigarettes, $5 or $7, some white hankerchiefs and I guess I could use my Vaseline hair tonic.The weather here is inclement, but I understand that that's unusual. Sometimes they don't have rain for 4½ or 5 months. So my hair is bound to get dry and sandy. Say,  Mom, on second thought, hold off on that Vaseline Hair Tonic. I have to get my hair cut, and I guess I won't need the tonic. But say, I can use some wood soled sandals for use in the shower, to prevent getting athlete's foot.

Say, I just got back from from chow (spaghetti & meat balls, boiled carrots, celery, tea with lemon, bread, butter & peanut butter) and GOOD NEWS!!

When I came in here I thought that I was stuck iin the infantry for good. But now I find out that we merely get our basic training (13 wks.) here. Tomorrow we're to be reclassified, and then we find out where we go after we finish our basic training - Signal Corps; Chemical Warfare; Field or Coast Artillery, etc. So I'll let you know how I'm classified. Gosh but I hope it's in something I like.

By the way, right after I came in, I heard a fellow in the latrine say "Well, looks like they've got a good bunch of officers here. Smart fellows" - I may be presuming, but I think he means us college fellows. So maybe some of us will be going to OCS when we finish our basic training.

From 5:30 P.M. Sat to 11:15 P.M. Sunday our time is our own.

Well, Mom, I'm going to close now. I want to go down to the P.X. and then write some letters. So I'll sign off, now. I'll write soon, probably tomorrow night. So be good & remember all your service sones & daughters in your prayers.

Love, as ever


P.S. I hear we have to hike up to 25 miles. My poor feet!!

Full Transcript.
03/18/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Thurs, 3/18/43 12:10 P.M. Camp Croft

Dear Mom,

I'm getting this letter off just before noon chow call. So before I forget, I want to tell you of some more things I can use. In addition to those mentioned in the letter I wrote yesterday, I can use that Apron kit that Collon gave me, some wood-soled sandals (I think I mentioned them in yesterday's letter), some moleskin for the tender spots on my feet, and 2 white cannon towels. I guess you could throw in some long brown shoelaces, too, and in the top right hand drawer of my dresser, you'll find 2 containers for pencil leads. One is empty; the other isn't. So send the leads along too.

And see if you can send that O.D. shirt along too. (size 14½) I suppose it wouldn't hurt either, if you included The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, which Joe Oussani gave me. I might have a little time to do some reading. I guess that's all I'll need for the present. So take the cost out of my $20.

This morning we rolled out at 6:15 for chow at 6:45. Bacon & eggs, German fried pots., bread, cereal, milk, coffee and peanut butter.

Just got back from noon chow & some drill & then a lecture on orientation & venereal diseases. S'now 2:40 P.M. Gad, but the chow here is good! For dinner we had lamb chops, pork chops, mashed white potatoes & sweet potatoes, creamed carrots, fried onions, soup, bread, butter & jam, and damn good coffee. Compared to Upton, the chow here is heavenly.

This morning we had close order drill & then about an hour of gas mask drill in the barracks. The gas masks are issued to us, and you should ssee how we look in them. You can't even recognize your best friend. Next week we get a tryout on real gas.

We haven't been reclassified yet, and probably won't for a while. There is a possibility that I may be assigned to infantry after all. But, even so, it will probably be good news to me. For I'm beginning to like it fine here. Now I can understand why Joe was so anxious tog et back to camp when he was home on a furlough. No foolin', we're assigned to the best company in the best, or at least one of the best, battallion down here. We have a damn fine reputation to uphold, and after only a half-day of close order drill our non-coms are strutting around like roosters, they're so damn proud of our marching ability. I hope we can do as well in the future as we are doing now. Right now I'm in barracks on a short break,  or period of free time, as they call it. But since we may be called out at any time, I'll sign off now in preparation. I'll write soon again, whenever I get a chance. S'long for a while, and chins up!

Love, as ever, Frank

Frank once said that The Forty Days of Musa Dagh was his favorite book.

Camp Croft SC stationery

Full Transcript.

[FTOCR progress stop]
03/19/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Close order drill, then classification cards rechecked. I may go into photographic section of Signal Corps, or (less likely) ski troops. Please include pencil flashlight in package. Haircut yesterday: 1/4 inch on top. You wouldn't recognize me.

03/21/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Waiting to go to mass in a theater. Raining buckets; have only seen sun once in 5 days. We're all coughing our lungs out; it's from sleeping in those cold tents in Camp Upton. Basic begins tomorrow; it'll make us or break us. Had another shot for typhoid yesterday; could hardly sleep on my side. Harmonica duet in barracks: Back in the Saddle again. Sounds good. Guy next to me is Tex McEnery, aka Red River Dave. Sings hill-billy songs; has recorded for Decca. We'll know the Garand rifle like a book soon. Will also study BAR, 30 cal. machine gun, grenade gun and trench mortars. That will be interesting. Wearing Carmelite scapular; sent one to Joe.

03/21/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Beautiful service [Mass] in Army Chapel. Wrote to Kampfs. Chow, then 3 hour exam. Not feeling well after shots. Think I did well on test.  Took some aspirin and Cheracol. Don't want to go on sick call. Sending postcards of camp. Rec'd letters from you, Joe and Oussani. No meat rationing in Army. Two service films: Army organization and personal hygiene. Had bayonet practice and hand-to-hand combat training. Several guys got parcels, including tangerines! Please send stamps so I can reply AirMail.

03/22/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Letters sent to Upton finally arrived. Faces light up when mail call comes. Folks at home should see those faces when they receive no mail. Dot should be settled into WAAC by now. About 100 miles from Columbia Air Base; maybe Joe and I will get together. Got my rifle; trained on assembling and disassembling it. It's sure one swell hunk of a gun. Our soldiers are armed with the very best rifle in the world. Had bayonet practice. The Army that will win this war is the one whose men look forward with eagerness to engaging the enemy in had-to-hand combat with the bayonet. Got some cough medicine; hope I lose this cough soon. Two fellows came down with measles; we may be quarantined. Have written to Gert & Charlie, Gladys & Bill, Tommy & Kate. Got a card from Margaret K which I'll answer soon. Give my regards to poor Stupe. Who is "Murphy and the other fellow" that you mentioned?

03/23/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Address Change
Camp Croft, SC

Pvt Francis J. Shields 12110488

Co. A. 37th Infantry Training Battalion

Camp Croft, S.C.

03/25/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC
Glad to hear about Dot; I think she's going to like Army life. Am eagerly awaiting your package. Laundry problem still not straightened out. Still have a cough; medicine did nothing. Letters from Fel, Joe Oussani, Peggy and John Collon.

03/27/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Your package arrived; gosh what a wealth of stuff! And postage: $1.22! Hit the nail on the head with sandals, flashlight, soap container, bath towels and handkerchiefs! Never expected the rest: candy, peanuts, toffee, cookies, cheese  & crackers, pickles, olives, dates and potato chips. Gosh, Mom, thanks a lot. Passed around some of the cookies to the barracks. Yesterday, two and a half mile hike with 60 lbs of equipment. Today, 5 miles! Soon, 13 miles. Some foot pain, but otherwise OK. Inspection this PM. Two more shots, one in each arm. Test tomorrow for ASTP; have to get 115 on the test and it's supposed to be a stickler. General announced today that OCS quota for post of 80,000 men is only 36, so chances for that are rather small. Have a fever from shots, along with cough and head cold: don't feel so hot. Swell letter from Mrs. Kampf. Also from Joe, Gene Dembinski and John Acer. Will try to get a bottle of Cheracol; that's the awful-tasting stuff you used to give us, right?

03/29/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

Be flattered - I'm dog tired but I'm staying up to write you a line. Glad you're down south with the rest of the clan. Phoned Gen; she says Joe expects to be going soon. Army life is wearing but fun. School & drill from 6:00 AM till 5:30 PM. Graded tests every Sat. Do your courses include: Military Customs & Courtesy; Wearing of the Uniform; Interior Guard Duty; First Aid; Organization of the Army; Article of War. Here for basic, then either to field or Admin school. Some are retained. Listed my CC work and hope for something allied with personnel. But this is the Army: I'll probably wind up in Cooks & bakers!! Not sure I could handle the responsibility of an officer; OCS sounds tough. We probably took same AGCT; those blocks threw me for a loss; got 128 IQ in NY but don't know what I did here. Getting bored writing the same thing to everyone. Write soon & fire questions. Send me a pic for my folder; I'll return the favor when my uniform is complete.

Enclosed in Frank's 3/31/43 letter to Gen.
03/29/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Finished KP as table waiters; wasn't so bad. Will take your advice about Air-mail [not to bother?]. I now have 20 three-cent stamps; will send them to Dot since she doesn't get free mail privilege. When I read what you said about her letter, my heart sank two feet. How you twist some letters around! I can detect no note of regret in it about being in the Army. If you think she's unhappy, then you must think I am too cause I'm amazed at the close parallel of our routine lives. She's leading the same life I am, and I like it. So you have nothing to fear concerning Dot. You try to hard to read between the lines; don't do it! I'll try to mention which of your letters I've received. Still have the cough; got the Cheracol yesterday morning, but lasted only till tonight. It did loosen the cough; I'll get another one tomorrow night. Sending a letter from John [Collon?]; send it to Dot when you're done. It's one of the wittiest I've ever seen. Dotty K's letter was swell! You speak of writing to Cordie & Peggy & Irene. Here's who I've been trying to write to: the Hills, Gil & Eileen, Alfred Kirwan, Joe Sherman, Ane, Gene D., Collon, John Acer, Aunt Martha, Auntie, Mrs. Kampf, the Kirwans, Joe Starace & Oussani. Dot's right: a soldier has very little time to write.

03/30/1943 Shields, Frank Tergesen, Ronnie Postcard Camp Croft, SC

Forgive the card, but don't have time for a letter. Even though we have off from 5:30 till 10, we still have to eat chow, make our beds, clean our rifles, shower, brush teeth, shave & get dressed in O.D's to go to the PX for soda or beer. So not much time left; can't promise to write a letter to Jack. Kept busy writing letters to Gen, Dot & Joe. But I'm damn glad to get your letters.

03/31/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

My cough doesn't warrant the attention of a Dr.; it's just annoying. Looking forward to the medicine you're sending. Everyone has the same problem with their feet; that's why they gradually increase the hikes. Generally get 8 hours sleep. Not worrying about basic training, OCS, college or anything: won't do me any good 90 years from now. Please don't worry about us; we're healthy and happy. Camp Croft is no dump! We like it here. Enclosing Dot's first letter to me. The socks you sent were cotton instead of light wool. Pretty soon I'll send for some of my shorts and shirts. Payday today, but we didn't get any. Sarge says we may get a partial payment on 10th or 12th. May go to a dance here tonight; there's also a movie at the PX.

Contains Dot's 3/29/43 letter to Frank.
04/01/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Your package arrived; my cough has improved, but glad to see your medicine. Candy and cough drops were welcome too. Letter from Charlie Katz today. Gas mask drill this morning; dry shooting this PM. Were on parade grounds, but sand blew in clouds. Were out five and a half hours; ears were filled with sand when we came in. Went to Bttn dance last night. It was too crowded. Went to PX then to bed. Chores tonight: clean rifle, make bed, shower, wash hair, wash handkerchiefs, socks and underwear. Exposed to various gases yesterday; tear gas made us cry like babies. I'll try to remember Mr. Lovett in my prayers.

04/05/1945 Dembinski, Eugene  Shields, Frank Letter Philippines

Mail service is remarkably rapid. Calc course from UofF was worthwhile. Have re-enrolled for an Integral Calc course. Sent application 5 months ago and just received acknowledgement today. The paper for my last letter was all I could find.  Haven't heard from Fel in 6 months. But my Mom says they enjoy the regimented existence and of Fel's debut as a singer on a stage show. She was a hit: lots of clapping and the roof came down. Literally! Too much snow! Have you decided to marry? I'll be one of your men of honor. Moved from New Guinea after being there only 3 months. The crossing on LST was bad; only half had places to sleep below decks. Slept on deck; managed to find 2 cots and a tarpaulin. This island is considered a combat area, but only Japs are high in hills. Only aircraft are ours. At New Guinea, I had TDY as a typist; it was quite the racket. Had own transportation, could come in at almost any hour. Was offered permanent position, but turned it down: too boring. Here, I've been assigned to Main PX, typing, while other guys are sweating, pushing gas drums all over. Have watched several cock-fights. Not uncommon for 2 or 3 thousand pesos to be bet on a match ($.50/peso), with 100 spectators. Birds are held against each other and if they show agitation, the fight is on. Not very exciting: they scuffle a bit, then retreat; the process continues until one tries to escape from the ring or drops. Occasionally, they both die; the last one standing "wins". It's inhumane, but to a Filipino, probably more civilized than 2 humans beating each other to a pulp.

04/13/1945 Campbell, Ann
Shields, Frank Letter

Stunned by the death of FDR. Puts a wet blanket on our joy so near to VE day. No commercials on radio; musical programs are hymns. Have cried about 6 times this AM. Heard about it from a woman while returning from NYC. Peg heard it from neighbors. They are saying such grand things about him. I'm sure Eleanor is wondering if they're talking about someone else. I think VE will be announced Sunday. Hope Truman will be good; I think so since he's a WW I vet. Steve is speechless. Hope the next letter to you will be people's reaction to VE day.

Ann is Peggy Doyle's Aunt.
04/21/1945 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Welch Convalescent Hospital,
Daytona Beach, FL

Russians within 4.5 miles of Berlin! Commentator was advertising Studebakers & mentioned their vehicle is used by SigCorps because of speed. Don't tell me you're touring Europe in a Studebaker! I'll stop my War Bonds!

Just sent you a note hoping you'd make Sgt, and then comes word from Gen that you're now a T/4. Very happy for you; you can now save toward an extra green shutter on that love nest.  Sent Gen a wire for funds; she was afraid to open it since she hadn't heard from you in 3 weeks. But then Peg phoned and told her about the stripes and that you're in Germany. You've been through England, Paris, Belgium and now Germany! Hope you are able to cull something useful out of all you've seen and done. Have to keep a positive attitude; have hit bottom several times and later realized it's a solid grip on "Home" that makes it all worthwhile. We all owe the future to millions like you and Joe. God bless you both; you're my favorite people. Finally get more than a nod from the Sgt I work with; you and he would get along. Thought he was from the south, but he's from Rochester. Spent 2 years in the seminary. Our conversations revolve around religion. He is a member of the Catholic Evidence Guild. He's the most wholesome individual of your sex that I've met these many months. I'd given up hope, but if there's one Jack, there must be more.

05/29/1945 Aiken, Theresa Shields, Frank Vmail  

Your letter made me feel good, it's so cheerful. Dot and Joe spent a few days here; they both looked fine. Ma Kirwan is fine and getting ready for summer vacation. You would think she's 18 instead of 81 years. Uncle Rob has been trout fishing; got 5 one day, 7 the next between 12" & 14". Alfred, Helen and Bobbie are fine. My garden is coming good now: peas, beans, beets, corn, tomatoes.

07/09/1945 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter Welch Conv Hosp, Daytona Beach, FL

Made an allotment which will save me dough on money orders: $35 on the first of the month. Sending to Kezar's in case you don't want it public knowledge. Still seeing Leo & hearing from Ed - keeps my heart & head in a whirl. Have decided to be sensible and wipe him off the "hopeful" list. Leo quite attentive - so much like Johnny [Nelson]. We enjoy ourselves the most when we're visiting at the Sully's. Went last night for dinner; Leo washed the dishes under pressure. Then played "hearts" and had coffee; home 11:30. Not quite sure where the hole affair leaves me. There are times I'm quite fond of him - others when he exasperates me. Feel lost and neglected if he stays away for a few days. Foolish to surmise about a man, but I suspect he likes me a wee bit. Will let things run their course: what will be, will be. Auntie's letters: she not only reads between the lines, she writes her own footnotes. Told her about settling into Daytona, doing social work, being forced to mix socially & professionally. Added that I have an occasional date and so am reaching a stage of development I should have years ago. Auntie's reply guessed that I've found the perfect man, and that it would make her and Unk very happy for their favorite niece. Had to laugh, knowing how sincere she is. Maybe I only THOUGHT I wrote what I did; perhaps I sent her someone else's letter. Why does everyone want to marry me off? I promise not to be a burden in my old age. Billie working night and day; brother Harry in Europe and Jim in school in MD. Dottie Held on a pass to NJ this weekend for her brother's wedding. Her sister-in-law is her former bunkmate; they exchanged brothers as correspondents, although Dottie never wrote. But Marge corresponded with Fritz Held; when they met it was the "real thing". Is your job over for the summer; how is Ma? Auntie said Unk had a "breathless" heart attack; how is he?

Enclosed in Dot's 7/26/45 letter to Frank
07/24/1945 Dembinski, Eugene  Shields, Frank Letter Philippines

You must've heard about Duffy's death: 31 missions, 2nd Lt, only a month before VE day - Rough. Duffy's are fine people, all of them. Problems with U of FL correspondence course: had lost textbook for Integral Calc while at Finschafen. Cost of course covered textbook, so thought they'd send me a new one. Instead, sent $1.60 rebate. Returned the check, explained need for new book; now they bill me for an extra $1.60! Trip to Manila: caught a C-46 going to Luzon; like most fought-over cities, it's a shambles. But hadn't seen a city since Suva, Fiji. It was worth it. Was stationed at 2nd platoon CP in the middle of a desolate waste. Existed on 10-in-1's and rainwater for almost a month. But we were able to rig a shower using "borrowed" equipment and a nearby stream. [Illustration included.] Seems I'm doomed to a life of TDY; this time as radio operator in AA Operation room. As exciting as a week-dead mackerel. My point score is actually 53; we did manage to get a battle star for nothing more than outflanking a heard of caribou.

07/26/1945 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Welch Convalescent Hospital,
Daytona Beach, FL

You're on my mind more than my flow of letters would indicate; lay it to the lassitude induced by the "tropics." 8/14/45: Kept in touch with you thru 7/19 from Mom and for a while thru Peg; haven't written her since my furlough. She sent me copies of your "diary" letters. She must've given up in despair. Last saw her sporting a saber-pin that some affectionate GI sent her from ETO. Exchanged several of your letters verbally; seems you have a lot of champions back here, Sgt! Plans for private meeting with future Mrs S. did not materialize. 8/15/45: Wonderful news last night of the end of WWII!! I've looked forward to it for so long - now it's hard to take in. It would have more meaning if we were all home together to share the news. Strongly suspect you're on your way to Pacific. Makes the waiting easier, knowing that no matter how long it may take to return, the hazard of war itself has been removed. But now "home" is definitely closer. Joe is the luck boy: he gets the joy of welcoming the two of us home. Too early to know how WAC demobilization will be handled. I was there when you left & I would like to be there to welcome you back. 8/16/45: Wondering how you received the news; came to us during an "in-service" meeting. Got the 2 day holiday the president proclaimed. Today went to beach hoping rain would stop, but no soap.

Also includes Dot's 7/9/45 letter to Gen.
09/22/1945 Dembinski, Eugene  Shields, Frank Letter Philippines

Our deal of going to Batangas was called  off, so little likelihood that we'll be seeing each other. See you in the States! Used to be quite a bit of air traffic on the strips here, but now they've all been abandoned. Still waiting for CO to return and to learn if we'll leave Mindoro or not. If we do, it's probably not to Luzon.

10/03/1945 Shields, Gen Self

List of items in 6 packages  sent to Frank in Oct. 1945. Items include: sardines, milky ways, Hershey bars, cheese, dates, ravioli, Lobster, Tuna, pepperpot, fruitcake, socks, shirt, pint of rye, pen nibs, pretzels, caramel popcorn, licorice whips, potato chips, blackberry jam, saltines, hair tonic, after shave, peaches, tooth paste, toothbrush, nuts, razor blades.

Note in Gen's handwriting asking Frank if he remembers these Xmas boxes.
05/24/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Grand hearing from you after 17 day silence. Peggy called a couple of times hoping I'd heard from you; don't care who gets the mail so long as one of us does. Glad you got all the packages and Peg's picture. Sent so long ago I'd forgotten about them. Box with beer is the last one sent; sorry could only send 2 bottles - with 3 it was over 5 lbs. Thought surely they'd be broken on arrival. No news from Mary Malone. Sent you some pics of dining room with panels torn down. I'm working next fall in hopes I can afford to do the living room; need a new rug and furniture re-covered first. Dot left last Monday; you can imagine what a void it leaves, especially after having both her and Joe home. Joe has changed a lot: always singing and wise-cracking; treats the kids as adults and no fault-finding. Says he'll look for a job after June 1st. Also gets his pension check but doesn't know how long those will keep up. He spends it all within 2 to 3 weeks. Jimmy had second cyst operation; wrote Helen that he thinks it's successful this time. Will be in CA for another 2 months. John Seegal set fire to papers in their cellar, but no damage. Had to call ambulance for Grandpop at 6:45AM on Wed.; it's one of those nose hemorrhages. Tried 2 Dr's but they're as scarce as cigarettes or meat. One arrived from Kings Co. but they're just first-aiders and he acted awful dumb. Finally told him how an interne packed it last time (5 years ago) and he did likewise so it stopped. Pop OK now, but it was a scare. John Flanagan (up the block; he's 17) was caught with 5 others committing a burglary; caught once before but let go. This time they confessed to 30 other burglaries; he got 6 years. Figures given the type of mother they have. Mary Malone hasn't heard from Frank since 4/26. They were in Worms and other places; doesn't know a thing about 3186 Co except those with him. Says they live on 10K rations. John Duffy was killed in a plane crash on VE day; they weren't on a bombing mission, but were on a trip into Germany. Mrs. Collon came to tell us; had never met her. She dreads writing John; he's fine and likes his job. Mr. C. hasn't worked since last Nov - his nerves again. Mrs. Duffy learned the news via phone before official notice. Mrs. C said they were a very religious family. That's 2 of John C's personal friends in less than 10 months. Joe Oussani's brother mentioned that they had a mass card from you. Anna Keezar says to send her cigarettes back; she laughed when she read you had 7 cartons. It's so bad here one would be tempted to pick up butts off the street.

09/11/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Glad to hear you arrived safely in Manila. How much ice cream did you eat in Panama? Frank Malone's letter arrived in 7 days. Mrs. Lewis called: no word from Arthur; I keep her up on the latest. Lonely here tonight: Dot left yesterday to report to Daytona Beach. She has 31 points but no idea when she'll get out. Peggy was here Saturday night; high time you got home and took her in tow. She arrived 45 minutes late for dinner, went out with Ronnie & Dot, wound up at Gibbons with Joe and got home at 3AM, then made coffee. When Peggy climbed into bed, the side of the bed broke, and they started laughing. John Seegal woke her up at 7AM with his noise. Chief fixed the bed later. Alfred Kirwan expected home in 2 weeks. Dora was buried a week ago today; Chief still feels pretty blue. He says he misses her something awful. Dot's & Betty's birthdays last Saturday. No fuss: just gave them some cash, not even cards. Heard you were on the  Monterey; Mary Malone hopes 3186th will be home for Xmas. Joe is working, but nerves aren't too good. Vee got a good report card; only 18 more months to go. Ronnie has only 6 months.

09/13/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Your picture taken at Marseille looks swell. If you come back through Frisco, I'd like you to look up Virge Hutter, and Jimmy [Kirwan?] expects to be there for a year. You got 5 letters from me dated July and August; there were 4 others. I keep track of when I write to you and Dot. Used new APO from Mary Malone; that may reach you before the one sent to the old APO in which I told you of Dora's death. Your letter from Manilla sent 9/1 got here in 11 days - not bad! Mrs. Lewis is sending me two pictures (Robert sent film home); she thinks you're in them. You've been overseas almost a year now. How we've missed you. Praying for your return before your next birthday. Mary fears Japan is in the offing; we hope not. I listed to the reception to Gen. Wainwright this morning; he mentioned the havoc in Manila. Don't expect report soon on Jack Benny as Chief is in the dumps. He took the car out only to go see Dora in the hospital. He spent his whole vacation downstairs painting ceilings and bathing her leg. Grandpop looks good, but seems so lonesome. He won't come up and eat with us, so not much we can do. He's adjusting better than the Chief though. Joe says Bob Angele gets out of the Army tomorrow. So are guys Joe knows named Boyle and Burns. Don't count on gum from Joe; he doesn't carry any stock. They go to assigned stores and fill shelves with Beechnut Baby food. He gets $35 per week and only works 4 hours per day. It suits him to a T. Hope you're able to get in touch with Jim Morris and Gene Dembinski. Saw news about James Hawkins, a paratrooper overseas for 2 years, killed at Lake George a month after getting out. He's Aunt Ellie's nephew and gave Joe the pinstripe suit for Aikens wedding, so we'll have to go to the wake.

09/24/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Monday, Sept 24/45

At the Filter

Dear Fan, So now we hear your headed for Japan. Have had only that one letter from Manila written Sept 1st.  Mary Malone had one written Sept 7 as so did Mrs Burns and then silence, but from hints in their letters Mary's pretty sure the 3185 went to Yokohama or Kohe. So we'll see just how near right we were again. Had only two letters from Dot since she went back from her emergency furlough. Things with her are very quiet and no one knows what gives re discharges. According to newspapers WAC's points will be reduced to 34 by Nov 1st. Up to Sept 17th Dot has 30 pts. Quoting papers again soldier pts will be down to 60 by Nov 1st. Just where does that leave you? We figure 30 for number of months 12 for overseas and (according to Dot) 15 for invasion stars. If that's right you should have 61 by Nov 1st. But I suppose that won't mean a dam thing if the army says your essential. Joe is still with Beechnut. Kids at school and Chief back to work. Only thing new is Ma is sick. She only came home last week after being down to NY since July 4th. She spent 3 weeks with me - two with Kate and the rest of time she was in Teaneck. Was only back here a day when she had a slight stroke. Two days later she was well enough to be let set up in chair for 4 hrs. That was last Sat. On Sunday they let her up again for a few hrs, and right after she had dinner she had another stroke which left her right side completely paralyzed. Right eye she can't keep open. They phoned me immediately and I got Ane & Tommy & Kate and we were here last nite (Sunday Sept 23) by 6:30. Dr. had been here and he says she may live a day or 20 years. There's a clot on the left side of brain. Her pressure is 180 and her heart is equal to a youths of 20. She knows us all and is very keen but as right side of face is helpless she talks rather thick. I stayed up all nite with her last nite and she didn't sleep for 5 minutes. Wanted to get up. Talked, etc. Tommy & Kate went home. Ane and Dick just left now but Ane is coming back tomorrow and I'm going home. Ane will stay till Sunday and then Kate will come back for the following week. I'll try to get up weekends. We can't leave Theresa alone as it takes 3 or 4 to move her she is so heavy and helpless. Dr. said if she pulled through for 3 weeks she'd be up and around again. But no Dr. can say just how a thing like this will act. So Fan we'll just have to hope for the best.

Thought I'd contact Peggy today as she is supposed to be back to work after her vacation, but I'm here so will have to wait till I get home.

They thought Alfred Kirwan would be on the Europa last week but on inquiry find he's not and he's not listed for next week or the Queen Mary. You know he's at South Hampton awaiting shipment home. By the way I sent your watch strap. Some flints and some gum. Also sent you a pic of Kathy[?] and one of Ma. Sent them a week ago.

Well Fan that's about all the news. Grandpop is fine but insists on staying home downstairs, once in a while we can get him up for a glass of beer.

Will close Fan as I want to drop Dot a line.

By now and I'm still praying for your speedy home coming.


Tuesday nite Sept 25/45 8PM


I'm back home from Filter - Ma no worse.

Just read your letter of Sept 8th. Now I'm wondering if your still at Manila or did you move. Well write soon - Mom.

09/30/1945 Gen & Chief Shields, Frank Letter

Sunday Sept 30th

Dear Fan

For want of news I'm enclosing a clipping about two boys whom Vee and Betty know well enough to talk to. What is the younger generation coming to. Imagine anything like this going on when you and Joe were 16. Guess this is some of the bunch John Flanagan used to hang out with. You know he's away for 5 years. Nothing new around town.

Peg told me you said there was a rumor of getting out on 50 pts. Wish it were true. Am still wondering what you want for Xmas. Have only two weeks left to get them out in and one of those weeks will be spent at the Filter taking my turn in the care of Ma. She's still the same. She'll probably get better but will always be paralyzed. There's nothing new with the family. Joe is still with Beechnut and I haven't heard from Susie in two weeks. They're still waiting for Alfred K. to get home. Did you make that trip to Leyte?

Don't mind writing Fan am doing it with one hand while I wheel Dennis Katz with the other. Gert and Charlie went to a party this afternoon and were to be back at 7 - it's now 9 - Bobby has gone to sleep on Dot's bed but the baby is awful cranky.

Joe was at a party at Fel's last nite - her mother's wedding anniversary. Said he had a good time (kid just fell asleep)

By the way Fan you should see the swell colored pictures Tommy makes now. He paid for a set of coloring tubes and you should see how much better they look than the black and white. Cordie sold her place and is moving to Gloucester Oct 4th. Bought a 12 room house and 5 room bungalow there. George and Dewey are going to live with her in 6 rooms on the 1st floor. She'll rent the upper also the bungalow. Old man Norton sold his place this week to people named Olsen - he's going to Boston to marry the housekeeper he used to have and Amelia is moving to Ridgewood. Aunt[?] K doesn't know yet if she'll have to move. Soooo that's all the news.

Till later love and prayers, Mom

PS heard from Mrs Lervis[?] you got your case of beer. Mail seems awful slow. only had 2 letters from you since arriving in Manilla.

[Note from Chief:, written on back of Board of Education Child Attendance form:]

Ask Frank to try and contact a Miss Irwin, head nurse, and a Doctor Erickson who were attached to the Seventh Day Adventists Sanitarium in Manila. The nurse is a Philipino, the doctor an American. He was taken prisoner by the Japs. Ask them to disclose what has become of or happened to the people known to Henry Friedman, principal of Public school in Brooklyn. He was ill in hospital there several years ago.

No clipping enclosed.
05/06/1945 Morris, Jim Shields, Frank Letter Philippines
Pfc JB Morris, 11121483

The Philippines, 6 May, 1945

Dear Frank, Your long awaited for letter arrived about a week ago via my home, New Guinea and two addresses in the Philippines. I say "long awaited for" because in March Mother wrote that she had forwarded one from you and it was quite a while before it  came - in fact I still get an occasional letter written in February to New Guinea. Your letter may have been old, but I was damn glad to hear from you. The last I had heard was that you had flown to England last fall.

I left that fabulous land where the streets are paved and there are white women who don't chew tobacco, in the middle of December. We crossed the equator on Christmas Day - what a lousy, hot, sunny Christmas that was - and in time arrived in New Guinea. A month of hell in a replacement depot; then another 21 day ocean voyage to this island. Another replacement depot for a few days and then I found myself assigned to this outfit, and here I have remained ever since.

I am a pressman's helper, which means I am supposed to help a guy run an offset press. Having had approximately 5 weeks training in a trade that in civilian life takes from 2 to 5 years to learn, I was appallingly ignorant at the first. However, my boss, Moe, is an apt teacher and I was interested, so I learned fast. At present I'm able to do my share of the work, but I am still learning, and fast!

That I was damned lucky to get into this outfit is an understatement. For we were the first large group of replacements to hit this island and our subsequent assignment was a veritable grab bag. Buddies of mine who had the same spec number ended up in the combat engineers, medics, light & heavy pontoon companies and various kinds of construction outfits. Here I am 1/4 Irish, yet I have the luck of the full blooded Irish.

No, Frank, I didn't stop in that bar on S. Evans St. in Denver. But I sure remember that night - it was New Years Eve. But my brother Bill, is now in Denver at Lowry field and I've already written him about it. I could say "What babe?", but that'd make me a liar; and besides I've been doing my best to live up to that ne'er-to-be-forgotten-remark by my early training cramps my style and keeps me somewhat on the gentle side. Also I bet that you forget that you and the Irish tenor are bosom buddies - you were the only two that knew the words to "The Bald-headed End of the Broom".

Right now my pal, "K Happy" (he of the sharp with and feeble pool cue), is trying to lure me into a game of cribbage so he can take the remainder of my hard earned pesos away from me. He says, "You don't have to write your buddy now. Even if you don't write him for a year, he'll still be your buddy. It's different with your girl."

And speaking of my girl lets use the past tense. Janne or George M. Cohan, whichever alias you prefer (remember that night in the G.A.), no longer is the object of my passion. Our romantic relations have deteriorated to the point of disintegration, we are now just friends. And there's no broken heart at this end (for my heart is back in the same place yours is, in a place called home). Nevertheless something might happen, you know Fickle JB.

As you know, corresponding is not my strong point. But I'm sure going to write Ed & Davy. Ed's idea of a trip to Davy's is darn good, for we're all going to have a hell of a time settling down in one spot when we get home and a trip like that would help. That'd probably be the only way we'd ever get to see Davy, which we all want to do. I doubt if we'll be able to interest Pete in it though, but one can never tell about Peter Dolan.

Thinking of those guys just brought this thought into my addled brain. How would you like to walk into Ed's house with a camera and catch him pressing a pleat in his undershorts! Remember the first time we saw him at Raleigh he was pressing his pants. Boy, Frank, won't it be great when we three get together again! Ed'll probably be a drinking man again so it ought to be quite a binge.

It is now Monday night; I ran fresh out of words last night so had to quit. Thereupon I returned to the exciting perusal of "The Return of Tarzan." What trash, but pleasant reading fro an escapist like myself.

The news form Europe today is still swell; it looks like the Nazis are about to take the count. Also today brought the news that 2 million G.I's will be discharged this year. Frank, I hope that means you and our brothers (Joe & Bill), at least you ought to get a furlough. Here I go dreaming again, but if you do, my love to Peg. She's a nice gal; the four of us fitted together like tailored pajamas (what are pajamas?)

Two years ago I would have been ashamed to admit this, but now I'm rather proud of it in a peculiar sort of way. One one of my boat rides - the first - I received thru the Red Cross an anthology of poetry, from Chaucer to Sandberg, all English & American "greats" are represented. And that book has been more than a constant companion, I've read and reread most of it a dozen times or more. It amazing, Frank but each time I read, I get more pleasure. In a word; poetry seems to 'satisfy' me in some way. Am I in love, or am I growing in mind, or should I go out and count coconuts to relieve the strain?

I've a chance to lose a few more pesos in a poker game, so I'm off. Write soon Frank and may your next letter be postmarked "Bayridge, N.Y."!

Stationery is labeled "671 Engineer TOPO Company"
09/22/1945 Morris, Jim Shields, Frank Letter Philippines

Dear Frank,

Your letter of the 3rd arrived yesterday. Can't understand why it took so long unless it was because you didn't mark it "Inter-Island" and it went to Frisco. Also even during censorship you could say almost anything you wanted in Inter Island mail.

I sure am glad to hear you're in Manila; I'll try to get down there as soon as I can get away. We've been having it light since I corps went to Japan, but a load of work came in today. Still I'll probably be able to get down there next week sometime.

In the meantime, Frank, you can buzz up here in about 3 hrs.; if you can get a day off do it. Here's how: go north on Rizal bvd. until you hit the monument at the edge of town, go around the circle and continue north on Route #3. You follow route #3 all the way, passing thru San Fernando South (by) Clark Field, Tarlac, Panique. You'll notice road markers showing kilometer distances - between 161 and 162 from Manila, on the left of the road, you'll see a large house, a warehouse, a lawn, a bamboo barracks and a sign "671st C.P." - anyone will tell you where to find me. Also, Frank, if you get to Rosales and the 1/2 mile long bridge you've gone too far. Hitchhiking is damn good on these roads.

Now for the news in brief. I'm now a combination platemaker and pressman and still a pfc (I was robbed, which is what they all say). Since I last wrote it's been the same thing day in and out - work and work, a little wine, no women, and no song in my heart. Stay away from drink - except G.I. beer - over here, Frank; a good deal of it si poison and all of it (except stateside stuff) is raw, raw rotgut. They say that the longer you're over here the whiter the natives get; that's true for the first couple of months but now, brother, they seem blacker than black. I've been to quite a few dances and fiestas and after the novelty wears off, they're quite dull. All in all, I'm really set to head for home.

However, we've been here since May (this area I mean) and we've build a lot of stuff - day room, ping pong table, volley ball court and most important a tennis court. I play a hell of a lot of tennis, and that with ping pong, bridge, and reading helps some to pass the time.

We're going to Japan soon - beginning of October.

Now, to look at your letter. First, congrats on your T/3; Frank, you've really been pluggin' ... You'll get used to the weather, besides the rainy season is almost over ... I haven't heard from Ed in almost a year, wonder what happened to the guy, also Pete & Davy.

Send Peggy my love, she's a swell gal. That know tying business sounds serious, I'd shudder at the thought of a ball and chain around my leg. But she's the gal for you and you'll be right to grab her while you can.

When we get back to lil' ol' New York, I'll probably still be draggin' Janne around (though I may surprise myself and be squiring her sister Gerry). Janne and I are still friends, I write about once a week, but our letters are hum drum affairs. I really didn't break clean, Frank, simply decided that she was not the girl for me to marry. I hope that doesn't make my intentions dishonorable. On the other hand, I've been building up a correspondence with Gerry, who slings a mean pen - sort of laying the groundwork for a post war blitz, and you get what I mean.

Points: V-J gives me 53. But according to the news today, any man with 2 years service in December is "eligible for immediate discharge." We may well be home sooner than we expect. Up to now I figured I'd make it between March & June, and I don't think I'll change those views yet.

Eleven o'clock and I work tomorrow so I'll sign off. Let's try to get together soon, and I do mean before October.

03/20/1945 Duffy, John Shields, Frank Letter Vmail form

From F/O [Flight Officer] J. Duffy T-132888

326th Bomb Sqd

92nd Bomb Gp

March 20

Dear Fran,

Well boy I just got your letter of February 13 today - that certainly isn't to good for mail service - is it. I am still a flight officer but I think I'll be a second Lt. in about 2 weeks - not that it really makes much difference though - because it is really unimportant. I have 19 missions in and with any kind of luck, I expect to finish next month God willing.

John I guess is pretty well settled now in Cairo and Eug in New Guinea. I guess Frank both of us have a lot to be thankful for considering what so many others are going through. I've been to London twice and it some ways it resembles New York but on the whole it is dwarfed when held in comparison to it. Take good care of yourself and know that I'll be expecting an answer as soon as possible. May God bless you,
As ever
Johnnie D.

Full Transcript.
11/26/1944 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter Chanute Field, Ill

Avoided assignment to TX; out of Teletype school; trying for a discharge; condition worse; cast first vote; making ends meet; engaged to Harriet; Gen doesn't know


02/01/1945 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter St. Petersburg, FL

Sleeping habits; hopes for discharge; weighs 135 lbs; tried to appear normal for Dot's visit, but feeling depressed; hates Vmail; F. weighs 150 lbs; bomber flights; thoughts about missions; real work begins 30 mins before target; Anzio in Feb 44; swap of AAF and infantry; infantry refused air combat; Harriet; rather stay single; F's 21st birthday; payday; Combat symbol


04/06/1945 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter Brooklyn, NY

Out of the Army; 70% disability for shoulder dislocation; unsure of plans ??? Civil Service perhaps; broke up with Harriet; will look for work soon; clothing selection & prices


02/21/1945 Collon, Kathryn Shields, Frank Letter

146 - 92 Street
        Brooklyn, NY
        Feb. 21, '45

Dear Frank,

This will be a surprise to you, Frank, hearing from an old gal like myself.

But your letter to John came about ten days ago, after John had left here for his "post" abroad. His mail is piling up here and I haven't any address yet that I can forward it to.

I received one picture postcard which didn't tell me much as it was censored. But he left here Jan 28th, and as to-day is Feb. 21st I feel I ought to be getting something from him soon.

He went all the way by air plane, from here to Ireland, then to Casablanca, then on to the end of his journey, you know where?

He told me not to forward any of his mail until I hear from him. So I got thinking that if it will take all this time for his mail to reach him after I get a definite address to send it to, Lord knows when you would get an answer to your letter, so I am passing this information on so you will understand.

Now, Frank, I must confess that I opened your letter and read it, not that I'm nosey. Frank, never think that! I just wanted to know what was in it, that's all, ha!

But to tell the truth, John told me to open all of his overseas mail, and when I write to send him any change in A.P.O., or any important news in my first letter, so he wouldn't have to wait until I send them all on, and he peruse through them.

So I will send your A.P.O. address on in case it is different than the one he has, just as soon as I get word from him, then he can write you.

There are two letters here from Eugene, in which he tells John of some exploring he did on the Isle he is on. He doesn't seem to be very busy[?] about anything, but then, you can't tell much from Eugene whether he is or not. There are two snapshots of him here that his mother sent John, quite primitive, in the nude, all but shorts. It sure must be warmer there than it is here. Boy! have we had winter here!

There are a car load of letters here from John Duffy, he writes about every day I guess.

John is in England and had his first mission over Germany last week, by now I suppose he has had more. Don O'Connor is in England too. He, like John Duffy, doesn't like the cold, wet, weather there, lonesome too, that's another letter I read. I'm having lots of fun!

There are several here from Frank Meyer, he is in France, do you know him? I'm not sure. And one from Norman Krone, you remember him from St. Anselms, don't you? He is in the Navy and stationed some where near Holland and France, (land based).

That's all about the boys that I can tell you, Frank. About us, John's father has been sick since Thanksgiving time, nervous breakdown. I believe he is improving, but it is slow. John was quite worried about it when he went away.

"I" am disgustingly healthy. Frank Brennan was home sick for four or five weeks, be is alright now I guess.

Brooklyn looks terrible, you never saw such dirty streets in all your life. We have had so much snow and ice and it has hardened so that they cannot clean up the streets. But I'll bet, Frank, you would love walking along those dirty old streets, wouldn't you? Meat is getting scarcer and scarcer. I haven't seen any beef or lamb for months and last Friday I went down to 86th Street to see if I could get any pork at "Merkles", and I had to line up outside on the sidewalk for twenty minutes before I could get inside the door, after more than an hour. I went home without anything, because all they had left was pigs knuckles, pigs tails, and pigs liver, besides blood sausage, so we had bacon and eggs for Sunday, I had the bacon in (lucky me).

I go to Mass every morning at the visitation now because it is Lent. I like to play a game, Frank, when I'm there, and imagine, my John, and you, are in the same seat (back seat, left hand side) with me. You know I just look straight ahead and never look sideways even out of the corner of my eye, in that way I can imagine you are both there. Gee! I wish you were. But you are there in spirit I know, and I pray for you both.

I sure enjoyed your letter, you write a very interesting one. But don't bother to answer this one, Frank, I was just batting for John.

Best wishes from us.

Kathryn C. Collon

Full Transcript.
05/22/1944 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Card

"Thinking of you" type card

03/08/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter

Sent 2 pics; doesn't like F's haircut

05/18/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #20

Writing from office; kitchen redecorated; bike ride; saw movie; hopes to see F. soon

05/24/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #21

Commuter stereotypes; Gen phoned

06/01/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #22

Rec'd several letters from F; cooking; cleaning typewriter; F wants motorcycle post-war;  sunburn; will copy Dot & Gen on F's letters; saw movie

06/09/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #23

Rec'd mail of 5/8 & 5/30; "GI Bill of Rights"; consideration of marriage prospects; beach

06/12/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter

Rainy; saw 2 movies; victory gardens; Fel & Eileen to visit; no word from 87th St. 

06/21/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #25

Gen said F shipped from Würzburg to Weisbaden; reference to F&P's grandchildren; request forewarning if impending visit; bike ride

06/25/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #26

News from Gen; where will F go next? Japan?; Fel & Eileen visit & escapades; weather

06/28/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #27

Have missed F since 9/20/44; skipped work; bike ride; beach; "our little girl"; meat rationing

07/05/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #28

July 4th weekend visit to Norwalk CT Water Works w/Shields family; don't keep her waiting for her wedding

07/06/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Vmail #29

Vmail might be quicker; Cat ran away; news of brother & nephew

07/12/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #30

got 6/21 & 6/28 letter; Ref to LaGuardia; request snapshot; Fel & Eileen; phoned Gen; Joe in Waterbury; USO & bowling; swim at Coney Island

07/17/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #31 Vmail form

Newspaper Delivery strike; LaGuardia broadcasts; Cruise ships with returning soldiers

07/24/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #32

Weekend mail; letter of 7/12; anticipating mail delay; Fel & Eileen visit; beach; haircut; J Acer won't make F&P's wedding; tennis lessons

07/25/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #33 Vmail form

Shopping for electric iron; pricey antiques; victory garden

07/27/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #34

Difficulty finding film; F sent P's letters back to her; weather

07/30/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #35

Call from Gen; rumor F. sailed on 7/21; popular radio songs; letter of 7/2; 

07/31/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #36

Rain; USO & a movie; P's work at Foster Wheeler; letter from Fel

08/09/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #37

No wife beating; saw 2 movies; dress shopping; Empire State Bldg damage; dinner & drinking w/Fel & Eileen; trolley ride; Dewey; Riis Park; blood donation; tennis

08/12/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #38

Anticipating Jap Surrender; F's telegram; Atomic Bomb; talked to Gen; Fel & Eileen

08/17/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #39

V-Day when F is home; USO is slow; possible false news on VJ day; how P heard; wonders where F was when announced; visited 87th st; Gen handing out steak sandwiches

faint lipstick impression
08/23/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #40

Gen at Waterbury; block party with Joe, John Acer; Joe's dancing; tennis; saw movie; ships heading for US; hard to find news on 3186th SigServBn; Foster Wheeler work

09/06/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #42

Rumor 3186 going to Manila; newsreels on Manila; map of Panama; Long Beach; attended Dora's wake; occupation of Japan; 

09/14/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #44

Rain; visit to 87th St; Dot, Ronnie & P went for a beer; met Joe; broken bed; woken by neighbor; back home; rec'd letter from F with pics; got raise at Foster Wheeler

09/19/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #43

Able to afford a wedding; what type of wedding?; where will F complete EE?; mystery stories; knitted mittens for Fel

Lipstick impression
09/25/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #45

Surprised F has taken up boxing; tennis; Fel & Eileen visited; saw movie; building employee's strike; elevators not running; vacation extended

Lipstick impression
09/28/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #46

Strike still on; made a hat; went to movie with Fel; Fel's date; talked to Joe

Lipstick impression
09/29/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #47

Gen says F doesn't have a lot to do; strike ending soon; swimming with Fel & Eileen; met Joe at beach; Fel, Joe & P go to Bay Ridge bar

Lipstick impression
11/26/1945 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter #55

F's letter to Gen said when he expects to be home; Xmas shopping; P mis-guesses that Fel is about to marry Joe; Joe has improved; dislikes F's haircut in pic; F's language in letter; lost ID bracelet given by F; P's brother

06/13/1945 Roche, Mrs. Shields, Frank Letter

Received your nice letter a few days ago, and was very glad to hear from you. I feel I should have written sooner in case you were moved, but I'd be glad to have you miss it, if the reason was your coming home.

