WW2 Letters

These blog posts contain photos or content of WW2 era letters

WW2 Love Letter 75 years past D Day

Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, LOVE LETTER, Media, Navy, Poetry, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

I wrote that I’d write. That plan didn’t turn out as well as D Day did. The good news is we still live in Brunswick, Maine and Robert Peter Tristram Coffin is still my favorite poet. And, Arline will be adding another clocked year here in just a couple weeks.

To honor the 75th Anniversary of D Day I’ve chosen to publish a complete letter my father penned to Arline from Bates, just a couple days after D Day, on June 9th, 1944. He was in Lewiston, Maine. She was in Portland. The distance between them was a world war.

If you read it you’ll see that his heart was just as sunk as ever. Against the back drop of the successful invasion in Europe, bringing hope and excitement abroad, Mose would none the less not be free. If he hadn’t enlisted in the navy he would have been drafted. He had no choice. At this date in his navy career Mose was enrolled at Midshipmen’s School at Bates. Next would be the Naval Academy at Notre Dame, then off to fight.

Being still a Bowdoin student, but enlisted in the navy and at Bates College, the arch rival of Bowdoin, was a time of emptiness and sad feelings. Old and best friends were leaving for the war. New friends at Bates were transient, many from out of town, out of state, there for just for a training period. So much disruption was crazy. But Mose did find some interesting things to say and some humor.

The Armed Forces had the Bowdoin boys play on the Bates athletic teams and wear the Bates uniform. Mose did this and had to play against Bowdoin. We have official photos of him donning the Bowdoin team uniform and Bates.

Arline helped me make peace with all this saying that the boys liked to play games and baseball, it was definitely an enjoyable sport for them, and good thing for them to do at this time regardless of the uniform they wore. They had fun. I’m sure she’s right, though Mose does mention some mixed feelings about it in another letter.

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 11.42.55 PMScreen Shot 2019-06-05 at 11.43.19 PM

 

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Preparing for Notre Dame Navy Training

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Navy, V-12 Navy Program, WW2, WW2 Letters, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Excerpt Letter 6-13-44

Excerpt WW2 Letter 6-13-44

Tonight I pulled a letter from Mose at Bowdoin College in 1944. June 13th will be 72 years since it was written. The boys at Bowdoin just saw a film on Midshipman training and “it really inspired the fellows about to leave”. The course curriculum has all been transformed to concentrate the young men’s minds on the needs of war. Morris has reported his grades. He got an A in Naval Strategy. During the war Mose served on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.

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Scent of a WW2 Love Letter

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Navy, South Pacific, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Arline sent Morris scented letters during WW2. The collection is stored in a new cedar chest, smaller than the hope chest. I had the box made just for the letters. The hope chest always smelled so good when I would peek into it as a child. The new chest’s cedar scent is fresh, holy, pungent.

Cedar Chest for WW2 Love Letters

Cedar Chest for WW2 Love Letters

Arline as a teen had little money for things like perfume. I asked her a few years ago what perfume she wore. She didn’t remember much about perfume or her make-up. In her photos she doesn’t look made up at all. But Morris mentions her lipstick. She probably did use scented powder in the letters. How wonderful for any person serving overseas to get a scented letter. “Half way around the world” Mose wrote back.

Scented WW2 Love Letter

Scented WW2 Love Letter

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Note from Albert Einstein for Pearl Harbor Day

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters | 0 comments

Today is Pearl Harbor Day 2015. If Pearl Harbor Day were Christmas I’d ask Santa for this letter. The letter is an item listed on E-Bay, buy it now price $3,900. The letter is by Albert Einstein. It’s dated April 22, 1947.

Albert Einstein Letter

Albert Einstein Letter

As I read Einstein’s ideas on materialism and energy, I hear absolute reality. I hear, strangely enough, an echo of Mary Baker Eddy’s ideas about materialism. This letter states our idea of materialism is “outmoded” and “narrow”. I hear in this letter the idea of spiritual harmony, sacred truth and understanding. I picture Einstein at study in the Christian Science reading room. This much we know, he went there and spent some time.

Not long after the end of World War II, Albert Einstein founded the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. He and co-founder, scientist Leό Szilάrd, toured our country to educate the public on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Ironically, an earlier letter signed by Einstein—warning President Roosevelt of the dangers of a possible German atomic bomb—is credited with starting the U.S. drive to establish the Manhattan Project that built the first atomic bomb.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Here’s what the letter says. Stand now in the footstep of a great thinker who seems to be saying that the ability to exercise reason is the only hope of man:

“……through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow materialism. For there is no secret, and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world.

We scientists recognize our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of the simple facts of atomic energy and their implications for society. In this lie our only security and our only hope – we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.

We need $1,000,000 for this great educational task. Sustained by faith in man’s ability to control his destiny through the exercise of reason, we have pledged all our strength and our knowledge to this work. I do not hesitate to call upon you to help…Faithfully yours.”

 

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Reading My Poems from WWII

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Poetry, WW2, WW2 Letters, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Poetry Magazine  1970 issue published “Reading my WWII Letters” by William Meredith. The poem is large scale in few lines. Takes me back to the feeling of opening a whole new world the first time I read one of my father’s letters.

Reading My Poems from WWII in Poetry Magazine

Reading My Poems from WWII in Poetry Magazine

 

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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

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