Monday, February 22, 2016

2) Important Notes About The Letters

I do not have all of the letters that Jack and Betty wrote to each other. The letters Betty wrote in the early years were destroyed when some of Jack’s gear was burned on a beach in the South Pacific. You will notice that other letters are missing, as some letters are referred to that are not transcribed. It is remarkable, that so many of the letters were saved and that we are able to read them today. I have included three letters received by Betty from others during this time period and also a letter included that Jack received from his aunt, Katherine Riley.
I have added background information and pictures throughout this blog. There are a few instances when Jack or Betty included pictures or other items in their letters, and I have indicated those as such.

Most of the information specific to the 9th fighter squadron, in which Jack served, is taken from the monthly unit histories posted on the website, These unit history narratives are based on the original typed pages of notes provided by Ken Clark, 9th FS pilot/flight leader, who had the additional duty of Asst. Squadron Intelligence Officer/Historian.  Since the men overseas were not allowed to indicate where they were or what they were doing, these unit histories will help provide that background information for you. Reading them will help you get a feel for what life was actually like for Jack in these military camps in the South Pacific, beyond what he might have written in his letters. If you are interested in a more detailed account of the movements and missions of the 9th squadron, I suggest that you go to the website and read the full unit history descriptions, which I have only excerpted in this work.

The letters are by and large transcribed as written. I’ve made some spelling and punctuation corrections when necessary for the readability of the letter. Most of the letters were written by hand, with only a few of Jack’s letters being typed. Jack printed and Betty wrote in cursive script.

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