Friday, May 29, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday #17

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday! Today's postcard pictures a Florida Seminole Indian and her Papoose in the Everglades.

This is the first of five postcards that were written by an Army Air Force Private to his wife during the winter of 1942 /1943. I will share the others with you over the next four weeks.

This card is postmarked December 8, 1942 - a year and a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. There is no stamp, as the mail for service men and women was free. The word "free" was written in the spot that normally holds a stamp. It was difficult to find as it was stamped over with "Buy War Savings Bonds And Stamps". It was sent from the Army Air Force Technical Training Center, Miami Beach Florida which was located at what is now Miami International Airport.

The mailing address in Rochester, New York, still exists


The postcard reads:

Dear Mrs. Burns

Have nothing new to say today. It is very hot. How is Junior coming along? Watch out that you don't get any cold.

I don't know a soul in this camp which makes it kind of hard. However would like to become permanent here but doubt if that will be.

Some one of these days I will have a picture taken and send it to you so that you can see my new uniform. Also would like a better one of you. This 10 cent one of you isn't very flattering because it does not show your teeth (Ha Ha)

Will write a long letter when I buy some paper and envelopes. So far have managed to bum some. Are the letters coming fast enough? Hope I can start getting a few from you soon. NO SOB STUFF.

Tell everybody not to look for any Xmas present from me and not to send any.



Rot the R (?)


Postcard of the Army Air Force Technical Training Command Center Parade Grounds

WAC (Women's Army Corp) air controller - the shoulder insignia is the Army Air Forces patch.

The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II. The direct precursor to the United States Air Force, its peak size was over 2.4 million men and women in service and nearly 80,000 aircraft in 1944, and 783 domestic bases in December 1943. By VE Day it had 1.25 million men stationed overseas and operated from more than 1,600 airfields worldwide.
The Air Corps became the Army Air Forces in June 1941. Although other nations already had separate air forces independent of the army or navy (such as the British Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe), the USAAF remained a part of the United States Army.


Clark Gable enlisting at the AAFTC

From 1942 to 1945 Miami Beach played a significant role in WWII. Nearly 500,000 men, including matinee-idol Clark Gable and Robert Preston, took over 300 hotels and buildings for housing and training headquarters under the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command. By the time the war ended, one-fourth of all Army Air Force officers and one-fifth of the Air Corps' enlisted men had been trained in "the most beautiful boot camp in America''—Miami Beach. Another group of hotels and buildings served as an Army Redistribution Station for infantrymen returning from battle. These men were reunited with their wives, and "ordered" to have fun before being released or reassigned.


Exercising on Miami Beach

This photo shows Army Air Force Technical Training Command soldiers in an outdoor classroom in front of the London Shop and Mishan Importers of Linens, Laces and Rugs (possibly on Lincoln Road).

It is probable that Pvt. Burns enlisted in the service rather than being drafted. He was recently transferred to this location for technical training. Part II next Friday! I will forgo the usual "back story" out of respect to this AAF serviceman and all of our service men and women.
For more Postcard Friendship Friday visit Marie at Voila! Vintage Postcards!


Bibi said...

I love reading your postcard posts. On my trip this summer, I have promised myself to browse for old postcards of interest....

Sheila said...

Very interesting post! I have all the letters my father sent from active service during the war to my mother. The sentence, "I hope I can start getting a few [letters] from you soon" was a recurring theme in them. It must have been so hard.

Mim said...

this is great, I wonder what happened to him....

REDLAN said...

Great postcard and its story. Thanks for sharing

imajica said...

love the stories behind the cards!! :D

Happy PFF!

imajica's postcards!


Marie Reed said...

And here I thought that the Seminoles were just a football team! That is the such an amazing card! No offense Rotster but don't scrooge us this Christmas! No sob stuff.... ha! It's my party and I can cry if I want to:)Happy PFF you wonderful wonderful nut! What a cliffhanger too:)

steviewren said...

Another great PFF from you Muse. Your research into the events surrounding the message on your postcards is as interesting as the message itself. I didn't know postage was free for servicemen. I can't wait for the rest of the story.....hope it has a good sob stuff please!

Debby said...

Great cards, love your stories.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Holy cow, is it Friday already? Dang, I must have fainted or something. Hubby is out-of-state (Florida, in fact) visiting relatives, and I lost all track of time.

Great postcard with a cliffhanger story! Now we have to stay tuned for further developments with no sob stuff ... HA HA

I'd better get busy looking for a postcard too. Happy PFF pal! Glad you're back to posting. :o)

Betsy said...

Happy Friday! Love the postcards! Especially the one where they are working out on the beach...all that sand in their uniforms! ha! And I had forgotten that Clark Gable enlisted!

Bob of Holland said...

Very interesting post. I am looking forward to the other cards.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

A great read, Muse. Looking forward to the rest! :))

Daryl said...

Your research really makes stopping here fascinating .. great card and history!

Terry said...

Hi Muse
Happy PFF .
What a wonderful postcard today.
I really enjoyed all the background information.
Now I suppose that you have me hooked for the next installment I'll see ya again next Friday.
Thank you for making the coming summer something unique and fun to do :)
Blessings of joy to you .
Happy Trails

Margo said...

thank you for this fascinating perspective on this important time in history. I, too, especially love the picture of the servicemen working out on the beach. Happy PFF!

Aimee said...

Very interesting! I can't wait to read the next 4!

Postcardy said...

Interesting history. I didn't realize there so many bases and airfields.

Kirby3131 said...

You put so much into your post - wow. It's a great history lesson. Thanks so much!

Aunt Spicy said...

I can not wait to read the rest of the postcards!!!! And just love the historical perspective!

Chris Overstreet said...

I don't know why the Air Force has always insisted on training in hot places; maybe they want to be where ice will never build on the wings. They trained me in San Antonio and Biloxi. I was stationed in Miami for a little while, too, but fortunately, not as a trainee.

Ragamuffin Gal said...

As always ~ I feel like I enjoyed a little history lesson. Thanks for the snapshot into this man's life. Of course he could have been a little bit more romantic about the picture with the teeth part. Oh Joy! always, Katie