On the front, we find a sedate pastoral image of George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon. On the reverse, we read a list of presumed conquests in the form of a litany of female names, though I wager this note was written with tongue firmly in-cheek.
This card was sent from Camp Barkley, Texas to Captain Cassidy, a chemical officer serving in Europe with the 9th Army (based on the APO listed, #339). The recipient may have needed some lighthearted cheer, because as of February 1945 (postmark of this card) the 9th Army had been heavily involved in the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive of the war. I hope that this implausible list of exploits was well received and that the sender wasn’t really the Casanova he purported to be. Though, I did enjoy reading the list of common female names of the time period, and I hope a few of these lovely monikers come back into style.
Camp Barkeley, the card’s place of origin, was a short-lived training post located near Buffalo Gap in the vicinity of Abilene, Texas. The airfield built next to it later became Dyess Air Force Base, which is still in operation. I think it’s safe to assume that the sender was a civilian worker at the installation, as he used paid postage to send the card rather than writing his full name and unit, which would have allowed him to send it for free. Of note, Camp Barkeley housed German prisoners-of-war later in the conflict, peaking at 840 prisoners in 1945.
Interestingly, the large installation was deactivated in April of 1945, before victory was officially declared in Europe. Use of the land was immediately returned to the locals from whom the government had leased it. However, more recently, the site has taken on new life as a Christian overnight retreat center as the aptly named “Camp Barkley Training & Equipping Center.”
I love the stories I discover behind each card, and this one is certainly included!
Hullo!! Casanova —
Mary – Frances – Madeline – Louise – Heloise – Laura – Margaret – Helen – Need I go on — Breaches of Promise suits pending in 11 states. Send obituary notice that I may help. — Have fun
To: Captain J.W. Cassidy | 30th Chemical Co. | APO 339, New York
Postmark: Camp Barkeley, Texas – February 9, 1945
Image: Mount Vernon, Virginia
Photos of Camp Barkeley