Independence Day 4 July 1918


I might have posted these before. They are envelopes decorated by my great-grandfather and mailed to his son (my grand-uncle) who was stationed in France in the U.S. Signal Corps in WWI. Walter received them on 10 August 1918, and replied with this letter:

“…I saw a peach of an air battle last night. Believe me that is exciting stuff to see them diving and darting around like a couple of birds. That’s about all I can tell you. I can’t tell you who licked. Some of the best fliers are located near us. I guess there are a few “aces” among the bunch.

…Pap says the war will be over in a year making it July 4th 1919. I don’t want to shatter his hopes but I think about the fall of 1920 myself. That is simply my estimate. Maybe last longer or maybe  not as long.”

Late last year I asked Walter’s daughter if she’d allow me to post her father’s letters, in sequence beginning in February 1918, as if in real time. For personal reasons she declined, and I’ll respect her wishes.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you still have the same number of fingers and toes as you did yesterday at this time.

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5 Responses to “Independence Day 4 July 1918”

  1. deena Says:

    They are both beautiful. What lovely things to have remain in your family.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. G Eagle Esq Says:

    These are lovely … from a time when the World was young ……

  3. wheels Says:

    You have posted them before, but I don’t see that as a problem. Some things are just that important. I know that I’ve linked to articles I’ve previously written, and I may have duplicated one or two. I can’t say definitively, because the memory’s not what it used to be, to quote the old saw.

  4. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Herr Eagle– I was too young to realize what my uncle went through until (relatively recently) I read a collection of his understated letters.

    Signal Corps was a very hazardous position. You’re at the front, virtually unarmed, sitting in a large immobile inflatable target in the sky to report on enemy activity in the trenches below.

    You slept with your clothes on because of the frequent gas attack alarms and drills. Once a month you’d get deloused, take a shower and change clothes and get a hot meal, before you got sent back.

  5. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Wheels– I thought I’d posted a couple of the envelopes before, but wasn’t sure which ones. Those were two of my favorites.

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