Commentary, United States

Following Buddy Marress, WWII G.I.

I was excited to find Buddy’s postcards because of the longer story they reveal.

Buddy was born in 1918. His enlistment record indicates that he worked in the education field and had completed 3 years of college. (I don’t often try to look up the names on my postcards, but since I had so much information, in this case I gave it a shot.)

Postcard Timeline

Enlisted: May 23, 1942 – Fort Oglethorpe, GA (age 23, unmarried at time of enlistment)

Source: National Archives Enlistment Record

Date Sent from Current Unit/Base Rank Recipient Name Recipient location
26-Aug-42 Salt Lake City, Utah Army Air Base, Salt Lake Pvt Gladys Bell Lobelville, Tn
5-Apr-43 St Louis, Missouri 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks ? Mrs. E Bell Lobelville, Tn
29-Aug-43 Topeka, Kansas 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks Sgt Mrs. L. H. Marress Lobelville, Tn
13-Sep-43 Topeka, Kansas 21st Sqd. Topeka, Ks ? Mrs. L. H. Marress Lobelville, Tn
9-Apr-44 Topeka, Kansas 25th Adr’m Sq. (S) Cpl. Gladys Marress Linden, Tn

It seems that Miss Gladys Bell became Mrs. Marress during the summer of 1943.

Buddy Marress’s wife is buried in Perry County Tennessee: Marress, Gladys Bell, Apr. 1916-Dec. 9, 1989, “Wife of Loyd Marress”

bonds-topeka-army-airfield
Topeka Army Airfield http://9thbombgroup.org/99th-BS-files/war-bonds/they-bought-bonds.html

 

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Postcards, United States

You’uns Are Hot- We’uns Are not [1939 – North Carolina]

1939 Hendersonville NC image lg

“Having a big time.”

Billy’s sarcasm towards Annemarie is what makes 1930s postcard charming, and I think I’m going to bring that phraseology back as an alternative to “great” time. I bet it really was nice in the Blue Ridge Mountains just South of Asheville, NC in July.

In my eyes, the main quality of a great postcard is leaving the reader wanting to know more! This one certainly poses so many more questions than it answers. I want to know what’s happening off stage!

1939 Hendersonville NC message lg

Dear Annemarie-

Haven’t got enough to say to write a letter– hence the card. I’m visiting Chick now and having a big time. Guess I’ll go back to S.C. and cruise around before I come home. In the meantime try to bear up under the strain of my absence.

Billy

To:

  • Miss Annemarie Dünzelmann
  • 1118 Madison St.
  • Clarksville, Tennessee

Postmark: Hendersonville, N. C. – July 19, 1939

Commentary

Remembering on Memorial Day 2017

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I have a special passion for finding military postcards because they hit home for me, personally. Many of my immediate family members have served in the military, and I have lived overseas myself. These messages provide a fascinating peek into the daily lives of service members, and I will continue to post more military postcards from my collection in the coming months.

Lost Greetings Military Postcards, to date

World War I

Another view of the Castle [1919 – Marseilles, France]

The Great War [1919, France]

World War II

Postcards sent by Sgt Buddy Marress [Series of 5]

And the war is over. [1945, PA]

1950s

Nice spot in the Azores [1953, Portugal]

U.S. Troops Surrounded by Holiday Mail During WWII

“U.S. troops almost buried by parcels do their best to handle that year’s holiday mail.”


Memorial Day Remains Relevant

American service members from every generation have fallen, from the Revolutionary War through the present. These are the members of the military who we have lost so far in 2017.

Link: 2017 Fallen (Military Times)

Please remember them and their families. In the U.S., Memorial Day honors those who have paid the utmost price for the freedom of others. I hope that you take a moment to honor those who did not come home and those who loved them.

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Military Postcards, Postcards, United States

Out Where the West Begins [1942, Utah]

Marress - 1942 Utah image lg

Lloyd Marress WII Postcard Series (#1 of 5)

August 1942

Here we find Pvt. “Buddy” Marress in Utah, Summer of 1942. I wonder how well he knows Gladys Bell. The wording is familiar, but a bit stiff.

I have to say, as an East coast native myself, I don’t care too much for the poem over-idealizing “the West” with such saccharine poetry. Oh well.

Info about Kearns Air Base, constructed near Salt Lake City during WWII.

Marress - 1942 Utah message lg

Wed-Nite

I’m so glad the Dr. thought you were doing fine. You’ll be a big girl, if you keep going. I enjoyed the letter from Mrs. Bell a lot. I’ll write more next time. I’m studying hard, as usual.

I love you, Buddy

To:

  • Gladys Bell
  • Lobelville, Tennessee

From:

  • Pvt. Lloyd Marress
  • Army Air base Salt Lake City

Postmark: Salt Lake City, Utah – Aug 1942

“Buy Defense Savings Bonds and Stamps” No postage: Military Mail

Image: Out Where the West Begins poem.


Other postcards sent by Lloyd “Buddy” Marress

Military Postcards, Postcards, United States

Sgt. Marress [1943 – Topeka, Kansas]

Marress - Aug 1943 Topeka Image lg

Lloyd Marress WWII Postcard Series (#3 of 5)

August 1943

This time we find Buddy, a Sergeant now, writing to his wife in Tennessee. He most likely was serving with the 21st Bombardment Wing which was located in Topeka, Kansas as of May 1943 (Wikipedia). The primary function of Buddy’s unit was “processing heavy bombardment crews and aircraft for overseas movement, and then processing men returning from overseas, from 1942–1946.” He seems to be staying stateside for the war, so perhaps he was an aircraft mechanic or other tradesman prepping bombers for overseas deployment.

