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

Correspondence from
Vera Howe Franson
March 1944


1505 South Broadway
Urbana, Illinois
14 March 1944

Dear Bill —

Isn't it remarkable that I can remember your ASN [Army Serial Number] when I can't even remember my own telephone number?

It's 10:30 (2230 to you), and I've been working on that paper for hours. It isn't finished yet. I'm writing it on a regular Form 57 ["Application for Federal Employment", U.S. Civil Service Standard Form 57], which I would have to fill out anyway. Tomorrow I'll get it notarized.

Those [Link] Navitrainer pictures and the newspaper clippings are locked in a box in the attic at home [in Milwaukee].

I do hope I can get a job in Charleston. I'm anxious to hear what you think of the houses you're gong to look at. The main thing is are they clean and bugless.

Your job sounds good, especially if the dept. is growing. Maybe you'll get a promotion. Lt. McBride sounds nice. I know I can get a good recommendation from Capt. Budoff. And also from my old boss at Scott. [Scott Field in St. Clair County, Illinois.] I hope Lt. McB. thinks my qualifications are OK. I don't see how they could be any better unless I were a navigator, or a CNT [Celestial Navigation Trainer] maintenance man.

Sgt. Biederman came back yesterday. I thought he was gone for good, but he was only on furlough. He talks just like Mr. Peavey on the radio. He wouldn't even commit himself on his home being far away. Or on New Yorkers missing their home town more than other people because they have more to miss. I couldn't get a definite answer out of him on anything. It's very disappointing.

Spent happy hour stapling.

Do you think I'll need everything in Charleston, or should I send some stuff home? If so, what?

Had pancakes tonight. They weren't very good. There was one little cake left. I threw it out. All the windows are open. It's like spring today, but cold is forecast. Dear, I hope we'll be together before long.

          Your ever-loving wife,

P.S. — I'm enclosing a picture of my husband. He looks studious.


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.

The serious business in this letter involves my mother's assembling a job application for federal civilian work in Charleston: hence the mentions of her bosses in Celestial Navigation Training (CNT) and photos of her operating the equipment.

This is written on stationery of The Stevens Hotel (now the Chicago Hilton), used during World War II as barracks and classrooms for the Army Air Force.

© 2013 Robert Wilfred Franson

Scott Field - Wikipedia

"Mr. Peavey" in The Great Gildersleeve
[radio show & films] - Media Heritage

Wikipedia articles on Link Trainer
Celestial navigation
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)

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