The thought of having to finish the job in the Pacific theatre must have put a damper on your joy at the victory over there. Please God it will not take too long. I notice in Don's letters lately more talk of getting home than ever before That should help to reconcile you boys in Europe, to know that the boys in the Pacific are happy to think you are coming to help them, so they too can come home.

I am glad you heard from Bob from Italy, and if you do have the letter you mentioned at home, I hope you will bring it with you when you come to see us. He never mentioned anything in our letters about being in action except to say, "we infantry boys have been busy with things pertaining to the war effort," or something equally indefinite. I think of him so much, of what he must of gone through at Anzio, and yet his letters never gave a hint of it. I am reading Ernie Pyle's book Brave Men, and I have learned more of what actually happened than I ever knew before.

It is true Frank, that as you say, "The picture memories almost disappear of the ones we love." But I find it a great help to look at the actual pictures I have of Bob and Don. We always took lots of snapshots, and now they are such a comfort to me. I can usually recall just how they looked at a certain time, by going over the pictures. Were it not for them, I'm afraid their dear faces would soon be very indistinct in my mind. It's hard to believe, but it's very true. But also, the happy memories of the years gone by will never fade. We are very grateful for your kindness in having the Masses said for Bob and John. That kind priest sent me the cards, and I sent John's to his family. May God reward you by bringing you home safe and soon.

I don't believe I told you that the Kurchey's had a double loss. John's brother died in a German prison camp. They are the only family in Granville to have suffered the loss of two boys. I sincerely hope all your dreams may come true. You and your lovely girl are equally fortunate I think, in having each other. Will look forward to seeing you both in the near future. I certainly hope you will be more fortunate than Don. Of course he is only nineteen, but he had been going with a girl since early high school days and he at least hoped it was a permanent attachment. She wrote him as usual, and then without any warning told him she was engaged to another boy. We all felt badly for him, but he said if he could stand it to lose Bob, nothing else could hurt him too much. So he realized of course too, it was better it happened now, than later. Will close now, with all good wishes for you. May God bless you and keep you safe.

07/04/1945 Roche, Don Shields, Frank Letter

I guess I'd better introduce myself. I'm Bob Roche's brother, Don. I suppose you've heard a little of me from Bob.

You may wonder why I'm writing to you Frank. The fact is, that I'll always consider you as Bob's buddy. He wrote a lot of you and was pretty broken up when you were separated. I feel as though I already know you because of the frequent mention of you, by Bob, in his letters to me.

Mom said that you wrote to her a few times since we got the bad news. That was a swell gesture and we appreciate it.

Bob's personal things arrived home quite sometime ago. His diary went as far as Oct. I guess after that he didn't have time for anything extra.

From your address I gather that you got out of the Infantry and into communications. That was a break. Bob told us of how both of you tried to get out. He drove a truck before shoving off from Shenango. Then he went right back in the Inf.

I imagine you'll be on your way to the Pacific before too long. There'll no doubt have to be as many here as in Europe, in the end. Bob's Division is on its way home. I heard that over the news today. There's no sense in dwelling on how nice it'd be if he were with them still. They say that very few of the original men are left.

I guess I've said about all there is right now. I'm not much of a letter writer anyway. My object in writing was merely to let you know that I appreciate your having dropped a line to Mom. Also to let you know that your being a friend of Bob's makes you a friend of mine. I envy you for having been with him in the Army. I wish I could have been with him all the way.

Mom still has the picture of you and Bob, taken in the States.

So long and good luck Frank.

Full Transcript.
09/25/1945 Roche, Don Shields, Frank Letter Tinian Island

So glad to hear from you. I'd begun to think my letter had been lost. Of course, your letter explained the delay. You certainly do get around, don't you?

I realize fully what a genuine friend means to a fellow, while in basic training. Knowing that, I can very well understand how close you and Bob were. You spoke very well of him in you letter and having lived with him for some 17 yrs, I know you meant it. You have him figured to the "T".

As you will notice, I'm on Tinian. You've probably heard of it. Saipan always did make the headlines. Our airfield here, which incidentally, is the largest in the world, is the reason for our having to take the back seat, where publicity was concerned. The field was a "hush-hush" job, during war-time. Obviously, there's little hope of our meeting while in the Pacific; but I will remember that you intend to visit my home when the War is nothing but an unpleasant memory.

I certainly  hope that you are discharged as soon as you hope to be. You must have enough points by now; having served in both theaters. I have practically 22 moths in this corner of the Earth, to my credit now and have hopes of being rotated soon. I have only 58 points and surely will stay in the U.S. if I'm lucky enough to get back. The Marine Corps always did expect two tours of Pacific duty,  from a man; but now they don't send them back out with more than 36 points.

To straighten you out a bit: Bob and I graduated from High School together in 1942. I enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly after my 17th birthday, on Feb. 15, 1943. However, I wasn't called for active duty until June and of course, in the meantime Bob went to Camp Croft.  Our trains passed each other between home and S.C. when Bob was returning to Croft and I was on my way home, from Parris Island. I'll always regret missing him at that time; when we'd already begun to realize how close we were as brothers.

I gather, from you letter, that your girl-friend is among the ranks of the faithful. Mine, I'm sorry to say, called the whole thing off, some six months ago. She's married now, to another Marine no less. Congratulations, on your choice and the best of luck to both of you in the future.

Hoping to hear from you soon, I'll sign off now. Sorry we aren't a little closer. It'd be swell to meet you. How about a rain-check on that? Swell!

I write, "inter island", on the envelope. That's an assurance that the letter won't go to  San Francisco and then out again. I think your letter went all of the way.

I forgot completely to thank you for the picture of you and Bob. Thanks a lot Frank. I had only two pictures of him in uniform. Both of you look happy.

Full Transcript.
03/22/1945 Troy, Ruth & Geo Shields, Frank Letter

George's operation; Trip to the "Filter" with Gen & Chief; beer bucket; Peggy; Dot

09/13/1944 Aiken, Theresa Shields, Frank Vmail  

It was a surprise when we received your new address from Gen. She says you like the place a lot. We had already sent your boxes when the change came, so they may take a bit longer to get to you. Ma is fine; so is Unkle Rob, Helen and Bobbie. Alfred hurt his ankle in shop and is home a week now: torn ligaments, and very painful. Dr. says it will take a long time to heal. Saw Dot; she looks grand. Sorry you didn't see her while she was here.

11/04/1944 Aiken, Theresa Shields, Frank Vmail  

Q's for F; Lack of mail from F and Joe; Rob hunting; papered LR; all well but Alfred

11/20/1944 Aiken, Theresa Shields, Frank Vmail  

Alfred better, has been cross; sent Joe B-day card; heard F not receiving mail; boxes coming.

12/15/1944 StJacques, Betty Shields, Frank Letter

How is F?; Xmas money divided & thanks; fight with Ronnie; R&V went to movies; M Salerno & B Sherman expected for Xmas; present list; Xmas decorations; pls write

12/15/1944 Chief Shields, Frank Card

Hope you are enjoying the best of health and tranquility of mind during this Blessed Season. Gosh, you are missed. For the longest time we stopped whenever the bell rang; we were getting use to your coming home on weekend passes. Tommy is quite the enthusiast in photography. He used to watch me developing and printing, then I let him try it. He became expert in a short time. He'd come over with the cutest excuses and finally urge me to the cellar to start the enlarger. Pictures were taken, films developed, prints made and beer drank. He finally gets a combination film & plate rear-view camera; next thing I know he has a swell enlarger. He now has a lot of other gear as well. Forgot to tell you I got a photo-meter and a timing clock; now we're able to make precision enlargements to order. Only drawback is that Tommy likes to start at 10PM and wind up around daybreak. Routine life is about the same: come 11:30 or 12:00PM and the old can rushes the gauntlet to Boyles. Then the fiery arguments and suppressed emotions awaiting the girls' exit from their final facial touch up. Just as we're sinking into the arms of peaceful slumber, the air is rent with the moans of Grandma stalking Grandpop and putting the squeeze-play on him for being out all night dancing with some pinup girls. Joe has been ordered back to St. Petersburg; he is thoroughly disgusted and hopes they will give him a medical discharge. Mary Salerno was home last weekend; she is a nurse's aid at Valley Forge Gen. Hosp. Tommy got a new shoe for the REO; maybe Jack Benny rides again!

01/02/1945 Chief Shields, Frank Card

Thanks for gifts; Vee bought 1/8 bbl; presents received from kids; weather; Gelston Ave on New Years eve; M Salerno & Peggy stayed over; J Collon visited & is going to Cairo; Geo Troy ill with ulcers; Dot made Sgt

11/15/1944 Morgan, David Shields, Frank Letter Ft Riley, KS

Delayed note; last heard of F at Camp Crowder; updates on Charlie Campbell, Little Kenny, Hester, Pete & Jim; F's love life; D. married in Oct; duties; Northwest visit

The date is a guess; it was found in association with other letters dated Nov of 1944.
09/18/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Tally-ho & off you go, huh? Was hoping to get another look at your ugly mug, but I suppose this is more important. You carry with you my love and deepest wishes for a safe & successful mission. Gen makes a good middle-man in this correspondence racket. Thought you'd be gone soon; breathing quietly awaiting your APO. Judy Woodman has a bro-in-law, Doug Smit in the 3170 SigSrvBtn. Ever bump into him? My female curiosity has me guessing your destination. The season is almost over on the Riviera, so I assume you're taking a Coo's Tour to one of the S. Pacific islands. If you are, you might run into people we know: Richie Thornhill, Dembinski, etc. I know practically a whole company of WACs in Australia. If you need someone to fan the breeze with, let me know and I'll send you my little red book. You sure hammed up Xmas: not even a suggestion for a present. I shall pull a Betty and get you a nice arm band and a beer for myself. Speaking of beer, I hear you can get 16% stuff in Brisbane! I've deteriorated so that even 3.2 can get me down; I'm ashamed! Wrote to Peg; suggested we have a night out. Hope she understands my brand of humor. Won't see Joe on my furlough; can't afford a skylarking trip to Chicago AND NY. This year was good to us: saw us scattered to hell, then brought home within a week of each other. Now you're taking Joe's place in combat. Perhaps '45 will see us back in 244 again. I'm going to be behind the 8-ball when we trade war stories. Ah well, who else can claim they were "Latrine Queen of '43!"

10/01/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Card

"Do I miss you?"

10/1 date a guess
10/15/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Back on post since 10/13; life in Paris; no letter yet; wants to hear his travel exp; sent box; request some items for next one; tobacco pouch?; has F's glasses; missed Joe on his way thru; will write soon (maybe)

11/01/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Vmail Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Vmail stingy but might be quicker; has F left Paris?; sleeping on floor; Joe hoping for Chicago assignment; Joe says he's engaged - after 6 weeks!

11/19/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Card

"I miss you!"

12/25/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Card

"Merry Christmas"

Dearest Frank:

My warmest, fondest wish is that this will be  your last Christmas away from home. Meantime, I know the three of us will "kindo steal away & go home for Christmas," this year.

All my love, prayers & wishes for a pleasant cheerful holiday.

12/27/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

News about F is second-hand; loved his cards; Joe shared his B-day card from F; don't waste time trying to quit smoking; Sent cigarettes in several pkgs; must ASK for more; Peg's last mail; Pearls for Peg; Joe in hosp. in St. Pete; prognosis; Joe's relationship with Harriet; wrote to JCollon; quotes his reply; will write again

12/27/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter

Augment to individual letters; lengthy description of Christmas  experience, first with Dottie Held in Brainerd, then on post; best Christmas she'll ever see in service

10/20/1944 Conley, Ed Shields, Frank Vmail

Lot of change in a year; driving "the big ones"; Wife and boy are fine; regards to family

11/08/1944 Conley, Ed Shields, Frank Vmail

Very busy at work; election; Ed is a "Dewey man" or was; GI's finished their training; football; wife and boy send regards; hope things are OK with F

12/01/1944 Conley, Ed Shields, Frank Vmail

F's letter of 11/13; plenty of work; more GI's training; F getting around; don't drink too much champagne; thinking of F on Xmas

12/25/1944 Conley, Ed Shields, Frank Card

"Mighty fine pal"

Year determined from association.
10/19/1944 Dembinski, Eugene  Shields, Frank Letter Philippines?

19 Oct. '44

Dear Fran:

First, how do you find the overseas adventure? As a neophyte, of course, you realize that now you're eligible for candidacy in the thousand-yard-stare league. Or perhaps you'll be too busy to reminisce on life back in the states for quite a while? After a year on this rock of paradise (I saw a travel poster reading: "Come to ---, where romance still lives"!) I'm not doing badly - have hardly reached the 500 yard stage.

Fel mentioned that you're in Paris, no less. 'Z 'at so? And is there anything to this story of your having flown all or part of the way? No doubt you've brushed the dust from the old "Mon Guide" (pronunciations by Bro. Bryan accepted "à Paris"?) and are well on the way to establishing cordial relations with the sundry citizenry at the metropolis. Or, again perhaps you're still too busy for such shenanigans.

Things down here are still very much the same - the daily routine of infantry drill or bayonet drill, half-ass classes, and the afternoon devoted to "supervised recreation"; all this intermintently tempered with trips to town, a detail now or then, and such. All in all, it's pretty dull, but compared to living in and out a fox-hole, it's a luxurious life. What with good food in town ... the restaurants and Red Cross, beer or coke rations, and even fresh eggs purchaseable from the quarter-master, the eating situation is satisfactory. Naturally, camp food is the usual ... dehydrations and cans. But even so, there is fresh meat & fresh vegetables occasionally, and at times, we enjoy feasts, like spaghetti or fish dinners, made possible through the Battery fund. Ho-hum, pardon me while I reach for a tooth-pick!

Otherwise there's not much to look forward to. Movies every night of the week become tiring! However, I have finished that correspondence course in differential calc. successfully and will try to polish off integral next. With plenty of time on my hands, I've found such studying advantageous, not to mention it's time-killing qualities.

Couple of weeks ago, I finally got around to taking my 7-day furlough. Not that there's anything to see or do that hasn't been seen or done before, but a change of scenery and immediate environment is revitalizing. A group of 5 of us stayed at one of the private homes in the capital city. For a buck per nite, some of the whites there give lodging to servicemen. In this case, we 5 occupied a small cottage that this particular woman rents out. Its' very convenient - we're by ourselves, we don't bother the people, they don't bother us. The seven days we spent walking about town, eating, "bull-shitting," seeing a movie every nite, and swimming in the salt-water pool there. Noting spectacular, just a quiet, restful vacation. Practically so, anyway. It's true that I did more walking those 7 days than in all the time I've been on the island, and it's true that we did have one little "incident".

Notwithstanding the temptations extended by the half-dozen pubs in town, we kept respectable all the time. However, one afternoon, 2 of the boys had guzzled enough beer all afternoon to feel pugnaciously plastered. Accordingly, while they were waiting to have their order served in one of the restaurants, in walked an inebriate (barely capable of self-locomotion) who started tousling one of the boy's hair.

"Hey! Cut it out, fella."

Move vigorous tousling.

"Listen, cut it out. Don't be bothering me."

Still, the coiffure-cuddling persisted.

"You're a - - pain in my ass. For the last time, go 'way."

He didn't and in a moment, was lying on the floor, our boy on top of him, calmly choking him! Before the drunk turned purple, we finally pulled off our would-be assassin, and little damage was done.

In general, though, it was an uneventful vacation.

Have you heard from Duffy or Collon recently? The last I learned, Duffy had graduated and Collon seems to have some kind of position in Washington, temporary, I think, in the diplomatic service.

For now, I've no more to add, but

Luck, Eugene

Full Transcript.
09/24/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

We were flabbergasted with the thought of you flying across. How did you enjoy your first plane ride? Found out your hotel was at 1 Park Ave near 29th St and that you were one of 47 to come up from Jersey. Figure you're either in Ireland or England; hope you run across Alfred K. Rec'd your allotment notice from North Atlantic Air Transport Command; figured out your direction from that. I can't make myself believe you're overseas. It happened so suddenly I feel like the turkey who got the ax. If you're in Ireland that will be the last straw for Dot; she wanted to go so badly. When you write, ask for some books; that will let me get a box off once in a while. Salerno will be here for the 10 days of Dot's furlough. Unkle Tommy is here putting up a new dining room dome; something I've wanted since I moved here. Am buying the Chief an exposure time meter from Macy's for $5. Now let him come up with bum pictures and I'll beat him! Hope your cold is improved. Chief figures the trip took about 12 hours. After the war, people will be saying "I spent the weekend in Europe." Not for me though. When you swapped coats with Malone you got his lucky 50¢ piece. Mary says save it till he catches up with you. How many made the trip with you? Write as often as you can. We did a good job bringing Joe home safely with our prayers and the same will go double for you. Much as we'll miss you, I think Peg will miss you the most.

10/01/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Thank God you arrived safely. Rec'd your vmail 9/30 just a week after you sent it. Called Peggy; she was glad to hear you were in England. Where are you headed for? France? Wish you were in England long enough to look Alfred K. up. Malone was glad to know we'd heard from you so soon. Have been assured you will be at least 200 miles away from any combat area. You're only likely injury will be if you fall and break your leg, and if you're going to do that, why go to Europe? Joe expects you'll enjoy Europe from an educational viewpoint. Malone says you're a nice chap but too damn conscientious. Sending you some pictures Chief and Tommy stayed up till 4AM printing. Dot arrives tonight at 1AM; Salerno, Ronnie & I will meet her at Penn Stn. Dot said she couldn't sleep when she heard about your sudden departure. Imagine: US and Europe in 24 hours. She also heard that Mary Case's brother who was reported missing was found in a hospital in England. Sherman is trying to pull strings to get Dot with her. Dot is hoping but says it's too good to ever happen. About the lighter: Peggy said she'd look for one. You should have asked for 3 things; now Peggy, Dot and I will be hair pulling to see who gets to send it.

10/09/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Paris!; Talked to Peg; lighter; flashlight; 4 Xmas boxes sent, all food; No word from Alfred; W King injured; Dot to Waterbury & Filter; Gertie's shower; Fel and Eileen sworn into Waves; Gen broke glasses; Kezars taking G&C to dinner

10/10/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Elections; Peg heard F not recv'g mail; Dot wants transfer; Joe avoided TX; wants Chanute Field; lost watch; Alfred recovered; Al's store; Joan had a son; A Connors wedding; pic of Harriet; Tommy & Chief activities; Joe voted for Rosy; Stupe

10/13/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Dot left; slept a lot; Joe leaving Chicago; liked recruiting; made connections; met gal he almost married; Fel; marriages; F. Malone in NJ; prayers for Dot's transfer; news of friends; 8th box sent; people sending boxes to F; Aunt Martha annoyed; perfume; Peg, Fel & Eileen; Joe's plaque

10/19/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Mon Oct 16/44 [Written in Frank's hand; remainder is in Gen's]

The latest from Joe -> Miami Beach Fla.

[See Doc #112, Joe's 10/16/44 letter to Gen & Chief].

Now what do you think of your whirlwind brother. His heart sure healed fast. Think from that SAGE head of yours you could dare to write him some advice - I'm not saying to him don't but I do wish he'd take time to be sure of both himself and the gal. Had a note from Susie this AM, after her return to Ga - Says it's the first time she felt like shedding tears at heaving to go back, but at this point figures they're all war weary. He[r?] Cap't has been sent to Atlanta[?], Ga for a couple of months so has to wait her return to see if she can be transferred to the Second Service Command, but which she holds out little hopes of ever getting.

Well Fan there's not much new on the home front - Hear Connors is at a rest camp. He sure must be battle weary by now.

Me and Gladys roll bandages for the Red Cross Wed nites at St. Anselm's - had your change of address taken care of at the Tablet[?] office.

Still  praying for you, Love from Mother

Date of letter is estimated.
Also includes copy (in Gen's hand) of Doc #112, Joe's 10/16/44 letter to Gen & Chief.

Partial Transcript.
10/17/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Rec'd 10/3 vmail; Dot enjoyed furlough; M Salerno; B Sherman; Joe in Miami; casualty statistics; no silk stockings; nylon better; any pay yet?; 18 boxes for F; note who sent them & write; news of acquaintances; 10 days to get glasses repaired; Xmas in Paris

10/29/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Mail after silence; news from Malones; F sleeping on floor; meat shortage; soap for laundry?; Peg; Dot: no mail from bros; trying for 2nd Svc Cmd; Joe & Harriet; pic isn't Harriet; Gen and Gladys to donate blood; Harriet not catholic

11/17/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter Vmail form

F in Belgium but no mail; Peg & Dot got F's mail; Antwerp?; Joe in Ill; medical discharge; Dot in GA; tour Europe as civilian; Peg's mother invited them over - Gen wants to wait till F is home; Gran wanders; Chief & Tommy

11/21/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Vmail

Collon visited; Vice Consul; Duffy in TX; F Malone home; Thanksgiving; no Turkey unless Blk Mkt; Joe at Chanute; Alfred Aiken gripes; Connors wounded but OK; Joe 22 in 2 days

12/01/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Hope this is F's only Xmas abroad; have a beer & merry Xmas; together in spirit

12/11/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Money order; 8 days to deliver; F rec'd box; soap; cigarette shortage; Dot sent some; Alfred K; card from Collon in DC; Duffy shipping out; Joe to go to St. Pete; M Salerno visited; Dot still in GA; bought Peg Pearls for Xmas; Joe asking to cash a bond

12/21/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Vmail

Rec'd 12/8 mail; St Nicholas day; Peg; mail problems; no word from F Malone; Pete Kirwan; Joe to St. Pete week ago; Harriet is swell; F in path of German advance of 12/15?; Xmas every day when Dot, Joe & F home

12/25/1944 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Card

"Thinking of you at Christmas"

Year determined from association.
01/05/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Very slow mail; N. Africa & Italy mail quicker; rum cake?; another box; Joe dislocated left arm; Dot is Sgt; base closes 4/1; Stupe is getting old; Ronnie evening gown; Ft. Hamilton prom; reminds Gen of F's prom; hope F weds soon; Chief's Lederkranz cheese sandwich

01/11/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

No mail lately; Chief has grippe; John said C to take 10 days off; write to John; B Sherman visited en route to TX; Dot has 72 hr pass to see Joe; Peg asked for F's picture; Tommy printed some; pic taken 2 yrs ago; pic of Gen for F; Geo Troy to be operated on

01/15/1945 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Perfume & bayonet pin arrived; Peg visit; G Troy doing well; Chief  convalescing; Tommy sick; snow; Dot in FL; base not closing; Ron's Jack expecting call up; met J Collon; J Duffy may be overseas; Money from Gen, Ronnie & Vee; Gen sore from shoveling; mending fence in snowstorm; furnace 

10/16/1944 Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter Miami, FL

Dear Mom and Dad

Well here I am, safe and sound. Thank God, but I sure wish I were back in Chicago. That's really one of the swellest places I've been. I wired Dot to meet me at Chattanooga but she wasn't there so I guess she couldn't make it. What's to become of me now I don't know. I went up to Classification today and saw some of the boys and they tell me that they are sending most of the returned gunners  to Denver, Colo. but that since I've been classified for clerical work they might be able to help me. I sure don't like the looks of things. I sure as hell wish I could get near Chicago again or up near home, but you know the Army they do as they damn please. Everything here is pretty much the same as when I left. I believe I could get a permanent job here but I'd rather take the gamble on getting north.

Well Mom it looks like I've fallen in love again. I hope that this time it's for keeps. I believe that if I'd been in Chicago for the full 4 mo's I would have gotten married - now don't go preaching about the short time I've known her. Love doesn't take time or conditions into consideration when it hits you. Besides we're not married and more than likely we never will be. You know my ideas about being married and I'm still sticking to them. When I can support some one properly I'll take the leap but not before then ___ I hope.

This is just a quickie to let you know where I am. Send Frank my address. By now and write soon.

My love always

Staff Sgt. J. E S - 12124740

1020th, AAF, Base Unit Sec. K

Traymore Hotel

Miami Beach, Fla.

Copy done in Gen's hand. Included with Doc #100, Gen's  letter to Frank.

Partial Transcript.
12/25/1944 Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Card

About to join WAVES; thanks for encouragement; getting ready; Peg will update F

11/29/1944 Morris, Jim Shields, Frank Letter Camp Beale, CA

Delay in writing; Ft Belvoir; Ft L. Wood; Camp Beale; weekend passes in St. Louis; trip to CA; Q's about F; Peggy; news about P Dolan, D Morgan, K Woodward, B Morris

10/15/1944 Collon, John Shields, Frank Letter

Letter rec'd; F first to reach Paris; sights to see; news of E Dembinski, Duffy, O'Conner; Nick S(?), Joe Oussani's body; soldiers dying; info on F from Mrs Dembinski; shared experiences in 1930's; Vice Consul appointment; prayers

10/13/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Clipping

Newspaper clipping from Chicago Daily Times featuring a picture of Joe presenting an award. 

Found among letters from Dot to Frank
10/09/1944 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter Chicago, Ill

Gotta have a Shields in ETO; stay away from Vino in France; send back a French Babe or two; Chicago nightlife; met swell girl; J is not the marrying type; Peg is swell; recruiting duties - good deal; will regret leaving; broke; lean Xmas


10/14/1944 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter Train to Miami, FL

Recruiting cut short; reporting to Miami; Pullman upper; hope to see Dot in GA; Paris; future unclear; engaged, but don't tell G&C; Harriet Janda; may settle in Chicago; short on money; don't send Vmail


12/11/1944 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter Chanute Field, Ill

Rec'd letter from F; no  time to write; broke; cashing in war bonds; going back to St. Pete soon; nerves acting up; 3rd birthday in army; remembering civilian life; discharge; problems with army in US; will be better out; Jeeps; engaged to Harriet at 3 months; description; combat area symbol


12/25/1944 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Card

"To a swell brother on Christmas"

In hospital again with same old thing


Year determined from association.
12/25/1944 Aiken, Kitty
Shields, Frank Card

Looking forward to seeing F home soon

Year determined from association.
10/13/1944 Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter

Fri the 13th; weather; Paris without pay; Q's about Paris; Don may be near F; presents for French children in F's boxes; work

12/25/1944 Tergesen, Ronnie Shields, Frank Card

hope F will be home next Xmas; offerings; fitting gift

Year determined from association.
02/03/1945 Tergesen, Ronnie Shields, Frank Card

Voting; money for bank, or will send

12/25/1944 Troy, Ruth & Geo Shields, Frank Card

Christmas wishes

Year determined from association.
12/12/1944 Emmell, Vee Shields, Frank Card

Delay in writing; working at A&S; off soon, will write; thanks for present; merry Xmas



Unsigned Birthday card; found with other '45 cards

11/21/1944 Shields, Frank Self

Frank's Overseas letter folder; held letters & cards (no envelopes) to Frank from 9/44 - 2/45; addresses on inside cover

Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Rec'd letters; similar experiences in army; Gen's view of their lives; third platoon struggles; vaccinations; Joe going overseas soon; training; foot pain; 14 hr KP duty; got a shot & mail

Envelope does not match letter: Likely Frank forwarded it to Gen for safekeeping.
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Passed inspection; penalty for not passing; 4 hr hike and feet are fine; letter from Dot; Gen misreporting F's mood to Dot; feeling better; card from Troy's; letter from Fel; will write to Peg, Eileen & Fel; went to movie & had a beer; signed payroll; expect pay in 10 days; KP on Monday

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Finished KP; reading Joe Oussani's book; wrote to Gene, Joe, Dot & 3 Sisters; writer's dilemma: hard to know who was told what; hike tomorrow; no time to write to Touhey; likes to see movies & have a beer; aborted latrine story; mail system complaint

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Letter to Auntie; 8 mile hike and bivouacked; slit, not shit, trenches. Company recv'g new basic training regimen. I made ASTP. Examining board makes final decision; basic ends June 20

Enclosed in Frank's 4/5/43 letter to Gen
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Rec'd letter denying Gen reads between lines; more shots; have not been to Spartanburg yet; rumor payday Saturday; Gil; shooting next week; Rec'd $1 from Auntie; please thank her; went to Mass; weekday mass when possible; send "Radio Replies" volume w/info on divorce; going to show or movie

Shields, Frank Gen & Chief Letter Camp Croft, SC

Rec'd $2; Kate's letter; hard to write often: activities include hikes, shooting, chow, scrubbing barracks, cleaning rifles, inspection, etc.; Payday Monday?; down to last $.75; saw Ned Mildie; confirms new training; F weighs 152 vs 143; no word from Dot; advice to Vee re Latin; Chief & Tom plans for Victory Garden; tan faces, pale bodies; Army life is good; Touhey's bad break; why are the Flatbush girls visiting 244 without Joe & F?; queer people, women

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

5:40 AM; going to range soon; pleasure to fire M1; zeroing in; shooting at 200 yards; platoon did well; Lt Ginter; sandstorm; F's score 17/20; payday yesterday; expenses leave $21.25 out of $50; more upcoming expenses; hope to send money home later; Spburg this weekend?; no news on ASTP

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

No news from Dot in 2 weeks; Vi music lessons; Ned Mildie; 4 beers on Thurs; Kate & Gert?; F expert shot, did it right-handed; went to Spburg finally; had a good time; Tablet subscription; discussion with minister re divorce, with F in favor; F used "Platonian" system,  won argument; thanks to Radio Replies; Joe not shipping out soon?; request civilian clothes; cake, candy & cookies welcome

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft , SC

Rec'd mail from Gen and Fel; joshing Gen about phrasing; Easter card from Collon; explains combat course; compliment from Btn Colonel; Joe Sherman; no news from Dot; Fel fainted giving blood

04/26/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Reason for not writing much; Col Hobby; FDR reviewed graduating class; assignment to Ft. Oglethorpe in classifications; preferred Administration; diff between basic and regular posting; friendships will break your heart; trips to town; went to Lookout Mt, TN; wish G&C could see it; called home; Joe is on his way, sent wire; chances of meeting up; laundry; advantage of regular posting; 1 "gig" in basic, but 2 in first week at posting;

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Easter cards; money rec'd; Gen's $1 to be spent only on beer; working hrs 7AM-11PM; upcoming hikes; Easter; night navigation; Time off spent cleaning; no word from Dot; hoped to see Joe; Richie's comment; aborted 4/5 story: cadet had spinal meningitis; no apples for chickens; Stupe; "Eagle shits" on Friday: payday

Note from Gen to Vee on back of envelope
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Rec'd letter & pkg; no food, only clothes; night hike, setting up camp; went to movies; KP tomorrow; "one beer borrowed another"; Vee's report card v. good; letter from Dot; owe letters to Collon, Ane, Helen & CKatz

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Went to USO's in town; bought sunglasses; sending $25 home for use as needed; hope some goes for beer; letter from Dot; prayers for Joe & Dot; no furlough at end of basic; chickens; missing Stupe; $1 from Auntie

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Rec'd letter; F's letters to Gen missing; John L. Lewis; Joe Sherman & brother; Cordy plans for remarriage; one chick died; letters from Kate, Dotty K; V Garden; going to PX for beer

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Photos arrived; $1 from Etta Hill; heat exhaustion; potato situation at home; price of seed potatoes; firing Browning Automatic Rifle; tactical maneuvers; Bizerte & Tunis news

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Rec'd Fri's letter; quiet weekend; BAR shooting again; Stupe is 6; got him at Charlotte McLain's; memories of Stupe; previous names; lesson on .30 light machine gun (LMG); 5 more weeks of basic; no word on ASTP; no letter from 3 sisters for 3 weeks

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Rec'd Monday's letter; letter from Dot; V Garden; Dodgers; Richie on the move as M.P; no word from Gene; beer party tomorrow; Jackie Meyer; $3.50 till next payday; request for $3 or $4; easier to write if G asks questions

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Crowder, MO

Rec'd Easter cards; inconvenience of cashing check; payday tomorrow; send cash in future; Mass; shooting '03 tomorrow; start school next week; Fel should not have told Gen news; concerned about wedding rumors; ETO war near end?; classified A-POR, "Potential Overseas Replacement"; Max Walkoff

Gen's handwriting at top says: "Somewhere in France", but contents of letter are clearly from March of 1944.  Matching Envelope is likely #651.
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Enclosing 2 letters from Dot; Dot may be able to visit; Fel, Peg & Eileen visit to 87th St - what happened?; send camera and film; mailing instructions; .30 LMG this week; cost & quantity of ammo used

Includes 2 letters from Dot to Frank: 5/10/43 and 5/14/43
05/10/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Hoping to visit Camp Croft 5/6; will ask CO, not 1st Sgt; F's assignment after basic?; Dot's pay; see why Joe never had money; Mother's day present. Am enclosing 2 lousy[?] snapstaken on Lookout Mt, but they're the B&O's I've got. Send pics of yourself; the heat; Joe Sherman; questions about family & friends; letters vs gossip; work slow lately; WAAC quota; Army inefficiencies; Army food and weight; Richie; met any nice girls?; lots of men, no one to date

Enclosed in Frank's 5/16/43 letter to Gen.
05/14/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Saw 1st Sgt; pass possible; don't want furlough, need time for NY later; will see CO; request reply on dates to visit, day off; trip details, reservations; reserve 1 male friend; need section chief approval; send info special delivery

Enclosed in Frank's 5/16/43 letter to Gen.
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

In firing pit, bullets whiz overhead; diagram of pits; fired LMG; busy cleaning guns & doing KP; no word from Dot; letters from Collon, Gene D., Aunt Helen. Rec'd money order, snapshots & Joe's letter; Ronnie is prettier every day; Gen doesn't smile; inconvenience of M.O.; Touhey's accident; no beer in 2 weeks; 3 sisters (Fel, Eileen, Peg?) are poor writers; 4 weeks to go; assignment after basic likely near Spartanburg; camera sent?; Joe overseas; V Garden

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Dot may come up, but must go thru "channels"; camera not here yet; film scarce; V Garden progress; apt dwellers must envy; no place like NY & NE; Aunt Helen sent $2; only short not from Fel; 60mm mortar; didn't qualify on LMG, but had barracks high score using it single-fire; "shitted my load"

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Two night problems last week, two more this week, one on Fri when Dot arrives; will have time to meet her; waited tables; Eagle shits tomorrow; camera has arrived; camp news article enclosed; also enclosed letter from Dot; firing mortar this week; Starace called up

05/25/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Clipping Camp Croft, SC

"Youth will win" article from Camp Croft paper. Reverse also included. Date is estimated.

Enclosed in Frank's 5/30/43 letter to Gen
05/25/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft Oglethorpe, GA

F's note welcome; furlough looks good; 11 hr train ride; $1 reservation; F. has it soft, working at HQ company tougher; loss of drinking capacity; no unauthorized fun in 3 months; F's assignment; won't apply for OC(S?); Joe in Africa; wish we knew location, etc.; so much to talk about; interesting letter from Gene D.; Ane sent Virtue's "Co. Administration", will ask Flo K. for Officer's Guide

Enclosed in Frank's 5/30/43 letter to Gen
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Too hot to write; softball, calisthenics and combat instruction; sunburn on nose, helmet doesn't shade; payday, so took pics; will meet Dot tomorrow, but have night exercise after; 6:30 mass; Gen painting house; recall when Joe & F did it; Felix and Joe together again; J Collon at Mellon Industrial Research Institute; Dot arrived, but no time to talk; 4 hours sleep

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Dot's train late & exercise moved up; made it back in  time; took Joe Woolf to see Dot on Sat. evening; nice dinner, then to beer hall; discussed OCS for Dot; Sunday activities; took pics; camera and film now with Dot; got Pepsi and went to Dot's room w/Bob Roche; took rum back to camp and shared with buddies; Dot left Mon.; had a swell time; battle conditioning course; KP tomorrow

See photo #001 in set Set-024
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Dot did not arrive back in time; enclosing negatives; haven't written to Ane; list of people F's writing to; 20 mile hike this week; final week schedule; letter from JCollon; laundry; pls send $3

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Camp Croft, SC

Leaving in 4 hours on 3 day maneuvers; wire $25 immediately; very urgent

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Raleigh, NC

Left Camp Croft yesterday; train dirty; raining at arrival; trucked to NC State U.; 2 men per room; length of stay uncertain; interviews/tests will determine where next; rumors; not anxious to stay in school during wartime; furlough unlikely; Dot's furlough; maneuvers: 65 miles in 3 days, more info later; spent $1 of $25

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Raleigh, NC

Wants out of ASTP; not winning war; Math and Physics; exams; 4 men per room in bunk beds; should be here at least a week; news from Dot or Joe?; $1 from Auntie; may not get furlough for 3 months; shipping to many schools from here; going into town; Kikes get under his skin; Chow; met some girls in town; reminded F of nights with the 3 sisters in Flatbush; girl named Betty; Church in town; bought cap; $19.50 left;

Slurs against Jews or other minorities is very unlike the older Frank; don't know when his views changed, but do recall him saying he was brought up in a prejudiced time.
Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Postcard Spartanburg, SC

No news as F was busy (Sat); hope he has news from home

Shields, Frank Self
Religious Card

"Advice to Catholic Recruits"

Year determined from nearby files. Date assigned for sorting purposes.
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Telegram Spartanburg, SC

"Dear Mom Leaving Tomorrow. Destination Uncertain"

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Raleigh, NC

Rec'd Wed. letter; met Harry Staley at NCSU; he left for BU; Engineering rankings; F to be given refresher, then join Advanced section in EE; schools are usually MIT, Georgia or Alabama Tech; heard from Joe; will send him Vmail; Joe has best of training & quick mind; bunkmate P Angiolillo knows J DiFucio; Gen's comment about John Russell; "Yank" magazine; Dot getting ahead fast; School on Sat!

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Raleigh, NC

Leave tomorrow for Purdue U!; received travel per diem; P Angiolillo will call, he's going to Fordham; likely 15 months at Purdue; will be useful post-war; Electronics is "up and coming"; prefer Communications over Power - might work on "Radar"; sent voice record from USO; don't write till I send address

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

US is big; Gt Smokey Mts; geyser; corn fields; Lafeyette at noon; 31 churches; Wabash R; 800 acre campus; staying in frat house; 4 from NCSU are in one room; went to town with Ed Conley; best beer since NY; variety show, student union dance; classes tomorrow; no mail from home in 2 wks; lost "miraculous medal"

Return address now reads "Pfc" instead of "Pvt"
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Sen Pete Kirwan's address; may go to Chicago

Shields, Frank Self
Religious Card

The Society for the propagation of the faith

OCR Enabled.
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard Raleigh, NC

Pullen Park; at RR station about to leave for IN; new address; promoted to Pfc!

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Rec'd letters of 7/6 and 7/10, also Vee's & Auntie's; Joe's to Dot interesting; Sicily; why typewritten?; Joe's lack of pay; F's lack of pay; payday soon?; welcome speech from CO; 7/14 letter rec'd; laundry woes; dance tonight; didn't dance, but will next week; Jimmy (Kirwan?) shipped out; Richie; only F left in US; Cordy - remarried?; Chief's trip to filter; hike from rubber mill to Auntie's; missed Gene's furlough; no furlough for F for 3 months; enclosing pics of Purdue; Dot never sent snapshots from Spartanburg; must be 21 to drink here; send my sneakers & slide rule; will want shorts, undershirts later

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Send gym socks & shorts, books on physics and math, cigarettes; payday delayed due 2 weeks for F, Ed, Pete and Jim; borrowed $2 from Ed; shoes need repair

Shields, Joe Chief Telegram

"Congratulations. Lasting Happiness to  you both. You are more than ever in my thoughts at this time. All my love. Joseph E Shields"

Gen & Chief's anniversary
Purdue University
Gen & Chief Postcard

Card from office of U president welcoming F to ASTP at Purdue. Work will count towards degree.

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Money Order Message

"Herewith additional $5.00 on Money order you received on Aug 7th Lafayette Ind from Frank Shields"

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Telegram Spartanburg, SC

"Money arrived yesterday. Leave tomorrow for North Carolina Teachers College. Furlough, if any, will come through from there . Thanks for everything. Love, Frank"

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Note

Eugene Dembinski's address at Camp Davis, North Carolina

Year determined from nearby files. Date assigned for sorting purposes.
Duffy, John Shields, Frank Letter Atlantic City, NJ

Well Frank I believe it is finally here my day of departure from this hole. I cannot tell  you the exact date because that is a violation of the instructions given me but it is very soon.

I called my mother last evening & she said that you and Mandy are going March 3. If this is so I wish you the best of luck in your new approaching army life. You will find it a bit trying & boring but on the whole a lot of fun.

Recently I went to the rifle range & also had machine gun practice. We used Thompson automatic guns. The rifles were 30 caliber Enfield rifles - a very powerful weapon with not too much kick however.

Frank give my best regards to Eugene in all your letters. He is a swell fellow and we all want him to know that we are all thinking of him.

Frank I want to thank you for the letter because boys in the service sure appreciate them from their friends at home.

As I write this letter I am looking forward to a very unpleasant day at tent pitching so I shall have to go to bed early. I shall close now wishing you the best of luck and hopeing that you & yours are in the best of health. Your true friend.
   Johnnie D.

PS Don't write here but to my home & my mother will send the letter to me with others.

US Army Air Forces Letterhead.

Full Transcript.
Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Postcard Columbia Army Air Base, SC

"If you wasn't so Dog-gone headstrong You'd write!"


I'll give you just one more chance to write me. After that I'll disown you. Whats wrong are you mad at me. Have I done something wrong. Come on Kid, I still love you, so give with a line or 2. Thanks.

Your brother & Pal Joe


Full Transcript.
Dembinski, Eugene
Gen & Chief Letter Ft Fisher, NC

Rec'd letter from F; pls send Joe's address; basic training finished; back to Camp Davis soon; furlough soon?; hoping for ASTP news; radio school; tune receivers to music or propaganda; German prop. talks of Allied defeats; English prop. talks of Allied victories; lack of radios so we do telecommunication work; bivouac procedures; foxholes; write soon

Shields, Frank Self
Religious Card

Eighth Army HQ Schedule of Catholic Services, Christmas Week. While found in papers relating to 1943, 8th Army wasn't formed until 6/10/44, and saw service in the Pacific. Also, days of week for dates match with calendar from 1945. 

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Dot not cheerful; J Collon is 4F; package arrived; sneakers useful; Vmail forms; Bob Roche in Camp Kilmer, overseas soon; Ed Conley; furloughs after 50 air combat missions: does Joe get that?; pay; Frank Brennan & draft board; Classes; 9 weeks till furlough

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Test this week; package arrived, thanks; "cigs are helpful", "kept us alive"; registered letter waiting, thanks in advance; all 4 are broke; rumor: pay on Thurs; miraculous medal;  Gen's trip to CT; message for "Ma"; letter from Dot; Jimmy at Brooklyn Navy yard; relatives; Neil Ruddy; sent letter to Joe; El [McNeely]; "Radio Replies"; religious question for fellow catholic; pics of F & Dot

Collon, John
Shields, Frank Card

"No member of such a fine home is absent from it on Christmas."; Christmas and family gatherings

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Gen's letter of 7/28; rec'd medal; corn; killing chickens; snake whip; "Gran and Pop"; 8/4 letter; Dot's visit home & promotion; furlough plans in 7 weeks; 3 sisters; weekly pay rates; Fel & Joe; religion; confession; 8/6 letter; Joe's Army anniversary; difference in F & J's relationship before and after joining army; consequence of no money in package; candy; payday celebration; 8/9 letter; money sent home; send clothes; beer parties; Jimmy Kirwan; El McNeely; power of prayer; Cordy

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Confession; German church; tavern wouldn't serve F: not 21; movie; Mass; letters to Auntie, Gov. of IN (re: drinking age); Rum; boring; pay; Term half over; pie & beer; "Damn Hoosiers"; money sent home; Davy Joe; Chief's grandchildren; red-heads; pics of F, Dot & Roche; Richie in New Guinea

Back of envelope: "Recd 8/24" and "Davy Joe - moving"
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Sending home $21; expenses; money is for Gen.

