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

Correspondence from
Vera Howe Franson
March 1944


The Franson Apt.
1505 South Broadway
Urbana, Ill.
21 March 1944

Dear Bill —

How do you like this stationery? [Pan American Airways: "The Routes of the Flying Clippers".] Mother got it the time she flew to Havana on the Clipper. There were envelopes to match, but I guess they're all used up.

This afternoon I went to See Dr. Cheydleur [Dr. Eleanor Pavne Cheydleur], and described my mysterious symptoms. They're the ones, all right. As I thought, it's impossible to tell anything from an examination until after a couple of months. The only way to be sure is by the rabbit serum test. So the rabbit and I will both be there at the clinic Thursday morning. It takes several days for things to happen to the rabbit. It's all quite satisfactory, except, possibly, to the rabbit, as it's fatal to her.

I have to drink a quart of milk a day, and I have a little booklet, "Prenatal Care," to peruse during my leisure moments. I've discarded the idea of studying it in the trainer area, or during the happy hour, and shall save it for the seclusion of the Franson Apt.

When the rug came back from the cleaner, I put it down over a thick layer of naphthaline and cedar chips and closed all the windows. (Lately I've been keeping them open all the time.) I'm sitting in the kitchen with the door closed and the window open, because I can't breathe in the living room.

No letter from you today. Whenever I come home I'm almost afraid to look in the mailbox, for fear there won't be a letter from you. The one I wrote last night I put off mailing, but finally did on the way home from the clinic.

Darling, ordinarily I wouldn't worry you with "my interesting condition," as they used to say in the days of limbs, until I was sure. But as it may make some difference in our plans, I thought it best to tell you right away.

Also ordinarily, I don't juggle the pages around like this, but I didn't expect to write so much. [The Pan American Airways stationery is folded like a greeting card: Vera filled and numbered the pages as 1 - 3 - 2 - 4.]

Bob Hope has long since gone off the air, so it's late. I had to wait nearly 2 hours to see the doctor. When I called for the appointment, she was all booked up, so I had to wait till everybody else had gone. Fell asleep in the waiting room.

Last night I thought I'd listen to the radio in bed, and of course fell asleep. At 11:30 I woke up. It was going full blast. — Some piano player, playing good old-fashioned ragtime. He was positively inspired. I was wishing you were here, because I know you would have enjoyed it. The bed is comfortable, too.

I'm enclosing a picture of my husband and a devoted admirer, who shall be nameless. They appear to be music lovers.

Bill, dear, I'll live only for the time when you next letter comes, and I hope it's tomorrow. I miss you terribly.

          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.

© 2013 Robert Wilfred Franson

The Boeing 314 Flying Boats
(Pan American Airways' "Flying Clippers":
Boeing 314 - Wikipedia
In Search of an Icon

Bob Hope - Wikipedia
Bob Hope and radio comedy-variety - Library of Congress


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Celestial navigation
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)


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