Navy

Father’s WW2 Love Letter from Subic Bay

Posted by on Jun 21, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Navy, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

It’s Father’s Day today, Summer Solstice of 2015. In October 1945 Mose writes Arline from his ship. WW2 Love Letter below. He’s anchored in Subic Bay. This is fun because I can google and see where he was. Mose is censor for his boat’s mail. Many envelopes from this period bear a navy censor stamp with his initials MAD. It’s probably not urgent to keep secret where he is now, which he otherwise carefully instructed Arline about on the eve of his disembarcation from San Fransisco. He mentions a milestone, one year ago he graduated naval school. In  six months he’ll be a lieutenant. I read the letter. I walk my dog. I send love to Mose across time and space.

WW2 Love Letter from Subic  Bay

WW2 Love Letter from Subic Bay

Read More

WW2 Love Letter from Hamilton Hotel

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Holiday, Media, Navy, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

It’s December 31, 2014

WW2 Love Letter Alexander Hamilton Hotel

WWII Love Letter excerpt from Hamilton Hotel November 1944

It was a great Christmas trip. Check out was 12 noon at the Harbor Court Hotel in the Financial District of San Francisco.  The Harbor Court is in the historic red brick YMCA building across from the ferry docks. It has views of the Bay Bridge.  There was one thing left to do in San Francisco. I wanted to go see the Alexander Hamilton Hotel where Morris sent Arline his last letter before shipping off to the South Pacific in WW2.

My taxi driver got tangled in one way streets. This caused just the right delay so that as I peered into the Hamilton’s front security door, a resident was on his way out. He was curious. “Can I help you?” “Yes!” I gave him the quick story. Tom was not only kind, but he’s also a real estate agent. The Hamilton is now condos. But the Art Deco style of the hotel is totally preserved. Boys shipping off in WW2 got a last taste of America in Art Deco style at The Hamilton. My tour included the ocean view deck and there’s a piano in the lobby. I wondered which room Morris had occupied when he wrote the letter. I looked up from the roof’s deck and saw a star in one window.

Hamilton Hotel Entrance San Francisco

Hamilton Hotel Entrance Martha in San Francisco

Hamilton Hotel Lobby

Hamilton Hotel Lobby

Hamilton Hotel Lobby Thank you Tom!

Hamilton Hotel Lobby
Thank you Tom!

Balcony at Hamilton Hotel

Balcony over Lobby
Hamilton Hotel

Art at the Hamilton Hotel

Art matches the style at the Art Deco Hamilton Hotel

Hamilton Hotel Courtyard

Hamilton Hotel Courtyard Art Deco Fountain

Hamilton Hotel Ballroom

Hamilton Hotel Ballroom area

Hamilton Hotel Elevators

Hamilton Hotel Elevators

Hamilton Hotel Fireplace

Hamilton Hotel Fireplace

Hamilton Hotel

The Roof Deck has an Ocean View. A Star was Shining in One Window.

Read More

Easter Bunny Leaves Love Letter

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Holiday, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Navy, Portland Maine, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 2 comments

Easter falls on the 1st Sunday following the 1st full moon after the spring equinox, between 3/22 and 4/25. Copy that?

I went to church with Arline last week. I used to go, and was once a Christian. I walked out of the church when a substitute minister started preaching against abortion from the pulpit. It was too much. But I loved the service last week, the organ, the choir, the people greeting each other saying “Peace be with you.”

In 1945, Easter was April 1st. This year it’s tomorrow, the 20th. I pulled one of my father’s letters from April 20th 1945. Morris had been stationed in the South Pacific 5 months. He was engaged to Arline. They did it in letters. He sent the news of their engagement to his parents in a telegram. Arline had been at his folks home for dinner. In the letter Mose asks, “What were your first feelings when they read the telegram?” Awesome! Then he details his future pay as a lieutenant.

let4:20:45:crop

Morris’s memorial service was April 1st, 1999. I remember him every April Fools Day. He had a dry sense of humor. He had a way with puns. At the memorial service his brother Henry said, “Morris was the last of the good guys.”

Read More

Flying Fish at End of Rainbow

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Navy, South Pacific, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Love Letter excerpt by Morris to Arline November 1944, of awe and gratitude.

Love Letter

Love Letter 1940
End of the Rainbow

Read More

WW2 Phonograph Photo and V-Discs

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Media, Navy, Photo, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

In 1940 vinyl was used as a record material, but mostly commercially for transcription discs. Practically no home discs were stamped with vinyl. In a “FLash of Army Life” report by the Associated Press, one soldier:
First Cook Lewis Lawrence Jr. brought a phonograph recording machine from Chicago and “is cashing in on the yen of his buddies to pour sweet nothings of sentiment into the ears of the girls they left behind. The soldiers speak into it. Their tender messages are registered on the discs. Finished products are mailed to sweethearts at home. The cook charged 35, 50, or 70 cents the amount–depending on the verbal and financial lengths to which the troopers are willing to go.”

Phonograph Machine in WW2

Phonograph Machine in WW2

The War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) on May 26, 1942. On August 1, 1942, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) union went on strike against the major American recording companies over disagreements regarding royalty payments. The union called a ban on all commercial recordings as part of a struggle to get the royalties from record sales for a fund for out-of-work musicians.

AFM union led by trumpeter James Petrillo, had previously opposed the recording of music, or “canned music”. Musicians were being replaced with records in radio. In cafes and bars bands were being replaced with jukeboxes. For over a year no music was recorded by unionised musicians in America. The only important group of musicians not part of the union was the Boston Symphony.

But recordings made for the military, called V-discs (V for Victory), were immune and not affected by the strike apparently because V-disc recordings would not go to civilians.

During the strike no union musician could record for any record company. But the strike didn’t prohibit performances on live radio shows or in concert. While the move was seen as advantageous for musicians who wanted payment each time their songs were played in jukeboxes or on radio, PBS FCC chair James Fly suggested 60% of the country’s radio stations could go out of business. As the ban approached, numerous artists rushed to get in last-minute recordings in July 1942. Among them were Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Benny Goodman, Guy Lombardo, and Glenn Miller.

When this stockpile was exhausted, record companies turned to re-releasing older recordings – some as far back as the dawn of the recording era in the mid-1920s. One of the most successful re-releases was Harry James “All Or Nothing at All” which featured Frank Sinatra before he became famous.

Decca and Capitol gave into the AFM in 1943, RCA Victor and Columbia held out but eventually backed down in 1944. It was over two years before the issues were resolved and the recording ban ended. Booms in record sales returned after World War II. Vinyl long play records were introduced which could contain an entire symphony. 45s usually contained one hit popularized on the radio, plus another song on the back “flip” side.

Read More

68 Years Ago on Martin Luther King Day

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Navy, PTSD, South Pacific, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 1 comment

~Love Letter of WWII, January 21, 1945, and about General MacArthur…

Love Letter on Marin Luther King Day

Love Letter of WW2 January 21st 1945

68 years ago from this Martin Luther King Day my father, Morris, wrote about a mountain in a love letter to my mother, Arline:
“This is a rainy Sunday morning in New Guinea and I have a nostalgia complex so I guess I’ll talk to you for a while. A couple days ago I took a ride inland…Away up on top of one of the mountains we saw General MacArthur’s home. It is a modern palace in a tropical jungle. I guess it is something like this that doesn’t put him in such high favor with many of the men in mud out here.”

I walk my dog. I contemplate the letter. I connect with my father, across time, across place.

Read More