I wonder if this postcard was provided for free by the United Service Organization (USO). I’m not sure what else “U.S.O.” could possibly stand for in this context.

Link: History of the Topeka Airport (aka Topeka Army Airfield in 1943).

Marress - Aug 1943 Topeka message lg

Saturday Evening

Darling,

I’m staying on the base tonite, as I said I will. I didn’t work this aft. got caught up on my work, at last.

I hope you’re feeling alright, s–[?] the old medicine made you sick.

I’ll go now, but[?] will be back tomorrow.

Forever yours, Buddy

To:

  • Mrs. L. H. Marress
  • Lobelville, Tennessee

From:

  • Sgt. L.H. Marress
  • 21st Sq. (S)
  • Topeka, Kansas

Postmark: Aug 29, 1943 – Topeka, Kansas

Image: “From Topeka Kansas U.S.O” John Morrell & Co. Meat packing Promo Postcard featuring Kansas Jayhawk


Other postcards from Buddy Marress

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Postcards, United States

For Mother’s Day, One More Happy Golden Ray

Mother's Poem Postcard - Rochester 1910s

My parents gave me this antique card to add to my collection. It’s a sweet poem from mother to daughter. The content of the writing indicates that there is distance between them, but since it has no address or postmark, perhaps it was sent in an envelope.

The words seem like they would be a song, but a quick google search didn’t reveal any musical source. Thus I will assume that it is the original work of Esther’s mother. She seems like a lovely lady and a charming poet.

Today, on Mother’s Day, I hope you have a chance to thank the mother figures in your life for adding their own light to the sunshine in your life.

Mother's Poem Postcard message - Rochester 1910s

Dear Esther,

When your letter comes
If when I’m feeling blue
Comes a letter Straight from you
Blues all fade in just a minute
Ever I know what’s in it
If it comes when I am glad,
It cannot fail to add
[To] the sunshine of the day
One more happy golden ray.

Mother

Approximate year: 1910s, based on ink style, fonts, and printing.

Europe, Military Postcards, Postcards

Another view of the Castle [1919 – Marseilles, France]

Great War Postcard Mar 1919 back lg

Through some quick census research, I’m fairly sure this postcard was sent by Herbert to his father. It boggles my mind that this postcard was sent nearly a century ago.

Tarascon-sur-Rhone Wikipedia

Great War Postcard Mar 1919 lg

Another view of the Castle. Am on my way to Taulon and St Raphael. Am in Marsailles now.

Yours

A. C. Umberger

To:

  • Mr. G. E. Umberger
  • 326 E. Bucyrus St.
  • Crestline, Ohio

From:

  • Herbert C. Umberger

Postmark: U.S. Army Post Office M.P.F.S. Mar 20, 1919

Europe, Postcards

Too much English in Paris [1950 – Paris, France]

1950 Paris Notre Dame Image lg

It’s so much fun to imagine Rilla’s trip across the pond and stay in Paris (minus being surrounded by seasick passengers). I’m not sure whether I admire her desire to integrate herself into French culture, or if she’s instead a little self-impressed with her own mastery of the local language.

Here’s a bit of historical context: The French Line in the 1950s.

1950 Paris Notre Dame message lg

Sept 30, 1950

Dear Margaret,

The ocean trip was wonderful. I love the French line. The food was out of this world. 6 courses for each meal. I was fortunate enough not to be seasick in spite of a storm the first three days which got most everybody.

I love Paris, but haven’t seen many of the sights yet. I’ve been room-hunting for a place in a private home. There’s too much English spoken at the Maison Américaine, a dormitory where I am now. It’s very cold here. Write.

Love, Rilla

To:

  • Miss Margaret Paschall
  • Route 2
  • Clarksville, Tenn.
  • U.S.A

Postmark: Paris XIV Av du General Leclerc – Sept 30, 1950

Stamps: 5 franc & 10 franc

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North America, Postcards, United States

Sugar Cane Harvest [1956 – Cuba, via Miami]

1956 Cuba image lg

This one comes from a period of great upheaval in Cuba, but the sugar cane still needed to be harvested.

1956 Cuba message lg

Havana – Jan 20th

The sugar-cane harvest begins this week. We saw the carts being loaded as we drove from Matauzas this morning.

Love,

Grandmother

They cut with machetes. Gram

To:

  • David B. Stewart
  • 909 Woodmont Blvd.
  • Nashville, Tenn.

Postmark: Miami, Fla. – Jan 21, 1956 – Fight infant paralysis Join March of Dimes

Front image: Cutting sugar cane. Habana. Corte de Caña

Postcards, United States

Please be good boys [1961 – Washington, D.C.]

1961 Washington DC American Airlines image lg

This dad misses his sons. I miss the time before TSA screening lines.

But, this is really a very sweet postcard message from a dad.

1961 Washington DC American Airlines message lg

6:15 Sun NITE

Hi boys,

Daddy is sitting in the place while they re-fuel and take on food for our supper in Knoxville. I wish you could see the big DC-6 I’m on. And the weather is so pretty. I do wish you could have flown with me.

Please be good boys, and I’ll be writing you every single day.

Love, Daddy

To:

  • Mike & Perry Lindquist
  • Route #3
  • Portland, Tenn.

Postmark: Washington, D.C. – Nov 5, 1961

Stamp: $.07 US Air Mail

Image: American Airlines 707