December 24, 1943 William Shepard to parents…

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470 Base Hq &A B Sq.
Pendleton AAF, Oregon
December 24, 1943

Dear Mother and Father,

I always like to like to get a letter from you. It brings me back home if only for a little while.

I guess that dad about worn out by now, working so hard. Here I am laying in bed two thirds the time. However I hope to be completely ready for duty in a few more weeks. To tell the truth I havent been feeling very good, but that is only natural.

The weather has been foggy for a month here. Today is one of the few clear days. I can see the snow– covered Rockies from here. This country

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is beautiful. It makes me so mad, when I think that you and Lois went home, then I came back to Pendleton. I almost tear my hair out. You cant make any plans at all in the army. Every time you think you have it straightened out it up and slaps you down. Suppose that my flight training will get screwed up somehow and Ill end up as a pencil pusher somewhere. As long as I can be busy I wont mind anything too much.

I hope that Louis can find a nice apartment there in Westerville. I dont want her to move away from there. It is handy, and you folks and Herman can give her some help if she needs it.

I expect to leave here in a

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month or so. If I get in good physical shape it cant be too soon.

I received a basket full of cards from everywhere. Letters from everyone too. While I was in the hospital I wrote a lot of people, now the answers are coming in. It looks as if I would have to keep up my correspondence now.

Dont worry about me, mother. If I get sick Ill let you know. There is a lot of men who would trade me places Ill bet. They are having their tails shot off while the surgeon just nipped off a tiny piece of mine.

Wishing you and dad a happy new year, I will be

Your son
Bill

Salt Lake City 2017

Well I did it again, I went to Salt Lake City and buried my head in microfilm and books for a week of genealogy research. Although I also took time out to enjoy the excellent Pride Parade (see my short video on the highlights) on June 4. Thankfully it was only 2 blocks from our hotel as the weather was a might bit warm (90s – but it was a dry heat).

I decided to chill on my trip this year. No mad rush to cram as many research hours in a day as I could. Even at a slower pace, I finished 99% of my two lists of things to do. And didn’t feel nearly as exhausted when I got home.

I had no expectation of finding anything extraordinary, and I didn’t. But I did grab up documents that I didn’t have and researched some known lines a little more. It looks like a majority of my research is starting to mean trips to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York and even Vermont. Yep retirement is going to mean a lot of traveling. Guess I better start saving!

Some tidbits of interest were found during my research last week on various lines: CLEGG, ANKROM, DUCKETT, JACOBS and WELLS, all surnames through Rachel GEORGE who married Ezra HAYS. We have much more history in Pennsylvania and Maryland than I ever thought we would. And our roots in Virginia/West Virginia go pretty far back too.

These tidbits indicate: we might have Dunkard ancestors; probably more Quakers; there’s a kidnapping by Indigenous folk with a ransomed rescue; another possible slaver relative (who dealt in runaway slaves and who even had a ‘breeding cabin’ ICK!!); and a land deal with a church in Tyler County, West Virginia.

I haven’t read through very much of the material I collected, so who knows what other stories will pop up.

December 13, 1943 William Shepard to parents…

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470 Base Hq & A B Squadron
Pendleton AAF, Oregon
December 13, 1943

Dear Mother:

As I am in hospital I can’t send the deposit slip. If they wont to business pay the extra five and get a receipt. When I get out I’ll mail you the deposit slip. Wrap the present and then put it in a large box, then wrapped the large box. Give it to her as soon as you can and let her guess.

I’m getting along fine and may be out soon if I don’t need another operation. If I do it will be a very minor one. It is good to know the situation is corrected. It wasn’t so pleasant but the longer one lets it go the worse it gets. The surgeon says I may never be troubled again.

I’ve been in bed about 10 days now and I’m fed up with it. Sleep eat read & then repeat. I do have time to write now and I’ve written everyone imaginable including Jack Hays. If I had Ruth and Johns address I would have written them.

I’ll be back in work soon and my call for flight training will come in the near future. I’m glad that it didn’t

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come before now in a way because I would have had to have the operation at my flight training base and it would have put me behind in my work, so everything worked out O.K.

I never knew I had hemorrhoids until the flight surgeon examined me. He said as soon as I had the situation corrected I would be in perfect health and that would be no bar to my flying.

Well Pendleton is getting colder now. The leaves on the trees are falling and the mornings are getting crisp. Just like September in Ohio. It’s strange that the climate is so mild here.

Ill close mother and wish you all
Love.
Bill