Letter to Wilfred R. Franson
U.S. Army Air Force
Charleston Army Air Field, South Carolina
13 March 1944

Correspondence from
Vera Howe Franson
March 1944


1505 South Broadway
Urbana, Illinois
8 March 1944  (later)

Dear Bill —

In my excitement over the bonanza in the mailbox, I overlooked the big nugget on the stairs. If those little booklets don't exaggerate, Charleston is a beautiful place. Apparently, Charlestonians don't regard the Air Base as a tourist attraction, possibly because it isn't preRevolutionary.

I mailed your letters at the P.O. this afternoon, as there are only two pick-ups at the mailbox — 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM.

It's after nine, and I should be in bed, but it's hard to go to bed early, as there's so much to be done. The house is simply reeking of fumes from the di-chloricide. Hope they aren't fatal (to me, I mean).

I'm enclosing some pictures of my husband. You can see he's the domestic type. I love him very much.

          Your ever-loving wife,


Notes by RWF:

Wilfred R. Franson and Vera Howe Franson met at the beginning of 1944 in an airplane hangar at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois; and married 25 February 1944 at Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Among other common interests, both had been hobbyist small-plane pilots before World War II, and each had been a member of a small club which owned a plane: Bill in Oregon, and Vera in Wisconsin.

At the time of this letter, Bill is a U.S. Army Air Force instructor in celestial navigation for pilots; he has just left on reassignment to Charleston, South Carolina. Vera is a civilian instructor in celestial navigation for Army pilots in the ground school at Chanute Field.

This letter apparently is the second written that day, after Vera found the package of Charleston booklets.

The first page of this short letter is on souvenir stationery inklessly embossed with the Chicago World's Fair silhouette and a label for its second year:

          1  9  3  4

— Which was ten years earlier. Both my parents visited the huge and spectacular Fair multiple times, long before they met each other: Bill in his native Chicago and Vera down from Milwaukee.

My parents often wrote on stationery or postcards acquired earlier or elsewhere, not out of necessity but because they found them timelessly enjoyable. Years later I found myself following the same practice; and still do.

© 2013 Robert Wilfred Franson

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