January 19, 1943 William Shepard to home…


January 19, 1943

Dear Mother:

I received your letter and the form. It is filled out like you designated. Thanks a lot mother, as I want to get all my insurance and affairs settled before I leave the country.

School is about over for me, and now Ill be getting down to business, which is keeping the planes flying and administration of a group.

Ill probably be in Pendleton Oregon in a few weeks barring any unusual event. I would love to come home, and If I can I will.



My time is kind of short tonite so Ill close. Tell Pop hello for me and you two keep good care of yourself. I heard a few things that Ill pass on:

  1. Rationing will really hit in a few months
  2. “A” cards will be cut to 6 gal a month.
  3. “B & C” cards will also be cut, but how much I dont know.
  4. Foods will get hard to find especially meats etc.

If you can sell the place perhaps you should. Say Ill have to pay income tax, teh! teh![laugh?]

I made about $1500 last year in spite of being in the army. Well so long mother & remember I remember you all.

Your son


The one constant in life, change

About a month or so ago I was informed by Dropbox that they will no longer be ameniable to hosting my website (or anybody’s for that matter), which is a shame because it was so easy to do.

So, I had to find a new way to get my family tree online.

For the past few years I had been mulling over using “The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding” it is PHP and mySQL based way to get your website up and running – all changes and modifications can be done in a browser. For me it is familiar because our website at work operates in a like manner. So when Dropbox informed me of the change, I decided what better time then now to wade in to the deep end of the pool. (And I really love to swim.)

First I had to find a web hosting site, then I had to decide on a domain name. Then…yadda, yadda, yadda…


Here it is, the link to my new genealogy site: jensancestors.net. It is still in process but the bones are there and it should be easy to make changes as needed.

The blog is not changing, I am still quite happy with my wordpress account, although I might upgrade to my own wordpress domain too.

Have a great weekend. Oktoberfest! Time for lots of good German beer and brats.

1942[?] William Shepard to Home…

I am posting two letters today that do not have dates on them. They both appear to be most likely from earlier in 1942, when my grandfather just started his military training. I figured I would finish up the 1942 letters to Dick and Dad before continuing with those from 1943. Interestingly, my grandmother was pregnant with my mother during all this time gramps was writing these letters to home during his military training, and not once is the pregnancy mentioned in his letters.


Pvt. William A. Shepard
Flight 404 T.S.S. 592
Keesler Field, Miss.

Hi Mom

Received your letter yesterday. If you havent already done it send my bathing suit and strap. If you are thinking about coming down wait for 4 weeks and Ill be through my basic training, then I can get a pass. Be sure to bring Lois and let me know beforehand. After 3 mo. here I go to either St. Petersburg or Ft. Benning Ga. I am going to have Lois come down in a month or when ever you can come down. She can live here easily on $10 to $12 a week. Had drill and shots in the arm lately. Say if you can get a shoe shine kit send one down as I cant find any here. I told Lois to sell the car if she wants to. I think it would be best. I won’t be doing any flying here thank gosh. Well Ill close now and send this. I may try to call up Sun. If so you will bet the call before the letter.

Your son



S.O.D.  A.A.F.C.C.
San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center
San Antonio, Texas

Dear Mother,

Looks as if your son could be a ground officer, not a flyer. And I expect to be gone before long. It was a good thing that I came home. It was swell. Here is $75. Ill send the rest at the first of the month. I could send it now, but I want to hold it in reserve. Swell weather here. Having good time

Your son

January 2, 1943 William Shepard to home



Jan. 2-1943

Dear Mom,

I liked my presents and thanks a lot. Hope you all had a happy Christmas.

I think that you folks back home have been falling down on the job, all of you. Dad hasn’t been feeling well for quite a while and why in the —- do you all let him work like a horse. I know the answer, because you cant stop him, but you have to now. The way it sounds in letters, is that dad is getting worse, so please take care of him, take him to a doctor or clinic and if he needs a rest, make him take it.


I know how hard it is to make him do anything, but we all love him and dont want to see anything happen to him.

I am going to get flying if I can because it isn’t any more dangerous than what Ill be doing anyhow.

I know all about the insurance mother. You was swell to take it out for me because I couldnt afford it then. I appreciate it and I cant tell you how much. If I shouldn’t come back Lois & KW will need all of it, but Ill be back and I hope soon.

Everything is fine here.

Ill write again soon.

Love from

An August Wedding…

I recently found this wonderful newspaper article about my great grandparents wedding day on August 28, 1897. It would have been even better if they had provided a picture, but no such luck. And as my great grandfather was a railroad station agent and postmaster, the venue was quite appropriate to the occasion.

Victor Hugo John and Gertrude Cain.


Now that sounds like a very fun wedding.