Friday, February 26, 2016

10) On To Hammer Field, CA--Feb. 1943

Hammer Field (Fresno, CA)
Feb. 16, 1943
Tuesday, 8:30 PM

Betty dear,

Well, I received your long and very sweet letter yesterday and hope I receive one like it every day. It is so very lonely out here and I don’t get as many letters as I used to (from a good many people.)

I have been thinking about you recently and wishing you would write to me. Your letters are so nice and lengthy. I would like to have the “full dope” on the “Brad” you speak of so often. I am sure I don’t know him. Is he a nice boy? I do want you to answer these questions.

I would like to get out of this place. Something happened unexpectedly today, that could with a lot of luck and the help of everybody from the Almighty down to the Major, mean my whole life will be changed. Anyway I am praying that it will all turn out. Here’s the way it is (let this go no farther than your own sweet ears). Tom Curtis and I were coming out of the PX and there was a car pulled up to the curb with a 1st Lt. and his wife and another lady sitting in it. When we saw the Atlanta, Georgia license plates we said where are you from, “Atlanta”, and started talking to them (after saluting the officer and everything) about Georgia and various other things. During the course of the conversation the Lt. happened to ask what we wanted to do. Well Tom used to hold a reserve commission and I am as you know I am very anxious to go to O.C.S. “Well”, he said, “I have helped several of the boys out and would be glad to help you” so we agreed to meet him in front of Hdqtrs. this afternoon and he would see what he could do for us.

We met him and went right in to see the Major who is Hammer Field’s Personnel Officer and one of the “High up Joe’s” so to speak. He said that they needed men and he recommended us to go and see the shipping officer, whom he would contact by phone in the meantime and see that we get sent to our permanent bases immediately or transferred to the 50th Air Base Sq, here on the field till they can bring us before the board here. (And file application there which we could do while in the Replacement Depot.) Meanwhile he could use us around here as clerks or something. Sounds swell doesn’t it? Honey! Maybe my big chance has come at last. I have a letter from 1 major at West Point already. The “big boys” can really help you in this army believe me. We see the shipping officer tomorrow and I will let you know what goes on. Well I must go now.

By the way I certainly do want your picture and by the next mail.

Please don’t tell anybody about this till I see how I come out on it. I want to surprise the family.

Love as usual.

P.S. Tell the family hello for me especially Ann.


  1. Hammer Field---also known as Fresno Army Air Base, was located 5 miles northeast of Fresno.  Hammer Army Air Field was a training base of the 4th Air Force specializing in night fighters. It had three sub-bases and two gunnery ranges. Hammer Field also had an Army Air Forces regional hospital. 
  2. Tom Curtis--- Mentioned in this letter and also in the Dec. 26, 1942 letter, indicating that he and Jack were both sent from Buckley Field to Hammer Field at about the same time.  There was a Thomas Byrom Curtis (1922-1945) who was from Atlanta, Georgia.  He died in Germany in July of 1945, the result of an  automobile accident in the line of duty.  When he died he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 955th Quarter Master Service Company.  I have only circumstantial evidence (association with Atlanta, about the same age as Jack and in the Army at this time) that this is the same man.
  3. He mentions that he isn't getting enough letters "from a good many people."  Do you think he means Libby?  Also, Betty must have written him about a boy named "Brad".  Perhaps she wasn't phased by his last letter, or maybe she just wanted to let him know that she didn't lack for romantic prospects at home.  Still no "love and kisses" sign offs from Jack, so he's keeping it toned down for the sake of Libby.
Hammer Field Postcard- my addition

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