Friday, February 27, 2015

Two Days Away

Post cards from friends are a delight.  Here a friend of my Dad mails this in 1945:

The battleship "U.S.S. West Virginia" is shown.  It was mailed from the "Great Lakes Naval Training Center" to "Pvt. Henry E. Jones, 15364821, 3704th A.A.F. Bu, Sqdn. V Class 236, Kesler Field, Miss."  What an address it is.  A name, and a number of numbers, could be difficult to keep straight.

The message on the back is shown:

A "Forgetful buddy" my Dad was.  "Look what you're missing not being in the Navy" it reads.  Check the post mark as it is stamped..."May 6, 10:30 AM, 1945".  Two friends, one in the Navy, and one in the Army Air Force, both just completing their training...two days before Victory in Europe was declared. [May 8th, 1945]  What would it have been like during WWII just two days away from victory in Europe.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Spitfire

Perhaps no other aircraft in the history of air war is as recognizable as the British Spitfire.  Its graceful  lines, near perfect handling, and eight-gun punch made its mark during the summer of 1940.  Its engine [1 x 1,150 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin], its speed [357 mph], and its range [500 miles] made it one of the most remarkable aircraft of WWII.  The Spitfire remains the symbol of the Battle of Britain.

It was 1946, and here my Dad sits in a Spitfire.  He was among the crews who were responsible for the destruction of many of the aircraft no longer needed for the war effort.  It was post war Germany, and here is a Spitfire sitting on German soil.  What a symbol it is.

Information is taken from: Great Campaigns of World War II, by Longmeadow Press, 1988. [Co-ordinating editor: J.B. Davies]  The picture is taken from a family shoe box full of memories!