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Loss of furlough; learn to expect such in Army; Surrender of Italy; Term end & start dates; furlough between terms; hope to get home on 10/24; Bob Roche's APO; rec'd ack for $21; gastrointestinal distress; back to normal; cards from Dot, Charlie K, Betty & Gen; Joe has 19 flights

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Gen sent $2; F and Ed need haircuts; expenses; thanks for $; food to have on hand; Joe promoted to SSgt; 28 flights; shoes; dress cap vs overseas cap; didn't forget anniversary; wasn't sure of date; naval trainee death at Purdue; tough day with PT and touch football

Frank's food requests noted on back of envelope
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Song on radio; Gen's favorite song; ration stamps; Jimmy (K?), Joe Sherman, John Collon; Gene Dembinski; newsreels; believes being sent to infantry is not a punishment; "chicken-shit" politics; football; ROTC guys; Columbus day; feeling listless; owe letters; enclosed letter from Dot; Joe at 31 missions; more chicken-shit: must store possessions while on furlough; enclosed pics of F taken by Ed Conley; scenes of Lafayette, IN

Includes Dot's 10/7/43 letter to Frank.
Back of envelope: "creamed onions, please"
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Fr Oglethorpe, GA

Write to new address; don't want mail trailing after me; will write later; furlough?

Enclosed in Frank's 10/11/43 letter to Gen
Roche, Mrs.
Shields, Gen Letter

We've been wondering about Frank - You see he and my son Bob were pals at Camp Croft and no doubt you have pictures of them taken together. I have 3 counting the one of the whole platoon.

Bob was killed at the Anzio beach a year ago this month. He was reported missing Apr 1st, and on July 27th we got the telegram that instead he had been killed in action. Every time I look at the pictures I wonder if Frank was lucky enough to escape so far. He was going to school when they left Camp Croft, and Bob was sent to an embarkation post - three of them in fact, but finally went overseas in August.

Bob felt very badly when he and Frank were separated. He thought the world of him.

I hope this reaches you safely. I'm not sure of the address - If it does, will you send us some news of Frank? We'd really like to hear from you.

This is a copy, in Gen's handwriting, of document 851. However, envelope is from Mrs. Roche.
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Welch Convalescent Hospital,
Daytona Beach, FL

Mail delivery times; new address; events leading up to move; social work 2 weeks, now at 3rd Btn HQ; may transfer; want OUT of Army, not a "joiner"; end of war, hoping for miracle; F's T/5 well deserved;  Frank's "not-so-perfect" relationship with Peggy; Dot & F: mind over heart; "joy to read your heart on paper"; anticipation of wedding; visit to New Orleans; F and Chief would love it; post-war travel: America, Europe & Africa with Dot, Joe, Frank & Peggy; honeymoon?; chocolate bars; brother RED; Joe's discharge; transition to civilian life; shoulder problems; first one home; Jimmie (K?) visit; orders to ship; Alfred K. wants out

Aiken, Al & Helen
Shields, Frank Card

Christmas Greetings, "a speedy return"

Date inferred from nearby files.
Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Army Admin School,
Washington, PA

"5 beers under"; sleeping; Touhey; writing letters; Gen's visit; apologies for feeling low; good for Gen to get out of Bay Ridge; visit raised Dot's morale; news of Joe & Fel; D & Gen ache to talk to Joe; Joe's 30 day furlough; Dot will visit at end

Letter is incomplete
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Brooklyn, NY

Frank's sudden trip; glad it's Europe; Dot's visit home; bar at 2AM; 22 hour ride; Kampf's; Hitchcock Lake; F & Joe's visit to lake; Auntie's; Al injured, xrays; Unk had lobsters and beer; Billie Sherman; Gertie's shower; males: Chief, Katz, Tommy & Kezar; Sheepshead Bay; Astor with Mary & Peggy; nice girl, Peggy; Rudder Club; Boyles; Ice show with Ronnie; Bird-in-the-Hand on Broadway; Gladys & Bill; Mary cooking; Anne & George coming; 1/8 keg on window;  Joe leaves for Miami; did good job in Chicago; almost got married to Harriet

Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

Frank's 21st birthday; separation; wishes for F's future; Peggy; F's note welcome; gets news from Gen; shares F's letters with bunkmate; F's movements around Europe; battle of the bulge; more moving around?; F's request for aspirin; Missing Pages; lovely vacation?; 21 hour ride; Boyles; hospital, Dr & CO; Brian Donlevy; Joe & 2 buddies; wonderful time; analysis of Joe; ambition to get discharge; might not solve problems; marriage to Harriet off; rebound after Fel; wish his eventual partner would hove into view

Pages 5-8 missing
Campbell, Ann
Shields, Frank Letter

Your letter a pleasant surprise; read it to Steve; we miss you; teased Peggy; Gen called Peggy; V Garden; John Acer still at sea; Mary Dolan; "Miami Mary"; Mike hit daily double; Bess is fine; dogs fighting; Alice Early, Uncle Bill; Election; FDR is the favorite; on the road to victory; Donald, Eileen (Moran?) & Fel; price of champagne

Ann is Peggy's Aunt.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Sunday Morning,, Temperature 0°, Sleepiness 100%, Moronity 100%+++

Dear Frank (We like that best);

Your generous donation is gratefully accepted and duly appreciated by the needy of this household.

We are glad to say that we are not having too much trouble adjusting the grown (you know crown) - but the brim, that is a problem. It's maddening when one can't get "just the right curve."

However in you courageous way we keep quoting "If at first you don't succeed try, try again."

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.

Slaphappily yours,

Felicity & "The Underdog"

PS "Explanation of the Underdog"

All I did was cut a piece out of her when opening the package. She almost bled to death and I howled. (She didn't think it was so funny. H'mm I wonder why ???!! )

Finis - You lucky fellow you!!!!

[On Envelope] "Brooklyn Dodgers N.L. Champions"

Full Transcript.
Kazalski, Fel Shields, Frank Letter

March 3, 1942

Dear Frank,

Honestly, I don't know what else to do but forgive you, only heavens knows what for. With all that work plowing you under I could hardly say a word to you. You just didn't give me a chance. Mean! and here I was stewing for days. Oh Well .. Next time, maybe - huh?

I really  would enjoy the skate Saturday night ... or am I being optimistic when I say skate. I'm afraid this is one time we're in the same boat. We certainly will look a happy pair - holding each other up - or knocking em down. So at Saturday at 7:30

Now lets see ... since I've seen you last nothing really exciting has happened. I went to an opera Thursday night Ipegenia en Tauris at the Juliard School of Music. It was beautiful. Friday night I went to our singing club - Saturday Virginia (another girlfriend) came over and we completed our class prophecy. (from St. Francis) Tell you more about it Sat. night.

Sunday, Eileen, Peggy and I roamed around New York -- Riverside Church. - Grant's Tomb - St. Patrick's - a ride on a 5th Avenue bus - and wound up in the Automat as usual. We enjoyed ourselves too.

Almost forgot, Peggy got a job, Tuesday, in the Fidelity & Casualty Insurance Co. - 80 Maiden Lane. She's terribly happy about it.

Well times a fleein' or as we say in shorthand [shorthand notation]

Until Sat. nite then.

Bye Felicity

PS You figure it out I can't [refers to more shorthand notation]

Full Transcript.

War Department
Shields, Frank Ticket

Voucher for Frank's transportation on LIRR to Yaphank, NY (Camp Upton)

Lunham & Reeve
Shields, Frank Pay Stub

Pay stubs for Frank for 7/15/41 and 7/30/41; pay envelope. Lunham & Reeve

City of New York
Shields, Frank Identification

City of New York War Emergency Identification Card

Year determined from nearby files. Date assigned for sorting purposes.
War Department
Shields, Frank Form

Recruitment information for ROTC Engineering Battalion

OCR Enabled.
Shields, Frank Self

Recruitment Ad for Army Signal Corps. Perhaps this is what caused Frank to join?

Year determined from nearby files. Date assigned for sorting purposes.
OCR Enabled.


Train schedule for January, 1942. South Norwalk CT to NY. Assume they used this train to get to "The Filter" when driving wasn't possible.

OCR Enabled.
Sclafani, Skip
Shields, Frank Card

Christmas Blessings

Skip's "real" name is Aurelius
Sclafani, Skip
Shields, Frank Postcard

"O'Donoghue Memorial - Niagara University, N.Y."

Dear Frank - It's so cold up here the ink in the room is forzen. Drop me a letter or something at this address?

Mr. Aurelius J. Sclafani

Full Transcript.
Brother Joachim
Shields, Frank Card

"Mary Christmas" Card plus clipping from what appears to be the St. Michael's school paper(?): "The Bite Angle" column , title: "It could be Cuter" by Francis Shields.

OCR Enabled.
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Card

A Birthday Salute

Date is a guess based on nearby papers. If the chevrons mean Sgt, then this would be much later.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Card

"Nutty" Birthday Card, lots of puns.

Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

"Recipe for a Happy Birthday"

Shields, Frank Report Card

CCNY report card for term ending Feb '42.

A "C" in Math and Chemistry? Woo!
OCR Enabled.
Shields, Frank Report Card

CCNY report card for term ending June '42.

OCR Enabled.
Kirwan, Alfred
Shields, Frank Card

"A very special Christmas Greeting"



"Life of a Gunner" by Ernie Pyle.

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Envelope

Letter is missing.
Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Envelope

Mother's Day message.

Letter is missing.
Shields, Frank Self

Frank's address book for 1941. Has addresses of a lot of friends and relatives.

Date assigned for sorting purposes.
Shields, Frank Self

Japanese 50 Sen note found inside his address book.

Enclosed in item 218. Date assigned is during his stay in Japan.
Shields, Frank Postcard

RSVP messages for a beer fest planned for 12/27/41.

Replies received from: Stanley Keyes, Bill Flanigan, "Charlie" [Ellsworth or Devoy], "Frank" [Fraser], Skip [Sclafani], Edward Hess, John McCormack, Walter Johnsen, Ed Tahan, T. J. Sullivan

Note the card from T.J. Sullivan has no postmark, and he is not in the presumed invitee list (page 2)
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank

When you said, a while ago, that you liked to write a "plentiful letter" you meant it, - didn't you. T'was a letter and a half and it took me all during supper time to read ... admist the annoying exclamations of .. "put it down - your supper's getting cold," but such are mothers - wonderful. I'm afraid though Frank, you're going to spoil me - not that I'm not already , but it just isn't good for me, so the experts say.

It was good to hear that everyone had a nice time Sunday. Little did I think it would turn into such a gathering. Everyone was great to me. It really was fun.

Remember G. G. promised me some drawings? (secondary to your masterpiece though). Well I got them. He depicted me on Easter Sunday and darn if he didn't get the shoes, hat & bag (the snazzy ones) down to a tea [ or is it T?]. Which reminds me - I'm going to invest in a pocket dictionary - know why? You certainly keep me busy perusing those pages - an excellent brain duster. Which again reminds me (fool that I am for letting you know about it.) remember the word "matriculate" - well you were right as usual - It means to enroll - as in a college. Enough professor!

Before I go much further - let's get Friday night down pat. You'll call for me at about 8:15 - for Peggy too.  One thing more "Why save Gene trouble, you have double your share."

There is something else I wanted to remember .. Oh yes, your card ... it was beautiful. Thanks so much Frank.

I'm surprised to hear that Helen S. figures Joe out. He certainly is a puzzle to me. I can't make him out at all. Dual personality mystery man. [unknown]

Just to use an all too familiar battle cry ... "Chem, oops I mean Steno. is staring me in the face (some of my marvelous subtile sarcasm and as it is I'm 1/2 week behind schedule ... Oh excuses, excuses, how I loath excuses. Oh well such is life.

Soo - -

Until then - When? Oh then - I'm your friend

(an apprentice one at that)


PS Who was it that said (in some effect) "Follow out your convictions."

PPS I'm afraid this doesn't half come up to your writing standards but gee - I tried.

PPPS Another "loathful" excuse - "The pen was crumby." -


Full Transcript.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank, Before it slips my mind allow me to return the greeting of a Happy Easter to you all -- a little late I fear but the holiday spirit still lingers on. Things have been so rushed and muddled up about here that Easter doesn't seem to hold that certain ring. It passed by as "just another day" - - in fact a lonesome one at that. Dad and I grope around like two lost sheep without mom. But I suppose we can take it  (no maybe's) knowing that she is enjoying herself to the nth degree witnessing that wonderful event. Then too maybe I'm just a little bit disappointed that I'm not there with her. But as you say "you can't have everything."

Perhaps, Frank you can express yourself better in writing than when you have crowds to contend with. But there I'm afraid we differ. Expressing myself in writing has always been difficult [. I always fear being immature.] The thoughts I have and the way I'd most enjoy to delineate them don't flow like water from my pen.

Even in speaking, I'm sometimes at a loss [(Oh its one thing to ramble on in unimportant matters [as I do]] and another to expound what you really feel).  Joan often told me if the ideas which I created could be put down in writing equally as beautiful and effective they would be something - but I was never any literary genius and then too I always selected something so abstract that it was [always] extremely difficult to interpret.

So having broken down the two greatest assets to personality ie. writing & speaking eloquently, the only things left are my exuberant actions _ _ [ and there I fare out best - - am I wrong?] - [ It takes little to change my mind & opinions]. Enough. - -

Well after I left you Wed. - nite. - - - went to bed, naturally. Early Thursday morning [ after mom left] my aunts and myself took grandpa to Aunt Ellas in Jersey. From there we went shopping in N.Y. Take it from me - never go shopping with a bunch of foreigners. - They insist upon going to far-fetched places and knowing impossible things. That evening they took me to "Jack Dempseys" - It's noting to rave about. Some Hindu told my fortune - Well Frank I'll either be dead by the end of the year - or - a Mrs. Which is worse?

Friday morning [ slept 3 in a bed in Jersey] I took my Aunt Von to Grand Central Stations, from there to Jersey again and then back to B'klyn. - where I more or less collapsed. - The first time in my life I have ever been "downed."

Sunday, Dad & I went to Jersey to dinner - It was nice. And so went my holidays. Now its back to the old grind.

Its surprising how things crop up in bunches. Listen to this for a weekend I thought was going to be free & I was determined to make it that way too.

Wed. - to see Roxie Hart.

Thurs. - opera "Don Giovanni"

Fri. - Eileen's = (her birthday)

Sat. - I'll keep it open - hm. a (priviledged character).

Sun. - Eileen's again.

Beside that one had already been postponed in in order to keep it free and look what goes and happens - - "Ma vie - interessante non?" Fates are against me. - but I love it.

Sure it's O.K. with me if you two call for me Sunday - In fact its an honor for me - Ahem. But - what about Helen S.

Right at this moment I don't know what time you should call though _ _ I'll have to get in touch with Eileen first. Then I'll drop you a line - card I mean  - or if its too late I'll call. - (Would Doris Blake approve I heard you - don't shout - )

I'm surprised to hear that Gil Bishop is being inducted. He's such a happy-go-lucky fellow I'm sure he'll make life easy for his mates.

As far as that block party goes, you can consider it closed.  - It's a well idea and I'll bet we have loads of fun. especially with a crowd. Can you tell I'm geetting weary - I'm writing in snatch phrases now. -

Well I hope I've covered pretty near everthing "contained herein."

So. - I'll remain your friend Felicity

Full Transcript.

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank, Well you beat me to it again.  - Just when I was going to break down that semingly impregnable barrier concerning my letter writing. .. Yep, I was actually going to write first _ against my better judgement and personal philosophy. It was needless. When I received your letter it veritably floored me. In fact I had to think for three solid days before I even dared to attempt answering it. But here I am perhaps a  trifle at a loss of what to say but trying my best to put it over.

First of all Frank [to jump off the deep end - and I hope, not over my head.] you must realize that I could never find it in me to tell anyone what was wrong with them. I'm in no position myself, to denote such things, for in order to help someone to be perfect I'm afraid I'd have to be perfect myself and I'm far from that - believe me.

Another thing - that which I would probably consider a disadvantage and maybe even a defect would be to you one of the highest of virtues. Basically that could never be, but speaking from a social standpoint it often happens. For instance your seriousness. - It's just your nature to be so and heaven or hell could never break that trait in one snap.

I know Frank, that, as you say, coming into contact with other people and conventions, will undoubtedly be the only remedy for what you believe you need most. Perhaps if we could all take life less seriously we would be far happier, instead of groping for what we can't explain and insisting that others grope too. Perhaps Joe is your greatest example. - Why does everyone like him - because he's natural . Sometimes he doesn't realize he aggravates people but its this unconscious thoughtlessness that makes you like and enjoy him. You can forgive him for practically anything - - But as far as you're concerned Frank you are one of those few fellows [and there are many] whom I know I could believe wholeheartedly. Doubting your word would be rather difficult. Its this sincerity,which is a rare trait in a fellow, that endears you to us all.

However I'm almost afraid Frank that you will be hurt. For hasn't it always been those whom you think most of that do the hurting. I should hate like the devil to ever have [you] think less of me but serious thinking seems to have harbored itself inside of me and that's where I should like most to keep it at present. I hope and pray, that pedestal you've erected won't crumble.

Perhaps the best thing for me to say is not to be such a worrysome guy over how you are striking people. It's the greatest asset in the world to be natural. And Frank if you really proved irksome, do you think that I'd continue seeing you? For that matter, all of us?

Try to understand when I say writing what I did _ was rather difficult. Never before have I been called upon to write so seriously. I hope I've not made a mistake.

Well at this point I believe going to a lighter trend is rather forceful on my part. Little did I think that I would ever permit myself to become "knee-deep" in letter writing. It has always been, more or less, a policy of mine to write a light and humorous letter - Oh well!

To begin where I should have begun, I must say that I could have choaked you for writing that little story about your cousin Alfred the way you did. You had me gasping & oh's aring[?] & goshing all the way through. I even said to mom "Huh, you think you have troubles wait till you here this." - Some relief when, the true course of events came to light. Crumb that you are for leading an innocent girl on!

I can't believe I'll ever forgive you for falling asleep during that Giants - Dodger game. For that I'll drag you to the park with me someday and make you sit through one of those those[?] games. Ok. what punishment. Boy. O.K.?

I saw Peggy's mother get married Wednesday. It seemed strange calling her Mrs. Haleran. We went to the reception afterwards and had a swell time. I sat beside a senator. Some class. Hm. I wonder, now, did I zoop my soup. One thing riles me though I didn't catch the brides bouquet - I guess that fortune teller was full of marlarky - or something.

Chet went back Wednesday afternoon. So I had a holiday. In fact I took two, Tues. & Wed. Tuesday we went bowling - now hold your hat & don't get excited. I was the most unhappy person about it all. Listen now I bowled a splendid 72 & an excellent 81 - While mon frere did 176 - 193 - Ouch - how that hurt. I received the worse ribbing of my life. But I grit my teeth & agreed with everything. Gee what else could I do. Some disgrace.

He was really very anxious to meet you people. Everytime the doorbell would ring he'd say "Is that those bunch of jitterbugs?" & then feel disappointed when Peggy would say no this is someone else. But he said if you fellows were all right with me you were OK with him. So I guess your in solid. He's coming up again some time in June. & he claims I had better have you over or submit myself to a broken neck. There's just no way out. - he's some tough customer.

Well I've been at this now for two solid hours and my hand is rather weary. So until I see you soon,

I am your friend Felicity

PS Come around anytime you feel the urge. Your always welcome Frank. I should say that all of you are welcome.

By again Fel

PPS - again. - I hope nothing I've said has offended you. For I'd be one miserable person if I thought that I had mixed you up. - Let's hope not.

Your friend with the pen with the droop.

Felic or Felix or Frasty or Fiscasity or Philadelphia or name your own.

Full Transcript.
Grossman, Bill
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank,  Sorry to have left so abruptly the other night but it was unavoidable. The place is pretty dull without you or Joe. Today's a "yid" Holiday so Harry and Ken are out & Bill Paul (?) is out too.

 I passed the City College test and am leaving the "Royal" tomorrow. I sure hope to see you up a "city". You'll probably be the only gentile I'll know there.

 Hubay's still driving me nuts - we have a new girl who's taking my place named Hildagarde and boy is she a "dog." She's undoubtedly the most ugly girl I've ever seen. She'd be a perfect subject for a plastic surgeon.

How about writing me and tell me whether you expect to return to city.

Sincerely, Bill (Grossman) 337 East 87th Street N.Y.C.

Full Transcript.
Gaiser, Gene
Frank & Joe

Masters Frank Joe Shields

[Drawings for "Sally" , Charmaine, June O'Dea, "Bubbles" Southern, "Last Bow", "Margie Hart" and "Mme. Wong"]

April 25, 1942

Dear Boys,

Well the big(?) night is drawing closer, and I just wanted to amke sure you're still coming ...

I've sent a map and directions to Gene as to how to get here. If he shouldn't get the car, call me up any nite at 6:00 - 7:00 and I'll tell you other ways to come ..

Do, Doan't Forget,

Saturday May 2, 1942 @ 5:00 PM R.S.V.P.


Boys - Please don't stand and gape at the tall buildings in Glendate - Come in to my house quickly - Thank you!!

drawing of Frank
                        & Joe

Risque drawings and good caricature of Joe & Frank.

Full Transcript.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Huh -

Some crust - darin to pin on me sick insinuatin turrible phrases. For that I disknow you. No poison can insult my fambily and get away with it. Na. sir ee. Yup' indeed my pap is a huskey man but never let it be said that he wrestled with a hot torch - for anything else but to throw "de bum" out at first. Requiescent in pace (I'm a forgivin sort of a gal)

But to make with the punch line quick in a hurry. "I'm not working yet." -

Analysis and Explanation

I went down Monday - (as they required me to do) - walked in - gave my name [but twice] - and then was called over to a Miss McGlarity's desk. She picked out my application and then proceeded to give me that interview. The very first question she asks me is a lulu.

"You're taking up typewriting in business school - aren't you?" "Gulp" I replied. - "Have you time for a test?" Ouch - right then and there I began to feel uncomfortable - but uncomfortable - for all I know about a typewriter yet. She called a young girl over and told her to take me to one of the offices. Up we trapsed to a place just overflowing with workers. [Here is where my knees decide to play tag with each other.]. Another young woman cordially relinquished her machine. I sat down in her place, was given a piece of paper & told to set it up.  When this was accomplished she handed me the test, looked at her watch and said - "Go". I nearly fell right on the floor. I felt so awfully conspicuous. My hands shook as if I had palsy. Never before in my life did I spell men min, are - aer, people -piople, or business - bisniss. What made it worse was, the typewriter I had was the nearest thing to a junk yard I had ever seen. Every hesitation or mistake I made was as noticable as a scream in the dark.

What an experience [34 words a minute with 20 errors] was I embarrassed. But then what a surprise and dirty trick. Well to go on.

I went back to the personnel dept. and then she proceeded to tell me about the job that's supposedly waiting for me by Friday. Its duplicating records. I'd do a bit of bookeeping - math and then write most of the day. She explained that it was a very boresome and responsible job. The reason she said they picked out my application was because I had a good handwriting and presumably a good head. Naturally I agreed with her. - Oh!

She also remarked that an elderly woman and myself would be the only girls in the bank [A den of hungry wolves]. By, the way it's about a 15 minutes ride from my home. (Church Avenue & Flatbush).

I hope it goes through. Mom puts a wet blanket on it by saying that "When they say they'll let you know - you wait".

Here's keeping my fingers crossed. I've already quit day school admist many storms and am pretty sure I'll start this Thurs. night.

Well that's that and for the time being I'm a lady of leisure. Playing baseball one day and rope the next . . . . That's right - the kids [all nine year olds] ganged up on me and played on my good nature to turn rope for them. I felt silly, but it pleased them and thats what counts _ _ Gotta keep up my good name ye know. Dad again insisted that I go a few rounds with him. This time I ripped one of my  finger nails. [ He nurses it with proud & loving care. - Mom says "Serves you right." What are you going to do with a family like that?]

I'm really beginning to feel these workouts in my shoulder. But dad has his remedies. "What - got a kink? - Oh just twist the old arm this way and that way etc." by the time I'm finished , I've got - - lord knows what.

Last Sunday I saw my cousin receive his first Holy Communion through half closed lids [2 hrs sleep]. However it was impressive and he looked so awfully "holy" - - & cute. That afternoon I finished my mission [ by all rights I shouldn't be writing to you - - - men ugh. -] (it's funny how things like that make you blue - unless I was in a rare mood). Immediatement apres le sermon je suis allee a la chapel et lit those candles pour vous. (I tried les dommen[?] a ma mere - mais elle a dit eclarer les candles instead, and beein as I'm an obeyin [said with ??] child - I did.

So the're out to get pal Joe - again. Well more power to him. If I know Joe (even if its only one tiny hair on his head) he'll make a darn good soldier. He's like Chet in one way - beefs about how he won't do a thing and then turns around and does it at his best. Some people you just can't figure out and he's one of them but a nice one.

Hey Joe - did you finish painting the sidewalk yet? And how did you enjoy that farewell party? Deserter!

Well as far as that baseball game between the "stooges" and the "bloomer girls" goes - I'm afraid - well it just ain't. I didn't get much of a chance to make plans and I doubt if we'll be able to count on G.G. and Walter A. because they live so far out. Besides I don't think G.G. was very keen on it. I guess it will have to be between the Brooklyn gang - We'll talk about that when we get together again. I'm still for it and Eileen and Peg are rarin to go. If you need any sort of inducement for Joseph tell him that dinner's in the bargain. Help - no pushin.

Well Frank here's my stop. I however will make it abruptly instead of torchering you with a _ _ _ _ una joke [ no reflections]

So until next time. I am your friend Fel

PS Mom can't get over the length of our letters. Only having seen you Sat. too. But you know we very seldom get a chance to really talk together.

Then too I never thought I could say so little in so much

Which reminds me - never mind I changed my mind. - Nothin' like keepin you guessin.  Bye again.

Full Transcript.
St. Michael's School
Shields, Frank Invitation

Invitation from St. Michael's Alumni Association to abanquet with the Xaverian brothers at Felzmann's restaurant

OCR Enabled
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank:

Certainly sounded like a whale??? of a time you had at your cousins and by danged if you're not rested by now I'll grant myself the exclusive authority to think murderous thoughts and the right to follow out my convictions. Although from all outward signs, you should have collapsed in bed, doubled over with a severe attack of "indigestion." (eating two dinners in one day is something but now that I recall past events it isn't unusual with you it's a matter of course. Seems to me you should be well on the road to another "Gill")

Speaking of "Gill," I was somewhat surprised to hear he had been transferred so quickly - Texas at that. V. is a long way from home - I'll bet Eileen V feels it. Guess he proved too much of a patriot to be last in non-combat duty. Watch em "roar by" now.

Well, nothing new or exciting happening this way either. Went to a bingo Fri. night as usual won nothing - not even close. Sat Eileen, Peg & myself went to St. George. You might know, as always, we over did it by far. This time it will take un long temps pour mai to recouperate. We stayed in the gym for 2 1/2 hrs, playing basketball (my lost art) with a bunch of "rough & ready's". Oh  ooh *(astiric). We were taught how to punch a "punching bag," raced mile races on the bicycles, threw the medicine ball around, rowed, jumped ROPE & Lord knows what. Usually you don't realize the strain until the day after. This time I could hardly carry myself from the gym. Of course we went swimming then for another 2 hrs. Monday was all I needed - Everyone at work called me "gimpy."

Another thing, they weren't bluffing when they said I had lost weight. I am happy to inform you 10 lbs have gone to the hinterlands. Where it flew from only I will tell & since I'm the shy-demure type I'll keep it to myself - (not much gussin' huh? - just tryin' to be coy!) Well that's that!

About those tickets - I can get any amount you want for any Sat. game. - The 27th WAS a good day - Pitsburg Pirates - but seein' how they went to pieces, maybe you'd rather pick yourself another day. "Shoot yourself and let me know." And for heavens sake be specific - Let's have definite Instructions. Aye aye Sir.

Bien j'ecrit cetle lettre encore de ma maison de tranille et depuis "temps un wastin" il faut que j'are alee.

So until I hear from you encore, Je suis Votre (crumby french) amie Felicity

Fel to you.

PS I've made no revisions. One thing though I hope you've noticed how largely I wrote. Just another experiment to help keep me out of "situations". F.


See Doc #979 - Two tickets to a Dodgers game on Saturday 6/27 a few weeks after this letter, but the Dodgers played the Cincinnati Reds.

Full Transcript.
Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Invitation

Invitation to attend Peggy's graduation from Academy of St. Francis Xavier

OCR Enabled.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank: Just saying "Thanks" doesn't half explain to you how truly pleased I am with my beautiful braclet. I claim that half the world has seen it by now.

Need I say more.


Full Transcript.
Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Card
Miami Beach, FL

Anniversary card from Joe (hand-made)


Sherman, Joe
Shields, Frank Postcard
Norfolk, VA

"Patrol Torpedo Boat"

Hi Frank,

A reply to your letter is on its way. Start getting ahead of yourself in your school work, save some dough so we can go out.


Full Transcript.
Brennan, Frank
Shields, Frank Postcard

Meeting reminder for the Alumni Association of St. Michael's HS. Frank S. must have been on the Dance and Legislative Committees.

OCR Enabled.
Sherman, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter
Norfolk, VA

Thurs. morning

Hi Frank, Sorry I didn't write sooner but you see we are having only four weeks training to do what took three months in peacetime. So I am kept pretty busy. I only wrote a couple of letters besides the ones to my people.

I am having a swell time and enjoying every minute of it. The time flies here. You have something to do all the time. Here it's three weeks I have been away and I have not even managed to scribble off a letter to my old pal - one of the last guys I had a drink with. I'll try to make it up with this letter.

Yesterday was a busy day. We got up at 4:45 regular awakening time here. We went out to exercise - Gene Tunny. We had a real workout. They tell us that we only have 15 min exercise in the morning but I'd bet anything it's more like twenty five.

Sun morning

I got your letter Friday after having just started writing a letter to you Thurs. You needn't excuse yourself for not writing sooner. I am just as much at fault as you. You can see how busy I am. I started Thurs and the next time I picked up the pen it's Sunday. Boy, when you are busy like down here, you write your letters in two, three or four installments. I can understand how difficult it is trying to find some time, when you are going to school - especially college. It seems we are both in the same boat. I have something doing every minute and when I haven't I write letters to my people and friends. The other correspondence was by postcards. Among the people (friends) who got letters from me were Joe Owens & June White. I got a lot of inside stuff from Joe. Flash!!! Regina Shanohan got married!!! Sob, Sob, Sob. Flash!!! Dan Miney's going to the army at the end of the month. Flash!!! Harry Pollack trying to dodge draft. I was thinking that you, me, Danny, Joe, Ken, Marty Patches go over to the Iceland some night with girls while I'm home. Joe & Danny can't wait until I go home so we can go out. How about the Iceland. I heard so much about it, I don't think it would cost so much and I am sure everyone would have a swell time dining, Dance, etc. I'll call you up Wed, 6:00 PM when I get home and settled. Meanwhile, something will come in the mail. I hope it holds you, until we go out. That party at the Iceland could be a real reunion. It could be for my return and Danny's going away. After that I don't think we'll see each other for some time so we'll make it good. Another Flash!! Just came in ¨Joe Owens is going with Rose elevator operator. You couldn't have been more glad to hear from me than I was to hear from you. Gee, a letter from someone you know is the greatest thing on earth. I was surprised myself to wind up in Virginia. You see we went to the recruiting station for a final check up at 8:00 A.M. We were through there at 1P.M. From there we headed for Penn Station. I thought I was off for Newport for sure. Then they told us to meet at the spot in Penn. Station where they had brought us at 10P.M. O'clock. Then I started figuring - 23 hrs to Chicago. We are taking a sleeper. We ain't going to Newport. If we were why would they have us come back at 10 o'clock, when we could make it in 4 hrs to Newport. Get there at a nice time - 5 P.M. I thought of Norfolk but I figured the same as I did of Newport. I thought it was only a 6 hr trip instead it turned out to be 11 hrs. We got in Norfolk at about 10 A.M. o'clock. So to my dismay I found out that I wasn't as good as Dick Tracy in patching up little details and get a correct solution. Well, I am glad I got down here. I ain't too near home - Newport - or too far - Chicago and it's swell weather down here. If I went to either of the other places, I would be wearing my blues all the time. Right down here we wear our whites (when we dress up) and denim overalls [work clothes] & blouses, when we work. We usually roll  the sleeves up and it's very seldom that you need a sweater or any extra clothing. We having been exercise every morning in our bathing trunk, crew (skivvy) shirt and sneakers. Lately it's been a bit chilly in the early morning so we wear our denim dungarees, black wool sweater & sneakers. They tell you that you exercise for 15 min but if they said 20 or 30, it would be more like it. Besides doing these morning exercises we usually have a set of 12 different coordination exercises in the afternoon. These coordination exercises are really whacky - move right foot forward, left arm backward, etc. Real crazy. Besides that we have been taken out twice to the parade grounds from about 9 to 11 o'clock in the morning by the instructors. They are all college graduates or sports figures - Tony Zale, our C.P.O. was a member of 1936 Olympic team.

P.T. They get a chief specialist rating - chief boatswain. Exercises are about the only thing they can do. When they pick us up to bring us from our barracks to the drill field in the morning, we get a couple of laughs. The only two commands they know are "March" and "Halt." You want to see them try to get us in position. It's hot stuff. But they really know their exercises. After they get through with you, you know that you have exercised. You want to hear the guys curse Gene Tunney especially the guys that are up over 23 but I rather like it. It's a good conditioner. If you did what they told you everyday for a year you would have every muscle in your body developed. Whey they take us out to the parade grounds we do everything - play games, relay races, and every imaginable exercise. yes, it is some training. That's the physical part. The mental training is just like it. We attend lectures and movies on every imaginable subject - Flag signals, compass, parts of ship, gunnery, first aid, oral hygiene, seamanship, boat drills, rowing, syphilis, conduct on leave, saboteurs. If they don't have movies on the subject, they have model's, diagrams or illustrations. It's very interesting and entertaining. I really like it. It  would be hard to dislike. Yes, we have a happy hour. We also have a smoker every Friday nite. They have a big name band (had Mitchell Ayres and this week Abe Lyman;[)] professional entertainers and amateur boxing bouts (fellows on base).  I have been so busy that I didn't even go to one of them. You are through at 3:30 or 4. You are free but usually you have wash to do or something else. I really wanted to go to these Smokers but I couldn't - too busy. One day I washed ten pieces of clothes, hammock & sea bag. I was out ashing, until you couldn't see any more it was so dark. Another night I had a dental appointment etc.

You can let me have your brother's address, when I come home. Maybe, we'll bump into each other sometime. I'd like to drop him a card or letter. Ween will he get a leave.

That enlisted Reserve sounds pretty good. Too bad you didn't join the Navy. I know you'd like it. It's swell. I passed Captain's Inspection Sat, yesterday. That meant I got shore leave. I went into Norfolk and had a swell time. We had a couple of beers, something to eat (Turkey dinner), and walked around town, went to a Penny Arcade.

I don't know if it was my sister who called but it sounds like her. I don't think that she would fool around with your mother, though. I think that she would have sense enough to wait until you got  on. She always kids around like that but I doubt, if it was she.

I am about 4 to 6 hrs from my aunt in Asheville, N.C. I might visit her, if I get stationed here. I am not being sent to trade school. I am going to sea probably right after I come back.

I got plenty of time to write. You see today is Sunday and we have off. Writitive, ain't I. That's a Winchell.

Wait till you see me. I had my hair cut twice since I have been here. You want to see how these uniforms fit. I look like I was poured into mine. The uniforms are swell though.

As you can probably see on one of these pages, I was out under a tree writing this letter when it started raining. Some of the ink is smeared. We only had about 3 bad days, since I have been here. On two of these three days it rained and on the other day it was real chilly.

I amd getting speechless so I think I'll close.

See you at the Iceland, your pal,  Joe

Just signed my pay receipt. You have to put your fingerprints on back of check.

P.S. If you want to have a good hearty laugh, I'll let you have a look at my Navy Identification Card.

Peter Joseph Sherman

Platoon 504 NOBNTS, Norfolk, VA.

See Doc #0419 for picture of Frank, Joe & girlfriends at Iceland Restaurant.

United States Navy Letterhead.

Full Transcript.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Invitation

Guys & Gals
This is to let you know yer invited to a Kiddie Party on Halloween (Oct. 31, 1942) ........ Please wontcha come ....... huh- Please. It's to be held at .....
Miss Margaret G. Doyle's
1003 East 5 St.
Brooklyn, N.Y
Now that ain't all ---
General Makeup ..... (not admitted without it ....... naturally!)
For you guys _____
Item I SHORT pants
Item II Big Bow Tie
and whatever will add to the general childishness of the get-up.
Admission: One large all day sucker.
Here's hopin' we'll be seein' you.
Love n' kisses
The Three Little Sisters
Peg, Eileen, Fel.
R.S.V.P. (P.D.Q.)
P.S. For further information and acceptance call headquarters (Doyle- Haleran residence) - NA-8-5872 (avoid Mon. Tues. & Wed. nights.)
OR ...
Es-5-1825 (on the "avoid" nights) ask for Eileen.
Full Transcript.
Sherman, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Hi Frank,

I guess you have been wondering where the hell I am. I'm attached to a naval air station down here. Right now I'm working around the barracks as a comparment cleaner. For a month I was on the gas and oil detail, plane security - tie down planes. They have us new guys doing everything. Some of the fellows are working in the beach crew - beach planes. Others are in the mess hall. It's pretty good though. We have to take a lot of junk for about a couple of months until we can strike for some rating when an opening occurs. Then it will be really nice and I can learn something about planes. If you get a rating in radio, aviation machinist's mate, aviation metalsmith, you can become a member of a flight crew. You make 50% bonus for your time in the air once you become a member of a flight crew. I'm now getting a 20% bonus for this is considered sea duty or overseas. Don't you send me any money or I'll break your arm.

How did you enjoy yourself the night we went out together. What's your girl friends name I want to put it on the back of the picture. How's school and the reserve. How's your brother, Joe. Where is he? Write soon and tell me what goes. Your pal, Joe Sherman

Some calculation on back of envelope that deals with Betty's birthday. Age? Don't think they got it right.

Full Transcript.

"United For Victory", US Navy Guantanamo Bay Letterhead.
Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Card
Columbia Army Air Base, SC

"To Mother and Dad from Your Son in the Service"

Mom & Dad:

I'm sorry I couldn't get a card like Dot's. They were all gone. Even Dots isn't the one I wanted. I wanted the one with sister on it. It was much nicer. Bye now & write soon.

May God shower his blessings on the best Mom & Pop a guy could ask for. May God bless & protect you & speed our victory, so I may be home with you soon.

All the Love a fellow could have for his Mom & Pop



Separate note included with Card - USO Letterhead.

Full Transcript.
Maddigan, JW
Shields, Frank Card

Christmas card from the Institute of Social Order

Oussani, Joe
Shields, Frank Card

"The open door" - Christmas card.

Remember last Saturday what happened?

OCR Enabled.
Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, NC

After almost giving up hope for your safety in that cruel world of rationnings, shortages, curtailments & the like, I finally received your letter. It was good to hear from you.

Now that our 10-day quarantine has expired, I fear my little vacation with pay (no cracks, please) is coming to a swift end.

Basic train'g began in earnest yesterday, though we had received lectures on first aid, aircraft identification, the M1, or Garand, rules & regulations, etc., for a few days previously. From 0600 to 1730 (6:00 to 5:30) my time will strictly belong to mine Uncle Sammily.

But on Monday, I hit K.P. with 7 other fellow-unfortunates whose last initials are in the B to D range. While the rest of the men were out in the clean, clear air learning the sombre art of sighting a rifle, I languished by the greasy window of the mess hall leaning disconsolately upon a mop and almost suffocated from the nauseating odor of smoking bacon fat. This was the second time in two weeks that I was stationed in the now familiar kitchen. The first time - I think I mentioned it to you before - when the s'g't. came in and asked for 2 volunteers. Thinking it would be for only an hour or two, I got six instead. This latest session was a Lulu. Sweating at mopping, washing, & cleaning, for 14 hours, I did gain the most beautiful soft white pair of hands (beats Italian Balm) this side of masculinity. As a soldier, I am going to make some woman a good wife. If you get nothing else out of K.P., you do get a belly-full of good food (was eating full-bodied, juicy tangerines for 4 hours straight, in addition to the 3 squared squares. Not having been classified for any particular branch of A.A. or automatic weapons, I still don't know what I'm going to do in this Army.

They handed us mimeographed sheets, recently, listing 8 possible types of service. The types were: cook, supply, driver, instrument operator, 40mm A.A., .50 cal. machines, electrician, inst. op., & driver. However, I don't know whether we'll actually get the choices we indicated.

Recently, too, I spoke to my top-kick questioning him about the possibilities for Air Cadet Train'g. (At Upton, I gained the info that the Army is accepting volunteers for the Air Cad. Train., from the ranks of the inductees since the flow of enlistments has been plugged.) Either the Sarge was irritable, drunk, or in a hurry - he was very sharp & curt in manner. From my little discussion with him, I gathered that I was just stuck with this outfit & that he didn't know his elbow from his _ _ _.

Nothing daunted, I saw one of our "looeys" the next day, and he informed me that opportunity will be given to apply for Air Cad. Tr. - to all comers - after basic train'g is completed here. Such is the story up to this point.

You expect to be in by Feb., isn't that right, chum? How come you don't want to finish as much school as possible, by re-enrolling? At least, six more mos. of school now will mean six less after all's been done. Have you any guaranty that you'll receive any specific training or schooling if you get into active service now? For my part, I see practically no means of obtaining what I think I might qualify for. It's all a very uncertain proposition, and all you can hope for is that by chance you might get what you want, or something you can easily interest yourself in.

Incidentally, a day or two ago I experienced how a homeless bum feels - our barracks were fumigated that day and guards were posted at each of the two entrances, behind them signs reading: "Danger POISON GAS Keep Out."

We couldn't get into the b'rr'ks all day & part of the evening. Not that we were endowed with too many cockroaches, bed-bugs and such - but merely as a matter of routine were the b'rr'ks fumigated (with hydrocyanic gas, too. - You could still smell the stuff 2 days afterwards - probably the small quantity of gas adsorbed by all the clothing & bedding which were sealed in the building.)

They had to do it just when I had about fully trained a squad of 4 big, intelligent bed-bugs to fix my bed properly for reveille, with the blankets pulled tight, smoothed, and tucked in according to camp rules.

For now, - enough.

- Write soon.

Full Transcript.
Duffy, John Shields, Frank Postcard
Atlantic City, NJ

Dear Frank, I am sorry that I have not written before but I shall attempt to write in the future. Today I received my shots and boy is my arm sore. Well Frank I shall see you within a month. J. Duffy

Full Transcript.
Shields, Joe Chief Card
Columbia Army Air Base, SC

"Happy Easter, Father", smoking-themed card; "My best to the greatest guy in the world"


Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter

Being away from home at Christmas; Joe's second; 9 wonderful days at Rest Camp (Capri?); took pictures; Purdue; football and basketball; camera; how are Frank & Peggy?; Joe isn't a ladies man; Polish Bombshell (Fel); Joe's New Year; Al Aiken is 4F; war more dirty than glory; enough is enough; facilities in Corsica; "Yank" magazine; Happy Birthday


Johnson, Capt. Grandpop Letter
Governors Island, NY

Governors Island, NY, October 21 1904

Dear Sir: Your son Joseph E. Shields who is a member of my company and who has been ill for the last week has been suddenly taken with a turn for the worse. He may not live until morning. You can come over to the Island tonight or tomorrow with any member of your family. The last boat tonight leaves the dock next to the South Ferry at 12:30 tonight, after that you cannot get a boat until morning. This letter will be authority for you or your family to go on boat.

Yours very truly

[?] Johnson, Capt 8th Infty

Full Transcript.
Cahill, Allie
Chief Postcard

"Good Luck to you on St. Patrick's Day"

Dear Frank, Hope this finds you and all the folks well and happy. I would love to have a nice long letter from you. You used to write me such nice long letters but I think you must have forgotten me. All send love and best wishes to all. Lovingly, Allie

21 Grant St. Anacostia

Full Transcript.
Cahill, Allie
Chief Postcard

"A Joyous Easter"

Dear Cousin Frank

Just a line to wish you a happy Easter. Have missed your letters so much, please do write. I enjoy your letters so much Love to Uncle Frank & Aunto Dora, Lovingly Allie

643 11th St. N. E.

Full Transcript.
Lunham & Reeve Shields, Frank Pay Stub

Lunham & Reeve pay receipt and envelope.

War Department
Shields, Frank Chart

Organization of an Infantry Regiment and Organization of a Rifle Company; ROTC documents from CCNY

War Department
Shields, Frank Chart

ROTC schedule for Fall '42 - Spring '43; Frank's study notes in margins and on reverse

Shields, Frank Self

Frank's membership card for Newman Club at CCNY

Date assigned for sorting purposes.
Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Postcard
Camp Upton, NY

Dear Fran:

Lo and behold! I now am a rookie first class, complete with uniform, work clothes, underwear (completely comfy coverall class) and at least 199 lbs. more of spare clothes and equipment packed into two husky duffle-bags. The "processing" we go through here at Upton consists (chronologically listed) of: Mechanical aptitude & intell'g'nce tests, clothes outfitting, 3 "shots", a motion picture (popularly called the "Mickey Mouse") concerning venereal diseases, and an appreciation of Job's patience, gained from standing on line in the cold waiting to get into the mess hall. However, all in all, the life's not so bad. Will be here, supposedly, only 4 or 5 days, so will write again from perm. camp. - Gene D.

Full Transcript.
Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Joe Letter

Home - 11:00 PM (tired too)

Dear Joe,

At last I've really gotten down to doing one of those things I've been meaning to do "in my spare time" (please note sarcasm.) As  you see it's pretty late (no don't get excited, I'm not going to leave so soon. Don't think you can get off that easy. You're stuck you've got to listen.) Whew! All that in one breath. The pace is killing me!

