Friday, July 17, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - A Sgt in St. Pete

We have another WWII postcard for today's Postcard Friendship Friday. The picture is of the Pennsylvania Hotel at 300 4th St. North in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. The hotel was built in 1925 and is still in use today.

Modern view

The Courtyard Marriott recently refurbished the hotel and it now has 124 rooms and 4 suites

The lobby still retains some of the charm of the roaring 20's
The description reads: Pennsylvania Hotel - European Plan - St. Petersburg, Florida. 150 Modern Outside Rooms in One of Florida's Finest Hostelries. Located in Center of All Tourist Activities Martin C. McNiel, Manager.
The card, which was mailed to Mt. Clemens, Michigan, is postmarked November 15, 1942 and was written by Sgt. Wes Hellner who was in the Army Air Force and stationed at Albert Whitted Airfield in St. Petersburg. He was assigned to the A.A.F Technical Training School.
The city airport on Tampa Bay, is recognized as the birthplace of scheduled airline flight. On January 1, 1914, a small air boat took off near this airport, on the first regularly scheduled aircraft flight in history.
During the first years of World War II, aircraft at the Coast Guard Air Station on the airport grounds were part of a valiant but inadequate deterrent to the German submarine campaign in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. As the submarine threat in the Gulf slowly abated, the air station concentrated on search and rescue activities. In addition to Coast Guard flight operations, during World War II, Albert Whitted Airport was converted to military use as a primary flight training base for student Naval Aviators for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Hundreds of Naval Aviation cadets under the U.S. Navy's V-5 pre-commissioning program received initial flight training here.

Sgt. Wes writes about a postcard he received from his friend Ray, he talks about his bowling scores and looks forward to an upcoming furlough.
I found a Wes Hellner listed on a website in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Mt. Clemens is a quiet city of about 17,000 on Lake St. Clair and just north east of Detroit. The major industry there, until the early 1970's was mineral bath houses, spas and sanitoriums.
One (probably the only) advantage people from Michigan have over the rest of the US is we can use our hand as a map. To find Mt. Clemens, hold your right hand up, palm facing you. Mt. Clemens is at the outside base of your thumb. Did you find it? Good job!
Thank you to Marie of Voila! Vintage Postcards for another Friendship Friday!


Debby said...

Love these cards! Beautiful as always.
Happy PFF!

Beth Niquette said...

What a wonderful history lesson--and gorgeous postcards! Thank you!

Mandala Michelle said...

I LOVE hotels. That one looks like such a great getaway. Thanks for the info and beautiful cards!

Terry said...

Howdy Muse
Happy PFF to you.
You never fail to provide us with the most amazing little tidbits with your fun post.
Fabulous postcard !!!!!
I am so glad you found another hotel,another soldier and shared all the fantastic information.
Thank you so very much .
It is always great fun to swing by :)
Have a marvelous weekend.
Happy Trails

ChaChaneen said...

Happy Friday! Hope your having a great summer!

Sheila said...

It's good to see the hotel has preserved some of its original atmosphere.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

Mt Clemens' skyline features a very tall jail. I would not say it is so quiet. It anchors the northeast corner of the Detroit metro area, and the very busy "beltline" highway of M-59 goes through it.

Lavinia said...

Believe you me Moosey, I could a nice, long, and I do mean loooooonnnnggg stay at either a:

mineral bath houses, spas and sanitoriums

Right about now!

steviewren said...

Nice tip about using body parts as maps. I'll never get lost again!

Happy PFF!

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

Always fun to read, Muse! Btw, Good Housekeeping is sponsoring a short story contest. With your imagination, why not try?! You can get the details on my recent post, or by visiting Good Housekeeping. Good luck! You never know!

TattingChic said...

Very cool! That is neat to see the vintage and more modern look of the same building. :)

Cynthia said...

Love the story! I feel as if I could be it's the setting of a movie story. Great to see the old/new hotel view,too. Great magic you've created here. <3