Flight Training
 Enlistment | Dallas NAS | Corpus Christi NAS | USMCR | California
Kearney Mesa | VMF-216 at El Centro MCAS | Corsair F4U | Letters | Departure for Hawaii
Letter from Kae Olivadoti in Chicago, August 30, 1943
Kae Olivadoti
Kae Olivadoti
(see McMurry Band page about Kae)

My dear Guy,

Oh honey, you are so sweet to send all that beautiful music. Gee, you certainly have wonderful taste. Do you know that you have picked exactly the songs I've been so crazy about. You're wonderful!
I received a card from your mother today and she tells me you have been pretty ill. Why didn't you write and tell me. I hope you are much better now. Please be careful, and take good care of yourself. A strep throat like that can become very serious.
At last I can spend an evening at home. It seems so long since I've been home. I've been sleeping here & that's about all. I've had rehearsals every nite & when I get home everyone's in bed, so it's just like not being home at all.
Please take care of yourself. I hope you'll be well real soon. Your mother sounded rather worried in her card. Please write and tell me all about it.
I wrote your mother a nice long letter today. She probably thought I was lost or something, but I explained to her how busy I've been - singing.
Letter from Kae Olivadoti in Chicago, September 12, 1943

Dear Guy,
I haven't heard from you in so long. I'm worried about you. What has happened? Don't tell me they've shipped you out.
At least I have received your picture - and honestly, it's a beauty!! Gee, I love it! I wrote a little letter to your mother and thanked her for all her trouble in sending it to me.
Guy, I enjoyed the music you sent me, so much -you'll never know how much. You were very sweet to send it. And the songs are super! Everytime I play, sing, or hear them I think of you.
As for the singing job, we are scheduled for a public audition next Mon. nite. And, guess what? - I have a solo number - it's a darling arrangement of "When You & I Were Young Maggie". It's what I call real swing! It's more or less Dixieland style - & cute! There's a real "rowdiedow" obligato in it - I love it. Sure wish you could hear it.
Incidentally, how are you and your friend Tim Holt making out? Do you still see very much of him these days?
Please write and tell me what's cookin'. And another thing, promise me you'll be careful in pulling out of those dives, that blacking yourself out business scares me.
Sorry this has to be so short, I'll try to make up for it next time.

Letter from B.J. "Potsy" Gates in San Diego, September 13, 1943

Dear "Ole Lady"
Potsy Gates
I went out to see Elmer & Mava last night and Mava said you were in El Centro; so I got your address. Seems like we have always just missed each other everywhere. When you were home, the last time I think, I just missed you a few days. I got home just after you left, and I really felt badly about not getting to see you.
I went to radio school over at the at the training station; but didn’t get a rate in that, went home on leave and reported back to the Destroyer Base. I tried to get into Aviation radio, but wouldn’t let me. That’s what I really and truly wanted & was very disappointed, but couldn’t do a damn thing about it. So right now I’m going up for a glamorous rate here in the office, guess I’ll get it next month. It’s something that I already know & will help me after the war.
I have the cutest girl in Los Angeles you ever saw. Sweet? Boy, I had to get a ration card when I started going with her and the best part of it is – the feeling is mutual! Which makes it even better – wish you could meet her. (Or do I, you in uniform may be you’re a bigger wolf than ever! Ha! Mother is working in Fort Worth – she has often spoken of you & wanted to know where you were. She still considers you as one of “her boys”.
Elmer Moore Mava Miracle Moore
Elmer Moore Mava Miracle Moore
Ains is still in school in Dallas – guess he will get to finish, hope so anyway.
Jimmy Dorsey is supposed to play here next week – wish you could fly over & go with Elmer, Mava, and I.
Try to, won’t you?
‘Vell, “Ole Lady” not a bit of news so better close. Be a real pal & answer soon.
Keep’em flying!

B.J Gates
Harbor Service
Division 11-A
U.S. Des. Base
San Diego (36)
V-Mail Letter from Mother, September 19, 1943

Dearest Guy,

Your dear letter received. It is an inspiration to all of us back at home. I sent you a letter Sunday before you sailed and another one Thursday after. Guess they will be sent on to you, so I will call this one No. 3. I'll number all my letters and keep the No. of each and date I mailed it. Let me know the No. of each you receive and the date received. Then I'll know how long it takes you to get them and which way is faster as I'll send some airmail and some V mail.
I went to the Episcopal Church this morning. I sat where we sat Father's Day. Two soldier boys came in and sat in the same row next to me. I tried to pretend they were you and Roy and I knew you and Roy were also at services where ever you are. Night before last Abilene was the coldest spot in Texas with temp 49º.
We love you and hope you are well.
Hugs and kisses, Love

V-Mail Before & After
V-mail - Before & After

During the latter years of World War II, V-Mail became a popular way to correspond with a loved one serving overseas. V-Mail letters were written on forms that could be purchased at five and ten cent stores or the post office. These special forms were photographed, put on film, flown across the world and then reproduced at the mail center closest to the recipient's position. The development of the V-Mail system reduced the time it took a soldier to receive a letter by a month - from six weeks by boat to twelve days or less by air.

However, the main advantage of V-Mail was its compact nature. Reduction in the size and weight of the letters translated into more space for crucial military supplies on cargo planes; one advertisement explained that 1,700 V-Mail letters could fit in a cigarette packet, while reducing the weight of the letters in paper form by 98%. Transport of the letters by plane minimized the chances that the enemy would intercept the letters, although writers were reminded to delete any information that might prove useful to the enemy in case some V-Mail was captured. Americans on the home-front were encouraged by the government and private businesses to use V-Mail. Letters from home were compared to "a five minute furlough", and advertisements that instructed how, when, and what to write in a V-Mail reached a peak in 1944. Letters were to be cheerful, short, and frequent. V-Mail made it possible for servicemen halfway across the world to hear news from home on a weekly basis.
Back | Top | Next