Anyhoo - I started to tell you that I just got in from work and had my supper (#2), listened to a prize-fight (on the radio of course) - (We don't do that here any more. Its too much of a mess to clean up afterwards!) when this idea of writing struck me and knocked me down on a chair with pen and paper in front of me. So what was to do? I had to write, the temptation was too great (more sarcasm). Seriously though I've been kept pretty busy here of late.

I'm still going to school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights & home work. Also I've been working overtime quite a bit lateley and weekends well you know how it is, they just fly by leaving you in a daze for days.

Christmas was pretty nice only I'm kinda in the dog house over it. I went over to Eileen's Christmas eve and missed exchanging gifts after midnight Mass because I stopped at Fel's. That wasn't enough it seems. I had to go and forget my perfunctory New Year's visit next door. I do feel bad about it. Christmas didn't seem the same.

I suppose this is only one of the many things which all added up to spoil it in a way.

Among other things there was one big factor, I think I mentioned to you before that Brud (Donald) was planning to get married after he finished Officer's Training. Well, He came home on the 18th of December and according to the law Evelyn Mayer was made Mrs. C.D. Doyle Dec 20th. Need I say more? I think you've guessed what I'm driving at. That's right. He was "married" by her minister. Of course this put the damper on everything since it was very unexpected.

Gosh Joe I'm sorry, this letter has turned out to be a sob story and I wanted to avoid that. You've got enough to be concerned about yourself without listening to my woes.

How goes everything with you, soldier. Say that picture you sent Fel certainly is a honey. Honestly its so lifelike I had to turn it to the wall New Year's eve when we were going to be at Fel's.

Gee we missed you this year, Frank, Gene D., Helen, John Acer, Gene's cousin & his girl friend and Denham (remember him, you met him at the beach?) and Fel, Eileen & myself all congregated at Fel's to see the New Year in. We missed that handsome? grin and snappy come-back of your so we took "you" off the piano and put "you" between the bay window in the livingroom. The following Saturday night Eileen & I wanted to take "you" to Helen's brother's farewell party, but Fel wouldn't let us. She said you'd probably get messed up with beer at the bar or somebody'd hit you with a dart. I'd be insulted if I were you. Why anyone would think you couldn't take care of yourself if they heard that.

She didn't do so well herself as I remember. On the way to the "Culver" Jack Moran said "I can see I'm going to have my hands full with the three of you!" We had just decided to make it a hilarious party. Fel chimed in at that moment with "Let's fool him and stay 'stober' (sober) - and with that she was down on all fours climbing hand over hand up the curb of east 2nd St.

Last Monday night we went to Gene D's farewell party (I played hooky). The first thing that struck us as we entered the door was the sight of GeneG.  whom we haven't seen since your party going through his antics to the tune of a hot record as if he'd never been missing. It certainly was a sight for sore eyes. He is getting a commission in the Navy soon. He's in the reserve.

Well, Joe, I think it's about time I wandered off to bed. As you have probably noticed I'm gettin' groggy. Be good.

Tout m'amour et assez de bonne fortune a vous.

Translation - All my love and lots of good luck to you.


Year on letter is 1942, but envelope reads 1943. Context supports date of 1/8/43.

Full Transcript.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Joe Letter

Well, thank goodness the Holidays are finally dispensed with. That running around is swell but boy it certainly feels good to know what a bed feels like again. As usual the New Year was going to be greeted in a quiet sort of way. Just Peg, Eileen & I  to celebrate & cry in our "lonesome" beers. But no - it didn't turn out that way. We all got together - [Frank, Gene, John Acer, Denham, John Dembinski, & Joe O. - Eileen, Peg, Dolores, Martha & myself.]] at our house and I think had a pretty good time of it. We remembered the previous year and all admitted that we never shall see as wonderful a time again. But heck - why live in the past. Somehow it's not worth it. Too much reminicing. Anyhow to get on - New Years Day we three girls decided to go calling - (as everyone told us "It just ain't kosha") - Soo we first trapsed over to Gene's. (had dinner there) Then - to our surprise - Frank & Joe O. walked in - so we went on from there together. Our first stop was to see John Collon - he was ill with bronchitis. You could never immagine the look of complete horror on his face when we girls walked head long into his boudoir (or somethin' - bedroom to you) <- to me too!). After he had recovered from the shock we proceeded to hold a gab fest for the next three - I'm a liar - it was two -hours. Noting his appearant fatigue we excused ourselves and made way to that "time honored domicile" - The Shields Residence. Your Mom - Vi & Betty were in - and as usual we enjoyed ourselves immensly. I had a fine time trying on ski boots - Jackets & caps - I was all set to go skiing - over N. Years but my job held me back - Next time maybe.

(We're short on good writing paper - There just ain't no more)

Well - we would up that evening eating Pitzz at Rex's on 86th St & Fourth Ave. We met Ronnie there - She certainly is turning into one pretty young lady. Yumm. -

(I'll bet this seems like pretty old news to you buy now. but it's still nice & fresh in my mind.)

Excuse - while I continue to ramble! - That following Monday Gene D. had his farewell party. - [I just got a card from him _ he's now at Upton going through the wringer.] G.G. was there in all his glory. He's still the happiest fellow I know. Really - it was like old times - anyhow the nearest thing to it.

Well, Joe that about covers everything at a quick glance. - Peg & Eileen send their usual rememberences - (They haven't changed a bit - except - Peg's a year older now. ) & Mom just told me to say "Hi" for her. - Keep em flying -

Until soon again - I am - affectionately yours, Fel

Full Transcript.
Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, NC

As a soldier of a week's standing, I think the Army life won't be half bad. Of course, the last week hasn't been strictly regulation, and we rookies, (grade: - 1st class) oh, the horror of it all, have time on our hands. In addition we have to withstand a 10-day quarantine, during which we don't drill and occassionally do only a little work "policing" the area around the barracks - "policing" being the gathering, by hand, of matches, butts, scraps of paper, and such debris left lying on the ground.

Out here in Camp Davis, N.C., the warm sun is shining, the atmosphere is a breath of spring, and sand gets into everything. But the climate is worth that 18 hr. train trip (in decrepit coaches) we had to suffer. In addition to getting only fitful periods of sleep, I and my partner had a beautiful freezing breeze pouring down our backs from a hole I put in the train window next to our seats. While we were struggling to tear down the coach seats, in order to rearrange them for making beds, I unintentionally shoved a corner of one of the seats thru the window pane. Well it could have been worse - suppose the whole seat went thru and out!

Nothing of interest happened here at Davis yet. You'll notice from my address:

Pvt. E. Dembinski

Battery E, 510th Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft)

Barracks T-405

Camp Davis, N.C.

that Davis is a Coast Artillery organization, but as yet, I haven't been classified for any particular branch of the service, so it doesn't necessarily mean I'll be a gunner after basic training. Perhaps when I meet up with the classifying officer, I can express a choice for Aviation Cadet training. At Camp Upton, I inquired about getting into Av. Cad. train., and they informed that it would be best were I to wait until I reached permanent camp. So in a few days (a week) I'll see what the situation is.

Meanwhile, how's about writing and letting me know what's doing down your neck of the woods?

As one soldier to another soldier, "kwitcherdambellyakin." you'll be here soon too.

Eugene D.

Full Transcript.
Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
Columbia Army Air Base, SC

Dear Frank & family,

It's late boy, lights out in 15 minutes, so I'm writing this fast. I go to Ft. Jackson tomorrow at 4:45 AM. to fire on the rifle range. Then monday we are suppose to go to Myrtle Beach, to qualify as armourer-gunners. So I had to send this card & note tonight. I'll write you from the "beach" & let you know how things are coming. If I go to Eng. school I won't leave here till some time in June, so tell mom not to worry about me going over, not for the time being.

Hows things with you Frank, Everything going right. Don't worry about the army Frank. I hear they are starting to take C.O.R. men the 10th of Feb. So keep your chin up, they'll get to you yet.

Have you heard any more from G. D.? He hasn't written me yet. Well Frank it's late now & I have to be up in the morning, so take it easy.

Happy Birthday brother, & all the luck in the world, to you. Remember, I'm rooting for you Frank, so when they get you come through with a commission for me, will you.

Bye now & God Bless you. Love to all Your brother


Birthday card for Frank enclosed.

Full Transcript.
Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

"Wising you a PURR-FECT Birthday"

Love and x's (for your birthday)


Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Card

"For your Birthday", multi-layered card with Tassel

Gen & Chief Shields, Frank Card

"Birthday Greetings"

With money wishes for a taxless birth day. Your Dollar Daddy and Dollar-less mom.

Shields, Frank Form

Honorable Discharge from ROTC at CCNY; Joined 02/06/1941; Cadet Sergeant

OCR Enabled.
Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Special Deliveries; chosen for DC conference & recruiting, then changed to A.G. school; personnel issues; poor judgement by Army; going to Washington Jefferson College in PA; affect on furlough; may not come back to Ft. Oglethorpe; like leaving home; chance to see Frank or Touhey?; will call

Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Still here; left barracks; new address next week; write vs call; furlough plans; finger cut and swollen; sent Joe tobacco kit

Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Army Admin School,
Washington, PA

In school AGAIN; 24 hr trip to PA; living in Frat house; activities after arrival; next two months will be hard; first WACs in area; official welcome; yearns for civilian life; prefers footlocker over dresser; 150 men in class

Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Army Admin School,
Washington, PA

Wed. 515PM, 10-20-43

Dear Mother & Dad:

Am not going to mess so thought I'd better get a note off to you while I have a few minutes & before I give in to the wild desire to sleep. I can't afford to sleep and if I can keep awake another half-hour maybe I'll hold out until bed-check.

Don't know where to begin on all this, but you asked why I need more school when I've had two years of interviewing. It would take me a book to explain Army Classification (of which  interviewing is only a part) to you - it's going to take us 2 mos just to get the fundamentals.  Social-work interviewing only gives you Ease in dealing with people & perhaps a technique in getting information as far as this job is concerned. And our interviewing here requires a lot more technical knowledge. Briefly (very) Army Classification consists in testing, interviewing, classifying, assigning enlisted men to military jobs according to their civilian & military skills. In our interviewing we list a lot of identifying data, as well as a person's 1st & 2nd main civilian occupations, on a large form card. All of which sounds simple. But there are Army Regulations, volumes of them, governing all  this - all the way down to how words shall be abbreviated & just how CARDS SHALL BE PRINTED!! In addition there are 30,000 jobs, with given identification numbers, into which a man's civilian occupation may fall. So one must know the most commonly met ones of these by title, number, and definition, as well as know how & where to find the rest in the proper books. Also, there is ever so much judgement to be exercised in deciding what are all a man's main jobs - considering their importance, longevity, income, his skill, his test scores, plus his training & education. It ain't easy, McGee, & for my $$, there'll still be plenty to learn even after years at this job. So - that's why we're in school. All boring to you, no doubt, but you asked for it.

Perhaps a copy of our schedule will help you know why I won't be writing you very often - perhaps only on week-ends. And so you'll get the benefit of the physical effort involved, keep in mind that I live on the top (3) floor (double flights!) and make at least 20 trips up & down during the day; also mess & school are a 10-15 minute march away - all laden down with about 5-6 lbs of books in left arm AND all up-and-down hill. So here goes:

5:30 AM - rise & shine - with only 3 sinks for 25 girls you need a half-hour to get all done up in full uniform so as to be ready by

6:00 AM - fall out for reveille - march off to mess-hall for breakfast. Then back to barracks about 6:35

6:35 - 7:00 - change into fatigues to clean & for P.T. later. Make bed, put clothes away, clean room, do squad detail. - all of which was much easier in our barracks in camp 'cause you were confined to about a foot of space all around your bunk, & your shelf, for cleaning. In this barn, you're never done, and there are more damn dust collectors than you can shake a stick at. The thought of keeping a room again kills me!

7:00 - 7:45 - P.T. in the back yard.

7:45 - 8:15 - put the finishing touches to the room. By this time you're well sweated up & nice & dirty with Pa. soot! So you clean your face again, do you hair, & put on the A uniform again.

8:15 fall out for classes

8:30 - 11:20 classes - 3 of them with Army instructors - good looking, witty, Lts, Colo., Major, Capts - aces at their job - never fail to take a crack at the WACs. We're the first they've seen & I don't believe they fully appreciate our presence in a strictly men's school (see paper) & are undoubtedly chagrined at the fact that we may someday be interviewing in the men's army. Also we cramp their style of "men's talk" in lectures. Every time the male students put on a demonstration skit, they never fail to insert some good-humored barbs about the WACs. It's really funny, we can take it, & we may grow on them before the course is over. We hope so.

11:30 - by this time we're in the chow line again. And the meals here are the best we've EVER eaten! Army has taken over part of one of the hotels & our Cooks are civilian women. Eat with the men but have 2 tables reserved only for us.

12:15 - We're home again by this time with a whole half-hour to do as you please!! Most if it is spent running up & down stairs to mail call, or the Johnny to freshen up.

12:45 - fall out for classes

1:00 - 3:50 - 3 more class sessions. Then the 10 main march back to the house.

4:00 - 5:00 close-order drill under an Army Lt. This I really like. Most of our cadre & officers can't drill us worth a damn & we really have potential[?]. But the snap & precision of an Army Louie really keeps you on the ball & you love it. Also it wakes Shields up so she can get started on the Evening Session.

5:00 - 5:30 on your own again.

5:30 - fall out for mess - it's 6:15 now & the kids aren't back yet!

6:30 - 11PM is yours BUT there's a ream of written material, books, etc. to be studied for the following day's lectures. And the tches aren't averse to gentle dirty cracks if it's evident you haven't studied. Well, I've been conscientious about that, and find it requires 3-4 hours just to READ the given assignments, to say nothing of taking time out to absorb them.

So you're never tucked in before 11:30 & from then till 5:30 AM is only 6 hrs sleep. Besides which, every 8 days we draw CQ and fire guard duty. Which is given in 3 shifts: 5PM to 10PM; 10PM to 3AM; 3AM to 7:30 AM. During this you stay in the orderly room on the 1st floor, are responsible for the barracks, & once an hour make the rounds to check for fires etc. (Are you still with me, or are you as tired as I am?) Friday is my shot at CQ & with my luck I draw the 3AM to 7:30 shift. Have to be in full uniform & awake, 'cause the O.D. comes around during the wee hrs to check. Can't imagine how I'll get through Saturday!

Well, there it is. And if you think there aren't times when my "arss" is draggen, you just ain't thinkin'. Now I know what Frank is going thro. And when I think of the subjects HE takes, with the consequent home work, I get weak. Let me know how he looks & how he's bearing up.

Joe's letter was really something. With 36 trips in, it shouldn't be long now. If he should get home & I'm in Oglethorpe, I'm sure I can arrange an Emergency furlough. Let's hope for it. Maybe that's why I got up here & won't be home for Xmas. Who knows, you may have a couple of us at once, yet.

Started a letter to Touhey & can't get it finished. Aunty wrote today (to Geo) & I know I can't answer it. Will you please excuse me to them?

Well, they say our first exam, tomorrow, is a lalapalooza. Also our first class is at 7:30. Just discovered that happens once a week - Oi oi! It's 6:30 no so I'm going to cry "uncle." Don't let me know with mail.

Love, Dot.

Full Transcript.
Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Trip "home"; Dot retained in "Interviewing", others going into field; B Sherman plans; hard getting back into gear; Xmas party on base; furlough good, but didn't get enough time with Family; Shaw & Salerno; "Christmas doesn't feel so Christmassy"; sore throat

Pelletier, Dot Family
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Christmas feeling; Shields' are scattered; Reminiscence of past Christmas's; "we'll all be home for Christmas"; no time to shop this year; Gen & Chief to share money order; late gifts for Frank, Ronnie, Vee & Betty; midnight mass

This is a wonderful letter; please read it.
Pelletier, Dot Ronnie, Vee, Betty
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Requesting the girls wait a few weeks for Santa's gifts to arrive

Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Card

Hope that all will be home for next Christmas; "no words to say how much Mom & Chief mean to us"; in each others thoughts

Pelletier, Dot Ronnie, Vee
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Changes: receiving money from "kid" sisters; will miss watching Ronnie & Vee grow up as she could for Joe & Frank; advice on being companions to  Gen & Chief;  appreciate gift; Santa will be late

Sherman, Billie
Shields, Gen Letter
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Thank you; "promotion" to Sergeant; box sent to Dot is wonderful & shared by entire barracks; lucky Dot; mirror present from Dot; hopes for next Christmas

Shields, Frank Postcard

Grades for Fall '42 term at CCNY. Drafting & Math

See also #0212
Brennan, Frank
Shields, Frank Postcard

Meeting announcement for St. Michael's HS Alumni Association. Last meeting for the duration.

OCR Enabled.
Ronnie, Vee, Betty
Shields, Frank Card

"A Good Luck message on your Birthday"

Sherman, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

I received both of your letters and was tickled to hear from you. I hope you'll excuse me for not writing sooner. When I got your second letter, I felt like a heel. I was really busy. You'll understand it some, if you go in the army. You see I get letters from everybody and all over and sometimes they pile up on me and I get busy down here. By the time I start to answer them, I have a box full Well that was the case with yours. I had sixteen letters on hand and I kept getting more. I tried to answer my family's letter as they came along with as many of these as I could. I had an envelope addressed to you from about three days after I received your letter but I could not find time to write that letter. Yours finally hit the top of the pile yesterday, the same day I got your letter.  I'm really sorry I didn't write sooner. Well, now to write a nice newsy letter. Thanks for the Christmas card. It was swell. Now for that long awaited letter.

I was quite surprised myself to land in Cuba. I thought I was going on board a ship. I told my mother I'd probably be home for Christmas. I figured I'd get on a destroyer and pull in the Bklyn Navy Yard every now and then. Quite a few guys around the neighborhood did that. One of my friends is stationed down there now. You probably heard me talk about him - Eddie Johnson. Do you remember the day I was reading a letter from him to you and Joe Owens down in the basement of Royal right by the candy counter. Incidentially I owe that guy [candy counter] a nickel. Remind me to pay him some day. About four guys I know took part in the raid on Casablanca - Jimmy Kelly, Bill Lodge and a couple of others I can't think of now. Then three other guys I know real well are in the Pacific. One of the guys, Oscar Hildago, who is only 18 was wounded when his ship went down in the Pacific. I got a postcard and V letter - which never reached me - from another of the three who is on a ship around New Zealand. Then I got a Christmas card from a guy who has seen almost every bit of action there was in the Pacific. I get a lot of dope about all the guys in all branches of the service from a newspaper - "The Bridge" - The Road Home for Gowanous Servicemen. It's put out by a couple of fellows around the neighborhood who haven't been drafted, because of poor health or dependents. It's real good. You cann't beat the spirit in Bklyn. The Bklyn Daily Eagle also prints everything that goes in that paper and puts it in the "Service Section" or something. My name has been mentioned a couple of times. I like down here a lot but I would like to get some sea duty abouard an aircraft carrier or destroyer before the war's over.

I'll send you a postcard of Morro Castle. I'm find out how the other half lives. We go on liberty to the town called Caimanero. It's the most different from anything you have ever seen. It's an experience in itself to go to town. It's real nice down here. Anyone that has an eye for beautiful would really appreciate it. I find myself gazing over the blue waters of the Caribbean and at the surrounding mts, palm trees and cactus and really admiring it. I'm on a pretty good detail now. I'm in the beach crew. All we wear all day are bathing trunks and sneakers. I'm really enjoying this. We beach big flying boats. We handle rope and do work like you would expect a sailor. I might be able to get seaman first out of it in about three months. We move the planes around to get them ready. I'm sitting in the shade of a tractor writing this. I parked another one so It would provide shade but some took it to move a plane. It's a lot of fun. I'm learning how to drive pretty good. You say in your letter how your brother looks good like all service men. Well, I wish you could see me. Boy, I really got a swell tan and I have put on weigh.

I know we always had a swell times when we went out and I'm looking forward to a lot more. I felt kind of funny with that lousy haircut I'll never get one of them again. And in a place like that. Boy, that bring up about the gang getting pleasantly plastered as you put it every payday but that certainly brought up some pleasant memories that I won't forget.

Glad to hear that your brother is doing so well. I was surprised to hear that he was a sergeant. Boy, he's really right in there. He get what he wanted and is already assigned to a plane. I don't think the war will be over until April '44. I hope I'm wrong though. I'll be able to get flight orders by that time. It takes about fourteen months before you can become rated. Boy, that sounds like the life listening to the hit Parade at 13000 ft. I was in the forward gunner's position on one of our planes. Just looking around there seemed like enough room for me there but when I tried the tail position I was all cramped up. There's more to it then shotting a gun. Tell him if he is ever down this way to look me up. I'd be more than glad to show him around. Your cousin must be a pretty bright lad. I got your first letter Jan 2 and the latest one Feb 3. I had a swell Christmas and New Year's. Boy, they certainly treated us Royal. You couldn't have beaten the eats we had. We had Turkey and Ham and all the dressings to excess. Then we all got a bag of Christmas candy, bag of nuts, pack of cigarettes and a cigar. We had a very good U.S.O. show down here though there were no prominent stars. We had singing of Christmas carols Christmas eve. I was on guard duty when the New Year came in. The guys didn't get in until all hrs. A couple of them offered me a drink about 2 o'clock. They were really potted. I don't know how many times I met them while walking my post. I was dreaming up New Year's resolution all the time I was on. Most of which I have already broken. I have been promising myself I'd learn Spanish since I came down here. I bought a book on it Sp. in 20 lessons by some professor at the Univ. of Miami . after I was down here about two weeks but have never used it. My mother was the same with me she said you don't need anything you'll be in the service soon and I'm glad she was that way. I'm glad to hear that your brother got leave I bet youse had some time celebrating. I wish I could have been with you. Even though I only know Joe slightly I really liked him and took to him. He's an accepted member for getting a stew on with. Incidentially we have a little puppy for a mascot. We call him "Two Beer". I wouldn't mine hearing from Joe. I'm glad he liked my present so well. They are a real good bunch at Royal. Now to tell you about them all. Harry Pollack is still on the loose. Ken Soha is in Field Artillery, Ft. Bragg, N.C. Dan Miney[?] drafted Army Air Corp, Atlantic City. Marty Patches is in Army. I don't know where. I write to his house until he gets settled. Joe Owens expects to be called soon. Tony[?] rejected by Army. Taking a gov't course for a defense job. There's a good guy, if you ever met one. Bob Reinnagel in Field Artillery. That's the boy that was going in the Army Air Corp or nothing. John Hannon drafted to Army. Now at Oswego, N.Y. Nick DePola, Tony's brother was about to be drafted when I last heard of him. I imagine Dutch will be going soon. Haven't heard nothing yet. How's this for a team for a good time - Dutch, Tony, Dan, Ken, Joe, you and I. I got the same things from Royal Guard as Joe. My people are all O.K. My brother is getting ordained April 28 and my sister's getting married right after that. I hope to get home for that. Lights are going out. I tried finishing this when I came back from the movies. The lights are out now. So I close.

Anything else you want to know give me the word.

United States Navy Letterhead.

Full Transcript.
Peg, Eil, Fel
Shields, Frank Card

Valentine's card from Fel, Peggy and Eileen.

Duffy, John Shields, Frank Letter
Atlantic City, NJ

I received your letter and was thankful for it. I guess all soldiers are anxious and glad to receive mail from those who they know are their friends.

Do not think me pessimistic Frank but army life is not all its cracked up to be. It is a hard lean life - that part is swell but in all your life you perhaps will see very few things that have got more confusion than the army.

As far as John liking it is concerned I am certain he wouldn't because the fellows here on the average are not like you and I.  I don't think that John would appreciate their company.

I had my shots Saturday & this coming Saturday I get them again. Don't let anyone scare you Frank they do not hurt at all.

My dad & mother are coming to see me this weekend because I expect to leave here for probably some college sometime next week. When my address changes I will notify you of it.

Give my best regards to Gene if you write him before me. I hear he is sick - tell him my hopes are all for him.

Hoping this finds you & yours in good health I remain you devoted friend

Johnnie D.

Full Transcript.
Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, NC

At last - a pretty long lost, at that, - I've managed to drag out the "avec quoi écrire", find myself with 8 hours of the nite partly at my disposal, and seat myself at a lieutenant's desk, all preparatory to writing you. Finally, I've gained two of the conditions conducive to writing - time, and a place to write. Allow me to explain. Right now, I am on 24-hr fireman duty, tending to the wants of 2 soft-coal burning furnaces the one in our barracks, and the other, in another building, the Day Room (A day room is a  place set aside for the use of the soldier when he has a leisure moment and wishes to read a magazine, or write, in surroundings other than the barracks. Not that they're any more luxurious or attractive, in this case, but the building is there anyway, and has to be heated.)) To continue - the furnaces seem to function properly for about an hour without care, so  until the hour arrives, the intervening time is mine. (Until daybreak, of course, when sergeants might appear to queer things, letter-writing & reading being "verboten" while on duty.) At this moment, awaiting the hour of 2300, I am in the Orderly Room sitting at one of the lieutenant's desks. The Orderly Room is "open all nite", with a man on duty, likewise for 24 hours. It is deserted except for the C.Q. (Charge of Quarters, i.e., charge of the Orderly Room, i.e., the man on duty), another fireman, and myself.

That explains the circumstances. Say, chum, are they so backward up at City C. in the ROTC that they actually give cadence count in English? - hup, two, three, four; hup, two, three, four. In reality, it should sound: up, tuh, tip, fuh, up, tuh, tip, fuh, with variations encouraged. Each sergeant or looey has his own pet arrangement of those 4 breath expirations, some gasping, others muffling, & still others abbreviating. So help me, it's bad enough being out of step, but you can't tell when you should fall back in. Then the sarge urges: "Pick up that cadence. - Pick it UP! - Pick it up, IT AIN'T SHIT!" To go on in same vein, or worse, so pardon my blush, (got out of that stage the first 3 days in the Army) we have a corporal who, in the ungodly hour of reveille, at 1730, flashes the lights on, and before you've fallen completely out of sleep's stupor, instead of incanting the usual "Rise & shine, boys" bellows out - "Let down your --- & pull up your socks".

One moment, please, have to see how the fires are making out. ('tis now 2300, and taps have just been sounded. It's just the 2nd time I've ever heard them. Once, I happened to awake while they softly carolled their mournful notes to the still nite.)

There, that should hold 'em for at least an hour and a half (getting reckless).

You know, during the week Feb 7 to 14 (now that can't be - it was the previous week.), I was in the camp hospital recovering from a severe cold, cough, fever, sore throat, and a few incidental blisters accrued previously. When I reported for sick-call I felt so disgustingly weak & loose-kneed that another day would have seen me clutching the sands of Camp Davis. As it was, believe it or no, I slept 20 out of 24 hrs. for the first 3 days at the hospital (no drugs). After that, I was good as new, even better, since I was already broken in.

The hospital was located about 50 ft. from, and ran parallel to, the airport. They would ahve done just as well had they built that groan-garage in a R.R. yard. Every 3 or 4 mins. the window panes would actually rattle from the beat produced by powerful motors lifting some plane skyward. They even shook when single-motored planes took off. But those surging beats and the crescendoes & diminuendoes of a motor being gunned to a roar and then throttled to a purr would have proven fatal to a nerves patient. But I thrived on it.

Recently we underwent a demonstrations of the effectiveness of the gas-masks which had been issued us a week previously. (Mine fits - and feels - like a glove). We went thru 2 gas chambers containing a lachrymator, and SO2 . Of course, the lachrymator concentration was a mild one, since each man, before leaving the chamber, had to pull his mask from his face and tarry a moment. When that part of the game had been completed, he could, and everyone did, tear and tear for the door leading out. Each of us in the group of 20 that went thru the chamber had watery eyes for about 5 minutes later, and the group looked comical, everyone crying as though each had just suffered a terrible sorrow.

So far, I haven't asked for any passes (bet you fellows get plenty, now) to see the outside world, but expect to see what "Boom-town," just outside the camp boundary, and Wilmington, 18 miles distant (we have a bus service) have to offer this week-end. Everyone says there's nothing to see or do, but I suppose I'll have to go at least once for the record, and for the bus ride.

To go back to the paragraph preceding the last one, - I forgot to mention that that the process for entering the SO2 chamber consisted of each man's entering without his mask on, and then slipping it on, once inside. All went well with me. Following instructions, I took a deep breath of clean air, held it until I reached my place in the chamber, fumbled and flushed[?] out my mask, and gratefully poked the puss into the bag. Now, once you've your mask over your face, you're supposed to hold the exhaust valve and exhale the deep breath that you've been holding. The excess pressure would free itself thru the edges of the mask, and it would be "cleared" of any traces of gas which had entered before the mask was adjusted to the face. Unaccustomed as I was to breathing via tubes and filters, I forgot to hold the exhaust valve shut. As a result, I cleared the mask through the valve instead of through the edges. My next inhalation made me aware of a tinge of SO2. After that, there were no more traces of it. My point is this - is the mask as effectively cleared through the valve as thru the edges? The same amount of air is displaced in each case, so I think that one doesn't have to hold the valve. But I didn't get a chance to a repeat performance, so couldn't ascertain whether clearing the mask thru the edges would still leave a tinge of gas. However, I daresay the amount of gas remaining by either method is so small that it would have no physiological effect, even were it a lethal gas.

Time to quit now, so until you write, "Au Écrire". (Is that allowable?)

Say, see if Joe doesn't owe me a letter. I think I wrote last, but can't remember exactly. It's been quite a while since I've heard from him. At least 2 mos.

Full Transcript.
War Department
Shields, Frank Orders

Call to Active Duty. Frank withdrew from CCNY; called to duty on 3/9/43. Orders (3 copies) for Frank to report to Camp Upton, NY included.

OCR Enabled.
War Department
Shields, Frank Letter

Response to request for information. Regulations pertaining to conditions for enlistment. Opportunity for OCS; Air Corps vs Aviation Cadets.

OCR Enabled.
Sherman, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

I received your letter and was very glad to hear from you. I would have answered sooner only I didn't get the chance. Your brother is right about it being no easy job to answer the mail.

You letter arrived in swell condition just as if you had it in an envelope. It wasn't even wrinkled or didn't show no signs of its travel. Your letter wasn't micro-filmed. I got a letter from a friend of mine in New Zealand and his letter was micro-filmed. Boy, that's a swell idea. I only got one page from him. I don't imagine you are permitted to write much. Boy, it really is tiny and you have to have good eyes to read it.

I rather that neighborhood paper every month than a five dollar bill. You'll probably see my name again in Eagle one of these days. I don't go for that stuff of sending in pictures. When they finally get Pollack in the Army that would be like him to send in his picture to some paper with the title - Pollack Joins Army - Now Doing His Part for Uncle Sam.

I hope to get S 1/C within the next two months. Then I'll be making more than I ever did with Royal. I have a course out on it and when I get time I study it a bit. The job I got is pretty alright. I'd like to make seaman first and lean all the things about it. It's real interesting and will probably prove helpful later on. They might give it to me because we do a lot of work with lines and stuff and probably pick up some fundamentals.

That secretary stuff sounds convincing. [Top of second page]

I got to give my letter atmosphere. After all I am a sailor and you expect that I'd be on a ship. So that accounts for my writing downhill from left to right. That's the ship rocking. All kidding aside, I usually write my letters while setting on my bunk. I lean the pad on my knees and that's what happens. But cann't you note an improvement in this letter.

I think I know what your brother means when he says you can't depend on anything in the army. I'll be coming up for my brother's ordination - April 27 if nothing happens. I don't know what I'd do if I was a civilian with things as they are. You know how I like to eat. You got the right idea. The only place you get a good meal now is in the service. I hope to see you when I'm home if you are around. Dan Miney's down Atlantic City and he's getting a weekend liberty when I'm home. John Hannon's is a M.P. on a pier in N.Y. My sister's boy friend is out on a trip. He expects to be home around April. He was somewhere around Austrailia as he states in one of his letters. He has been out about five months now. Really stepping. Dutch is still around. He is a good guy. I pray every night that they'll get Pollack but I'm afraid that's one prayer that will never get answered.

Full Transcript.
Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
Columbia Army Air Base, SC

At long last you got around to writeing me. Boy its about time. Now don't go giveing me any excuses. You haven't been going to school, so you have no excuse. You better get into the habit of answering soon Frank. I'm not fooling. Its a sure way of keeping friends. It makes no difference if you  have nothing to say. Just shoot a line of shit. People don't care what you say. Its just hearing from you that they want. This is just a little advice from my book: "How to write letters & loose friends."

So your comeing in! Well its sort of a shock & a plesent surprise all at once. I was sorta hopeing you would stay home. Your going to break Mom's heart, you know that don't you. But you "dooded it" so there is no sence in crying now. All I can say is: the best of luck to you Frank. Ya know, I've always look at you as my kid brother, not looking down on you, mind you. Looking up to you would be more like it. You always had such poise & finess, (slippery ass McCue). I guess it was your brains & will power that I envied most. Gee I wish I had gotten a decent education. But now that you are becomeing one of us, well at last we are on the same level.

For a short while anyhow, I guess it won't be long till your above me though. By God, if you don't get to the top, & fast, I'll come home & punch you silly.

Soy Jay Olive is going in the Marines. Good for him. Sure I know the "dish" Frank. Thats a little "Filly" that lives on Narrows Ave. Some "dish" huh!

I'm not sure who wrote last. Gene or I. But if I'm not too tired when I finish, I'll drop him a line. I've been on Guard all this week, Grave yard shift, 12:30 till 6:30. We have 18 hours off after each shift. But you can't get much sleep in a barracks like this. You did some nice work on thoes pictures Frank, but is it possible that there is dust on the lens. It looks a little cloudy.

Tell Mom that Aunty wrote & sent me a dollar. I also got her letter the other day, but I guess she has my last letter by now. Frank tell Mom I got a cartoon of "butts" from: Julius Aderer, Inc. 115 @ 45th St. N.Y. Who the hell he is I don't know. I guess some one gave him my name. I'll have to write him & find out how come he knows me. Frank is Dot sick, or dead. I have written her 3 letters & have not heard from her once. Tell Mom that I haven't written Mr. Lovett either, because of Guard. But I'll get around to it as soon as possible.

Well Frank, by the time you get set in this Army, I'll be in combat. We'll be leaving here some time in March. I've made out all my paper's & I expect to get my over seas clothes some time next week. I'm to get Staff Sgt. as soon as I get to my P.O.E. So tell Mom I'll be sending home about $100 or $115 per month as soon as my rateing comes through. That won't be till some time in May.

Well sojer, I'm tired, so I'll hit my "fart sack" (bed) again. Bye now & all the luck in the world to you Frank. Just keep your mouth shut, your bowels open & don't volunteer for anything. Your brother



Columbia Army Air Base Letterhead.

Full Transcript.
Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Postcard
Camp Davis, NC

Yesterday rec'ved your 3-day letter, & learned that you start your rapid rise to a commission Mar. 9th. Won't be able to get out a letter to you before that time, so am writing via postcard. We have finished the 1st 6 weeks of primary basic. Am going to radio school for the remaining 6 wks. 8 hrs. per day, living & eating @ barracks, but no more details, K.P., & such annoyances. Haven't any free time worth mentioning, except Sundays. Teaching us telegraphy, radio voice & telegraph procedure, & the workings of the various superb transmitters & rec'vers that the Army uses. Will be pastime, not work, to be in radio. Will probably find time in near future to write fully. Meanwhile, let me know when you get into, & out of, Upton. Good Luck! - AR (end of transmission & standing by)

Full Transcript.
Kampf, Gladys & Bill
Shields, Frank Card

"To the best darn Soldier"

Date is inferred from nearby documents.
Brennan, Mrs. Frank
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank,

So sorry I will not bave the pleasure of seeing you before you leave for the Army on Tuesday next.

I want you to have the enclosed "Crucifix." I have not had it blessed, perhaps your Chaplin will bless it for you.

Frank told me your party was a delightful one. He enjoyed it so much.

Please be assured of our humble prayers at the Altar of God when prayers matter most.

Frank joins sending all good wishes. (God bless you)

Sincerely, Mary Agnes Brennan
Sunday, March 7, 1943

Crucifix and holder enclosed.

Full Transcript.
Brennan, Frank
Shields, Frank Card

Dear Frank,

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for your special intention by Ref. Father Edwin Kron C.S.P., a friend of mine.

As ever, Frank B.

Date estimated.
Full Transcript.
Shields, Frank Card

Various items that presumably were given to Frank at the going-away party. Cards from Ronnie, Vee & Betty; Al & Helen; Fel Kazalski; Gert & Charlie, John Collon,

Date estimated.
Kirwan, Margaret
Shields, Frank Postcard

205 Gelston Avenue,

Brooklyn. NY

March 9, 1943

Dear Fran,

I hope you arrived at camp okay. When I brought over these cigarettes you were gone. I thought that you would be their. I am going to Mass and communion for you and Joe. I am trying to be good as you said.

As ever. Write soon to me

Margaret K.

Full Transcript.
Collon, John
Shields, Frank Postcard

Dear Frank,

I spent a lot of time debating whether I should send a letter or only a card; as a result I haven't sent anything until now; and still only a card (obviously). Let me know if you'll be there where you are long enough to warrent a letter; but at least when you reach the permanent abode, inform me chop-chop and a letter will chop-chop be forthcoming. Your frequent attendance at "La Trine" interests me. Is it a salon or a nite-club flowing with golden wines? Why, Frank, I flush to think of it. Let me know when you commence to hate "l'armie", so I can say "I told you so"

John C.

Full Transcript.
Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Rec'd letter; no request for return letter; apologies for not writing; Merchant Marine dance; saw The Immortal Sergeant; Camp Croft looks like bus stop at Rye Park; brother Ed reclassified 1A; Don's hopes for Umpire school; in hot water

Kirwan, Dot
Shields, Frank Letter

Hope you don't get KP; "do you see Joe?" (evidently believes Frank and Joe in same Camp); no answer from Joe; "Unkel" Frank is sick; pair of "pagarmers" (pajamas?) with soldiers on it; saving thoughts for another letter; your loving "cosin"

Enclosed in Kate Kirwan's 4/8 letter to Frank
Kirwan, Kate
Shields, Frank Letter

All well except Tom, he's getting smaller for want of beer; Dot's (Kirwan) letter; she thinks Frank & Joe are in same camp; news of acquaintances; Chief here last night; party "stunk on ice": "Gert did not even get drunk"; "I'm not drunk"; letter all mixed up; took 2 weeks to write; 0 degree weather; Chief looked like a lobster

Kirwan, Jim
Gen & Chief Letter
Newport, RI

Storekeeper school in RI; it's tough; daily schedule; liberty; sleep in hammocks; how is everyone?; send addresses; ready for chow at any time

Enclosed in Gen's 04/09 letter to Frank
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

"Hope you make it"; "poor souls" get special attention; Mass at night; Susie's (Dot's) prospects?; basic ending; short basic for WAACs; mid-terms; Vee jittery about Latin; money; Chief and Tommy planning V Garden; Gen using Red Cross sessions as an excuse; leak in kitchen; Touhey's job troubles; Fel, Peg & Eileen plan to visit every other Sunday; Gen to make ice cream; Chief cussing in the kitchen

Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
Columbia Army Air base, SC

Send pic of yourself; Joe enclosed one of himself; war bonds; GI laundry loses items; Yank magazine; busted; living in town & renting car; letter from Fel; sold watch; goldbricking; "you're supposed to fuck the government"; Chief went off on bender when Joe left; Dot relayed info home that Joe thinks she shouldn't have; met John Darcey from 92nd St; scapular medal


Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Paycheck?; OCS for Dot; ships out 16th; Vee music training; which instrument?; Hill girls phoned; Kate & Tommy; Chief gardening; snow; Chief wouldn't tell Gen what he wrote to Frank; enclosing letter from Joe - return it; didn't upset me; Joe shipping out soon; Grandma behaving herself; Gladys arrived

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Usual hurried note; First Aid night; marksmanship; enclosing Dot's letter (return it); staying at Oglethorpe; Easter card from Joe; Hill girls sending $1 on Gen's advice, thank them; parish club kit; sending shorts & shirts soon; clipping Joe Sherman's brother?; Betty gave Gen chick for Easter, had to buy 3 more, all in living room; V Garden not planted, but beer drinking continues; Vee's report card

Clipping enclosed.
Collon, John
Shields, Frank Card

"Thinking of you at Easter"

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Telegram from Joe: he's on the move; Dot called, hoped to talk to Chief but he's working; pray for save arrival overseas; Dot happy in Army; money sent to Joe; Collon's writing; Touhey here tonight; 3rd can of beer; 4 chickens thriving; Stupe hides from chicken; started V Garden; furloughs; comment on Vee's report card; Joe & religion; Dot Keck engaged; did you get undies?

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Forwarding Joe's letter; per his request, not letting kids see it.  Not telling Fel either. Eileen is sick.  Joe's probably thrilled he's going overseas. Hill girls like your letter. Joe's a turret gunner. Not telling Felix's girl. If Joe goes to England, maybe he could contact Alfred Kirwan. Will continue to write Joe letters, but send them all at once.

Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Frank Letter

Rec'd letter; missed Dot at Easter; enclosing $1 for cig or candy; letter from Joe; wrote Alfred Kirwan; Richie Thornhill was home, his grandfather died; Ma (Kirwan) wishes to be remembered to Frank; praying for her grandchildren; did I write before?; will keep list; garden plans

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Frank's appendix; mad-house at Upton; Duffy; Shields boys not coddled; "your damn dog"; no offspring for Stupe; Dot awaiting instructions, dental work: private pay vs army dentist; Helen Aiken arriving; Alfred arriving Sat; 90 minutes to get some beef; Chief still home; scandal re Henderson at OPA; Chief "letting cusses out by the yard"; Ned Mildie to Upton soon; Gen's reaction to Frank's departure

Date is estimated based on Frank's duration at Camp Upton.
Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Card

"Hope you get a 'Kick' out o' this, Soldier"


This is likely a card given at Frank's going-away party.
OCR Enabled.
Acer, John Shields, Frank Card

"A Toast to you in the Service"; 2 poems by John Acer.

Date estimated.
OCR Enabled.
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

Monday 10:30 PM

Dear Frank:

Needless to say, I've just gotten up after a 2½ hour nap. Brother, this round of fond farewells has just about gotten me in shape for Saranac - or Bklyn State. So I'm loking forward to the Army where I can get some well needed rest - or am I kiddin'? At least I can lead a well-ordered life & brother is my physique yearnin' for that!!

My writing is solely in your behalf - 'cause my better judgement tells me that just as soon as Unk Semyou'll gets wind of this "missile" coming your way he'll rouse you at 4 AM and say, "let's get it on the road boys", and that is what you want isn't it?
Permutations and combinations are all against it, but wouldn't it be great if you headed south - someplace where we could get together & pan this whole outfit. Spent the week-end in Aries[?] (with Helen & Eileen) and got a look at some good Esso maps that Unk Dick filched someplace. Looks like I'm to be in Oglethorpe, a real one-horser, about 50 miles from Macon, the nearest city. And that's just about where Richie is stationed as an MP in the Air Corps:

Pvt R. E. T.
1129th MP Co. (AVN)
Robins Field
Warner Robins,

It's also about 250 miles from Joe but there seems to be plenty of air fields in Ga if he'd only get to them. Incidentally he was to go to the Bahamas on Thurs. with stop-over in West Palm Beach. Boy, he certainly is the khaki aristocrat in this family! And now I'm wondering if he's one of the crew of 7 from Columbia who had to take to their chutes over N.C. on Sat & let the plane crash & explode. What an experience!

The 3 bits of "do" at home this week:

  1. Chief cut his moustache - oh sad, sad, day.
  2. You got a vmail from Al Kirwan. Mother will forward.
  3. We are now just about 3 memories on a beautiful service flag 8"x12" [ drawing of service flag]
  4. I leave 10:30 PM Thurs from Penn. Sta.

So my next will be from camp - oh joy! Hope you're settled in the sunny south by then. Good luck & love.

Dot (A203711)

Mickey Rooney just rejected by Army!

Full Transcript.
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter


Dear Fan

It was good to hear from you tonight, but you should have reversed the charges. The letter you wrote on Thursday only came this morning. Mail sure slow at Upton. I forgot to tell you you had a letter from Alfred. I'm enclosing it and hope it doesn't go astray. I changed your shirt today and got size 14½ - by the way you're eating I probably should have left it a 15.  Do you want it sent when you reach a permanent post - when we get no mail we're hoping your gone. I hope you don't get stuck in that place too long. I got the insurance paper you sent. I got one of them for Joe June 2nd for the second 5,000 he took out but never received the policy. Guess I'll have to write the Veterans bureau. I should ahve been through by now. Sorry you got stuck with K.P. Joe never had any till he reached Columbia. He was only at Upton from Thursday to Saturday. Hear Connors was in for 72 hours but none of us saw him. His grandmother[?] told Betty he had 3 medals for sharp shooting.

Richie is at Robins Field, Warner Robins, Georgia. Dot says this is 50 miles from Oglethorpe. They said he refused Officer training to take M.P. at the airport. he thought this would be better. Sounds like a crackpot. The enclosed clipping was in Sunday's news. Don't think Joe was in it because he was supposed to be on his way back from the Bahama's on Sat. There is a lot of nice Irish names on Dot's list. She leaves at 10:30 Wed night from Penn station. Looks like she'll be traveling two days as her list calls for allowances for 6 meals. Thur train most likely will be hooked to a troop train. Wouldn't it be something if you could be on the same line of trans. No other news around here. Think Stupe misses you as he trys sleeping under every bed till around 3AM - then gets in with V and Ronnie. Gladys and Bill came over around 11PM Sat night thinking we'd be lonesome. Nice of them. They were asking for you.

I'll enclose Joe's last letter will you return it. Is Murphy and the other fellow still with you. I know Dot is wishing her initiation was over. Here's hoping your next letter will be from a permanent post. In a rush Fan as I have to go to Novena - Love from Mother.

Alfred Kirwan's 2/25/43 Vmail to Frank enclosed in envelope.

Full Transcript.
02/25/1943 Kirwan, Alfred
Shields, Frank Vmail

Was very glad to hear from you & glad to hear everyone is fine. Hope I bump into Joe, & if I do you can bet it will be more than a couple of beers we'll drink on you & Jimmy. Am going to write to Joe to-morrow nite. Tell your mother & father I was asking for them also Dot & the kids. How long has Richie Thornhill been in Officer's Training School? After I get back I think I'll move my bed into a place like Boyle's for a couple of weeks & I'm not kidding either. Fran you should hear some of the jokes they pull over here & they get away with it, also get paid. If Tommy was over here he'd make enough to retire on, he wouldn't even have to try to act. Is Gil in the Army? Tell Eileen I was asking for her also Gil. We get Jack Benny & Bob Hope on once in awhile, Sundays & Fridays. Well Fran guess I'll have to close, remember me to everyone & write soon. Tell Tommy & Kate I was asking for them.

Enclosed with Gen's 3/15/43 letter to Frank.

Full Transcript.
Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter

Monday 15, 1:30 PM
Dear Frank,

Congratulations, old boy. You took that K.P. like an old trooper. If you hadn't complained I would have know that you didn't like the army. But when you come through in veteran[?] style, I know they'll make a soldier out of you ..... some day!
I see you are liveing in Tent City. How do you like it. I haven't been in a tent yet. You are comeing in the hard way. But at least you are closer to the mess hall than I was. Don't let that K.P. get you down. I've only pulled it 1st. since I've been in. Pretty lucky huh! Another thing Pvt., (you don't mind if I call you pvt, do you, remember this is a Sgt. talking) don't let those "shots" get you down. You took yours a lot better than I did. I was one sick soldier for about 2 hours. Thoes first 3 are the worst. The rest hurt a little when they put that "horse juice" in you. But other wise there is nothing to them. I've had all of mine, 14 in all. I'm getting ready to start all over again. How do you like the "movies". Bit crude a what!! Here is a "Sad Sack", I thought you might enjoy. I went to school with Mike Burns, Frank Staley was six months behind me. Gil Eaton was just ahead of us wasn't he. This is at Grammar school I mean. Gene D. wrote me Frank he is at another camp now, but will be back at Davis soon.
I drew all my Air Corp. equipment Frank, so it won't be long till I take off in the "big hop." I hope its soon. I'll hand up now Frank. write soon, & stay on the ball. Bye now.
Love from the Sgt.

Joe +++

Show that to the boys [arrow pointing to "Love"]

"Keep 'Em Flying" letterhead.

Clipping enclosed.

Full Transcript.
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Tuesday March 16/43

Dear Fan,

Another quickie, have to leave for Red Cross in 20 minutes. Heres what I want to know - if you have all  your outfit why haven't I received your civies. I bought a wadrobe to put them into.

Mrs Mac called up today to see if you had a permanent post so El could send you the Readers Digest. Mrs Mac says Ned Mildie leaves on the 6:30 tomorrow night (Wed) for Upton. - he is Ruth's brother and El's cousin - Ruth worked in C.C. with Dot but is now in the Waves. He went to Villanova - try and look him up - Dot is down at Elenore's now - spent all day today in bed getting ready for her trip to Georgia. This will be her last opportunity for the duration to stay in bed. I planned on having steak and mushrooms for Dots last meal at home but I hear there is no steak to be bought.

I resumed[?] this morning so went around to the Visitation - was looking around for John but didn't see him. The "Chief" is still assing around the house. Guess he just don't feel like going back to work. Plan on going to Penn station tomorrow night with Dot and Eileen - that is if I'm let.

I got Joe's scarfs embroidered today - cost 2.00 but they look swell. That's how his money goes - 13.27 for scarfs - 2.00 for embroidery names - 15.27  - SOooo that means no money in the bank for him this payday.

Will have to say Bye now - its late

Love from mother

Write when you can.

Full Transcript.
Oussani, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter

Those at home look forward to mail from those in service; writing styles: emulates Gene Dembinski, John Collon & Joe(?); 3 sisters reaction to KP; bar-rag to revive Frank (joke); will take Collon to see the girls; exam pressure; St. Pat's parade from Church steps; Latin quote from Collon

Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Fled to phantom love: adventure; Mother Army; "nipple of regret"; Frank wrote very soon after joining; F's cool and shieldaic head; midterms & sickness: classroom & assroom; movies; Duffy's complaints; "happy high-school days"; Mrs Fee's class; describe your location; tasks for F's response.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Sending Betty to PO; enclosing money; lost $2 to Joe; sending parcel next week; will write again tonight; Chief to go back to work on 3/22: out 2 weeks.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Classification; Picture of Joe & Felix; Joe giving scarfs to officers; hopes they won't think him an A.K.; sent $5 earlier; Dot 24 hrs behind Frank; F. 90 mi. from Joe; Richie; Eileen, Chief & Gen saw Dot off; 30 hr trip;  draftees; shots; Beer with Chief & Grandpop; shoes for Grandpop; Henry Alfke(?) at Camp Dix; cost of fixing Ronnie & Vee's teeth; meat shortage; beef tongue; rationing 4/1; cost of veggies; cousins joining up(?): Grace, Edward; Anastasia & Ralph Bartel(?); IQ

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Scapulars; Joe not the Catholic Frank & Dot are; get $5?; Chief still home: "to hell with them"; called Roberson(?); letter from Dotty Kirwan, thinks Army one big family; not much news from Dot; letter from Dot Crowley, Frank should write to her; Gene Dembinski's thank you letter; parcel sent today

Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

No news from Collon or Oussani; won war yet?; washing dishes, mopping floor (joke); dinner at Fel's; visited Eileen's aunt; going away theater party; very funny show; Copacabana: Jimmy Durante, Ella Logan, Bill Corum, Artie Shaw; Frank Brennan impersonations; Volunteer work: nurses aid or staff assistant; sick on St. Pat's day; mail from Joe

Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Ft Fisher, NC

Basic training; radio operator course; no theory, only practical operations; Morse Code; 12 words/min required; communication procedures; 3 different radios to learn; code receiving; excused from day hikes; facilities at Ft. Fisher; newly constructed; southern accents

Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
Columbia Army Air Base, SC

We're close by; back from Chicago; drunk as lords; Ft Wayne; expect to be home overnight sometime; possible visit to see Frank or Dot; missed Fel's birthday; no time for mail, lot of travel; thanks for scapular


Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Letters arrive 2 at a time; all Gen's time spent writing letters; Dot's address, sounds discouraged; she needs a break; OCS; didn't get expected call from her; Joe writes faithfully; don't use airmail; no free mail for Dot; Bill Connors going to OCS, Gen thinks is bullshit; meat shortage; shopping yields eels and tomatoes and sore feet; price of chicken; butter rationed; rationing point system; meat takes a lot of points; Touhey arrived; Cordy asked for you; Peggy & Irene Busby

Acer, John Shields, Frank Letter

Glad you like army; Gene Dembinski; rain in SC; plenty of sun soon; gift useful; enjoy times together; farewell party; Mary Dolan; 3 sisters having a good time; heard from Joe or Dot?; brothers doing OK, but far apart; letters help mother; Uncle Sam will call for John soon

Tergesen, Ronnie Shields, Frank Letter

Haven't forgotten you; quiet at home; miss the noise & fights?; Chief listening to radio; Gen knitting; chicken dinner, but no beer; rationing; Gen obtained 10 lbs of fat; Eileen visiting; Gert Katz has new job; babysitting $.25/hr; can I use your shirt?; J Ledi from St. Mike's left for Upton; NY tomorrow; miss your help with Latin & Math; send Jack a card; Bobbie Katz says "hello"

Moran, Eileen
Shields, Frank Letter

Spartanburg in 1917; moonshiners; visited to 87th St on 3/28; didn't recognize area; stories from Gen & Chief: Joe's scalping at age 4, day J&F went missing for 3 hours; Frank following German band; Ronnie's birthday; visited Dembinski's; Vince; KofC dance; don't fall for Southern dames

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Don't waste money on airmail; sorry you're not feeling well; see a Dr.; have your feet looked at; get sleep; sent cough medicine; don't let it get you down; try not to worry; shouldn't have to take exams after getting shots; Dot phoned; is Camp Croft a dump?; Gertie started job; Gene ? had stroke; Chief has a new boss; saw Fel, Peggy & Eileen; Chief told them stories about you & Joe; expect some razzing; sending another $5; sent pkg to Dot; "haven't prayed so much in my whole life"

Katz, Charlie
Shields, Frank Letter

Enclosing 2 clippings about Giants and Dodgers; comparing the two columns: Dodgers don't get no respect; Gertie has job as comptometer operator; Chief planning V Garden; Army life; hikes; OCS; Gil's weight; furlough

Two baseball columns enclosed.
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Glad Frank was able to take exam; offered mass; communion; Gladys' letter; advanced 1st Aid class for Gen; MD is the one who treated Joe after scalp sewn back on; Sgt Monahan called at Joe's request; also called Felix's girl; Joe might come to NY soon; Gen requested Joe visit Frank; no word from Dot; hope Joe can visit her; Camp Croft seems nice; cough meds; Jimmy K's address; Mrs. Troy called

Oussani, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter
Vmail form

Using Vmail; Frank's writing style similar to Bro. Joachim's; Frank in SC is near Gene, Joe & Dot; saw J. Collon; Duffy's solo flight; F Brennan: job as special investigator; Latin quote and translation; heard from Gene

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Fel's hysterics re Frank's KP duty; birthday card; visit to Dembinski's; talked about Gene, Duffy & Collon; Cosgroves restaurant; 87th St; Gen and Eileen Touhey left; entertained by Chief; Betty arrived, Ronnie left with Jack; stories of Joe & Frank: lit matches out window; set fire to excelsior(?); German street band; homemade ice cream; kids fine; Ronnie pretty; Vee's schooling; Betty lively; Chief's pet names; Stupe; Chief leaning from upstairs window; stayed at Eileen's; F's cough

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Dot, Joe & Frank must have Army blood; Gladys rcv'd F's letter; taking advanced first aid; confused writing to 3 soldiers; Collon's letter; saving letters; beer at night; Chief home cold sober on payday; Boyles for beer; Touhey house warming; Jackie Meyers drafted; Dora is getting worse, insists Grandpop is someone else; rational on all other subjects; Dora gave wrong info on Dot to Grandpop; lonely?; cough medicine & $5?; air mail; communion for exam results

Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Frank Envelope

Letter is missing.
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Surfeit of letters, can't keep up; only Card from Dot; shots; reading between lines; not worrying; growler every night; Chief cussing: shortchanged on beer?; Spartanburg; exam results?; Touhey beer party: Kampfs, Kirwans, Katz's and Shields present; arrived 11PM; Tommy as usual, Gil pain in the ass; left 2:15, still beer left; don't desert: can't feed you; cost of food; Cordy & Hill Girls

Clipping enclosed, poem: "On Guard"
Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Misbehaving; writing on company time; desk moved without notice; unemployment benefits; visit to 87th St; Dembinski visit; finding the house; very interesting visit with Chief; be nice to us; USO clubs; "sweet young things" vs "SC sirens"; jokes

Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter

Not much to say; flying over Croft; crap games; sorry, can't send you money; How come only $10 left?; don't buy shit you don't need; insurance; war bonds; plane crashed, 2 buddies killed; not Felix; haven't heard from Fel; bought her birthday present, but may not send it; KP; lean how to goldbrick yet?


Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

"Victory Gardeners" want to get together for a beer; can't write with talking machine [Tommy] around; marksmanship; Catholic College when done; cold here; V Garden going to dogs; pay; cost of socks; get Radio Replies?; Joe says going overseas soon; Dot finishes basic today; 3 sisters noshow on Sunday; Easter; showing off; Ane has a phone; Richie home, going to England; says Camp Croft is swell; Stupe to blame for litter; Easter present from Betty: baby chick; buying 2 more; eggs soon

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

"I'm a stinker"; giving blood; low blood pressure; collapsed after 350 cc's; out of work 2 days; Peg also gave, feels fine; Eileen goes 5/1; trip to Phila.; cousin graduated; speech by Frank Whitmore; human cube; train trip back; singing; Song list; Easter pageant at Radio City; we miss you; drying dishes

Hill, Etta
Shields, Frank Letter

"Happy Easter"; keeping in touch through Gen; some money for beer; picked lots for who to write; Ann picked Joe, hope he won't die of shock

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Good Frank couldn't go to Columbia: Joe was in FL; picture of Dot in Eagle; looks awful; pic of 13th Co WAACs; for her in later years; Stupe getting lazy; 6 years old on 5/6/43; sleeps with Vee and Betty; scared of chicks; bombers; Joe left from FL; may have gone thru S. America; Alfred Kirwan; kids shocked at Army term for payday;  Chief at Boyles on payday for 4 hrs; going to movie

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

V. Garden a flop; planted too early; start again: corn, beets, peppers, celery, lettuce, eggplant; Gert & Charlie here with 1/2 gal to celebrate Stupe's birthday; anything for a beer; Gert had to stay home from work; long letter from Dot; mother's day present; Gen wishes she spent the money on herself; Joe's new address; Joe and Felix left separately; bombers to England; write to Joe

Shields, Joe Shields, Gen Letter

May not write for a while; write and maybe letters will get here; Phil (Felix) and Joe didn't ship out together; likely meet "over there"; stopped in S. America; met fellow from Metal Trades and another from 76th St; met gunnery school friends; "old home week"; next stop somewhere in Africa; Fel

Gen typed copy of Joe's letter to her for distribution. Included in Gen's 5/18 letter to Frank
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Rushing to Red Cross; write to Joe; sent copy to Dot; did you get money order?

Includes Gen's typed copy of Joe's 5/12/43 letter to her.
Sister Kathleen Dolores
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Medical issues since arriving in FL; Msgr Hickey died; letter from Sister Frances Dolores; Dot's graduation (HS?); Florida weather and flora; lonesome; sun-baths; Sr Joan Bernadette; Helen has boyfriend; How is family; how Fran has grown; Leo's baby not doing well; soon to draft married men?; Sr Louis Beatrand?; recall cleaning her classroom; Red Hook; Love to Gen, Chief & kids

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Even Fel can't understand her letters; not busy; Fel's 19th birthday; party day before with Peg, Eileen, Aunt Ella and Jack; presents; co-worker's presents and their meaning; chambermaids

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Frank at Camp Croft; address & distance from Dot & Joe; left 24 hours before you; Dot Crowley & Ruth Mildie; Joe writing faithfully; scarfs; Miss White phoned; Gen's busy schedule; shopping for meat; will call Red Hook; Touhey here overnight; need to write Joe, Auntie & Ane; Chief home; ready to retire?; mustache; visits from Larry?, Gladys, Tommy & Kate, Touhey; E. Dembinski's letter;  Etta [Hill] called; waiting for Dot's call; First Aid class with Gladys; taught by Dr who took care of Joe; OCS; patriotic Shieldses

White, Catherine
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Can't picture Dot up at 5AM; Gen & I practically bosom buddies; Gen read letters to CW and Foxie; proud of her three children; contest on describing the life of the WAAC; Eileen called; bathroom humor; miss Dot & her accessory items; Office personnel issues

Pelletier, Dot Vmail

Congratulations; news of Dot's assignment; Lots of Luck; was in Hospital: from ship to Ambulance; under control now; In England; seen a bit of London

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter

Always wanted to know how to fix a radio; fire carbine tomorrow; dog-tired tonight

Incomplete letter, only bottom 1/3 of a page. Date estimated
Pelletier, Dot Self

News Bulletin of the Employees Association of Catholic Charities; Dot's name mentioned in the "In Service" section; "Foxie" mentioned.

"Ruth Milde" is likely "Ruth Mildie": see Gen's 4/7/43 letter to Frank
Fox, L.C.
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Familiar stationery; Dot's weight; Dot's letter to Gen; old place ain't the same; oatmeal and worms?; sore throat; shots; strawberry plant; Miss White wrote; how are the boys?

Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Joe thinks I'm ready to quit thanks to Gen; can't we gripe?; shots, double vs triple typhoid, tetanus; Interior Guard Duty; feet; KP; bayonet practice; signed payroll; Mass in the Army; confession; saving all my mail: interesting reading after the war

Chief Pelletier, Dot Letter

"Forgotten man"; all letters to "Dear Mom"; joshing; Chief reads and re-reads every letter; orderly house after war; Office moved to 18th Ave; PS134; boss had stroke; Dora's delusions about Grandpop; he hangs out in cellar; other delusions; Chief at a loss; visits from Charles & Gerty, Gladys & Bill; things not what they used to be; beer fest at Touhey's; enjoyable until Gil yelled at Tommy; left shortly after; bought pint at Boyles with Grandpop; everything fine with Dora now; planting garden and have chickens; clipping of WAACS on parade in Africa

clipping not found.
Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
Columbia Air Force Base, SC

Often go to Jacksonville to get gas; Flew in plane 61 on Sunday, different plane on Monday; met new crew of 61 at Jack; know some of the guys; planes flew back, but 61 didn't show; forced landing near Savanna, GA; 4 bodies recovered; need to wait for remainder; gunner married a month ago; knowing what can happen & still go on: that's what makes Air Force; Joe last one to talk to crew; 10 hours sooner, it would have been Joe; don't mention to folks; leaving end of April?; passes; NY trip is off; sending a few bucks; will try to send more


Crash may not have been fatal. See description of accident on 04/04/1943. 376th Bomb squadron, like 377th, based at Columbia AFB.
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Can't keep up with mail; don't write every day; I'd raise hell if you three were here; you misunderstand my letters; Joe write that Gen had him down and that Chief might brood and go on a drunk; He's never been better, but now wants to know what I've been writing; Frank's weight; Chief thin until after prohibition; no more nonsense; compulsory military training for boys & girls; weather; Ned Mildie

Fox, L.C.
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sissies in army?; severe discipline will make a man out of you; sometimes can't spell; exchanging mail with Frank & Joe; Gen's not worrying; Dot's lack of interest in job at Catholic Charities (CC); Army duties, want details; communion

Signed "Loretta", but style is same as that signed as "Foxie". See #0344.
Sister Kathleen Dolores Pelletier, Dot Letter

Damn Irish reserve; express ourselves better on paper; trust Dot implicitly; integrity; let me know what I can do for you; Gen in good spirits, busy being clearing house for 3 of you; may not see you on furlough; happenings at CC in Red Hook; miss you a great deal; writing paper

Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
Columbia, SC

Forgotten me?; present; week more of training; only Mom writes me; no word from Fel in 3 weeks; bought her $50 watch, sold it to Felix; don't like people to tell me how to spend my dough; plane crash: we're taking that crew's place; on alert for shipment; pen vs pencil; where are you going?; drop me a line


Troy, Ruth
Pelletier, Dot Postcard

How is Army life; how do you like getting up so early?; we used to live in Atlanta, loved it; write when you have time.

Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

OCS; Marguerite Godfrey is back; Touhey protested her assignment; looking for another job; had to cool off before writing; Gen "s.o.b.'ed" the whole outfit; may work out for the best; kids taking exams & Chief's mustache has grown back in; Gen doing OK; recall Mary Murphy? ... she had a baby; will be glad to leave; when will you be back?

Appears to be written of form used by CC
Sister Kathleen Dolores
Pelletier, Dot Card

"Happy Easter"

[Unknown], Tony
Pelletier, Dot Letter

What do you think of Army?; good place to be; taken off alert, will be here another month; tell me about yourself & your work; field (Airfield) operating full blast; sent more crews to combat than any other group; losing plenty; two folded up, most saved; five burned to death, seven injured; heard from Red and the gang?; restricted for two weeks; only water to drink here; write soon; 480th Squadron; send photos

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Pulling out; orders from Lt;  air conditioned Pullman; traveling with Whalen, Shelten, Wood, Soles, Williams, Dolly & Judy; going forward and backward; cars being added; arrive TX next morn; donkeys; Stevenson, AL; cotton; swamp; Whalen thinks Dot is cute; brown bag lunch; joke about "chocolate babies"; Sheffield, AL; Dolly caused accident; Corinth MS; Memphis; lower berth; dinner in locked room; Texarcana, TX; trees; Commerce is dry town

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Postcard

"Girls' Dormitory, East Texas State Teachers College, Commerce, Texas"; This is where I live; two meals I've had are delicious; get 14 books tomorrow

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Classes; clothes alterations & cleaning; instructors are men; new PX; Mess; marching; additional courses of I wanna go home; bunk beds; course schedule & books; pinball machines; drill

Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Croft, SC

FDR at Ft Oglethorpe ; aftereffects of getting drunk on 3.2 beer; latrines; Pass policy at Camp Croft; possibility of Dot visiting; payday; sending money order home; "close as brothers" but bound to be separated; Auntie & Etta Hill's letters; may not see each other till after war; ASTP news; laundry; radio

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Dot's vocabulary; Baptist church; College Pres. welcome to Commerce, TX; drawing of room; sent to field after course; new uniforms; seems like home; farmers in town; Sgt says course requires study; beer 20 miles away; breakfast in room; No beer and no coke; Left two boys waiting on steps

Tergesen, Ronnie Pelletier, Dot Letter

Easter outfit; clothes shopping; colors & styles limited; Gen's new hat; Gert borrowing clothes; Easter day; mass with Jack; met his parents; Jack now visits 87th St.; teaching Ronnie to dance; came for dinner; went to NY to pay bills; going to see Harry James tomorrow; Coney Island; please write Jack; Ronnie cooked dinner; Air Raid;  Chief's V. Garden; miss you & your yelling; miss Frank; house is clean

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Chief slept through Random Harvest; Boyles with Gert & Charlie; Chief broke, so can of beer with Gen & Vee; Ronnie & Vee grades; Strike; Father Sherman's first mass; Joe Sherman up from Cuba; Pollack going in; mail to Joe being forwarded?; Air Raid; description of St. Agnes' church; thrilling to witness such a scene; Cordy's concerns about marriage;  one chicken died

Katz, Gertie
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Bobby Katz; working late; only see Bobby for a little while; pictures of Vee & Bobby; Bobby pics out Dot's picture in Brooklyn Eagle; send pic of you in uniform

[Unknown], Florence
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Wanted to get you something; perfume, Reader's Digest, Daily News?; tell me what you want; Eileen from CC is thinking of leaving; wisdom teeth ache; skis in Howard B's office; afraid Gen will ask about skis; will replace; dating a friend; hope to hear Dot tell Joe to turn off radio again; no word from Betty

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Rec'd money order; saving for college; Will buy 1/8 keg if Chief insists, but will bank rest; enjoyed Dot's letter to you; she doesn't write often enough; have to replant V. Garden; chicken died; Chief set up brooder; potatoes unavailable; No beef or chicken, only lamb & veal; price of vegetables; Gertie working, Charlie shopping; Gertie's salary; no jelly beans or Easter bunnies;  financial woes

Hill, Etta
Shields, Frank Letter

Letter read by many; boy vs man; Frank's girl friends; everything seems OK with Gen & Family; Easter Parade not outstanding; weather was good; keep up marksmanship; typed vs writing; write when you can

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Rec'd money order; long-winded; where money goes; Touhey; Ane's new phone; Frank couldn't get to see Joe at Easter; F wanted jelly beans; bills too high, no more credit; El is doing fine;Miss Millard at CC; Nursing Home for El; Mrs Barbino's daughter; Joe Sherman; St. Agnes' church; Air Raid; "little bitch"; Gertie's pay; issue with Ronnie & Jack; R failed classes; St. Francis Xavier, Vee did well there; V. Garden; finishing First Aid; Cordy's marriage concerns; Cordelia & Benny; How's my pic?; Ruth Mildie; Dot Crowley?; Finley Strauss (store?) called, sending them money; Frank sent money; prior agreement to save, but Chief wants 1/8 keg

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Pay; first lesson in classification; shame you aren't here; miss Oglethorpe; problems on parade; skipped mess; penalty for not signing out; OCS; marching to class; list of class topics?; will write Salerno soon; sending pic

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Alone; last letter a masterpiece; Gert's behavior; everyone likes reading Shields's mail; Lookout Mt trip; must like Army life, Aiken doesn't; magic wishes; recalls "all the good times", beer parties; Gert and Charlie over to celebrate Stupe's birthday; partied late, Gert missed work; steak sandwiches a memory; cost of apples; walnut-sized potatoes; reminiscent of prohibition; beautiful present; will monogram it; Joe's new address; Marie Allen had letter from Felix; Joe left 4/25; US sent bombers to England, maybe Joe flew; Dot Kirwan confirmation

Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Card
Ft Oglethorpe, GA

Mother's Day card to both Gen & Chief; lucky to have drawn such a Mother & Dad

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Nights on which Gen goes out; now only one night/week; night school for typing?; maybe defense job; lots of ads for typists; been 27 years; V. Garden progress; Bill Kampf razzed Chief, but stayed to watch; Clarence Keck now starting one; Tommy's garden; Ane's visit; Richie on move; hear from Eugene?; 3 sisters haven't been out; Gil home often; weather; Chief didn't demand 1/8 keg, but "he gets it out of you in dribs and drabs"; beer purchases; Gen gets stung for all beer money; Jackie Meyers new car; picture of Gen; Mother's day messages; Gen's assessment of how she has done as a mother

Kampf, Gladys
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Two letters; visited 87th St last night; beautiful compact Dot sent Gen; lovely card; Gen pleased; Frank's letter to Gen; visit to Greenwood Cemetery; thorn in finger: ignored it, infected; Gen fixed it up; Chief's story about Tommy's finger; fine now

Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Pictures are good; weekend pass; Spartanburg has bus and train station; can't meet halfway; no word on ASTP;  lowered requirements; cost of necessities, including cigarettes; Guest House on post; cameras not allowed on post; store at USO; doing things the Army way; Frank's weight up; beer party in mess hall; 3.2 beer leaves nasty taste; took beer to barracks and shot shit with Lt. Ginter; lack of nice girls; went to Episcopal USO dance; spoke & danced with a girl; will check out Catholic USO dance; plans for Dot's visit in June; no handsome unmarried men Dot's age

Kampf, Gladys
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Eileen & Billy had measles; first aid class; Eileen Touhey's step-mother stung in store; deserves it for being mean to Eileen; cold weather; visit with Gen to Eileen's apartment; 1/4 barrel of beer; nice time; missed 3 Shields kids

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Touhey got your letter; left it with Catherine White; mention Bobby's pic to Gertie; article about WAACs; Fel got Dot's letter; expect 3 sisters; write May Hill; Frank writes Etta ; they pass around his letters; show them what you can do; call from your friend; Gladys & Bill; 2 chicks fine; one sick; some beans growing; Dora's delusions about Grandpop sneaking around with women; Chief says due to lunar phase; full story of Eileen Touhey's accident; cover-up of involvement by driver, Father Swanstrom; edited story told to Gil; John helped fix up Eileen's face

Kirwan, Helen
Shields, Gen Letter

Invitation to house on Hitchcock Lake; send Dot & Joe's addresses; Jimmy in Newport, Alfred in England; Al & Helen's work hours

Date is inferred from nearby files.
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Three weeks without writing; proper mood required; Gene D., Joe & Frank; no time to delve into news of 3 sisters; visiting 87th St tonight; postscript thoughts

Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Brennan, Joe O. & JC visited 3 sisters; had a good time; read poetry; Duffy; dry-shooting; learned Joe was overseas; prayer; monologue on war; Duffy's traits; Brennan's deferment; Gene now PFC; saw Slightly Dangerous.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Three sisters' visit; will take Ronnie, Vee & Betty to dinner & a show; claim to be poor writers; Brennan, Oussani and Collon news; Helen found house; invited Gen, can't afford to go; Auntie has a Frigidaire; Etta Hill's praises for Frank; Touhey's scars and accident; Cop, driver & intern all Catholics, so no publicity; Ronnie's pics; Chief looks like prospector; Touhey's afraid to go back to office; Tommy having 1/8 keg tonight

Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, NC

Radio operator with no radios; also work as linemen; need to appear busy, otherwise will have to march; possible furlough; ASTP test: qualified, but nothing further; lots of waiting; have you gone on bivouac yet?; full description of bivouac process, including setup, standing watch, dealing with insects & rain

Reader's Digest


Army, Navy & Marine Corps Insignia; supplement to March, 1943 Reader's Digest

OCR Enabled.
Dembinski, Eugene
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Davis, NC

First letter; How the hell are you?; address from Frank; Coast Artillery, AA unit; radio school; lack of radios; German vs British short-wave broadcasts; help with telephone comms; same training as gun crews; life easier after basic; ASTP; waiting

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Postcard

Picture of Lake Roebuck; spent weekend in Hugo OK; drank; soldiers 6 ft deep, only 6 WAACs; wonderful time, will write

Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Commerce, TX

Graduate June 17th, then into field; enclosing pic; can't finish letter if I have to take notes; Weekend trip to Hugo, OK; found hotel; mobbed by soldiers: 6 WAACs and 1000 soldiers; gallons of beer; horse & buggy; knocks on door all night; Mgr called MPs; looked under beds for soldiers; we laughed all night; problems getting back; slept through classes; need to study

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Joe's letter?; Marie's mother: no word from Felix; Joe met up with people he knew; Shields' lucky so far; May Hill got your letter; Touhey called, stitches are out; went to work, used alibi; McDonald had an accident; picture is swell, but you look fat; sending Frank his camera; Angelina visited, Richie's glasses; no word from him; Alfred getting xrays; news from Ane; green undies for GIs; writing paper from Mrs. Garrison; dieting on furlough; spuds $.10/lb; chip-in (beer party) at Tommy's with Katz, Kirwans, Shields & Kampfs; brought 2 drunk soldiers home for coffee at 3AM; lent hat to Gertie, feather missing; Ronnie picked it out; Gen's rheumatism; Vee to babysit at Gertie's; Touhey may visit; Gen to give up alcohol

Kirwan, Helen
Shields, Frank Letter

Should have written; Joe went across; hope he meets Alfred, in school in London; moved 2 weeks ago; too bad boys aren't home; invited Gen; Al working 6 nights, 12 hrs per night; only have Sun off; Jimmy home on Easter; never hear from Wilton; enclosing $2

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Questions about Fel answered in earlier mail; Joe's letter; John Collon; heard from Sherman?; Alfred doesn't feel well, getting Xrays; Etta: he's working too hard to pile up money; Gen told Chief she's swearing off; party till 5AM, then 5:30 Mass; rheumatism result; missed Mass this AM; Connors and Johnny Russell; sending camera; film; Dot's weight; garden; price of potatoes; Etta opinion on Wops, Germans & Nips; wish you & Dot could get furlough together here

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Letters crossing; Joe phoned Monday; Joe's arm: left vs right; Mrs Donnelly's operation; sorry to hear you feel punk; put on 10 lbs since Joe home; Frank home tomorrow; Peg to meet him here; he's broke, will Tommy have beer?; Kathy(?) signed up; Gotta get a job; Good Conduct Medal; losing things; new WAC uniform; Betty didn't make Bishop; registered letter: thanks wouldn't cover what I feel; cried  for the love that prompted sending $5; was always crabbing, not like Ma Kirwan; gave $5 to Ronnie to hold; many possibilities for spending it; Vee started working at 5&Dime; forged papers for 18; thinks she'll quit after 2 days; going to Gelston Ave for dress fitting; no car (no tires) for past 2 weeks; waiting for Ration Board

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Dot in Army 2 months; Dot sure looks fat; 1/4 party at Tommy's with Gladys & Bill, Ray & Ella; picked up 2 pickled soldiers at 3:30 AM, brought them home; left at 5:00; went to 5:30 mass; loaned new hat to Gertie: feather went missing; damn beer parties; Touhey went to work today; Gene Lovett had stroke; Pricoli's bought house; not certain Jackie Meyers is gone; called Royal; Roberson is away but they wanted to send Joe a package; no overseas packages; will send money order instead; only 2 chicks now, but they're healthy; probably roosters; saw WAAC who knows Dot

Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

Where's Joe?; rcv'd 3 day letter; wish we could be home; negotiations for furlough days; furlough approval process; train schedules; reserve Guest house for June 4-6; should arrive 6pm on Friday; can get dinner; khakis vs Class A uniform; can't bring Roche a gal; like to meet guy my age; too old after war; could supply you all with "Rationed Stuff" if 100 miles closer; nice girls in WAAC; shame you guys can't take advantage of them; Ned Mildie; Touhey's accident

Duffy, John Shields, Frank Letter
Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Frank,
I am terribly sorry that I haven't written to you sooner but to tell the truth I lost your address & I just got it again.

Well how do you find army life. I guess it's a bit disgusting & inefficient but you'll like it as time goes by. The basic part as you must know now is by far the hardest schedule in army life. I am glad to hear you qualified for OCS - if you didn't I don't know who could. I qualified also but it doesn't mean anything to me.

Well here at Pitt everything is fine. My dad & mother were out to see me a couple of weeks ago and that certainly made me happy. I fly in a week & a half or so then on to Nashville in about a month. After classification there we find out what we will do. My studies here at school are physics and math - two rather difficult subjects but with God's help I will make out okay.

Eug I see is now a 1st class private. John's deferment is up so soon he may be going. My cousin is getting ready to go overseas. Well Frank let me hear from you soon. With the best personal regards I remain,

 A true friend
Johnnie D. a/c

Full Transcript.
Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Past month one GD mess after another; hemstitching in my puss; party for Fr Masculis; Fr Swanstrom suggested going to Stevens; Fr. S drunk at 3AM, but wanted to take a ride; went with him; dropped some off; crash; Fr S's language; I was very bloody; gave false names at Emergency room; Fr S. broken nose & 4 inch cut on knee; cut missed my eye; Fr S took me home; called for Gen next day; Dr. Lefter came; now back at work; good you weren't here; MacDonald wrecked his car; scandal if details known; Helen McKeon to be married; her father died; Joe safe in South America en route to Africa

Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Card; little chicken at 87th St; family passed chicken from hand to hand keeping it warm; chicken had diarrhea; rumors at CC; job search; 2 jokes: Non-PC and raunchy; all OK with your family; Joe might go over soon; call Gen almost daily; she got a new permanent; several paragraphs from former co-workers

Date deduced from letter contents.
Hill, May
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Talked to Gen; "military secret"; sending money to buy an Easter present; drew names; Ann drew Joe; Joe may not know who she is, but he can use the $2 anyway; don't worry about acknowledgement; send a card when you can

Date deduced from letter contents.
Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

At 87th St; Missed your call; baby chicks; Stupe and I pals: both afraid of the chickens; Gen & I sipping beer; split-up with Shaw; we'd be friends; 2 odd jokes; Personnel issues at CC; happily married; get married, then fall in love; read between the lines; sentimental chatter; will add: I love you very much; best friend; swell memories; devoted friend

Date deduced from letter contents.
Kampf, Gladys
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Forgive you for not writing; heard all the news from Gen; assignment already; Gen & I don't stop at Boyles anymore; Chief brings back can full to brim; pours it into glasses: it's beer!; homemade bread & butter or cheese; we read all the letters from  you & Frank & Joe; Billy & Eileen had measles; First Aid class; test; invited to church kitchen; Gen will tell you.

Date deduced from letter contents.
Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Might be late meeting you at station; will make reservation; inspections; bed-checks; you will be a curiosity; only seen one WAAC; Ned Mildie; bought rum last night with guys; found a restaurant and surreptitiously added it to our cokes;  too tired to dance; not drunk, just feeling high; don't tell mom; when you get here, we'll share a fifth; news about where I go after basic training

Moran, Eileen
Shields, Frank Letter

Start letters, but tear them up; guilty of being a louse; hope you don't think too bad of me; we think of you guys a lot; visited house last week; miss the "crowd", but still having a good time; home isn't home without the guys who belong there; "Boys from Bay Ridge" and their swell songs

On back of envelope appears to be a list of people to whom Frank needs to write
Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Bill from Manufacturers Trust; Touhey owes me so she doesn't have any money; can't do both your A.S. bill and M.T.; Chief's promises; payday means he probably won't be home till 9PM; sending package; Benny's first communion

Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter

Wednesday, 24 May 1944 11:30

Dear Dot,

Writing this letter in class, when I'm supposed to be studying, is strictly "verboten." But I'm just about finished with a "Switchboard Circuits" course, & have only a 4 hr. final exam to take before I go on to the next course. There's only an hour left in today's school session, so I figure that instead of falling asleep & getting gigged, I'd better start this letter. At least then I can keep an eye open for prowling instructors.

Basically, I suppose, there's no real reason for this letter except that I owe you one. There's no news, as usual, of exciting interest, nor even an S.O.P. that I could bat the breeze about for some few pages. The only recourse, then, is to ramble, knowing that, even though I may believe that what I am writing is boring, you, at least, will find something to think about in it.

This morning I discovered that I'm due to ship out of this joint on or immediately after the 22nd of July. I understand that I won't be taking more than half the subcourses normally given a repeaterman while he's in school. That, of course, is unfortunate, since it will not furnish me with many of the things (practical & theoretical) that I felt would be of assistance to me in seeking a job after the war. At any rate, however, I am glad for the opportunity that has been given me to go even this far in the Signal Corps, and am pleased to feel that this sudden reduction in the time I'm scheduled to be in school is not a reflection on my ability to absorb the material they've been presenting in these courses. True, I've made some mistakes and not understood thoroughly the aspects of some of this stuff, but in the long run I feel that, thanks to God, I've done better than I had expected to.

The reason advanced to me for this halving of our course is that they're already making up our teams in Camp Wood (just down the road from here). And they need us for those teams on or about the 22nd of July. Without too much deep thought it seems to shape up that they're going to need a lot of Signal men to handle communications on the continent right after the Allies have consolidated their positions along the coast of France or Belgium or Norway, or wherever the invasion takes place. Intelligent planning, or rambling speculation, - either of these two seem to indicate I'm in for a boat ride before another winter sets in. I can make no predictions as to the probably date or even month of this occurrence, and consider it fortunate that such is the case. For tongues are loose, and ears are plentiful, and the enemy strikes quickly. In a way, it's better to live for the present and let tomorrow take care of itself.


I have here 2 letters from you - one I received today, & the other came a few days ago after being rerouted over half the states from Crowder. I'm going to hold on to both of them, 'cause they both seem to express the deepest of your thoughts & emotions. I am embarrassed at your rather high estimate of me - and self-conscious about it too, since it places a burden of responsibility & a greater fear of failure upon me. It is that same self-consciousness that, thru the years, has had more to do with my "success" than any talents I may posess. For it has forced me at times to pursue a rather withering course of perseverance, since even a minor failure unfailingly mirrored itself as a major disaster. But God alone, thru the Holy Spirit, is responsible for any talents and perseverance I have posessed. At occasional times I remember to thank Him for his gifts, but I would owe you a spiritual debt were you to tank Him in your next Mass for the patience and kindness He has displayed in my favor. I only wish my moral life were worthy enough of expressing all the gratitude I owe. But it isn't.

I am pleased that you did not permit my brother to endow you for any protracted period with a jittery stomach and a weary heart. I have thought, at times, that I was fickle, but did not imagine that the fault was apparent to others. In this instance, however, I feel secure in the knowlege that he is wrong in his opinion. I wish more every day that i were in a position to be married. And I have periodic ideas on revamping my post-war plans to sooner accomplish that end. And now that I have mentioned Joe, I must tell you that I wrote to him last night and earnestly advised him to DO IT NOW. His indecision & fears will get him no place. He is playing with a young lady whom, impersonally, I have appraised to be a whiz at romantic diplomacy in regard to her own domestic policy. Perhaps slightly lacking in tact at times, she is nonetheless coy, and clever and level-minded. She knows what she wants, and in some ways is reminiscent of the female personality in 1890 courtships. Where marriage is concerned, she does not appear flighty, but demanding. She believes that the man is the one to make the first move, and is a clever angler in the sparse pool of male guppies in Cupid's garden. They say that there are a thousand people in this country of ours with whom one might happily mate. I think she realizes this, and that Joe is one of the thousand. But I don't believe that she is going to reel in until she sees her float go down. They're only nibbling on it now, but I think our guppy can get the bait if he'll only open his big wide mouth. I should be pleased to have Fel as an in-law, but in any event, I should not like to lose her friendship. She is as a sister to me.

Yes, there are many times I think of you & Joe, and realize what a well person the three of us rolled into one would make. We would have a lot to exchange if we were enabled to meet together. I worry little about Joe, since I know his capabilities. Seeing him again would almost be like running into an old friend whom you haven't seen in years. I guess that would be the first impression. But we could really go on from there. I would give a lot to be able to see him again for a while, and in some small way make recompense for the unkindnesses I have shown him so often in the past. I can readily see why the Chief believes that the greatest sorrow in his life was losing his brother Joe. He must have been a wonderful man.

For you I feel fear and a burdening uneasiness at times. For I fear that you are not at all happy. And yet I have the dumb realization that I cannot raise one finger to help you. I believe that your happiness lies in prayer, adjustment and forgetting. Without seeing you I can say no more.

This, my obstinate mind tells me, is one boy who isn't going to apply for OCS - at least, not in the Signal Corps. This post holds the Corps' only OCS. And, seeing the C.S. that it's influence throws thru the ranks around here, I realize that a sojourn in it would result in either a court-martial or the loss of my sanity. I believe I shall not ever attempt to enter the school. I aspire, instead, to a nice, comfortable rating, which seems more possible of achievement, guarantees almost the same financial security, and lacks the odious air of many of the S.C. O.C.S products I have seen. No thank you!

Well, Sis, it's nearing bedtime. I have spent considerable time on this letter, and feel it is a fair representative of what I want to say. In some details, I should like to expound further. But my mind tires of the task, and realizes a volume would be required to do the subject justice. So I leave you, apologizing for this letter's inadequacies, but happy in the knowlege you are gay at heart with my

Love, and prayers,

as ever,


Full Transcript.
St. John's University
Shields, Frank Invitation

Commencement exercises; likely for John Collon

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Dear Frank:

Believe me when I say that I've really tried to get this letter out--Oh more than a dozen times. I've written part during my lunch hour--bits here 'n there between trips(this has been going on for days now). Saturday I sat down and picked up my trustworthy pen only to find--I just wasn't in any writing mood(shows I though of you any how). Sunday was a busy day, a rather hectic one at that. One of the feats accomplished was the seeing of Fantasia with Peg and Eileen. By way of comment, it certainly was a barrage of fine color and splendid music although it wasn't altogether what I was pent up for. As they say, when something is lauded to a great extent, perhaps just to the peak of the other fellow's enthusiasms you expect to be hit with a ceration which is super--super collosal. And there you have it. Après le thèâtre we caromed over to a dainty soda store and ordered marshmellow frappès only to have our appetites actually"swiped" from us via the house cat and his sensational catch of a squirming RAT(mouse to you).

(Darn these industrious intelligencia who continually interrupt me. Fel --thake (tongue tied) this --Fel--where is that?)


(  )w  ) (Whatcha doin?)

(Err nothin)

I should have told you that I'm writing from my very but very private office, everybody's here but the janitor and his pet fish. Sure--I know your sayin'--"Cheatin'on the bosses time huh." But in response I might add that anything as important as this can't wait. Ahem!

By the way congratulations on the neat job you did in chizzeling a piece of moms heart. Any one who praises her cooking lide (hav a cold here) that diserves some sort of "eulogy". Right now you are the (I was just chased from the machine and given to understand to "Scram." So on I continue in longhand.)

essence of perfection. "Why Frank Shields?" - "Oh isn't he a lovely fellow." (Seems silly to me callin' any fellow lovely - maybe I'm just not appreciative or then could be I can't see further than the end of my nose).

Well now that my apron is on I will say - the chicken was a broiler. First fried in deep fat, (to brown it) then placed in a pan and roasted. [?]

I hope you've noticed (naturally any maroon would) that I tried to type this letter. I was trying not to take any more chances. Slips of the tongue are bad enough but when I can't even draw a straight line without puttin (one T please) my foot (Two - o's) it(n) it - I quit! (for now anyhow - I'll be back in the groove (one o) again next week. Which all reminds me of a comical incident which happened yesterday. It's easier told than written so I'll leave it until I see you again. (one of those heart flippers Eileen and peg (Capital P) get pale at.). Seems I'm always a victime of circumstances.

Remember the Sunday you were showing me the reactions of the nerves in the arm - well I bare (there I go again ie bear) scars as a result of my brave battle. Two small cuts & are they swollen. I'll never learn (to be a lady and take things for granted.)

Well, before I leave I may say enjoy yourself at Conn. & please come home with enough rest to hold you for - A LONG TIME. Bye until then. I am as always Votre amie Felicity (You know how executives scrawl)

Assistant to the Assistant

Brooklyn Trust Company letterhead.

OCR Enabled

Full Transcript.
Aiken, Theresa & Robert
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Helen went to Boston; Auntie had Bobby; he was grand; Alfred to return to Army; Alfred's lung now healing; iron dust; Joe's letter; wish you were closer; visit to Frank; Ma says thanks; Rob enjoys your presents; look up Agnes Huthe; got ice box for mother's day

Msg from Unk: hello SS!; beer just as good as it used to be, but no gasoline to get it; fishing; ration stamps; keep your P---er up; next election

Authors deduced from handwriting.
Walsh, Jo
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Are you a Major yet?; minimum age; took day off; Mary Jackson; Eileen misses you; never apart since kids; ferry boat rides; Brooklyn nicer than Staten Island; George might get furlough; Mary Alden's 25th anniversary; Fr Birmingham; might ban liquor at office parties; it's Marguerite's doing; jobs frozen; Jim & Alice; raunchy poem;

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Nine days of rain; run riot with "crowning glory"; only marking time till you fellows come back; Joe shipping out has made us blue; Dot's letter; suggestive gift; she forgives us; visit to 87th St; 3 chicks added to family; Ronnie pretty; Vee is the one to watch; Betty still cute kid; John C., Joe O. & Frank B's visit to Peg's; John's poetry; geniuses all; writing on company time; "An Indian Ditty"

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Painting: kitchen, bedroom, closet; new paint; dries in 2 hours; hoping to get Chief to do all ceilings; Marie Allen had letter from Felix in Africa; caught up to Joe; Collon's deferment is up; Alfred Aiken to be gone by Aug; Living room smells due to chickens; Stupe's reaction to chickens; tell me where you're going; camera; don't get drunk with Susie; clipping regarding Walter Burns; Benny B's first communion.

[Unknown], Tony
Pelletier, Dot Letter
480th Bomb Squadron, Avon Park, FL

Stranded in TX; thanks for picture, they force me to ask for a date; call on you if I get near GA; will send a pic of me; don't have my own ship; would have to go to school, rather join buddies overseas; can you get a furlough?; training you get is tough; are there men there?

Peg, Eil, Fel
Shields, Frank Postcard

Busy Person's Correspondence Card; check-off boxes; How's our "ray of sunshine?"

Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Glad you can come; plans for Fri night; lodging at private home; better than Guest House; can you get here sooner?; don't worry about bills; Spartanburg "dry", but can get liquor; Joe Wolfe: "dumb shit", but a grand guy!; Dot's doubts about WAAC OCS; death from meningitis; hopefully no more; Mortar practice; the HEAT; Gene D; news about 3 sisters; Starace has left for the Army

Peg, Eil, Fel
Shields, Frank Postcard

Grand Central Terminal; First step in travels; keep you posted. Signed PEF

Handwriting is Fel Kazalski's
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Religious card commemorating a communion breakfast in 1940; newspaper clipping of a (supposedly) humorous letter.

Handwriting is Fel Kazalski's
Collon, John
Shields, Frank Postcard

Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; note from John Collon indicating he has a job

Peg, Eil, Fel Shields, Frank Card

With Sincere Appreciation; signature is "???"

stationery similar to that used by Fel K.
Peg, Eil, Fel
Shields, Frank Postcard

Sitting Pretty; arrived safely (in Rye, NY); plenty of popcorn, drinks & cigarettes, but no men.

Handwriting is Fel Kazalski's
Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

"Friend o' Mine", poem; delivered from Rye, NY

Handwriting is Fel Kazalski's
Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Only one letter a week; Frigidaire broke; Chief & Tommy fixed it; cost Gen a 1/8 keg; Chief now helping Tommy finish it; dinner at Touhey's; Kate Kirwan's pay stubs; Tommy's pay; Connors is engaged; Adriane told Ronnie she's getting engaged; Dolly Keck is engaged; Ronnie & Jack; Roy (Vee met last summer) called; 2 broken legs; Betty has boyfriend who bought her shoes (refused); Gen's white hair; Chief raising hell about boyfriends; going to see Air Force

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Dinner at Touhey's Frigidaire out of commission; took Chief & Tommy 10 hours to fix; Gen had to treat them to 1/8 at Tommy's; Katty gave Gen letter; Victory Garden just starting; not noticeable from street yet; chickens in cellar; no news from Joe; Kate's pay stubs; engagements: Connors, Adriane (thinking), Dolly Keck; going to movie; Chief at Tommy's drinking beer

Enclosed is Kat Kirwan's 5/21/43 letter to Frank
Kirwan, Kat
Shields, Frank Letter

Passed my classes; play at St. Michaels; girls were played by boys; hard to tell; band was good; sending program; how is Army?; first typed letter; V. Garden coming along; mother lost your address; giving letter to Gen; part ink, part pencil

Includes program for "Too Busy to Work" a comedy in three acts.
Included with Gen's 5/31/43 letter to Frank.
Shields, Frank Self

Photo taken at Iceland Restaurant on Broadway in NY. Guests are Joe Sherman, June White, Peggy Doyle and Frank.

See full image in Set-041, Photo 11.
Peg, Eil, Fel Shields, Frank Card

"Our Parting Gift to a Brand-New Soldier"

Most likely given at Frank's going away party.
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Pending visit; sleep in a real bed; looking forward to meeting Frank's buddies; Joe's buddies; furlough paperwork; preparation for leaving; will wire arrival time; Gen must be having fits; too busy to write home; Guard duty

Peg, Eil, Fel
Shields, Frank Postcard

Photo postcard of "the babes from Brooklyn".

Peg, Eil, Fel Shields, Frank Postcard

"Would have written sooner, but I was 'OUT'". No message, just "PEF"

Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Telegram
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Leaving 6:40 AM Friday Arriving 6PM Will wire any change.

[Unknown], Florence Pelletier, Dot Letter

Irene going to Mexico; Dot doing social work?; will visit Touhey to get more info; no word from Betty; live alone & don't like it

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

"Susie" will be in Spartanburg when this arrives; show it to her; listened to radio broadcast of maneuvers at Camp Croft; keeping camera?; Armand (Starace?); Brooklyn Eagle: 2 local boys wounded in N. Africa; Mr Wogan asking for you three; Cliffie graduated; Doc going to N. Africa; Movie wasn't too bad; Dora's delusions; found wandering; locked Grandpop out; relief check discovered; will have to commit her if she gets worse; Aunt Maggie; Joe mentioned Lt. Woods; co-pilot is Lt Fletcher; Gene Lovett isn't improving; stay sober

Kazalski, Fel Shields, Frank Letter

Addressed to "Sunny"; thought you might enjoy a little ditty; includes "An Indian Ditty", same as the one in Fel's letter to Frank of 5/26/43.

Doyle, Peggy Shields, Frank Letter

Letter of 5/30 read by PEF; sense of jest; injustice; haven't written; Victory Garden; description of [imaginary?] worm; last week in Rye; Playland, beach & drying dishes; First-aid class; Dodgers lead Cardinals; no cars at night in city, very quiet; Donald now communications officer; Ed not drafted

Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Furlough almost over; housing arrangement sounds swell; hoping Dot & Frank can get furlough together; kitchen paint job; hoping Chief will paint front door; Billy Katz confirmed; Charlie's mother a sour puss; Auntie says Aiken just run down; Elmore says Walter to go to draft board; Ruth Mildie visited Ned at Camp Croft; Ned wanted to be in Navy; hope Joe is still in the land of the living; casualty lists; Three members of one family MIA; prayers will be answered; Touhey has sgt stripes; Pop disappointed Dot not trying for OCS; Eileen stopped praying to St. Jude; nail clippers for Chief; Dora's delusions; kids have exams Monday

Includes 3 articles: WAACs really Soldiers now; Social life of a WAAC; City College's Army Hall.

Letter was written to Dot, but sent to Frank at Camp Croft
[Unknown], Tony
Pelletier, Dot Letter
480th Bomb Squadron, Avon Park, FL

Back from TX; pictures of Dot are nice; Dot "pleasingly plump"; uniforms too large or too small; anxious to see you; will try to get flight; Budweiser and gin rickys; school vs. going overseas; furlough in July; wish you could get furlough then; lots of flying, mostly TX and SC; lost 5 ships in last 36 hours; quite a few men "issued Clouds" [died]; nurse Tolman in England; looked up Scottish RAF nurse; knew each when injured; will write to Joe; sunburn; will send picture

Sherman, Joe
Shields, Frank Letter

Talked to Gen when I was home; Doolittle in Africa; surprised Dot is a WAAC; bet she looks good in uniform; like her writing; spirit in infantry; S.C., school; want to go for aviation mechanic; have been writing to & seeing Jayne Finnegan; marksmanship; send a picture; Pollack is in the army

Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

The heat; night dreams; double entendres; Mrs. Dembinski; Shields are a fine family; recall being at Chief's birthday; any Catholic's duty to pray for such a family to survive intact; visited John Duffy in Pittsburgh; "sad sample of a letter" from JDuffy excusable due to strict training; Duffy's character; Collon's advice on writing to "the girls"; graduated summa cum laude; in NY Times; draft status 1-A

Oussani, Joe
Shields, Frank Invitation

Commencement ceremonies at Cathedral College for Joe Oussani; two months since last letter

Shields, Joe Shields, Gen Letter

At final destination in N. Africa; can't write every day; no missions yet, but hope to go soon; broke crew up but hope to get back together; 379th Bomb Squadron is an old one, but new location; live in tents; cart water for washing & laundry; chow is very good; not paid yet; will send money when paid; everything fine, having a grand time; war will be over sooner than we think

Gen's typed copy of Joe's letter.

Included with Gen's letter to Dot on 6/26/43.
Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Censor was Lt Canale; sent him a text cable; Choose 3 from 100 sayings; much cheaper than sending 25 words; left 2 months ago; V-Letter took 18 days; gave his address to Fel; sending airmail letter tonight; honor roll at St Anselm's; went to Peggy's; Willie's girl to marry Lt from Gelston Ave; got dirt from Irene; family battle; Bill wackier than Dora; Ane says no news from Richie in a month

Includes Joe's 6/8/43 letter to Gen
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

1 1/2 hours sleep last night; enjoyed weekend; fellows were grand; looking forward to Harry's New Year's reunion; Thanks to Bob [Roche]; apologies to Friedman; Wolfe's carriage was nice gesture; hope all our friends can get together; trip home was gruesome; didn't get in until 4:30 AM; got up at 6:00 AM; landscape duty; 40 winks; info on ASTP from guy who flunked out

Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Face healed, but still a scar; Swanstrom has returned; embarrassed remorse; four people know; still having parties; headed for scandal; disguised priest "Walter" at several parties; Ronnie Donovan having party; hangovers at work; news about: Helen McKeon, John Paster(?), Aunt Kate, John (brother?), Cella Spellman, Flo K., Joe Cuccone; furlough;  "man situation"

Acer, John Shields, Frank Letter

Waiting for induction notice; finished course; Gene is PFC, going to radio school; few men left in neighborhood; Holy Name Rally; 3 sisters busy; Peg goes to Rye on weekends; brother works 7 days a week, Christmas only holiday; last day of school; Collon, Oussani & Brennan visited 3 sisters; Joe O. goes to seminary soon; going-away party, if there's anyone left; took Eileen home; Easter at Eileen's; listened to Inner Sanctum; took Mary Dolan to play "Too Hungry to Work" at St. Michael's; swell moon; didn't waste it; keep in touch

Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Not easy to say good-bye; afraid the visit didn't meet your expectations; "battle conditioner" course: Demolition, Infiltration, Village Fighting and Grenades in the jungle; Demolition: sudden explosions nearby; Infiltration: crawling over uneven ground with bullets overhead; fighting mad; must hate enemy to live; Harry Bertrand; busy week; film; bottle of rum; lost medal and dog tag on infiltration course.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Dot late getting away; both had a good time; too bad Joe wasn't there; Felix's girlfriend Marie Allen a nervous wreck; Mrs Speciale crying & worried; Gen holding up 3 Bronx chins; Helen told Alfred to look for Joe; Chief met Ed Galligan; Troop 53 (Boy Scouts); divergent stories about film possession; you and Dot are stinkers; Joe's address; Ane said Frank hasn't sent a card; Dick thinks Richie is in San Francisco; "He sure acts dumb"; Cliffie Wogan; John Collon; WAAC scandal

06/11/1943 Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Postcard
Casper Field, Casper Wyoming

Rumors wrong: heading west, not east; Going to Air Base with Dolly; other news on Judy & Sales; Don't know what we'll be doing.

07/05/1937 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard
Tusten, NY

"A popular spot, Brooklyn Scout Camps, Tusten, N.Y."

Dear Mom,

Arrived about 11:30, okay, passed dock test on Sunday. Having a nice time. Am going to make map. Didn't spend any money yet. I've got to do mess duty so so long. Fan

Full Transcript.
04/14/1943 Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Don't make excuses for not writing; excuses for not writing; Frank passes ASTP test; attending Ballet Russe with J. Oussani; have not been to 87th St lately; JC's article about science in college quarterly not received well; intention to avoid future "filthiness".

06/13/1943 Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sending money order; no debts in friendship; all your family is well; Gen gave me hell for not "reporting in"; Gen is blue: Eagle story about gunner who died; consumed Irish Champagne; Ronnie out with Jack, she's very lovely; get along great with Betty; would say if anyone were ill; will meet you at train; dying to meet "Westy"; best friend; see a GI doc if you're in pain; scar hasn't healed well; eye losing power to focus; only Gil knows; news from CC: Jane Bell, Mary Concormon,Virginia Norton, Swanstrom, Kay White, Cele Greyon, Peg Connellon, George Dowing; Butler.

06/16/1943 Hill, May
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sorry I didn't meet friend Aux. Manning; WAACS swell looking; visiting Teresa over the 4th; Ann on vacation in Valeria; visited Bay Park, saw Mrs. Lomas; Service flag in church; least we can do is to pray our heads off

06/18/1943 Sued, Edwin
Shields, Frank Envelope

Letter is missing.
06/17/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Three negatives; no more 7 hour prints: now 48 hours; Fel had V-letter from Joe in N. Africa; Fel didn't call after receiving letter; 3 gals are taking Ronnie, Vee and Betty out; Ron started work at Lord & Taylors: now ready to quit; will be used to it in a week; wait till they take out 1/5 for withholding; listening to Gabriel Heatter; old man Norton; hen & rooster getting big; Cliffie Wogan is home

06/17/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sent income tax papers; Chief checking with IRS; Frank leaving after 6/22; hope he gets more engineering training; Betty saw Cliffie Wogan; try to get to mass every day; $25 from Touhey; will take over some of your bills if I get a defense job; Ronnie started work but ready to quit; $17/week isn't much; Ft Hamilton paying $20/week but Ronnie didn't want to go; Katty applied there; asked Regina Lovett for a job; family having tough time; Gene Lovett's medical snafu; asked for Chief's help; Fel's letter from Joe in N. Africa; old man Norton; Melia; Chief's co-worker exposed himself to young girl; Dora accused Gen & Chief of taking her money; Touhey & Gil visited for supper

06/19/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Income tax deferment; Frank asked for $25 wire; sent 2 lines in french; differing theories as to what he means; Gen expects he may have furlough before school; Farley wedding; beer party at 205 Gelston; Fel, Peggy & Eileen took girls to dinner  & Paramount; nice of them; Eileen said Peg is wild about Frank; Fel likes Joe, but is fickle; should we tell Frank: no!

06/21/1943 Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Frank Letter

Fell in dog yard and had "terriable" bruises; Gen seems to get everyone's hard-luck story; did you enjoy Dot's visit?; no answer from Joe; 3 V-mails from Alfred K.; Ma Kirwan is fine and praying for her grandchildren; Doris Johnson married to Jim Nugent; Unk caught 10 trout, gave them to Dr.; Frank Hinklemeyer dropped dead.

Clipping for  Johnson - Nugent Wedding included.
06/21/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Wired $25 to Frank; return wire is unclear: either furlough is for 5 days or he won't know for five days; Chief got father's day card; Ronnie & Vee gave him $1 between them; Katty to work at Ft Hamilton; asked Regina about a job with her; Heat: "we're grease spots"; Chief's car laid up; Betty going to dentist; still owe Hart & Dolan for Ron & Vee; Finley demanding watches back, but gave them $5

06/22/1943 Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, N.C.

Tans; surf swimming; returned to Camp Davis from Ft Fisher; chigger bites; were issued transmitter, so we're now radio men; smoking marijuana; nothing to do except bayonet practice; furlough before shipping out; no longer candidates for ASTP or OCS; how did you fare?; radio work slow in camp, but fast-moving in the field; unit command given to outside man; Collon's postcards; how are Dot, Joe?

Forwarded to N.C. State University
06/22/1943 [Unknown], Tony
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Avon Park Bombing Range, Avon Park, FL

Was in hospital; heat terrible in FL; furlough on 7/1; may get commission; hope you've heard from Joe; Gene Autry putting on show on base; drink a couple for me; rum & coke: neither available

06/22/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Telegram from Frank: going to NC Teachers College; 3 colleges in NC; hope it's for engineering; Mrs Allen phoned: Marie and Mrs Speciale had letter from Felix, no mention of Joe; from India, headed for China; love for Joe to see every corner of the world IF he comes back; Regina has introductory card for Gen; interview Friday; Betty had abscessed tooth; Chief had car fixed; no plaster for hall; did washing, then painted; likely Chief won't help; Dot's creditors paid up for now; news about Lovetts; Ronnie paid; spendthrift ways; Dot Crowley; Frank moving away from you; Dentist took another tooth of Betty's

06/22/1943 Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Dot's furlough on 8/1; didn't mention to Gen; will meet train; hoist a few beers; six months since last one; will find a guy or bust; plans include beer, Broadway show, trip to CT; don't worry about debts; new apt; Gen gave me hell for letting a week go by without phoning; Gen is "the tops"; enclosed list: "Army's Double Talk Defined"

06/24/1943 Chief Pelletier, Dot Letter

Endearing letter with pipe and pouch arrived; thanks for Father's Day card; esp. grateful for communion offering; Dot's reminiscing; time is cruel; fading memories; keep book open; Dora going astray mentally; brought home by police at night; didn't know where she lived;  complains of strange man downstairs; locks Grandpop out; fearful of her losing money; Garden coming along; chicken coop; Mr. Lovett wasting away; no word from Joe since S. America; Fel says he's in Africa; Frank at NC Teachers college, will have furlough; Gert wants to go for a can of cheer; heat has her tongue out a yard; Qtr bbl at Tommy's; Cordy plans to throw party at her bar; send Grandpop a picture card; he's so weak and old now.

Due to translucent paper, writing from both sides makes letter difficult to read; transcript of letter included in PDF.
06/25/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Congratulations on promotion; Matron's job at Gena Lovett's place; applying to Brooklyn Eagle; Still no word from Joe; Frank temporarily at NC Teachers College; pipe and pouch are honeys, but Chief worried about Dot's finances; Chief may have put Dot's letter in his keepsakes;  Dora's delusions and behavior; going to Kate's for sweater for Betty; Chief uses Victory Garden to avoid painting; butter beans from garden; Gene Goffery made Sgt.

06/29/1943 Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter

Writing letters is hard when there's no letter to answer; mail waiting to catch up; where are Frank & Dot?; procedure to send packages; some mothers have had trouble sending pkgs; using a pipe lately; still have your can of beer nightly?; subscription to "Life" and Daily News; camera and film;

Included with Gen's 7/27/43 letter to Dot.
Gen's typed copy of Joe's letter. Another copy is included in Doc 507.

06/29/1943 Shields, Joe Chief Letter

Should be mad at you; only 4 letters; Old Stick_in_the_mud worth a few letters; sorry we didn't get together more at home; occasional fishing trips not enough; want to go to Big League baseball game; hunting; bigger and better beer parties

Included with Gen's 7/27/43 letter to Dot.
Gen's typed copy of Joe's letter. Another copy is included in Gen's7/27/43 letter to Frank.

07/27/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Another letter from Joe; previous one requested tobacco & Baby Ruths; none since invasion; dysentery; John Crowley getting furlough; Jimmy asking when your furlough will be; went to commissioning of Jimmy's ship; went to CT to bring Ma Kirwan to 87th St for visit; Kate and Ane will take turns; Auntie to write Ellie; Auntie wants Dot to visit, but without Touhey and Gil; El had a premature baby; Ned Mildie in GA; finances are not good; need money for taxes; Jimmy's address

Includes Joe's 6/29/43 letters to Gen & Chief and separate letter to Chief.
05/21/1943 Shaw, E.
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Commerce, TX

Unusual physical exam; rooming with Soles, Sieger & Smith; sweaty from ping-pong; description of room; friendly town; bed checks; mess; course failure rate; schedule; unlimited weekend passes but no place to stay; dance each week; 3 soldiers to every WAAC

06/29/1943 Kazalski, Fel
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Joe's departure; thinks she understands Joe, and perhaps misses him more than Peg or Eileen; Gen's kept us informed; Frank deserves the good breaks; Gen should be proud of her 3 in the service; Dinner & show for Ronnie, Vee and Betty with 3 sisters; Betty got all the attention; Fel's mom had an accident; Fel doing housework;  damage from leak; July furlough

06/30/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Harry Staley; education; Chief raved about Jews; Christians scared stiff; GI bill; Gen scared stiff since Joe's in combat; stick to College; Dot's presents to Chief; Dot's Chief Interviewer, possible Sgt rating; news from Collon?; Hill girls; Johnny Russel; Gil; Willie Busby's daughter to marry in CO; Peggy & Irene don't approve; Bill is a crackpot; Dot's address; offered job as Matron; Gene [Lovett] not getting better; new Censor for Joe's letter; outfit separated; Felix in India headed for China; text cable to Joe; figure they're bombing Italy from N. Africa

Includes Gen's typed copy of Joe's 6/8/43 letter to Gen with same content as doc #434.
06/30/1943 Dwyer, Tom
Shields, Frank Letter The Citadel,
Charleston, S.C.

Wish I was in Raleigh with you; got into Engineering; Joe Rosen got Languages; interviewing officer is tough; Charleston is crowded, narrow streets, niggers, soldiers and sailors; Citadel is OK: good meals and easy life.

07/01/1943 Pelletier, Dot Self

Typed version of an article by Damon Runyon titled "Feminine Draft Recommended to make Women out of Idlers."

Date is in Dot's handwriting.
07/06/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Rec'd letter from Joe written 5/22; Hope Frank is going to Georgia Tech; Gen to get a birthday present for Ronnie from Joe; pictures; Jimmy K. visited with buddy; expects to ship out 7/22 on new destroyer to Cuba or Iceland; Chief and Charlie [Katz] went to Norwalk after party at Cordy's; missed connection, had to walk; Hill girls; Gene [L] has cancer; Chief calling someone "Bastards", Davy Joe repeating it; no defense jobs; Flo phoned

07/08/1943 Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter North Africa

Parted from Felix in Accra, Ghana. Bill engaged; Adrian is full of bull; Dolly engaged?; wish I could have joined Dot and Frank; Crew: Lt Allison, Lt Fletcher, SSgt Brown, Campbell & Joe; glad I'm in the army since Gen is painting the house; Kate's job?; allotment; daily temps up to 125º; lot of Brooklyn boys; been going to church; Red Cross; Gil & Eileen; Jackie Keck; Rec'd air medal

Carbon copy. For slightly clearer copy, see Doc #497.
Included with Gen's 7/16/43 letter to Dot.
07/16/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Jackie Keck had mass card for Joe, enrolled for duration; one for Frank too; St. John's Church; missing letters; sent snaps; Helen says no word from Alfred in 6 weeks; Jimmy K. home on furlough; Helen and Al may come for launch of Jimmy's boat; Davy Joe; given up trying to get a job

Written on carbon copy of Joe's 7/8/43 letter to Gen & Chief.
07/09/1944 Chief Pelletier, Dot Letter

Home, Sweet Home

July 9th 9:10 P.M.

Dear Dot:

Well my dear little corporal you cannot realize how much your letters are looked for and appreciated. We all wait our turn to sit & read them and then many times read them over again. And so as I have often before mentioned to all of you, just keep on writing to mother and whatever interests her will do for me also. I realize the things & duties, not to speak of answering letters, that must be crowded into so short & precious leisure time. And so, Dot, I want to reassure you that whatever you say in mother's, satisfies me.

Thank you for your very generous thoughts and the press clippings. They made me think of you as a little golden haired darling again & the clippings were very interesting & informative.

The duties here in the Bureau are very strenuous for the past year. We have a new part to the Children's Court and a multitude of extra, exacting routine detail that keeps one on his toes constantly. You see the wave of juvenile delinquency that has been sweeping the nation for the past two years, justifies a more rigid plan & scope with the resultant labourious follow-up. And then again, as you might know, we are under manned.

Of course much can be said for the relief from the cares & burdens of the day offered by the rigors of our night-life. There is a refreshing dash of light-heartedness & belly-shaking mirth that possesses one on Eighth-of-a-Barrel nights. And we do have them, you know. One night it's Katz's another time over to Tommy's and then again, Kampf's and finally Keezar's, next door. And say, Dot, do we have fun! Wish you & the boys were here to share in the festivities.

Mother went to see Felix married on Saturday, the 8th and she is still singing her praises of it and the reception. We were both invited, but I was engrossed in fixing the boy's bed and finished up too late to go.

Frank manages to get home for weekends, but of course he only reaches us in the wee hours of the morning. His first thought now-a-days is Flatbush and the girl he's not going to leave behind.

Veronica has been gone for past week up to Helen's in Waterbury and mother went over tonight to Grad Central to meet her and Ma who is coming down to stay for a while. Oh, here they are. Just arrived! She looks pretty good too. Lost twenty pounds or more and looks as though she might want a night out.

While writing this, Fran called from Penn station saying he was on his way back to camp and that he didn't expect to be in town again for several weeks. He left here yesterday, Sat, around eleven A.M. to spend Sat. night and today with her folks in their bungalow at Rye N.Y. So you can see how Little Boy Blue is biding his time.

Now, Dot, about whether we are still Demmys or Republicans; I still have an open mind on the issue and cannot say with any degree of certainty just how I'm going to decide. Each has very definite points of merit and of course as time goes on much is going to be disclosed about both their attainments and experience. One could discourse on the subject throughout an entire day and then not cover the situation. At the same time there is an unmistakeable trend of public feeling towards making a change. And this brings up to the thinking mind the advisability of discarding or retaining. So, time & coming events will play a very important part in solving this problem.

I don't know whether I told you this or rather if mother has mentioned it, but the old Reo has been laid up now for more than a month. I have certificates for 1-A grade tiers, but have thus far been unable to obtain them as the size is no longer being made. They are an extra large size and can not be replaced for the time being at least.

And so, Dot, I cannot think of anything more for the present and will therefore bring this to a close.

Am still making pictures and will send you some shortly.

Dot, dear Honey, thank you so much for your Father's Day remembrance and in closing, wish you God Speed.

Your loving Daddy,

"The Chief"

Written in response to Dot's request in
Full Transcript.
07/10/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Jackie Keck leaves soon; no visitors while in Novitiate; Dot Crowley; no news from Joe; deadline for Xmas gifts; no food or perishables; no word from Touhey

07/12/1943 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

At Purdue; classes begin, no books yet; 34 hrs/week of classes; Purdue is beautiful, co-eds even prettier; Joe in midst of Sicilian campaign; prints of pics; congrats on Chief Interviewer; OCS?; need new address; may go to Chicago

Includes Frank's 7/19/43 letter to Dot.
07/19/1943 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Got new address; Joe getting medal; wish I were over there; no pay in 2 months; last $.15 went for cigarettes; no furlough till Oct; send pics from Spartanburg; Pete's address

Included with Frank's 7/12/43 letter to Dot.
07/14/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Two weeks without word from you; Touhey was here, said you can go to hell; 3 weeks with no word; Frank's record arrived, but doesn't sound like him; Pic is good; flatters Frank; tight collar makes you look fat; no news from Joe; Gene doesn't know he has cancer; Martha asked after you; Veronica pregnant; film; Dot's bills; Touhey hasn't visited Auntie; Auntie crabs a lot, esp. about rationing; rationing stamps; price of pot roast; just Franks full of cornmeal tonight; taxes

07/15/1943 Touhey, Eileen
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Got your card; disappointed; enclosing a ten spot; get plastered if you can't get home; ask if you need more; hope you can make it home; your luck will change.

07/19/1943 Tergesen, Ronnie Pelletier, Dot Letter

Damn war; soldiers parading down 39th St make me cry; lunch;  did you get my 13 page letter?; when will you make Sgt?; I'm still going with Jack; gave me a gold cross for my birthday; went to mass with his family; send him a card; lending money; earn only $17 week; have to take Sea Beach Express each way

07/21/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sent $10 this am; 2 letters from Joe and 1 from Frank; Frank didn't have his hand out; I'm all the names you called me; expenses; couldn't get job; John's op changed your personality, but the army made a gold-digger out of you; Pete's address in Chicago; Martha wasn't in; hope Joe isn't laid up like he was at Columbia; Felix & his mother; Vee, Betty, Chief & Gen going to Touhey's for dinner; can't locate film; Chief has August off[?]; tax papers; glasses are N.G.; Statement of Expenses; Dot thinking of quitting; opinions from Gen, Chief, Touhey, Ronnie, Vee and Betty; if you want to quit, quit.

07/20/1943 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Chief will send details of income tax; lost your right hand?; Roche dropped Chief a card; Roche's address

Includes Chief's 7/22/43 letter to Dot.
07/22/1943 Chief Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sweltering hot days, esp. hard on old folks; rain; fed chickens; enlistment in WAC: would prefer you quit and came home; will be agreeable to it whatever you decide; dinner at Touhey's; details on tax deferment during war; Joe received some mail 3 months late; helluva post office service; Mr. Lovett in bad shape; vacation from 8/7 till 9/13, but no gas and no money; party at Cordy's with 1/4 bbl; Charlie & Girt were there; Tom & Kate didn't go; like your pictures

  • Form 1123 from Treasury Dept.
  • Statement of Financial Condition for military personnel.

Included with Gen's 7/20/43 letter to Dot.
07/22/1943 Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Gen Letter

Sent Frank $1; no answer from Joe yet; Rob; local deaths: Lidia G[?], Frank Hinklemeyre; Elsie St. John's girl had appendicitis & her other girl is getting married; Ray Aiken is not so good; did Helen K. invite you to her place?; Ma K. is fine but down-in-the-mouth; Ane didn't take her home; knows she can go to your place; told her to wait for Ane; Ane & Dick were good to her last summer; Do you have a few red stamps?; Etta, May & Ane to visit for the 4th; maybe you & Chief can come up; Ma has her rambling idea on.

Date is a rough guess, partly from "nearby" letters, partly based on content.
03/27/1943 Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Your letters are prompt; Camp Croft; interesting account of trip down; several puns;  mascots; perhaps you & Gene D. can get together; Duffy's training; do you kneel when saying evening prayers?; more puns

04/02/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter Columbia Army Air Base, SC

One mile hike to learn how to pitch tents; I had to demonstrate it; Scout training came in handy; won $10 in a crap game; we're in B-25s, not B-24's; B-25 has only 2 engines; Dot has some tough going; before we ship out we should get a new plane; Phil Speciale has temporary APO; you've been sick; I landed in the hospital; keep your chin up; just keep going


04/25/1943 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Card

Easter Card; got our own ship now; working on it 24 hrs a day; expect to leave soon


05/09/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Croft, SC

Preferred to send a card but couldn't get one; your Catholic marriage is the type to send sons and daughters to defend the country, build a better world of the future.

06/10/1943 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
North Africa

Censorship doesn't leave me much to write about; "beating my gums" to my little sister; trip across was fun; 10,000 miles; Puerto Rico, South America, Gold Coast & now North Africa; bomb training center; went to Casablanca, it's some city; hardly know there's a war on; ice cream and Coca-Cola, American beer and Chop-suey; better forget that now I'm "up front"; sorry to hear you passed up OCS; take advantage of things when you can; been here 4 days, no missions yet; want to get going before there is none left for me; having helluva good time; cut hair short; get some of the girls you work with to drop me a line; will be 21 soon; can vote for Roosevelt.

05/01/1943 Railroad


Condensed Schedules, Southern Railway System; this may have been the railroad timetable that Dot used on her visit to Frank at Spartanburg (Camp Croft) in early June, 1943.

07/02/1943 Emmell, Vee Shields, Frank Letter

Mid-term and Final Exam grades; not pleased, but passed; 3 sisters took Vee, Ronnie and Betty to Hotel Victoria for dinner and Radio City Music Hall for a show; spent $15!; that was swell of them; home at 1:30 AM; got sunburned while swimming; chickens are growing; had vegetables from Victory Garden

07/06/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Called Eagle office to find out where NC State College was located; Staley home; hope you go to Georgia Tech; timing of mail from Joe; he asked me to get a present for Ronnie; Jimmy was here with another sailor; he's at Long Beach; expects to cruise for 3 months on new ship to Cube or Iceland; he hasn't heard battleship guns fired yet; Joe wants pics; wish Dot would send the film; Cordy's party; Charlie and Chief went to Auntie's at 4:50 AM; went to 7:00 AM mass; no one picked them up; arrived 11:20AM; Charlie saw the filter the hard way; 3 Hill girls there; home Monday; can you picture them wandering on back roads?; no jobs

Enclosed is typed version of Joe's 6/10/43 letter to Dot.
07/10/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Gen Letter
North Africa

Ann Hill sent $2; got $1 from you; a letter from Chief and from Frank; Vee failed Latin; now do you see why I didn't want Frank and Dot to join up?; brains of family are in Army; make her study; How are Ronnie & Betty doing?; send pictures; have dysentery, but on the mend; did you get telegram and letter from FL before I left?; Thanks for the money; send stationery and air mail stamps


A copy of this letter appears in Gen's 7/21/43 letter to Frank.
07/10/1943 Shields, Joe Chief Letter
North Africa

So you finally wrote me a letter; alternate writing letters with Gen; They don't make nice Easter cards for Fathers; nice reminiscing, but you missed some: trips to Killie pond, Flatlands Bay, rides in the old Maxwell, stage shows at Lowes Bay Ridge; getting paid, license plates; dinner, Fox movies, boat ride from the Battery to Staten Island; trips up to scout camp; best days are behind me; won't be long before we're home; give the gang at Boyles my address; Mr. Lovett; juicy hamburgers, home-made bread and cold glass of Ballentines: those were the days; hot mess of crabs and beer after crabbing on the island; Frank's marksmanship; give me a 250 cal machine gun, I like speed.


A copy of this letter appears in Gen's 7/21/43 letter to Frank.
07/10/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Boy called me up; he will write you; Joe must be in the thick of the invasion; Gene D. & Collon visited; Collon reports to induction 7/14; sent Betty to give your address to them; Gene lost 20 lbs; Gene's father can get Chief some gas; Jackie Keck to Novitiate; Duffy in Nashville; Oussani reports to Seminary; no word on Starace; congrats on promotion; Dot didn't send money home for bills; Joe wants pics, even of Stupe; your Company pic is swell; voice recording hasn't arrived; notes on Army life; Jimmy was here, he lost weight too; Cliffie is working in Sperry's; why hasn't army caught up with him?

07/07/1943 Collon, John
Shields, Frank Postcard

Field Park, Brockton, MA; will write on vacation; home soon; Eugene is in town!

07/08/1943 Shields, Frank Self

Unused postcard of Pullen Park, Raleigh, NC. Likely bought at same time as Frank's 7/8/43 postcard to Gen.

07/12/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Postcard Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Chickamauga battlefield; testing address; reply with proper address; Joe says he's "right up front" in N. Africa

07/13/1943 Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Frank Letter

Glad you're going to school; Chief and Mr. Katz visited over the 4th; medals for shooting; please Rob; Norma Letermy has joined WAACs; Doris Johnson married; Victory Garden contents; have not heard from Dot; Ma K. is fine, will visit Helen K next week; hope everything will come easy to you; Joe is in invasion

07/14/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Engineering studies will make it easier after the war; called Peggy, they are going on vacation; Dot's furlough; record arrived, doesn't sound like you; don't expect you to write except when you have time; drop Joe a line; pic of you and Dot is a honey; The other chicken started crowing, so no eggs; butter and egg shortage; maybe have chicken when you get home

07/16/1943 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter

Sent $25 last payday; sent $25 home for kids; flat busted this payday, so don't expect anything; just got mail sent to Columbia in April; letter from gang in office; don't use Vmail: like long letters; Gen said you are a T5; glad you were able to see Frank; meant a lot when you came to see me in Tyndall; wish I could repay you; maybe I can pull you out of the "dumps" someday; when I crawl into turret my troubles are gone; Air Medal; 11 missions; still going strong; stay home with family on your furlough; Frank's marksmanship; Felix in India; met in Brazil, parted at Accra; think a lot of Phil; don't know where Slim is; nearby towns: Souk-el-Arba, Beje, Tunis; towns have French and Arab sections; people are very poor; you would enjoy seeing the Arab sections; beggars, street bazaars, fakirs, magicians, open air bakeries and food vendors, meat market; livestock killed  in front of you; flies; lived that way for centuries; celebrate my 1 year anniversary with a keg of beer, I'll pay; invite 3 sisters; tell Fel to start writing


07/16/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Told Joe Dot expects to get T/5, he thinks she already has it; Jackie Keck has an enrollment card for Joe; enrolled for duration by Vincentians; one for you too; St. John's Church; Joe must have known about invasion; hope mail catches up with him; missing letters; Helen says no word from Alfred in 6 weeks; Jimmy K. home on furlough; Helen and Al may come for launch of Jimmy's boat; given up trying to get a job

Written on Carbon Copy of Joe's 7/8/43 letter to Gen & Chief. Also see Doc #467
07/19/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

PFC Joe College; finishing studies; swell chance; down-in-the-mouth vs dissatisfied & disheartened; John Acer at Sampson NY training for navy; Merchant Marine dances at Sheepshead Bay; Riis Park; went to Rockaway with girls from Fel's office; Irish Town beer gardens; like a block party every night; vacation in Rye next week with Fel and Eileen; E. quit her job; took some pictures at Rye; will send you some; I don't have a pic of you; Gen called and gave me your news; Indiana glamor; you sound like your big brother; Gene D's surprise attack [visit?]; arrived home, door locked; went to Midwood Inn with Fel, Eileen, Jack, Johnny, Helen & Gene; gay old time; Donald at Ft. Benning; hunt with hounds on a plantation; Jack Moran at Rutgers; Chet at Turner field in Ala with Grace

07/20/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

In a hurry; card from Roche; he's headed overseas; no mail from Joe or Dot in a week; How are lessons?

Includes Bob Roche's 7/19/43 letter to Frank.
07/19/1943 Roche, Bob
Chief Letter

I trained at Camp Croft with your son Frank. He wrote me when we were shipped but I lost his address. Will you please send his present address to me and send mine to him. I would appreciate this very much. Thank you.

Included in Gen's 7/20/43 letter to Frank.
07/21/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Enclosing 2 letters from Joe; signed up for a brush up course in typing; not worth the cost; Victory tax; defense jobs in Jersey, but would mean getting up at 5:30 and back at 7:30; pictures; Vmail paper; Air Mail to Joe works best; hope dysentery doesn't get serious - that's what put him in the hospital at Columbia; Joe's allotment came through; mail seems to come on the same day; Dot's bills; can't keep it up; saw Frank Brennan; did Peggy write?; Cordy isn't married yet; couldn't get Pete's address from Martha; old address; Felix's mother called; Vee, Betty, Chief and I going to Touhey's for dinner; Connors is home on furlough; Jim's ship to be christened; no word from Alfred in 6 weeks; may see Helen

Enclosed are carbon copies of Joe's 7/10/43 letters to Gen and to Chief.
07/21/1943 Tergesen, Ronnie Shields, Frank Letter

Can't write without lines; supply girl in purchasing dept; list of items to hand out; collect requisitions at 2:30, get orders ready for distribution by 9:30 next day; item numbers; 20 sizes of paper; every color pencil known; filing paper (bills) by order, department, date or signature; signature is hardest; working 1 month now; salesbook receipt procedure; 9:00 - 5:30; stand all day; $17 per week; still go with Jack; spend all day Saturday at beach; go out Fri - Mon with him; we go to shows; St. George pool; Steeplechase on Coney Island; cross for my birthday; sweet 16 & still not kissed; card for Jack; still praying for us?; signature; you're my favorite; pray that the war will soon be over; need your help in Latin and Math

07/22/1943 Roche, Bob
Shields, Frank Letter
Shenango Personnel Replacement Depot,
Transfer, PA

Well, Frank here I am in Shenango after all. I'm going overseas, too. I thought they were just kidding when we got here and we were told that we were going over. We were given new dark green fatigues. You can get everything new here if it is just the least bit worn. Do you remember Chillo from the second platoon back in Croft. We he shipped out today headed for the New York Port of Embarkation. They took away all his suntans. That means up north, I reckon. Antinozzi and Geller and Fumer are in another company than I so I guess we'll be separated. Rossi, Sommer, Turner, Woolf, Van Kampen, Rocciolo, Standish, Moloney (I forgot Joe Scardino) and a few of those morons from the fourth and third platoons are in this company. Geller is being put in 1-B and I guess Joe Turner is getting out of the infantry into an easier outfit. There are a lot of infantrymen here. Dumb, homely, tough guys. Boy, what a bunch of guys I'm with. There are an awful lot of Wops and Pollocks and Jews and a few Irishmen like man and Jim O'Donoughue from the second platoon. I've never heard such a bunch of filthy talkers in my life. I didn't know the guys in my barracks very well so I didn't talk. I just listened. Every other word was fuck or something like that. When I was in Croft, I didn't think much of talking like that cause everyone else did but up here, I decided that it's awful. No kidding, Frank, some of it turned my stomach. Well, enough of the moral side of Shenango.

This place is a goldbrickers paradise. I've been here almost two weeks and yesterday and today were the first days I've done any work. I just took off every chow and came back in time for roll call. We have roll call four times a day cause of all the AWOL guys. Do you remember Spatola, the boxer? Well he took off after we'd been here about four days and they haven't caught him yet.

The barracks here are one story black affairs. They are covered with black tar paper and have double decker bunks. There is one latrine per company. The food is swell, though. I've gained eight pounds here. There are no hard sidewalks, just dirt. The roads are dirt and the drainage system is poor. Every time it rains, the latrine has about six inches of water run in on the floor. For non-coms, we have OCS punks and six day generals and few one-B's. Oh, there are a few corporals and one sergeant.

Friday June 23 1943

Well here it is another day and I'm shipping to someplace else tomorrow. Again Rossi, Sommer, Scardino and I are together. We are going to Camp Kilmer, N.J. and I reckon you know what that means. I guess I'm going across sooner than I expected.

Say Frank, congratulations on that Pfc. rating. I just noticed it. How do you rate that going to college while we work and fight. It beats the shit out of me. I guess I'm destined to be a dog faced private for the duration and six. Who else, if anyone from Co. A, 37th Bn are with you. Boy, Frank, they sure separated us guys didn't they. Kurchey and Pat Roche and the guys who didn't ever have math or science before are getting shipped out of ASTP and back into the ARMY. You guys aren't in the Army. Schamarian is going to get killed if he goes across with us. Sommer says if he gets on deck he's going to throw him over.

Well, Frank, old pal, I've got to close now cause we have a shakedown inspection coming soon. We've got to keep in touch with each other. You're my boy. Take care of yourself. You can write to this address if you want to. So long.

07/23/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

No hotel & maid service for me; allaying Frank's concerns about ability to succeed at Purdue; comparison to CCNY; thrill of Chief Interviewer has worn thin; judgment overruled: can't win; lots of down time, then too much work; considered quitting, but can't back down; hope to get abroad someday; Joe swelling with pride; deserves the recognition; Harry's New Year's party in '44; furlough starts 8/1; no family like ours; Joe gone 1 year on 8/6; regards to Pete & Lee

07/24/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
North Africa

Like a pic of you in uniform; war bonds; sending money home and to Dot; not training for what you guessed; rifle scores; rifle hurts my shoulder; G. Yonkers from Royal is 2nd Lt; his old boss is buck private; do you hear from fellows in Supply?; like to hear from Joe Sherman; vmail; Frank's desire to be with his outfit from basic rather than in ASTP; this place is for guys like me, you're cut out for the work you're doing; war is hell; I'm doing more than enough for both of us; 13 missions


07/25/1943 Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Not in Army; unfortunate condition; tell me about your situation; resigned to being inducted, but was rejected; poor eyesight and a fibrous tumor in my nose; don't know what to do; quote from Book 1, Chapter 12 of Imitation of Christ; Duffy on furlough due to father's illness; he is unstable in many ways; God [may] promote him to death; Brennan trying for deferment; board calling him a dammed liar; Essay on "Youth" with Frank B. and Don O'Conner; Duffy's language; went to Rockaway with Joe Oussani and E. Dembinski; Gene's religious attitude;  visited Gen & girls; Duffy's leaving; happy Frank is in college

07/27/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Mail inconsistencies; waiting for letter from Joe written after invasion started; sending Joe candid camera; also wants Velvet tobacco and Baby Ruths; miraculous medal; package contents; Italy peace terms; went to CT to get Ma; Dot coming home in August; Jimmy's ship commissioned; took Helen to Brooklyn Navy Yard; tour of destroyer; article about Neil Ruddy; nice letter to Ronnie; El McNeely's baby; Ned Mildie; John Crowley

Includes Neil Ruddy Obit and copies of Joe's 6/29/43 letters to Gen and Chief
07/28/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Miraculous medal; Rec'd 7/6 letter from Joe; Chaplin from Teaneck, knows Thornhills; Ruddy funeral; Jimmy & Chief gone to Tommy's; Chief starts vacation; Victory Garden; Chickens: one may be a hen; can pet rooster; Chief loves them like Stupe; Grandpop feeds them; film for candid camera

07/28/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
North Africa

Congrats on PFC; hard to get rating in infantry; Colleges; war probably over in 15 months; "kosher boys"; comparison of living arrangements; forgotten what American girls look like; have a girl write to me; make sure it's a live wire; having a good time of it.


07/30/1943 Peg, Eil, Fel
Shields, Frank Postcard

On vacation (Rye, NY); Going fishing; caught fish we could eat;

Peggy Doyle's handwriting
08/02/1943 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
North Africa

Not too different here vs. Columbia SC; playing for keeps; description of the area, comparison to Hudson Valley; descriptions of living conditions: tents, drinking water, showers; 7 hours time difference; Dot's visit to Joe at Panama City; changes in a year; enjoyed every  minute; pictures; wonderful family; moods & temper; cross to bear; no more baseball scores; subscriptions to Life and Daily News; Air Power vs Infantry; can't get enough pictures; you look fatter; Frank looks taller; 21 soon; feel the same as I did when I was younger; leaving 87th St; chat in Cove Hotel; Arlene West, have her write me.


Gen typed a copy of this letter and sent it to Frank. See Doc #525.
07/31/1943 Roche, Bob
Shields, Frank Letter

Didn't go to Camp Kilmer; Locations of guys from basic training; quality of non-coms; Deverall made OCS; wish you were with me; let's get drunk for a month when this is over; see you 12/30/1944 in Marine Room of Hotel McAlpin

08/01/1943 Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, NC

Furlough activities; 10 days, but 2 in transit; resolved not to walk further than 200 yards; party with Peg, Eileen, Fel, Helen, John Acer & Jack Moran; saw Joe Oussani and John Collon; Joe O. went to St. Joseph's Seminary; Collon rejected by army; Duffy won his wings; Frank's 3 day endurance march; "mass recreation" at Camp Davis; time killing; digging pits for targets

08/04/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Please watch the barbed wire; sorry to hear about John C.; Joe's mail; Dot is here, came with [A?] West; Ma K. here too; Dot arrived at 5AM; her activities: went to Aunt Peggy's; visited CC office; Jimmy came for dinner; saw Gene Lovett; will see Dot Crowley; visit to CT, back in time for a party; wanted to meet her at train; felt let down when she walked in; with Ma here, can't leave; at exploding point; Ma picky and 3 kids are at their worst; Dot now a Cpl; Keck's house was sold; possible furlough for Joe; Fel had censored letter from Joe; Fel and Eileen have new jobs; don't think Fel is interested in Joe; Joe seems more mature; rooster crowing like hell; tried making root beer; Jimmy going soon

08/06/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

New glasses; Joe in Army 1 year now; Dot in CT, back for party tomorrow; Jim may have shipped out; Dot wants to: see D. Crowley who is laid up, go to Boyles, see Dr. Sefter about her back; Dora went missing for a while; will probably happen again; no dough in registered letter, only medal; paying Dot's bills; can't get camera for Joe; making copies takes hours; Connors gone to CA; some people get under my skin; Chief gave $5 towards beer for party; Fel not seriously interested in Joe; Ma still here

Includes Gen's typed copy of Joe's 7/28/43 letter to her.
07/28/1943 Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter

Got lots of mail; sorry about Mother's day; Joe Sherman; you look fat, mom; Ronny's job; still have my watch; Frank's PFC: he's coming up the hard way; send pics; ask Fel to send the picture she promised; only want a good camera for Xmas; keeping my hair short

Gen's typed copy.
Included in Gen's 8/6/43 letter to Frank.
08/01/1943 Roche, Bob
Shields, Frank Address Change

Address change for Bob Roche:

Pvt Robert Roche 32851679

Unassigned Co. Y Infantry

APO No. 8985 c/o Postmaster New York, NY

Date is estimated.
08/09/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Rec'd telegram and check; will deposit to savings; Dot returned from CT with Alfred and Helen Aiken; party went till 4AM; list of people at party; entertainers from Boyles; 3 sisters, Jimmy and friend, Ronnie & Jack were the life of the party; went for a walk barefooted; Alfred enjoyed himself; Dot went to see El McNeely & baby; Dot should be able to pay her bills now; sent "Radio Replies"; Do you get the benefit of two masses if 2 priests are saying mass at the same time?; went to Boyles last night; Jimmy shipping out in 2 days; Cordy at party; came home after battle with Dewey; singing old party songs; George Troy to make enlargements

08/10/1943 Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Frank Letter

You're on the right road; Dot was here; went back with Alfred and Helen while I minded the baby; wanted to go too; had a good cry; they returned Sun. with Betty for a few weeks; she loves excitement; she wants someone of her own age; now with Helen and Alfred; Joe in action; hope he comes home safe; don't mention I cried

08/02/1943 Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter

Lt Fletcher is co-pilot; ship's name is "Buckaroo"; "Little Joe" and picture of gremlin by turret; will send cablegram for your anniversary; letter from Ane and Dick; Richie in New Guinea; send Milky Ways or Hershey bars; would give $10 for 1 bar

Gen's typed copy. Included in Gen's 8/13/43 letter to Frank.
08/13/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Latest from Joe; rec'd 8/13; Ane and Tommy got mail today; Jimmy has shipped out

07/13/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

How's college going?; Party at 87th St: drinking, wearing lingerie, walking barefoot on 87th St; Jimmy Kirwan and buddy; Vacation in Rye: swimming, rowing, bowling, fishing; caught fish; Fel and Eileen's new jobs; Dodgers in 4th place

08/17/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Send card if too busy to write; Betty still in CT; Collon working?; hope to hear from Jimmy; hen IS a rooster; damned if I'm going to feed 2 roosters all winter; shorts with buttons; El McNeely's baby; Chief took Davy Joe for a walk; bought him a cone; reminded me of when he took you and Joe out

08/17/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Furlough!; as though I'd never been away; too many social obligations; Gen wasn't sure I enjoyed my stay; Busby's; Dot Crowley; Boyle's; beer fest; barefoot walk around block; entertainers from Boyle's; back in the groove; the battle of "P.U." must be won

08/20/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Gen surprised that Joe could write such a letter; letter of 8/9 says he moved again to Tunisian coast; can go to Cape Bon, but nothing there; Cliffie still in Sperry's

Includes typed copy of Joe's 8/2/43 letter to Dot
08/24/1943 Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter
Camp Davis, NC

Waiting to move out; 3 activities: writing, sleeping, raising bedlam; tossing bayonets; operating an AA unit; Frank's EE courses; CCNY profs?; Collon's letter: full of vulgarity and cussing; Aircraft accident interrupted letter; woman pilot; furloughs; broke

The accident he refers to occurred 8/25/43. Aircraft serial number 42-6759, piloted by Joyce Sherwood.
08/25/1943 [Unknown], Menten
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Comparison of location (?) to Ft. Oglethorpe; runways and planes are exciting; got the urge to fly; bowling and pool tables; MS dryer than GA; beer is horse piss; soda fountain; KP; Dot's furlough with Westy: what happened?; overseas duty: training sounds hard; work in payroll

08/24/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Weekly letter arrived; Frank refused beer?; beer is rationed: no more 1/8 kegs, only 1/4's.; will have beer on your furlough, and lemon pie too; furlough seems to curtail appetites; Gene Lovett prepared to go; only 60; Chief says to wear ROTC Sgt insignia, not PFC stripe; Bill Connors in San Diego; Jackie Meyers; mistake in money sent home; Western Union corrected it; reports from N. Africa; Fall is starting; Dora behaving OK; Chief taking over their finances

08/25/1943 Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Flowery way of saying "I like your letters"; I'm not somber, I'm happy; Poem about Frank's studies and warning him about getting drunk or getting someone pregnant; EE degree in 14 months;  possibility of going to Europe; Joe Oussani; still working on essay with Brennan and O'Conner; John Duffy engaged; John's faith vs intelligence

08/25/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
North Africa

19 Missions; M1 vs .50 cal; have heard most of the news from home; get 3 sisters to write; Roberson's mother died; 15 months [to complete degree] isn't too long.


08/28/1943 Duffy, John Shields, Frank Letter
Nashville Army Air Center, Nashville TN

Dear Frank,

I finally got your address from Eugene so I am taking this opportunity to write you.

When you get this I shall be in Maxwell Field the army pilot pre-flight school. Here I'll study code, navigation physics math and many other subjects that will be hard for me. Fortunately, thank God, they don't wash you out here but they try & get you through into primary training.

I passed all three of my tests for pilot, bombardier & navigator so if I should get washed out there's a chance I can come back in some other capacity.

You got a darn lucky break - to think that in a year you'll get your E.E. degree - boy that's really something. I guess your courses are really tough but I know of no one who would be a better match for them. How do you like Purdue University? I guess there are many nice co-eds there.

John is making out fine - he writes me twice weekly. He was turned down[?] for awhile because of his nose but thank God that is fixed now so who knows.

I guess it will be a long time before I see you but do write and tell me how things are. When this mess is over we're really going to have a time.

Oh yes, Skip Sclafani is down here with me.
Best of luck & God bless you

Your devoted friend

Johnnie Duffy

Nashville Army Air Center letterhead.

Full Transcript.
08/31/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Payday; Rec'd package; 9 days for laundry; mail from Collon, Gene D, Duffy, 3 sisters; Franciscan church; pool & movies, then crap game in my room; Jim, Pete & Ed; expected furlough in 5 weeks may not happen; semester extended, and next one starts immediately after; beer party; Army inefficiency!; Duffy engaged; Collon's tumor removed, he may be a GI yet.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Four weeks till furlough? News from Collon? Where's Starace? Chief went crabbing at Oceanside: 2 doz crabs and beer. Took Ma (Kirwan) to Teaneck with Vee. Charlie Katz birthday on 9/7. Kids and Chief go back to school in 2 weeks. Cordy's troubles. Suggestions for Xmas present for Joe?

Two poems included: Takeoff on Trees by Joyce Kilmer and Only a Boy
Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

"Come on Soldier!" Crying in your beer? Stop complaining about your furlough. Dot & Joe's furloughs. What to do with 2 roosters? Bath for Stupe. Don't let it get you down. Two Walkoff boys in Air Corps. Tony Armory drafted. Seeing draftees leave makes me tear up. Glad you 3 weren't drafted. Josh and James Flanigan were injured in action. Cordy's mother died. Get your chin up.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Money order went to wrong address. Keep more; hate to see you leave yourself short. Will deposit the money. Had to borrow some of the previous $45; will pay it back before war is over. Thomas Flanigan wounded, not Josh and James. Betty saw Harry Staley. Cooled down yet?

Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

Bad days in the army. But I have it easy compared to Joe. Xmas Furlough plan: see you en route to Brooklyn. Consider your options. Xmas presents. What to do if Grandpop or Dora dies? 27 years old today. Miss our conversations. Contents of birthday package from Gen. $5 from Auntie; cable from Joe.

Moran, Eileen
Shields, Frank Letter

Forgive you for calling my earlier letter a "poor excuse". Your last letter was nicest we've had. Changes since a year ago. Remember the day: almost missed lunch date; day at Lyndehurst; day at beach before Joe left; New Year's eve? Italy's surrender. Pictures to be sent to you, Joe, Gene D.

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Angry over article concerning British opinion about American contribution to the war. Changing moods; feelings towards Frank. Ref to Frank's letter saying he's misunderstood; Fel feels she's misunderstood. Last letter was very chatty. Mail sent to all 3 sisters vs. to each personally: would like personal reply for a change. Growing up: like beer now. John Duffy. Sister Grace is pregnant. Guy met at a Wed. night dance has shipped out. How are your dances? Pictures to come.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Betty got your card. Anniversary cablegram from Joe. Gene Lovett's wake and funeral. What do you think of Italy's surrender?

Obit for Eugene Lovett enclosed.
Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Gene Lovett's death. Autumn in GA. Beautiful day; comparison to others in combat. 19 hours of guard duty. Joe's letter to Gen: self-analysis. Frank's letter to Ronnie comparing "us" to Joe: beautiful tribute.

Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter North Africa

Lot of letters to answer. Enjoy your type-written letters. Letters come in clumps. Cameras. Thanks for Kaywoodie pipe. Send Ma Kirwan my love. Don't hang out at the Navy Yard. Air Corps will bring home the Victory. Beer rationing will be rough on Chief. Give the $25 to the kids. Anniversary of Betty's arm. Keep sending candy. Pat Monahan. Father Paynton is here; knows Ane. Agree that Fel isn't serious about me. I won't get hurt. Was alter boy with Neil Ruddy. Wild youth. Fel plays piano; could listen for hours. Frank's letter to Ronnie. Ronnie is not my favorite sister, Dot is. She was always there for me. Self-analysis: comparison to Dot & Frank. Dismisses Frank's reference to Joe's abilities. Personality is a cover. Proud of Dot & Frank.


This letter was likely included in Dot's 9/12/43 letter to Frank.
Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Letter

Betty's party a success. She rec'd cablegram from Joe. Another one for our Anniversary. News of Grandpop and Dora would take a book. Dora raising hell: interrupted Betty's party, tried to have Grandpop put out, argued with everyone, claimed she hadn't eaten in 3 days and threatened to call the cops. Gene Lovett died 9/8. Daughter Dot predicted he'd die on the 8th. Touhey hasn't repaid me or phoned.

Aiken, Theresa
Shields, Frank Letter `

Canning vegetables for winter. Ma K. is at Ane's. Did you get to see Pete? His heart trouble kept him out of school and the Army. Martha asked if you got her presents. Send a "thank-you". Xmas presents.

Pelletier, Dot Vmail Bristol, England

Hospital located in Frenchay Park. Bristol has been bombed but many landmarks still stand. Extend and invitation to Joe to visit. Hospital and work are wonderful. Best American hospital in England. Spent 3 days at Shakespeare Festival. Visited Glasgow and Loch Lomond. Flew back to London in bomber.

Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Read your letters to Fel and Eileen. Glad we're all finally on terms of good will. Anxious to see the metamorphosis that you speak of. Last sight of you was waving good-bye from 86th St. station. Best pic of you I've seen; what were you looking at? Went to Coney Island for first time in 2 years.  Not a white face in 200 yards. Place is a shambles. Joan Cahill to receive her habit on 9/25. Don is home. John Duffy: girl does not know what she's getting into.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Everyone well. Cablegrams from Joe. Said he sent money and package, but neither has arrived. Has 21 missions as of 9/4. Dot called on our Anniversary. Glad to hear you're getting furlough. Sent boxes of candy to Joe. Dick is taking Ma Kirwan home.

Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter North Africa

Are your classes like CCNY? Do they let you play with electricity? Promoted to S/Sgt. Forget having a babe write me: too busy. Duffy's engagement. Thought Skippy was studying for priesthood. Lowered requirements for Air Corps; maybe you could join? Think you'd like being navigator. Subscription to Yank: never get that here, only Stars and Stripes. Pin-up girls will add spice. Ground is hard, but rainy season starts soon. 31 missions so far. You'll be 21 soon and can buy beer like the rest of us.


Moran, Eileen
Shields, Frank Letter

You have changed, I can see it in your letters. You could cut people deep, but latest letters have shown a change in attitude. Peg has all of your old letters. Sent 5 letters to Joe in one week. Joe has changed too. Still singing old songs, but leaning new ones. Everyone but us has heard Dirty Gertie. John Acer was home; looks swell in uniform. Took us to see Dixie; we both cried. He kissed me goodbye in front of my parents. Looking forward to your "BIG" kiss. Thinking of joining Nurses Cadet Corps. Not seeing Vince any more. Duffy's fiance. Collin going into Army?

Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Starting 4th season in the Army. Would not trade for civilian life. Joe, Dot and I will have changed when we return to "normal" life. We'll have greater appreciation for "family". Went into Army life an ignorant child; have come a long way, still more to go. Ronnie, Vee and Betty are changing too. Looking forward to when my children are nearing marrying age. Took Army exams this week: did not prepare for them, they do not determine our future in ASTP. Possible presents for Christmas. Could you send $1?

Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Was thinking of you and typing at the same time. Flattered at your analogy of my letters. Could have hugged you for the comparison to Collon's letters.  Relationship between Peg, Fel and Eileen: if  you make one happy, we're all happy. We three paid for ice cream sodas with $.30 and $.15 in stamps. Joan Cahill now a carmelite novice; it was overwhelming. Explanation of Fel's job and associated forms. Lot of fun speaking to "rough and ready" railroad men.

Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

When you need money, write sooner. Joe made S/Sgt; has 28 flights in. You three have changed considerably. Downstairs: sometimes they're like a pair of kids complaining about each other. Grandpop is getting forgetful. Furlough next month! Chief off with beer can!

Collon, John
Shields, Frank Letter

Gene Dembinski is in San Francisco. Duffy asks if ASTP requires an extended service period. Collon's opinion is no. Attending Columbia U to obtain Master's degree. Have job at New School for Social Research selling tickets. Collon's poetry.

10/03/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Feeling blue. Reminiscence on Sundays past. Long wait till war is over: "Handful of heartaches multiplied a million times." Gen & Chief talked about false rumors in 1918. What will it feel like when war ends? So much to discuss - perhaps our letters will help us after the war. Furlough plans: home or with you in IN?

10/04/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

What time will you arrive? Want to have provisions; please don't catch me short. Shoes: get ration stamps. Joe up to 30 missions. Jim K. was here; had been to Maine, New London and Bermuda. Furlough plans for Dot & Frank. Cold weather. Dining room temp is 57°: furnace broke. Govt says don't light furnace until Nov. 1.

10/13/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Late as usual. Thanks for saying all those nice things. All on friendly terms again. Foxy Grandpa. John Acer chosen for Navy course in sound detection. Met a girl named Mary Nilon. Any word on John Duffy & fiancee? Taxes can make a raise worthless. Thinking of Nurses Cadet Corps, but have to convince my mother. Any word of Gene Dembinski? Dinner and show: Janie: plenty of laughs.

10/14/1943 Shields, Gen Shields, Frank Letter

Dot said she would phone but didn't. Supposed to go to DC, but instead is going to Washington PA. Only $1.00 for 3 minute call to Pittsburgh. Joe has 33 flights in. Stupe getting a bath next Sat; he's gotten thin.

10/18/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter
Army Admin School,
Washington, PA

National Highway US 40. A series of picture cards showing sights along US 40 from Wheeling WV to Baltimore (and going through Washington PA).

10/21/1943 Moran, Eileen
Shields, Frank Letter

Thursday, October 21, 1943

Dear Frank,

Now how am I going to start this letter. I should apologize for this late answering, you know. Really, Frank, each time I write a letter, it seems I have to make an excuse for not writing sooner, - not that the person demands an excuse, but my conscience insists that I make one. Each time, no matter what the reason, I say - and truly believe-that I will do better. Somehow, it never seems to work out that way. Maybe I'll be extra-special prompt for a letter or two and then - I don't know - I just don't get around to it for a month or so. The real truth of the matter is that I have no excuses. That's why I try so hard to make one, I guess. Oh, well, Frank, you understand, I guess everybody has the same trouble.

That was quite a story about that crap game you related in your last letter. Keep on coming out a dollar ahead in each game and you'll come home a rich man. That Sgt. McCall must be quite a character. I seems you have something different to tell about him in each letter - A result of being Brooklyn bred, no doubt.

So you think all I need is a little lovin', eh Frank. I wish I could think the say way, But I'm afraid any ol' lovin' won't do me a bit of good. You know, as far as getting nice fellows for date I've been pretty lucky. The only trouble is I never seem to be able to get palpitations over any of them. Maybe after I go out with them once or twice I begin to think it might be "him", but then very shortly I'm disillusioned and begin to get bored. OH well, Old Maids run in my family, and with only one out of every seven gals going to get her man after the war, what chance have I?

Did I tell you I joined the USO (N.C.C.S.) on Shore Road, right near your house. Gee, its swell. Everybody seems to think its the best canteen going. When that furlough of yours comes along, maybe I could drag you over on a Friday night, eh?

The first night I was there, as luck would have it, you'll never guess who I ran into after not seeing him for about four months - Vince. Gee, everything happens to me! Here I am not five minutes inside the place - not knowing a soul - and in walks my long lost friend. Needless to say he nearly colapsed when he saw me, we had a very nice talk, but gave no encouragement to renew the friendship. You know what they say about the sleeping dog.

Anyway the next week I went & met a very nice Soldier - honest a real Soldier not a sailor - and I have seen him about six or seven times now. He is really a very nice fellow, a good Catholic, 25 years old, six feet two, rather intelligent, and very nice looking. Of course, as you can tell from the above, its nothing serious on my part, but it is a guarantee of an occasional date. Oh yes, he is from Wilmington, Delaware, and was a draftsman for Dupont before the war. At any rate, I have had a lot of fun with him, but he expects to be shipping any minute now, so I guess I'll have to start hunting again. Know anybody eligible??

You might be interested - if you have not already been told the gory details by one of my colleagues - in hearing about our most recent exploit.

I think I told you all about our interest in the Nurses Cadet Corps, didn't I. Well, we found out that a basketball chum from St. Francis was training in Kings County and I got in touch with her. We arranged to visit her last Saturday after work, and needless to say we were all very anxious to see the place.

Well, Frank, we were escourted around all of the Nurses' quarters and classrooms, all of which was very nice and cosy. Then we decided we wanted to see some patients but we were not allowed to go into the hospitable but she said that she could take us someplace just as good - the morgue. Yes, Frank, Fel, Peg and myself spent last Saturday visiting the Kings County Morgue. We went into the place which was all lined with what looked like files to me, and turned out to be where the bodies were kept on ice. A funny little man - just like you see in the morgues in the movies - came out and asked us what we wanted, and nearly collapsed when we asked to see a body. At just that moment a funeral car (hearse) drove up and the under-taker' name was Austin W. Moran and when I said my name was also Moran they said we could see anything in the place.

First of all we were asked if we would like to see an embalming and of course we - all but the Nurse - gave an enthusiastic "Yes". We were then lead down this long hall lined with the "file cabnits" to a door upon which the funny man knocked. Another man came to the door and upon being told what we wanted sticks an arm out from behind the door and says "Shake". Being a very friendly person I started to clasp the hand when I looked at it and let out a scream. It was a sort of blue-gray color and I just knew it was dead. The man behind the door, however, insisted that it was his and began cleaning the finger nails of the discolored hand with his other hand. Finally, he opened the door and showed us the entire arm which turned out to be off the man they were embalming who had been hit by a subway train and immediately killed. We were then ushered into this small roon where the body lay and very calmly watched a man washing the body. There were two other bodiies in the room waiting their turn but needless to say, we felt the urge to leave before they got to them.

Really, there was a whole lot more stuff that we saw, but I think maybe we had better give it to you in small doses. Surprisingly enough it had little effect on us, except, of course, none of us felt the urge to eat any supper.

Anyhoo, by the time we finished with the morgue and heard about all the dirty work like delousing dirty patients and such and saw the dead people, we were a little discouraged. I intend to try to get over to see St. Vincent's Hospital some time soon, but I  do think that Fel, and Peg are about decided against it.

That's the way things have been going with us lately, one week we go to see Joan enter the convent, a few weeks later we go to the morgue, and yesterday I get a letter from a nun at St. Francis who wanted me to become a nun, asking that I come to visit her. Such a life! Maybe I'll take the easy way out and join the convent. Boy, what I couldn't do to a perfectly good convent!

Well, Frank, I guess I'll sign off now, we are looking forward to seeing you real soon. That term of yours ought to be over shortly, shouldn't it?

Oh, yes, I knew that there was something I wanted to tell you. Frank, don't ever worry about what you say to one of us - I mean about its effect on the others. Really, we're not always at one anothers throats - or yours either. We like to hear from you guys and know what's going on where you are. That's the only reason we read one anothers letters. Why, our letters are always contradicting one another's. We exaggerate at times, elaborate most of the time, and sprinkle a little bull here and there for effect. Really, I think it is only human to do that, and I don't think any of us will get excited at any little thing you happen to put into one of our letters. By the way, even if the mail is slower, I think this new way of answering is much better. Even if you just made three copies of each letter there is something elevating about getting your own mail at your own address.

I'm closing again, and wishing you all the luck in your exams which must be coming up real soon or are just over - naturally prayers come with the wish.

Love & kisses, Eileen

P.S. I just finished a long letter to Joe before I started this.

10/23/1943 Purdue University
Shields, Frank Report Card

ASTP report card for 12 week term ending 10/23.

11/01/1943 Purdue University
Shields, Frank Member Card

Social Recreational Fee Card from Purdue Memorial Union.

11/04/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Dragged myself to work. Warn us next time you're coming home. Say "hello" to Jim and Pete. Saw Kings Row with Fel and Eileen. Letter from John Acer to Aunt Ann: seasick on first cruise.

11/06/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Sending $17 for your Christmas present: so you can visit Dot in PA. Uneventful trip back with Jim and Pete.  Not living with Ed, Jim, Pete or Dave anymore; am now in Phi Kappa Sigma house. Not sure I like current roommates. Drinking on train back; chicken and whiskey when we arrived. More reconciled to being in ASTP: degree will help with job and marriage after war.

11/10/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Trying to write same day I receive a letter. That was the nicest letter I've ever received. Your pen is more fluent than your tongue sometimes. Enjoyed every moment we spent together. Don't feel bad about not having "said your piece;" I take it as a compliment. Had a good time in Jersey Sunday. Gene Gaiser finished Navy boot camp. Joe has 37 missions in; hope he's close to furlough.

11/16/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Forgot to tell you that I had a swell time. Glad you're happy you'll be able to visit Dot. Christmas away from home won't be so bad. Got your package. Classes require too much homework. Best course is Machine Shop. Rec'd letter from Roche in Italy.

11/18/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Only half-answered your last letter. Compliment from Pete. Felt at ease with your friends. Withheld some of your info from Fel and Eileen. Redecorating at home. Sent a letter to Joe.

11/23/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter

Glad you got a furlough. You really have Peg on the run; she is one swell gal. Purdue's football team. Don't mention snow: it makes me homesick. Thanks for subscription to Yank. Swell of you to send Gen some dough. It's rough over here, and I don't mean maybe. Raining constantly; I pity guys in foxholes. Only been plastered once since joining army. Going to drink tonight. "C" rations for 7 months. Letters mean a lot to us guys.


12/05/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Picture makes  you look sort of  Barney Google-ish. Picture very popular around the office; too popular. Went to Catholic USO on Shore Rd. Three sisters went to see Princess O'Rourke at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater. Thanksgiving dinner with Ed and Doris. Rec'd card and letter from Joe. Praying for you, Joe and Bob Roche.

12/06/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Writing to you during Math Class. Christmas decorations in W. Lafayette. May get tree and decorations in Frat House. Won $14 in crap game, but feel bad about it. Tried to help Ed Conley get a crap game going, but wound up taking all his money. Trying to figure a way to give it back to him. Rec'd $3 from Auntie. Presents or money for the kids? Bought Peggy a silver bracelet.

12/11/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Card
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

"Home for Christmas." Sorry your Christmas came early? Wish we could all be home.

12/11/1943 Shields, Frank Chief Card
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Greatest kick out of sending this present. Take Mom out, or buy yourself something. Have a good time!

12/11/1943 Shields, Frank StJacques, Betty Card
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

"Season's Greetings" - Hope the $3.50 helps solve your financial troubles. Buy yourself a hot dog and a root beer in the 5 & dime store.

12/12/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Rec'd your "dental note". I bet I have more silver in my mouth than you do. Usual activities: USO, saw No Time for Love at the Paramount. Too long: Movie, 3 shorts, News and a stage show. Like kiddies bargain day at the Culver. Also listened to Make Believe Ballroom. Hate Christmas shopping crowds. Rec'd letter from Joe; he had Turkey on Thanksgiving. Have mood swings lately. Maybe need Carter's Little Liver Pills or just a little lovin'? Who do you suggest?

12/14/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Vmail
North Africa

"Merry Christmas Vmail" - hoping we can be together this time next year. 43 missions now.


12/14/1943 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Vmail
North Africa

"Merry Christmas Vmail" - Christmas again and we aren't together. Please God, next year.


12/16/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

"TO YOU at Christmas" - wish we could go together to Midnight Mass this Christmas. But there will be other Christmases.

12/21/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

"Hell, it is Christmas!" - At least it's original.

12/22/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Merry Christmas! My present to you was delayed due to a cold. All of my shopping is done.  Pre-Christmas presents from family members. Christmas Eve plans: work gift exchange, lunch, tree decorating, Midnight Mass and finally Christmas Dinner. Fel going to Jersey on Xmas day; will see Eileen sometime.

12/24/1943 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Promises to be a good Christmas. Rec'd your very large package! Won't open it until Christmas day. Going to Midnight mass with Pete and Ed, then having a party tonight in Jim's room. Have been serenaded by girls from Sorority houses last few nights. Won't be a white Christmas though. Small-town dentist did a good job. Rec'd box of candy or cookies from Mrs. Kampf. The Hills girls sent $2. Glad the girls liked their presents. Conley went to a bar and everyone bought him beers. Will have to move out next week while new boiler goes in.

10/30/1943 Roche, Bob
Shields, Frank Letter
Somewhere in Italy

Hear ASTP has filled its quota. Hope they send them here for an army of occupation. More than once I've wished I was in ASTP or Croft or even Upton. Beats sleeping in a slit trench in the rain, and chow was better than "C" rations. Remember infiltration in basic? Well the guys on machine guns here really want to hit us. Have a B.A.R. now; Pfc comes with it. Nice weapon, although it does get heavy. Tommy Dwyer's address. Solemn high mass in a church; some beautiful churches here.

12/12/1943 Shields, Joe Shields, Frank Letter
North Africa

Your card meant a lot to me. I sent you a little something; Gen will send it along. Dot gave me a wonderful Tobacco Pouch; must have cost $10. Now with 380th Bomb Squadron. 43 missions completed.


12/25/1943 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

My dear Frank,

Well, here it is. - I hope you like it at least half as well as I do your gift. Of course you don't have to like it. You can always set it in front of your favorite mouse hole and scare off Mickey when you don't feel like being bothered by him. Then again the colors would brighten things up a bit. So maybe it will serve some purpose. I also hope you'll excuse the delay but as you know I've explained that before.

At any rate, here's wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Little Christmas and general greetings.

Love and XX


Not dated or stamped.
Estimating year at 1943 based on mention of a delay. See Doc #577.

Full Transcript.
11/01/1943 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter

"So you're going on Furlough" Tongue-in-cheek description of a furlough gone bad.

Date is a guess. I think Dot typed it and sent it to Frank.
01/02/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Swell time at Christmas and New Years. List of Christmas gifts. Drawer full of cookies, but I'll keep the licorice to myself. Thank the Hill girls and Gladys for me; I won't have time. Feeling the strain of the coursework. Ed Conley may flunk out. Going to church is restorative. Morale is good. Tickled pink to hear Chief has taken up photography.

01/04/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Bracelet is really snazzy. Just received it last night even though you sent it 12/16. Santa was good to me this year. Thanks for remembering my birthday. Spent New Years Eve at USO with Fel and Eileen, then to Fel's for cake and tea. Holidays were lacking this year though.

Two clippings of poems from a newspaper included.
01/06/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Spent New Years Eve as Barracks Police. Thanks for Seraphic Mass Card; it helps your confidence. Gen hopes her prayers are more effective than in '43. Sent letters to Joe and Frank. Had wild dreams about Joe coming home. But hope the limit won't be raised to 75. Shaw's letters. Didn't sign pay card so no money till middle of Jan. Ironing shirts. Might be able to get some film for Joe.

01/08/1944 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Our relationship is like cement: the longer it sets, the firmer it becomes. Greatly pleased with the bracelet; it's as though you were here with me. Hope your morale is better. The importance of building strong friendships. It's a pity we can't visit occasionally. Live for the near future; looking too far into the future is disheartening. Christmas was good; we thought about us, not about home. Most likeable course is Machine Shop. It's satisfying to work with your hands. ASTP will help prepare me for the future. Peggy: let me know what you hear about us. She's closer than a friend, but I'm not ready to marry her. Ed Conley had a stomach operation.

01/08/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Furlough coming in 3 weeks. Will say some prayers to help classes go easier for you. Jack Moran was here on furlough. Stopped in at 87th St; saw cross Gen picked out for Fel. Love my ID bracelet; the wrapping and ribbon were very special too. Sending your present tomorrow. Rec'd record from John Acer; he's met a nice girl in Miami. Met a corporal in the Air Corps who wished he was in the Infantry with "some real fighting men." Don is in Louisiana. Gene D. wrote; he's doing fine in the Philippines.

01/10/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Ed Conley was operated on for stomach ulcers. Ed thinks it means the end of his Army life. Say prayers for him.

01/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Card
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Just got paid. All mail rec'd. Busy as hell past several days. One[?] mail to everybody. Really tired. Need to get that medicine into me.

01/11/1944 Foran, Ed
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Seymour Johnson Field, NC

Trip home was wonderful. My commission was almost completed when Sec'y of War placed a freeze on them. Slated for overseas as a 275 with 30 other men. Only challenge here is in the methods and techniques of "goofing off." Reality of Army life: 30 specialists objected to being shipped out as 590's. After their hearings (lasting 30 minutes all told), all were shipped as 590's. Hope things break your way; ignore my frustrated remarks.

01/13/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Office mates also have nothing more to write home about: I'm not alone. Would prefer if the work were steady, rather than 3-4 days off followed by 3 of exhaustion. Sent few Xmas letters this year; one to Kampfs, another to Troys. Wonderful letter from Frank; wish he were nearer. Sherman is still here; West will be in Brooklyn soon. Brad is going into the field. Surprise birthday party for Sherman. What news from home?

01/12/1944 Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

Your letter reminded me of the way I write. I can tell we have a sincere friendship. I hope Ed Conley's disappointment in his medical discharge is counterbalanced by his ability to be with his wife and child. Mormon friend in medical corps. Gen gave me a beautiful cross and chain from Joe; mixed reactions to it. Will make a point to help a bashful GI have a good time at USO. John Acer is now in Norfolk, VA waiting for overseas duty. Hear Gene D. is fine; I wrote him but haven't heard back. Eileen saw John Collon; he wrote some poetry to us in his Xmas card. Gene G. is in NY and has 5 girlfriends. Eileen and I are reading religious works on Russia.

01/15/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Mother and Jim went to Rye for the week; I'm staying next door. Glad you like the new stationery; don't let the guys rib you about it. Cartoon reminds me of "Simon Legree" Shields. Fel followed your advice and looked for a bashful soldier at USO. Went swimming on Sat while it snowed outside; also went skating. Joke about Jersey Bounce. Glad you like the picture I sent. Ring is present from Aunt Bess.

Newspaper cartoon clipping enclosed.
01/19/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

10 month anniversary in the Army. Yours is the only mail I get. No work to do today. Last Friday went to Phone Co. to see how they operate, then went to Red Room in the Hotel Patten. Quite an experience for a GI. Then had afternoon off. Weather has been wonderful; makes me want to be a civilian so I can go my own way. Didn't feel well, so stayed in yesterday. Sending home Life magazine to save; wonderful paintings about the service. Sent Joe the poem from Esquire. Can you send me "Joe's" bracelets? Frank liked his. When does he get furlough? Hope to be able to match his next one. Rita Delaney came through processing here. She hasn't changed. Nothing ever happens here.

Typed copy of Esquire 01/44 poem "The Gunner, Every Time"
01/18/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Ed Conley is better now; no word on school or discharge. If he stays in the Army, he'll probably have to drop out of ASTP. He says thanks for religious card. Rec'd your letter intended for Dot; will pass it on. Also rec'd box of socks. All Chief's pix were excellent. Furlough due soon, but won't tell you the date. Only 6 days at home though.

02/01/1944 Moran, Eileen
Shields, Frank Card

"Especially for You" Birthday card.

01/31/1944 Sherman, Billie
Shields, Gen Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Thanks for the birthday card. Enjoy your letters to Dot and Joe's letters to you. You have two wonderful boys: Frank - wise beyond his years & a beautiful mind. Joe - so alive with good, down to earth wholesomeness. Your family is one of the finest I've known. Dot has a wonderful sense of humor, always making with the jokes. She has more on the ball than anyone in the Dept. In school, she ranked "superior" in everything. Don't tell her I said so.

02/02/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

"With Love for your Birthday" - Birthday card.

02/02/1944 Kampf, Gladys & Bill
Shields, Frank Card

"A Birthday Salute To You, Soldier" - Birthday card

Date on card (1/3/44) is probably a typo. Postmark is 2/2/44.
02/02/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Just a quickie! Rec'd your special delivery note. Wish I were there. Ask Frank if his next furlough is around May 2. Sherman is about to move out; doesn't know when or where. Brad left a week ago. I am ineligible for overseas, so far, due to schooling. I always get the short end! Joe's package not here yet. Got present for Vee, but can't find anything yet for Ronnie or Betty. To Frank: have one on me. Remember me to Peggy.

02/03/1944 Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Card

"Greetings On Your Birthday" - Birthday card.

02/06/1944 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
Corsica, France

I didn't write because I thought you wouldn't be at Oglethorpe long. Rec'd your 12/27 letter this morning; it was beautiful. I'm still crazy about your present. Didn't know what to get Fel so sent Gen money & she got 14k cross and chain. Fel LOVED the present. I'm crazy about that girl, but I've given up hope. Please understand if I ask you not to write more reminiscing letters. It's not easy to have your thoughts going back over the years, and it's been rough upstairs lately. Have 49 missions now. Lt Fletcher is on his way home. Spent some time in Rest Camp in Italy in Jan. Corsica isn't bad; it's winter now and mountains are covered with snow. Betty might be in Africa; I'll drop her a line. She was nicest girl in your office. Vienna sausages for Christmas. Fed camp for 2 weeks from Gen's packages. When are you and Frank going to OCS?


02/07/1944 Purdue University
Shields, Frank Schedule

ASTP Schedule Card for EE school, class 5. Shows Frank's course list and schedule of classes.

02/06/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Arrived back in Lafayette today. Couldn't sleep last night so used Pete's scotch. Good to get a shower after that ride. Haven't seen Ed Conley; perhaps he's shipped out. Get a copy of today's NY Sunday Mirror Magazine: there's an article about a Japanese agent whom I trained with in basic. We all disliked him: he was a know-it-all and an ass kisser.  Had a very enjoyable furlough; Ronnie's goodbye touched the hearts of the fellows.

02/09/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Expected to hear about Frank's furlough by now, but no mail! I've learned my lesson: I'll write! No word from Brad, who went to Camp Davis, NC. Sherman was busted to Pfc in order to go out. She was OK with it; she went to MA. Hope she'll join us next furlough. Have not requested overseas duty; if I MUST bin in the 4th Service Command, I'd may as well stay here. Ratings in this job stink!

02/08/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Song on the radio is I wish I could hide inside this letter and do I! Glad you didn't carry out your pre-furlough threats. As in my last letter, I was afraid you'd turned wolf. Your attitude and treatment were not harsh or unkind; you only had 6 days, and that's barely enough to get reacquainted. Lunch on Monday was a little strained. Wednesday was a perfect evening. I enjoyed my time with you.

02/07/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

I've come to depend on mail from home. I'd give my right arm for a letter from Joe. Wallet from Joe arrived. Chief have any theories on AAF's mission in Corsica? Baffled by what's happening to him. Is Jimmy K. in the pacific? Will write to Alfred. T/5's and over have no bed-check. Although there's nothing to do in this burg. Considering requesting overseas duty. Don't think they need 275's, but if we sign, fate would crack down and off we'd go.

02/07/1944 Bradbury, Elsie M
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Davis, NC

Having my blood typed AGAIN. Camp Davis is typical southern camp: 35 miles from nearest town, Wilmington, NC, which makes Chattanooga look like New York. Doing classification work reporting to a Pfc, but he knows what he's doing. First assignment where I know no one. This is a good assignment; I just have the new assignment jitters.

First name identified from WAC ID.
02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA


02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA


02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Hitchhiking over the Sierra if I don't get mail pronto!

02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

You owe it to your Uncle Sam!

02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

You'd do as much for a friend

02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

I have a letter to write this evening ...

02/11/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA


02/13/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Now you know how I like going without mail. Frank's furlough must have scooted by. Will be home in 3 paydays! Ronnie learning to be long distance operator; thought she had quit school. It's a good skill to have, but don't let it interfere with schooling. Competition for jobs will be tough when the war is over.  Gen trained us for homemaking; the rest is up to us. Protocol for receiving a personal call at Ft. Oglethorpe.

02/15/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Card
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

"Greetings to you on this Important Day." Includes a poem to Gen from Dot

02/16/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Still have 1/2 bottle of the liquor I brought back. Package arrived; had hoped it would contain pics Geo. Troy took of me and some chow for late-night snacks. Frank's relationship with Peggy: Dot and Gen pushing for marriage, Frank isn't ready yet. Ed Conley's location. Fellows had some very favorable comments about Ronnie. Valentine from Mrs. Dembinski.

02/18/1944 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Purdue team called "boilermakers": now studying boiler plate design. Admonition to Dot to "buck up" ... look at the bright side of being away from home. Furlough plans. Sent maps from Yank to Chief. Prospects of marriage to Peg. Chief says he likes her. Frank will propose when and if he's ready. Barracks inspection: they didn't find Frank's liquor. Might go to Chicago and have a chance to see Pete Kirwan. Lower-level ASTP'ers being sent back to troops; not sure of my status. Sent gold cross & chain to Gen for her birthday.

02/18/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Card
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Belated birthday card for Gen.

02/20/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Request for Pete Kirwan's address in Chicago; he and Jim may go there.

02/20/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Glad to know my letters improve your morale. Explanation of statement in earlier letter: "funny to greet someone just when they're leaving". Like to take my time on things that are important, esp. with regards to people. Will think of you at bedtime in the future. 3 sisters and Fel's cousin Joyce went to the Music Hall to see Jane Eyre. Will send a picture of me as you requested. John Acer visited; he has a pass to see his brother. Went to USO with Eileen; Fel had a cold. Rec'd your valentine; it was swell.

02/21/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Haven't heard directly from Joe since Sept.! Furlough plans for May. Sorry I didn't send you a birthday present, but it's been a lean month. Am crocheting a tablecloth for you. Billie Sherman's difficulties in getting an appropriate position for her skills. Officers don't want WACS. Repayment of loans. Visit with Rita Delaney. Postcard from Ruth & Geo. Troy.

02/26/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Spring weather today. Office rumors about transfers has everyone talking. Rec'd Ronnie's letter. Have her let me know when she'll call, or I might be out. Lack of mail except for you and Frank. Wish I could take a trip somewhere. Sunday is a time for listening to the Westinghouse Symphony and John Charles Thomas while writing letters. Furlough plans; hope to see Frank. Rita Delaney about to ship out.

Included in same envelope as Dot's 2/28/44 letter to Gen & Chief.
02/28/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Glad you've heard from Joe. He hasn't been paid lately, but that doesn't mean he'll get a US furlough. Didn't know Connors was in Bouganville; Milde is surely in the thick of it. Medics see a lot of action - without protection. Sent 2 packages: Vee's was for Xmas and birthday. Ronnie's earrings. Have had a daily headache for the last two weeks; not sure if it's my eyes or a cold. Please get 1943 tax data from CC; a friend can help me with my taxes. Lots of people moving out of the barracks these days.

02/29/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Sadie Hawkin's Day [it's actually in November]. Dinner at Fel's Aunt Ella's. Trip to Rye NY on Washington's birthday. Saw two movies: Tough Guy and Riders of the Deadline. Any word from Gene Dembinski or Joe?

02/29/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Envelope


Letter is missing.
03/01/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

ASTP future: possibly another school. Jim & Frank went to Chicago, visited with Pete & Lee Kirwan. Wonderful night on town; home at 6 AM. Pete may visit you in NY. Please buy book called Pack Rat by Bishop [Kelley]. One week short of a year in the army; time flies. Rumors about AST term.

03/02/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Gen's note signed "Gen". Joe's 2/6/44 letter. Reject Joe's suggestion of OCS. Only reason to consider it would be pay and the pleasure you'd get from it. Downside includes the effect it would have on Joe. Frank might make it, but too many officers. Dreamed about Joe recently.

03/04/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Going to town for weekend. Paying off bills. Not much left after bills and personal expenses. Gen feeling old. Advice to her not to worry; it'll all work out.

03/06/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Hope exams haven't left you half-dead. Sounds like you & Jim had quite a time in Chicago. Misread "bowling" as "bawling" in your letter ... let to some confusion. Fel getting her brother's car. St. Patty's Day Formal at USO this month. John Acer home again; he's grown up quite a bit. Don [brother] rec'd 1st Lt bars. Any news of Collen, Duffy or Brennan? Fel had letter from Gene D. in south pacific.

03/08/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Got your letters and wanted to respond quickly. Working hard lately. Evaluation of Joe's letter: he's tired & homesick, perhaps nervous. But he can't transfer out of AAF; it keeps its men. Don't know if he can refuse to fly. He may be holding out for a furlough. Comment about things being "dark" might mean several things. Don't scold or admonish him. But also realize that the invasion may require him to stay in combat. Be patient & prayerful. Hope to see Frank if he has to ship out, but don't know if that's possible. Cheer up!

03/09/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter

Love reading newspapers. One year anniversary. No news, only rumors. Latest is that all "basics" students will ship back to troops in 10 days. Advanced students (me) will ship to other schools. Only Navy & Marines to be at Purdue after this term. Uncertainty of future prevents me from requesting that you send me food! Glad to hear about Dot Crowley. Hoping Joe is home soon. Change is in the air. Saw Fantasia; helped after botching some exams earlier.Rec'd your special delivery letter; I think Joe has a small case of flyer's fatigue; hope he tells the Doc.  Story about Pilot with flyer's fatigue who was allowed to continue flying. It takes a good man to recognize when he needs a rest.

03/12/1944 Sherman, Billie
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Myles Standish, MA

New job as Photo Lab Technician; attending school. Interviewing for the job; setting up Photo Lab. Enjoy your letters. Camp conditions; everything here is secret. You know there is a war going on every minute. Hope you & Frank can get together; would love to meet him. Any news from Joe? Letter from Ed [Foran?]: thinks you're a cryptanalyst. Apology for actions while at school. You're an angel. Bunk mate is a character.

03/14/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter

Joe sounds better in latest mail. I can understand how low a GI can get. Hope he won't have too many extra missions to put in. I pray for an eventual Shields reunion. Frank wants the NorthWest, Joe Alaska. I just want to get home and have my old life (with a better job). Skills should transfer to civilian work. Would like to travel. I was downhearted, but your news was swell. Jimmy [Kirwan] in hospital; is he in the Pacific? Hope to have furlough same time as Frank around May 1st. Would love to see Al & Helen K, Frank and Billie at home. Letter from Doc Curran. News about several acquaintances. Magazines for Chief.

03/15/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

IRS complaint. Similarities in our letters: mental telepathy? John Acer is home; we'll (3 sisters) go with him to dance at USO.  Went bowling with office girls; boy, do I "smell on ice" at it. Saw Madame Curie with Fel at Midwood Theater. We also saw Old Acquaintance. Was in a lot of pain Monday [from bowling?]. Take care of my picture. Fel's car in need of repairs. Donald's furlough.

03/15/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Pack Rat arrived. Your package of cookies are half gone already. "Basic" ASTP soldiers shipping off to Camp Swift, TX. They'll be in 102nd Division; probably Infantry or Combat Engineers. Ed Conley is at Ft Harrison awaiting discharge. He plans to visit here. Rosie is coming down, so we'll have quite a celebration.

03/16/1944 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Ignoring schoolwork for a bit; you deserve a letter. ASTP "basic" students shipping out to TX. No official word on our (advanced ASTP) future. Rumor says we're shipping out too. The uncertainty is causing a lack of interest in study. News about Ed Conley. You're a more constant letter-writer than I am. Sent Joe a 10 page letter at end of furlough; hope he has it by now.

Page 3 is torn into 2 parts.
03/16/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter

Addressed to "Gen and Frank" since getting cards signed "Gen." Need another bottle of prescription soon; feeling breathless. Sent Jim's letter to Frank but forgot to write down his address. Thanks for the clippings; I had seen the piece by Ernie Pyle. Am sending another column that explains that natural tension & nervousness have nothing to do with cowardice. Taking the DuBarry Success Course; have lost considerable weight. "What's a Victory Garden?" Can you get a Dunhill windproof  lighter? Humorous story about Army Life.

03/18/1944 Foran, Ed
Pelletier, Dot Vmail

Stationed on Oahu in Hawaii. 150 WACs just arrived, so perhaps you can get an overseas assignment  yet. Cultivating a philosophical point of view.

03/20/1944 Ketchel, M.
Shields, Frank Letter
Purdue U, West Lafayette, IN

Surprised to come back here and find everyone gone. Repaying your loan to me; thanks. Send me news when you have it.

03/27/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Crowder, MO

Left Purdue yesterday. This is a Signal Corps post. All EE students were sent here; CE and ME students went to Ft. Leonard Wood. Interview tomorrow for which communication school we want. Would like radio repair, but not sure if qualified. Will have 2 weeks basic training followed by 16-26 weeks of communications training. Hope to get a furlough. How does Joe look? Did Dot get a furlough extension to see him? Landed in basic radio repair.

Letter appears incomplete.
04/01/1944 Sherman, Billie
Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Myles Standish, MA

Hoped to write sooner. Visit to NY was wonderful; I feel like a new person. The girls made me feel like an old friend; you & Chief made me feel at home. And Joe! Wow! I thought his mustache cute even if you didn't. What did Phil [Fel] think of it? There's an extra soft spot in Dot's heart for Joe.  It was a wonderful weekend. Typing this in the office with constant interruptions. Now work in the office keeping reports.

04/02/1944 Pelletier, Dot Family
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Furlough was great. Homecoming was a GI's dream: bed turned down, magazines and even snacks. Security check on way back: had to use a wire signed MOTHER. Barracks to be fumigated to get rid of roaches. Hard to get up for Mass, but I did. Will send the money I owe for lighters, medicine, etc. Almost didn't get my extension [of furlough]. Thanks for wonderful holiday. Special regards to Joe, man-of-the-hour.

04/04/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

Should I switch from wearing Infantry insignia to Signal Corps insignia? Didn't know Joe was home until he and Fel surprised me; was swell to see him again. It's a shame the Army wouldn't let you stay a few extra days to see him. Reiterate my "Yes" to your question; it made me very happy. Bought a new coat. Made cookies for you. Brennan told me that Duffy was dropped from pilot training and is now trying for navigator. Brennan classified 4-F. Brother Ed scheduled for a physical; he may go unless his job is considered essential. Letter from John Acer: he'll be out to sea soon. Will change jobs after vacation. 

04/06/1944 Allison, Smith
Shields, Joe Letter

No words to express our appreciation for your letter. You praise Royal as a pilot, but we know that his success is largely due to a trained & loyal crew. Would love to meet each member of the crew. He is now in Corsica, occasionally flying combat missions. Royal's brother Grant is home from Aleutians on his way to Colorado. If you're in Portland, give us a ring. We formally adopt all members of the Buckaroo.

04/04/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Gen has probably told you about Joe's doings. It was wonderful to see him. I was part-way back to GA when I heard that I had received an extension. Joe seemed like he'd never been away. He called Sun morning and I was able to go to Camp Upton and spend the evening. Geo. Troy & Ruth drove us out (Gen, Chief, Salerno, Sherman and me). Deepest regret was that you couldn't be with us; it would have been "just the 5 of us" again.  Went to Rogers Corners restaurant. Will treat you to dinner there when you're back. He went to USO with 3 sisters, and to Conn with Gen, Chief and Fel. Just saw Shine On, Harvest Moon. Joe seems the same, but some things bother him: losing buddies, Christmas, etc. Has an aversion to planes. Conditions were very rugged, and he had a number of close shaves. Before he came home, his hands couldn't stop shaking. But he's still Joe. Got my furlough because we thought you were going overseas; glad you missed the boat. Sorry to be a 3rd wheel with you and Peggy. Did you ask her? Rumor has it she said yes. Give me the details! What does a radio repairman do in battle?

04/09/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Card
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

"With Warmest Thoughts of You at Easter"

04/09/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

Looked high and low for the right card, but couldn't find it. May Christ guide you in all you do.

04/09/1944 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Card

"To a Sweet Little Daughter on Easter". "For beer only - Mother"

04/10/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Envelope
Camp Crowder, MO

Matching letter is likely #146 based on content.
04/08/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Thanks for card and money; I know you need every cent. Auntie sent some candy. Reduced office force means no spare time. Bought 2 Swiss hankies - white for you and blue for Ruth; she & George have been so good to us. Asking Gen's advice for an additional present for the Troys. Enclosing letter from Sherman; Deck is a friend of Ed Foran's. Want to hear about trip to CT and party at Tommy's. Possible uniform change for summer.

04/01/1944 Sherman, Billie
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Myles Standish, MA

Had a wonderful time with the Shields. Joe was everything I expected. Everyone made me feel at home. Thanks for the invitation. Our Lab is now up and running. I feel I can now tackle any job in the Army. Deck is in AR; he sent me a present from Klamath Falls. Bunk mate is a screwball, but she's in Who's Who.

Enclosed with Dot's 4/8/44 letter to Gen. Date is an estimate.
04/10/1944 Sister Kathleen Dolores
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Thank you for Easter card; meant to write but Holy Week was busy. Report on the Crowley Family: Leo & Kay, Joe & Dot, Ted & Agnes. Is Joe home yet? Rita Donovan visited. She needs a few prayers. I'm feeling pretty well now; I'm finally up and about.

04/10/1944 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Crowder, MO

Your letter made me feel that I had been present at Joe's reunion. Been in combat training since we got here: night infiltration, shooting carbine, Springfield '03 and Thompson sub-machine gun. Would love to let loose with that chopper in Versailles Hall of Mirrors! Signal Corps (SC) looks like a good thing. It's the "eyes, ears and heartbeat of the ground forces." Importance of SC. Second highest casualty rate in WWI. Made sharpshooter again. Glad you felt better that night in NY. Everyone was glad you were there: Peg, Jim and Janne. Now about Peg: thanks for giving me a push. I asked her to wait for me, and I could tell that's what she had wanted. I'm not pining away for her all the time, but she is in my thoughts and there's a quiet, satisfied feeling about it all. I feel I can live a happy & normal life with Peg, to the betterment of us both. I await your reaction.

04/09/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

New Easter bonnet and no one to show it to. Fel and Joe going to NY. Beer party at Kirwan's. Brother Don trip overseas postponed; Rick shipped out. Eileen's mother is sick. Radio repair a good skill to have. Ed to report for induction. John Acer's ship going into commission. Jack Moran home for the weekend.

04/11/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

KP duty good practice for later. Daydreaming of our future together. Joe's the same as far as I can tell. Plans to leave work.

04/13/1944 Kazalski, Fel
Shields, Frank Letter

An apology to Frank for something Fel did or said, likely dealing with Frank's feelings for Peggy (Fel may have given away Frank's "engagement" to Peg before they announced it). Fel's reactions to Joe's coming home. He hasn't changed - except that he has. He brought back souvenirs including pictures and a diary. See him every day: going to plays, Conn, bowling, movies, etc. Saw Felix Speciale's folks. Hate to think he's going back soon. Uses the word "beaucoup" a lot. We get along fine, with good-natured insults. Everyone's asking when we'll get married; it frightens me a bit.

04/13/1944 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter

Went to CT the first of the month. Running around with Fel a lot. Made some pictures with Chief. Went to party at Tom & Kate's. Took Fel see Over 21 with Ruth Gordon. Saw Charlie Drew; Fel got half bagged. Also saw Milton Berle in Zigfield Follies, but by myself. Been getting in at 4 or 5 AM every night. Appetite is gone though; feel full after just a bite of something. Prospects of marriage to Fel; think she's willing. Don't think I'm cut out for marriage. Invasion may start before May 1st. They've been bombing the coast like we did before invasion of Salerno and Gela.


04/14/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Crowder, MO

Sending you some clothing that I can't use. Also sending Signal Corps insignia, one for you and one for Peggy. Thanks for the pix; Joe looks the same, at least outwardly.

04/17/1944 Sherman, Billie
Pelletier, Dot Letter

Boss is away on leave, spending time in Hollywood with Ira Gershwin. Perhaps he'll drown! Went to Fall River; had to stay at Women's Union. Would have been better off in barracks. Important to write to GI's like Ed Foran to keep up their spirits. You should write so he gets to know you better. Few people really know you. Problems with "Deck". Imagine Frank's wedding at home. Your family is wonderful; stop picking on Joe. He's got good sense and when he's ready to take root he will.

04/19/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Crowder, MO

Dear Mom,

This barracks is well nigh deserted tonite. They shipped out 80 fellows to the other side of the camp today. And a considerable number were sent over 2 days ago. Naturally enough these shifts just about shoot hell out of the semblance of a training schedule that they had here. But we're not complaining, 'cause it gives us an opportunity to loaf & sleep.

I suppose that you've been wondering why the hell I haven't been writing lately. The truth is, I was expecting a shift all along, & it didn't come - or rather it hasn't yet, but will soon. The only news to offer is in the way of advice, you might say. I must tell you not to write to me at this address anymore. If plans go thru as expected, I'll be shipping out of this camp soon. But for reasons of military security & secrecy I can't tell you our date of intended departure or destination. I only hope that they don't rescind the Special Order we're shipping on - or scratch anybody.

So, mom, till you hear from me again, don't write to me here. It'd just mean a long delay before the mail ever reached me. As soon as possible I'll let you know where I am. At present we're polishing things off here - getting scheduled for lectures on safeguarding military info, for typhoid, tetanus & vaccination "booster" shots, for seeing films on sex morality - & a lot of other things in general.

Say - reading this over makes it sound like I was going to make the big hop, doesn't it! Well, don't worry - it's not that. I guess Uncle Sam still figures I'm at my best in the states.

Gee, mom, I can't think of anything else to say, so I guess I'll just close for a while. I hope you got the package I sent. 'Bye for a while.

Full Transcript.
05/02/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Charles Wood

Tuesday, 2 May '44 10:30 A.M.

Dear Mom,

I left Flatbush at 6:45 Sun. nite & got to Penn Sta. at 7:40, just 10 minutes too late to make the 7:30 train. So I caught the 7:55, & luckily enough got a seat. Got to Baltimore at 11:15 but waited for 45 minutes for a connecting trolley to Holabird, so rolled into bed at 1 A.M. yesterday. At 2PM yesterday we left Balt. on the B.&O. R.R. & at 6 last night we were in Jersey City, directly across from 17 Battery Place. We had a stopover for train connections there, so stopped in & had a few beers. At 7:30 we got to Little Silver - Oceanport & waited 1½ hrs for a truck to take us to camp. As usual, nobody was expecting us, so we're just stopping someplace here in Wood temporarily. We were interviewed & reclassified again this A.M. now I'm tentatively scheduled as a "187" man: carrier and repeater communications service course. I understand that soon, perhaps today, we're to move over to Ft. Monmouth, & the interviewers said we may start school in about 3 days. The interviewer talked me out of radio repair & into carrier work, which isn't bad at all if a fella can complete the work. The T.O. calls for a lot of ratings in that training team. The course itself is from 4 to 6 mos. long - if you complete it. Then you get into team training for an indefinite time. So, if we stay at Monmouth, we'll be there for a while, as you can see. I only hope I can cope with the work.

I can't give you any return address yet, since we're not settled. But I'll send it along as soon as they drop us someplace were it looks like we'll stay a few days.

As usual, there's nothing else to say at the present, our transient condition being what it is. So I'll close for the present.

Love, as ever,


Armed Forces of the United States letterhead.

Full Transcript.
04/19/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

My dearest Frank,

Sorry to have neglected writing for a whole week but I've been on the go lately. I received your swell letter Monday nite. Needless to say I greeted it it with open arms, (just as I would you -) I really do get a kick out of seeing that familiar envelope and the hand-writing on the self in the dining-room. It's the first thing I look for when I get in from work at night.

Your mother gave me the pin you sent, the other night (also Monday). We were all over to Kampf's for a toast (1/4 of a barrel) to Joe. Thank you very much (xx <- This means "Thanks"). It's very "sweet" (I can just see you grinding your teeth at that one - Temper! Temper!)

By the way, speaking of your Mom, she seems to be quite apprehensive about your being shipped in the near future since she received a package containing some of your equipment. The item which is worrying her most is your furlough bag, which was included. I thought that it was probably a lot of stuff that you had at Purdue which could not be accomodated in the space allotted to you in Crowder. I sincerely hope that this is one time that I'm right. However, if I'm not, please let me know and if you wish I'll keep mum, just say the word.

One of the foremost reasons for my activity during the past week is that fact that I've changed my job. - Yup - I ups 'n' dood it - Finally - I was threatening for a long time wasn't I. - I'm now a fellow employee of Eileen's, with the Foster Wheeler Corporation. I'm working in the tax accountant's office. It looks like it's going to turn out pretty good. Hope they'll be satisfied with me.

The job consists, mainly, in collecting the figures on sales taxes and making out the reports & remittances for the various states which require the returns. I'll also have to do special reports on individual [execution?] jobs. It sounds interesting and offers an opportunity to try something different. Probably it will be quite a while before I understand all the details; at present there are a million things that are "greek" to me, but I guess it just takes time.

As you can see from the above paragraph it will be rather impossible for me to accept the position you offered in the circular enclosed in your last letter. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a likely candidate though.

Well, how about yourself? Have you started your Signal Corps training yet? - Incidentally, through a series of associated ideas, ((ie) Sig. Corps, radio-repair, radio, Aunt Bess' radio) I find it suitable to mention here that Aunt Bess' radio has been fixed. It needed a new wire or something. I just thought you'd like to know that.

So you don't like my dreams, huh? Well, that's not the only type I've got on hand, as a matter of fact, I've got quite a selection; that's only a sample.

Gosh, it's hard to believe that Joe is going back to Army life tomorrow (20th). That time just flew by. I think he's had a good time while he was home. Lord I don't know how he couldn't - He's done everything. They even went to the circus last week. That's something I'd love to do with you. I haven't seen one since I was about five or six years old. Maybe we could dig up a good one next time you're home (I cross my fingers when I say that).

Hey, guess what! My cousin Dot (the Halloween party - remember?) is going to have an addition. It's quite a long way off but that's the story. That will make my mother a great-aunt. It only makes me a cousin though. She's the first of the young 'uns of the family to have such an announcement. Isn't it nice? I pray that everything will go all right for her, she's not very strong you know, but it's usually those so-called weaklings who come out on top.

Donald has been slated for P.O.E. again. He's coming home on traveling time. I think he's going to Camp Mead Md. He's supposed to arrive here in NY this Friday - Ed is still 1-A Limited and has to report in three months again.

Say I still haven't heard from Gene D. Have  you? Johnny Acer wrote last week. He's back on top of the world again (mail came through, no doubt). There's a guy who's never going to be unhappy for any length of time. Every-time he writes a letter it sounds like he's giving himself a good dressing down for being in the dumps. As long as he's got some one to write a letter to he'll be okay.

Did I tell you that Gene Gaiser was over to your house last Sat. nite? He's looking good and he too is the same lad. He still can trumpet the "Sugar Blues" to a T and he still "plays" the drums to every record. The only thing that's changed is his [lindy?] - it's quieted down a bit - strange to say.

Well, as you can see I'm beginning to get kinda groggy so I guess I'd better stop here and get some sleep. Keep sober - and be good. 'Til next time we meet keep - All my love _ always.

PS Please pardon illegible parts.

Full Transcript.
04/23/1944 C., Eleanore
Pelletier, Dot Card

An Easter Wish For You

04/24/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Last letter revealed your common sense and maturity. Essay on love was well thought out; was not offended. Pleased that it's Peg you're planning to marry. Hope your marriage reflects the beautiful example we've had of it at home. Your treatise made me ask, again, "What is love?", and would I know it when I saw it? Movie version of love is unlikely. Haven't had enough experience yet to know. Recounts relationships with Paul Troy, Johnny Nelson and Ed Foran. Still pines for Ed, but word is he's engaged. But is it love or infatuation? Or just wanting what I can't have? So I appreciate your indecision. Noticed you avoided using the word "engaged"; that may put Peg in a tough position. Joe's reluctance to ask Fel to wait for him. Wish we could have a 3-way "pow wow."

04/25/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Letter
Holabird Signal Depot, MD

Tues. 25 April '44, 6:30 P.M.

Dear Mom -

Ha - betcha never expected to hear from me here, eh? But Uncle Sam likes to see his boys travel, evidently.

We left Crowder at 10 P.M. Sat nite - on a Pullman - meals in the diner, excellent sleeping, leasurely resting, etc were ours for about 36 hours. We had a 4 hr stopover at Harrisburg, Pa., where we changed to coaches yesterday afternoon.  & we were already 5 hrs late pulling into Harrisburg. So we didn't get here till 6 P.M. yesterday - & then we rode to camp in Packard 15 passenger limousines (2x as long as an ordinary auto).

The chow here is pretty fair so far. And I suppose it will continue to be that way. But we have to eat off those damned tin trays; I prefer china.

We're living in long, spacious, clean dorms. This is a permanent barracks - 4 stories high. & the cafeteria serves about a thousand G.I's per meal. By the way, this is the first permanent barracks I've seen since I've been in the Army.

There's not much I can tell you in the way of what we're doing & what we're going to do here. As yet, we're not sure we're "in", since most of us don't possess the qualifications of those who are already in the outfit. But we're all keeping our fingers crossed - or rather saying our prayers, that everything turns out all right.

Life is easy - so far - here. Ass I understand it, we get no K.P. or details. And I understand we stand retreat only every so often. We're off at 4:30 & when our passes come through, will be able to go to town every night - no bed check.

There's more civilians working here than G.I's. We work in a large office building. Our floor is so big that the office girls skate around it - honestly. And there's so many women here it looks like Macy's department store in the office.

Mom, I can't tell you what I'm doing here nor what I'm going to do, as I said before. First - we don't quite know ourselves; & second - we're not permitted to tell you. So please don't write & ask questions. If anybody should ask you what I'm doing, tell 'em I'm studying radio repair. For all you know, I am.

Please send me Joe's address. If my dough holds out & I can get a pass I think I'll go up to Atlantic City this weekend & see him. So let me know how he's situated in that respect.

Well, mom, I have to write Peg - so I'll close for the present. I guess mail should travel fast from here to New York.

Keep praying.

Love, as ever,


Armed Forces of the United States letterhead.

Full Transcript.
04/29/1944 C., Eleanore
Pelletier, Dot Newsletter

Flyer from a classmate at Fordham University School of Social Service. Contains an excerpt of a note that Dot sent to the newsletter.

04/26/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Been very busy; this job can get you down. I have so many people to write to; I hate to just dash off a letter, especially to Joe & Frank. You must miss Joe now that he's gone back. It's easier for me since I share some of their kind of life, plus I'm busy. It must be harder for you at home. Allison's letter to Joe was really warming. That's the silver lining to the war: the love and friendships that might otherwise not be revealed. You can also see it in our letters to one another. Only our separation has allowed some of our hidden facets to show through. Had 2 afternoons off, but just heard we have to parade this PM. Some of your news has me in a slump. Frank will probably go overseas, but probably not just yet. It was a blow to learn that Joe needs medical care. Given what he went through, plus no real rest here, means that's probably best for him. I wish we were all home. Rec'd news that Mr. Gebe had died; must write Helen. Arlene West is shipping out soon. Perhaps Frank is studying radar.

05/20/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Good conduct medal. Dreading the open house tomorrow. Our distinguished visitor last week was General Marshall, Chief of Staff! Had a good look at him the following morning at "march-out". Wish I could get out to see Joe. Fort is in apple-pie order for WAC's second birthday. Had booster shots yesterday. Left open house early, went to mess then bed. Think I may have a thyroid condition. But sick call red tape makes me hesitate to see the doc. Had nice letter from Joe; he thinks Frank & Peggy aren't engaged. Joe going to Miami for re-classification.

05/02/1944 Shields, Joe Gen & Chief Letter
St. Petersburg, FL

Little trouble getting here. Hospital is 12 mi. outside of St. Pete; right on the Gulf and 200 yards from the beach. McQuillen is still here. Scenery is beautiful, but can't wait to get out of here. Forgive me for cutting you short on the phone, Chief, but I really needed to talk to Fel. Send me some pictures from that new roll. Could use a few dollars.


05/02/1944 Foran, Ed
Pelletier, Dot Vmail

Dot's comment: "This is a heart breaker - So is he!" Sticking to printing because my handwriting is so bad. My job is disgusting; I check meaningless figures, sweep floors, wash dishes, and hope the days pass quickly. Am adjusting to Army life only on the outside. Talked to the CO and he agrees with me. May try for reassignment. If they assign me as a male nurse I will go wacky. Dot jotted notes on the back of the Vmail. AASW is American Association of Social Workers. MOS code 263 is "Psychiatric Social Worker"

05/03/1944 Shields, Gen Pelletier, Dot Envelope

Letter is missing.
Note on back from Gen indicates that it held some of Dot & Gen's saved mail.
05/04/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

I'm not ill; if I had anything to worry about, I'd have told you. Waiting to see a compulsory GI movie. Going into town later for dinner. Hopefully Frank can get home occasionally. Will write Joe now that I have his address. Yes, I heard about John Gebe. Will send money order soon. Hoped to be able to send Joe some money. Any news from Alfred & Jimmy K?

05/04/1944 Shields, Frank Shields, Gen Postcard
Ft Monmouth, NJ

Dear Mom,

This looks like a pretty good outfit. I hope it lives up to expectations. I  understand the chow is pretty good. Don't know when we'll start school, but I hope its soon. Right now I wanna run out & see what the lay of the land is. Send $2 Reg. mail. May be able to come in this weekend & may bring someone with me. Write to Pfc F J. Shields, 12110488, Co H., 15th S.T.R., Ft Monmouth, New Jersey

Love, Frank.

Send $2 special Del. [Gen's handwriting]

Full Transcript.
05/08/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Letter

It was grand to see you yesterday. Poetry and perfume ads: just listened to one by Una Merkel. Fel and Eileen have a date tonight with Granger and his pal. They're trying to look "young enough." Hope you didn't mind my teasing you. Listened to Irene Dunn and Joseph Cotton in Penny Serenade (radio); it's a beautiful story. Hope to see you next Saturday.

05/10/1944 Shields, Frank Pelletier, Dot Letter
Ft Monmouth, NJ

Wed. 10 May '44 9:10 P.M.

Dear Dot.

It's lights out in 20 minutes; but I guess I can start this long delayed letter anyhow & see how far I can get with it.

I guess it's no surprise to you that my address hasn't been very stable of late. I'd begun to think, before we got here, that the Gov't was giving us a free Orientation tour of the East & MidWest. But from the looks of things now, I'll be here for a rather extended period of 4 to 6 mos if things go all right.

I'm taking a course in carrier & repeater telephone work. It looks interesting; and it has evidence of being practical - so that it would, perhaps, afford me a rather good job in civil life if I didn't go back to school, or at least provide a summer job in the event I did. Right now I'm on common-battery switchboard circuits, having finished common-battery subset & line circuits. Some of my other courses will be Power Equipment Maintenance, Central Office Installation; C.O. Maintenance; Facsimile Equip. Maint. (on photo & record recorders), etc. In all, it appears at present to be a pretty good overall course in telephone & particularly switch board circuits. I feel, too, that this is a better thing than I was doing in Baltimore. You know, they have an O.C.S. here at Monmouth, and you should see how the C.S drips down thru the ranks. The make a half-assed attempt to work this like an Infantry outfit & don't succeed very well.But I really can't gripe, I know.

The chow here is not the finest I've had in the Army (Crowder's was), but it is substantial. They seem prone to French toast around here, for some reason or other.

New York, of course, is only about an hour & ten minutes away. I'm on the AM shift now (we get up at 4:30, first class at 6:30 - change to P.M. every other month) & can manage to get home by 8:30 Sat nites when we're not restricted. So, as you can see, that's not bad at all.

There's going to be hell raised here tonite (it goes on every night for that matter). Some of the boys are out to town. We live on the top floor, so have ventilators in the ceiling. There's a bunk under every ventilator opening. So the comics right now are busy filling G.I. contraceptives (if you'll pardon my saying it - there's no other way of putting it) with 2 quarts of water each & arranging booby traps in the ventilators; so that when the selected men get into bed, down comes a half gallon of water on them! They've fixed up 2 so far. During a "dry run", one of them went off, so it was a rather wet run. You should see the bed - it's soaking!

Well, Dot, can't think of any more to say, & there's a lot I have to do yet, so I'll close for present. Be good, & be cheerful.

Love, Frank

Full Transcript.
05/09/1944 Sherman, Billie
Shields, Gen Letter
Camp Myles Standish, MA

Have had a lot of darkroom experience; that might be handy. Dot is also worried about Joe. None of us know what what his life was like, and it's not surprising that his nerves are strained. He can't get back to a normal live overnight. But rest and time will find him the same again. Dot won't get shipped overseas; her 275 MOS isn't needed there. GA is probably where she can best serve Uncle Sam. She should have been a Sgt long ago. Good news about Frank and Peg. Did you ever think about being a Grandmother? I plan to visit again to see NY with you and Mary [Betty]. The Chief is a darling. Hope you enjoy the gifts I sent. Are the pictures for me or should I return them? Working 14 hr days. Tell Betty her letter was very sweet.

05/10/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Card
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

"Hi There! Here's how you LINE UP with me!" Have followed your travels so far, but hope Ft. Monmouth is the end for a while. Seems like MOS 187 is a trouble-shooter, no? Write me when you can. I wrote a short note to Peg. You're lucky to be so close to home; you'll probably get to see Joe when he comes back. Maybe I'll get a chance to bend an elbow with you both.

05/10/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Don't recall what I wrote in my last letter that you liked, but perhaps you should save those for when I don't write. Someone asked if the Joe (in a picture) was my husband. Send a pic of Frank and Peg. Status of letters to/from Touhey, Billie Sherman, Auntie, Helen, Frank. Frank has reduced his time in NJ [by passing a test?]; he's always been able to achieve his goals, and with honors. He's our proudest boast. New uniforms for enlisted women? Can't wait to get out of the khaki's.  WAC 2nd birthday coming up, so we're having open house. Think I'll get blind drunk after. Saw dentist. Saw movie Battle of Russia; they should show it to the public. Got wedding invitation for Stub Aikens; probably just want money. Reference to Lt. F. Aikens. Feel like I have low blood pressure, but it reads OK. Maybe it's nerves. Would be worse if I were overseas; which I won't be, not now anyway.

05/23/1944 Pelletier, Dot Gen & Chief Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Hot as hell here. I don't expect to hear from the boys too soon, with Frank's hours and Joe's arm. But if it's his left arm, why doesn't he write? Drew the new uniform, but now need alterations and new hat & shoes. Plus June has graduations & birthdays, so it's a tax on my payroll. Could use a foundation garment too; if you have one that might fit, Gen, please send it, but don't buy one. Please send my bathing suit. Can you get a 2 piece Sun suit? and shoes? Staff cuts again. To go overseas, or to stay? Case, Nancy D and I have been a trio. But Nancy has gotten orders and Case will be leaving too. Friendship stinks! I'm thinking of leaving here, but am afraid I'm stuck. Will wait for something exciting to happen to me.

05/14/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Card
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

"To my Mom on Mother's Day" Nostalgic (for early 1900's) card.

05/14/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Gen Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

A gift for today should be the best ever. Had planned to send you a photo, but couldn't arrange it. So it's "do it yourself." I pray for your peace & happiness. Mass card for John Gebe. Thank God for my mother - whom many envy me.

Includes Dot's 5/13/44 Letter to Ronnie
05/15/1944 Pelletier, Dot Tergesen, Ronnie Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Short note to ask a favor. Sent Gen $5 to buy something for herself. Make sure she doesn't spend it on beans or potatoes! I'm depending on you.

Included in Dot's 5/14/44 Letter to Gen.
05/14/1944 Dembinski, Eugene
Shields, Frank Letter

Let's not let 5 or 6 months pass without a letter! You'll enjoy radio work. In a unit like ours, there isn't much to do. Your ASTP courses give you a leg up on EE. I'm taking a correspondence course for differential equations. Practicing Morse code and improving speed. If I catch any kids of mine playing soldier, I'll quickly discourage them. Tents are not fun in a rainstorm. Lots of free time, with only the occasional detail. Beer, coke and wine are available: beer is Australian, wine is horrible. How is Joe? Duffy finishing his navigation class. He enclosed rumpled picture of himself and Ann Cole.

05/16/1944 Sherman, Billie
Pelletier, Dot Letter
Camp Myles Standish, MA

Junior (boss?) went overseas. Working in darkroom now. We were scheduled to see one of those Army instruction movies the other day; by accident, they put on one showing how a GI should wash himself in the shower! Frank's letter was wonderful. Helping Deck with laundry hints. He gave me a picture of himself on Mother's day. News about brother Harry, sister Dorothy and her husband Frank. We've been working hard. Stop worrying about Joe; I feel certain he's going to be alright.

05/17/1944 Doyle, Peggy
Shields, Frank Card

"A Greeting to say 'HELLO'". Can't help missing you.

05/20/1944 Conley, Ed
Shields, Frank Letter

It's your "Irish Luck" that got you sent to NJ. You and Deac had quite a reunion. My regards to Deac, Blanton, Uzdella and Stoffregen. I'm doing OK. Perhaps we can meet in NY sometime. PS Congratulations, I knew you'd do it sometime.

05/21/1944 Fletcher, Priscilla
Shields, Gen Letter

Priscilla Bernice Fletcher

Box 15, Westboro, Mass

May 21, 1944

My dear Mrs. Shields,

I find it hard to put into words how very pleased Mother, Dad, and I were to receive the pictures of our beloved Ray [Fletcher]. It was most kind of you, your husband and Joe to see that we had copies.

I know how thrilled you must have been to had your boy come safely home.

Brother is now in Corsica. He was moved to Italy (near Naples, we believe) but he did not remain there long. He is now in headquarters of a bomb wing. He checks in new crews and planes and disposes of the old planes. He is also flight leader of the wing. He expects his captaincy soon.

We are proud as we can be of Ray - the only boy in the family.

Was Joe on Ray's plane?

I am wondering if you would send us his address so that we might write him and thank him. Also would it be possible to let us have the negative of the picture of Ray & Tom Conway. The one of just their faces. The folks thought that could be split and make a nice picture of Ray if enlarged.

Mom, Dad, & I just live on from day to day looking forward to letters & praying for his return to us.

Again may I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the pictures. You were most kind.

Most sincerely,

Priscilla Fletcher

Please return [Frank's handwriting?]

Full Transcript.
05/20/1944 Pelletier, Dot Shields, Frank Letter
Ft. Oglethorpe, GA

Re-read your letter from Crowder. Wish I had a thought-wave apparatus that would record my thoughts. I'm proud I can point to you as my brother. I think of you and Joe often; what a wonderful friendship the three of us enjoy. I pray that we will never be apart spiritually. I agree with your analysis of male and female emotions. You have decided what love is, for you. Based on Joe's comment, I was afraid my letter to Peg was premature. Including Joe's latest letter: he's reversed his boy-wants-girl theory. I hope you write him occasionally. Any chance you could join OCS? Stub Aiken graduated as Lt this month.

Includes Joe's 5/11/44 letter to Dot.
05/11/1944 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
St. Petersburg, FL

Where have you been, my long-lost favorite sister? Thanks for the money, but I got my back pay. Still hope to catch that pollock [Fel] one of these days; I've made more progress in 3 weeks than last 3 years. Still a long way from marriage though. Hospital isn't so bad; hated it at first, but the peace and quiet is doing me some good. Hands still shake a bit, but getting over the nervous tension and "lost" feeling. Going to Miami for re-classification. My heart did flip-flops when I saw you at the station. Your friends Mary and Billie are great. Not sure Frank & Peg are really engaged. But I haven't seen him for 16 months. Has the Army changed him? I didn't talk about the war when I was home because I didn't want to. But if there's anything you want to know, just ask.


Included in Dot's 5/20/44 letter to Frank
05/15/1944 Smythe, H. D.
Dammann, Nancy

I saw [Billie] Sherman briefly. Captain McKay is about, but I only met her once.

05/23/1944 Shields, Joe Pelletier, Dot Letter
St. Petersburg, FL

Tues. May 23, '44 11:15 PM, In St. Petersburg

Dearest Dorothy:

Well Red head, I'm afraid your letter has left me gasping for words, but only in regards to answering you. Your wasteing your time interviewing, why don't you go in for short story writing. Your letter of May 18th arrived on the 21st. I would have written yesterday Dot, but part of my treatment is hypodermic needles of morphine & believe me, they do strange things to a person's mind, vision & body. When I received your letter I had all I could do to read it. That morphine partially destroys the vision of the eye - for a short peroid of time. So you can well understand why I didn't answer you right off. Oh I read it but I couldn't quite get the just of it, due to the dulled condition of my so called brain or shall we call it skull cavity & let it go at that.

My mind at present is crammed full of words & ideas, so lets hope that neither my arm, the pen, or my thoughts give out before I finish.

But before I do on with this missal, I'd best tell you about my shoulder, then you'll have the news & you can & or can't wade through the rest of the crap, as you see fit: I got it playing soft ball Dot. I fell comeing around third base, but I did manage to get home & score a run. The fellows set it & I went back out on the field & promply dis-located it again trying to catch a ball. Only this time they couldn't set it. So there I was with my arm over my head.

They set it for me over at the hospital & promptly put me to bed where I have been, more or less for the past week. I wrapped in bandage from hips to ears & believe me it's hot. But the worst part is the damm pain. Some days it doesn't bother me at all & on other days it bothers the hell out of me.

From the looks of things I'll probably be here 2 or 3 more weeks. After that I'm afraid to even think. But enough of this tripe, lets get on with my story.

I know I told you I had $300 when I got home, but actually it was $500. And every cent of it went to the city of New York. It wasn't a release from Jail, Dot, it was a release from Hell. Where the money went I honestly can't say. I can only account for about $100. But I don't regreat it in the least. I did have a good time. True I didn't spend too much time at home, & hard as this might seem, it didn't bother me too greatly. I did want to see Mom & Dad & the Kids awfully much, but during the day I just couldn't sit still. Even at nights, I was restless around the house, for fear they would question me, about over there. I didn't & couldn't tell them too much about it Dot. They had been through enough just haveing us 3 away from home. I just couldn't hurt them any more. Then on the other hand I wanted to see Fel, not just for a few hours or day. I wanted to be near her as often & as much as possible. I do love her greatly Dot. My thoughts are of her constantly, even more so than with the family, (yes (I'm ashamed).  Perhaps you and the rest of the family figure I'm getting a run around, & maybe your right. But you'd have to know Fel & know what's in her mind to understand why we have never come to anything definate. Actually we have more of an understanding than most of you realize. Then again, I have never voiced my feeling until this last visit. Before this I had neither the courage or fortitude to approach her. I'd never even kissed her before. But while I was home I did make some advancement. More than once we sat in her parlor & "necked" away for hours. But even then She couldn't commit herself one way or the other. Dot I don't like to comment one way or the other on Fran & Peg. I'm quite content to allow them to live there lives as they see best. But until he announces an actual engagement I think it only fair to mind one's own business.  Please what ever you do don't get Fel & I wrong. If any thing ever come's of it, you & the family shall know of it first. Till then I wan't no accusezation's on the matter! Okey Doke!!!

The only reason I've decided to save some war bond i s because I know I will need "beau coupe" dough if & when I ever get hitched. Other than that my plans, my future, are as they were 3 years ago. I still don't have the slightest idea as to what I wish to do when this is over. As a matter of fact the thought of it scares me. I still intend being a bachelor if this doesn't pan out. Maybe even if it does. I know my self, more so than any one else I think, an because of this I haven't the heart to ask anyone to be stuck with me for life. Then too I can't see my self ever have a decent job & I'll never marry unless I'm making at least $50 per. And after the war that is going to be big money. Oh there are times that I've felt that I'd marry her on a moments notice if She'd just say yes. But when I think it over I know I'd back down. Fel know of my plans, my thoughts & what have you & possibly that's what is scareing her off. But I'd rather have her know what's what , then to walk into something blindly & be disappointed. Oh She has her faults, don't we call. But her good points out number her bad & even so I'd be quite willing to over look them. Oh I want to get married & raise kids & have a home of my own & all that Dot. But I'm afraid of being a failure. Perhaps not right off, but eventually. If that happed I'd be miserable to say nothing of my poor family. Marrage is a serious thing. Too damm serious at time's I guess. But when I make the team, I want to play according to rules, or not at all. I know of you love life Dot. Perhaps more so than you think I do. I know you want to have a home & children of your own more than anything in the world. But like me, I think you don't wan't to take the chance of a flop. No not on your part. Like me you'd stick it out somehow, come hell or high water. But this Dot is a problem we will have to decided for our selves. Its not easy, I'll admit but anything worth while never did come easy. You say "So what!!" in your letter, to these problems that confront us. Who do you think your fooling Dot. I know better than that. I have an awfully funny, trait I guess you'd call it. I have to know whats going to happen next. If I don't I'm moodey & disterbed. And until I find out whats going to happen I remain that way. This pretains to everything not just certain subjects. Then too Dot in the Army I've seen an awful lot of unhappy, very unhappy marrage's. I've seen how its affected the best & the worst of men, & I don't want it to happen to me. The bad it doesn't bother at all, & the good it ruins, for life. & I like to consider myself among the good, even though I don't belong.

And now Dot after much crap about which neither of us know much about, we come to the topic "Combat experiences." True I have been putting it off, debating just how to go about it, or to even tell you at all. It's hard to write about such things, unless, one is gifted with the knack of writeing. That I'm afraid is something I have not mastered. In oral conversation its easier, because one can answer questions put to them & the one questioning can listen & observer from expressions & motions & there by get a clearer, more vivid picture on the subject.

So you can take this for what its literary value is worth. Descriptions won't be too keen, because memories, at times, can be painful. I'll only answer or try to answer thoes questions that you have put to me. The rest we'll save for a rainey day in some beer garden in Bklyn. Where you & I & Frank & really get together, like old times.

My reactions in the very begining were very null. I felt to an extent almost disappointed. For the simple reason that there was nothing to them. By that I mean no fighters no flax. Then as time went along things got hot & then hotter. Planes & crews were failing to return & gradually we, or I , came to realize that this was for keeps, the playing was over. But actually it didn't bother me too much. I was still the cockey loud-mouthed red head that I always was. Before I go further, I see one sentence in your letter that reads: "I think now, that you have toned down a lot of your stories & I'm wondering what the truth is." Dot, to be frank with you, I feel hurt. For the simple reason that there is doubt about the truth on any subject of combat, liveing conditions & such of which I may have spoken. I'm no angel Dot. But we don't kid or falcificy fact about "over there." Maybe it was my nonchalant attitude that led you to believe that all was not true. As a matter of fact I eased up as much as possible so that you people would think it wasn't too bad. But I guess I over did myself & gave some wrong impressions.

Scared, sure we were scared. Anyone who wouldn't admit he was scared was an outcast. But scared as we were it was never quite bad enough to cause us to back down from going on a mission. I was really scared on my 13th raid. Because it was the first American raid on Rome [Ed: 07/19/1943].  At that time the fighting was still going on in Sicily & Rome was a 1000 miles inside enemy territory. We came home with over 200 holes in us that day & quite a few of the boys never got back at all. All along, when a crew went down, it was usually another Sqd, or some some crew that we didn't know too well. Therefore it didn't bother us too much. Then too when the going got rough it would be in the rear of the formation & we were in the front & vice-versa. But as time went all we could feel that it was going to strike close & soon. We always knew when some one was going to get it. The ground crew even more so than the combat men. I got pretty jittery when I had my turret dome shot away twice. But the boys on the ground said, don't worry, Joe, you make your 50 with ease. But others were not quite so lucky. Eddie JosephJimmy Grimm who slept in our tent & whom we went around with back in Columbia were on the list to go down. I'll never forget ole Eddie saying: Nothing will happen to me, I've got a date New Years Eve in New York. But Ed never kept that date 3 days late he & Jimmie went out on a mission & didn't return. Its no fun to walk into your tent, your home, & see that two of the cots are empty - permenintly. It was our Job to pack all there personal belonging & turn them into supply. I'm not ashamed to say I cried that day, nor are any of the other fellows who slept there. We were only kids & we'd had our first real touch of War. Campbell was only 18 my radio man. I was only twenty, & Cliff Brown the Bombadier was 34, but even so it effected him the same way.

All along we hadn't worn our parachutes, for we felt we didn't need them. I couldn't wear mine as there is no room in the turret, but I do have a harness onto which the parachute snaps. But I didn't even wear that. Not even after Joe & Grim got "there's". You see, if you were going to need a chute you'd have plenty of time to put it on. Otherwise you'd never have a chance of getting it on in time to use it. But on our 38th raid we changed our mind. We were leading the formation of 36 ships this is how we are laid out in the air. [ED: picture of 3 boxes of 6 ships each, Joe's plane first in formation in center.]

1st box of six. Second box of six. 3rd box of six [ED: Each with arrow to one box in the formation.]

& the same over here [ED: parallel formation of ships to the right.]

As you can see, we were number one ship over the target. We were up in the Vulturno river area & were about 20 miles inland when the flax started up. There were just two burst off our tail & the third shot hit the number two ship in the right gas tank. The scence that followed Dot is something I'll remember as long as I live. Almost at once the entire ship was covered in flame. The right wing folded up & fell off as though some one would bend a feather, the gas in the left wing tank exploded the. the same thing happened. The Pilot & Copilot could be seen as they were actually blown clear out of the ship, still strapped to there seats, the ship broke off just forward of the bomb bay & the Bombadier was forced against the plexis glass of the nose of the ship as it spirriled downward you could see him clawing & beating at the glass to get out. But centrifical force held him there. The look on his face was horrible. Next the ship broke off just aft of the turret & the bombs could be seen to fall from the ship still attached to the shackles. The tail slowly floated downward in a bellowing orange flame. Next the radio & turret section exploded the bodies & limbs of the radio man & gunner could be seen, among wreckage, & metal & flame as it hurled past our ship. Out of all this a parachute opened, who it was, or how it got there, none of us know. The only conclusion we could come to was that some one had there chute on & was blown clear of the ship & it opened. When we got home, there was blood & bits of metal & flesh all through our tail section. I don't think it took more than 10 or 20 seconds for all this to happen. But it seems like a life time. The pilot called up & wanted to know what happen, but neither of us could speak. We just sat & looked at each other & we were as white as sheets. After that Campbell & I made it a practice to have our harness on before we got over the target.

The mission I was most scared on, why I don't know, but I dreaded going on it was my 47th. But it turned out o.k. Only a few fighters & not too much flax. My 50th was pretty rough. We were up over southern france & the flax was perfect we had our left Airelon & tail stabilizer shot away but we managed to get home O.K. But that's enough combat for now Dot. We'll talk about it some other time.

Now we come to WAC's overseas. The majority of them Dot have bad names. Actually I guess its only a few but one bad apple always spoils the rest. In a way you can't blame them Dot. Many of them have been over there for quite some time & it isn't at all like they expected & the only way to get home is to be pregnant. Sooo who are they to be choosey. If it means getting back to the states they'll try anything one time. Then on the other had you run into thoes who go out for a little fun & it goes from bad to worse & they finally come to the decision of why give away what I can sell. & believe me they are making mints. Its not only the Wac's the nurses are in on it too. One of them was caught & sent home, with a bank roll of $16000 which she acquired in the short space of 9 months. There are a million & one reasons why these girls slip Dot & you'd have to be there to understand why it is.   Well Dot, it is now 4:00 A.M. & I'm getting groggy. So I'll close for a while. Bye now & please write again real soon.

My Love always



Note: Both Eddie Joseph and James Grimm survived the crash. Eddie became a prisoner of war; unclear if James was also captured, but he did eventually return to the U.S.

Joe's 38th mission was on 09/29/1943. See Mission report 183 for that date. Joe's statement as a witness matches his description in the letter.

Full Transcript.
05/27/1944 Doyle, Peggy