June 30, 1949 Lois Shepard to in-laws

June 30, 1949

Dear Dick-

Bill is off again this morning for Vernom[?] Field. He’ll stay two weeks this time unless I call him home. I rather doubt it tho cause most everyone down here goes overdue. Just 4 wks to go so it isn’t too long. I’ve a few things to get yet & a couple more things to make.

Sue is still asleep & Kenny had dinner over at Eric’s & spent the nite. The new swimming pool is open now & it is really wonderful. Kenny has been every day & I took Sue Mon. & Tues. Mrs. Crocker (Kenny’s teacher) had a party for them all again

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yesterday at the Pool. It is really beautiful & the Club really will be nice when they finish. They are redecorating it entirely.

Dick-I’m enclosing $2 & want you to get me a few things & send me. I want 4-4 inch zippers in white for neck openings. Not like a dress placket. The kind that open at the top. And I want 5 nice glass buttons as big around as a penny. And a couple of cards of little white flat peach buttons for Susies dress. About this size [circle drawn on page]. A little bigger than shirt buttons also a couple of yards of white

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feather boning. If $2.00 isn’t enough let me know. I don’t get into Aqualilla now & they don’t have the buttons I want anyway I need the zippers for some shorts I’m going to make. They open down each side.

Went to O.B. yesterday* & I haven’t gained a lb. in 3 wks & only 2# the last two months so I guess I’m not doing too bad & I don’t stick to my diet religiously either. I’ve gained 15# altogether. I have to go to O.B. every week now.

Well thats about all for now.

Love
Lois

*NOTE: Lois is pregnant with their third child.

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July 29, 1948 Lois Shepard to In-laws

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July 29, 1948

Dear Dick & Dad –

I’m writing this with my new Parker “51” [awesome fountain pen!] desk pen Bill gave me for our 10th anniversary. He didn’t go to British Guiana after all so we took Lt. & Mrs. Hodkins to the Club for dinner. Flowers & candle light, Filet Mignon & Champagne. It was very nice, then we stayed & played Bingo [page2] ‘Course we didn’t win anyting and Bill won last week. Two silver Ronson table lighters.

I’ve really been working yesterday & today – cleaning closets etc. Things were getting in a mess – And there is no cooperation from the family. My suit-cases were covered with mil-dew & so I had to air everything.

We are to go to a dance & dinner tonite [page 3] for the squadron. Or at least put in our appearance. It’s an enlisted mens party. Then tomorrow nite is a costume dance at the Club. Always something to go to & not nearly enough to do it all.

Kenny & Sue are fine Kenny started another letter to you & I’ll have to get him to finish it this time. [page 4] While Mercedes does my lunch dishes I think I’ll take a nap – then I’ll have to bake something for dinner.

Love
Lois

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May 29, 1948 Lois and Bill to Shepards

 

May 29, 1948

Dear Folks –

Guess I shouldn’t have sent that last letter to Canada. But I thot you’d still be there. So if the letter missed you all together – yes we got the package & thanks loads. Here’s $3 to cover cost of the items. If it isn’t enough let me know.

Just got the children to bed & not anything going on tonite so we’ll spend a quiet evening at home. Bill got back from Trinidad last nite. He’d been there since Wednesday.

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It so hard to find much to write about. We just do the same things over & over.

The kids will finish school next week & our trunks have finally arrived. Tho they haven’t been delivered yet. Hope to get them Tuesday. I’ve forgotten what I do have.

We are well into the rainy season now & it rains & rains – everyday. We do manage a few hours of sunshine but things in the house are getting musty. I’ll endeaver to get Bill to write a little in here.

Love Lois

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Hello Dick & Dad:

Not much news as Lois had mentioned. Did she tell you that I took her up in an AT-6 last week? We were up about 1 1/2 hours and covered about half the island. Lois liked it very much and I think that she will make a junior birdman.

The kids have stayed in some lately. The rains have arrived. Ill try go get off a better letter next week.

Love
Bill

December 20, 1947 Lois Shepard to mother-in-law

Dec. 20 —

Dear Dick-

I’m not leaving for New Orleans till the 3rd. of January. If I can make my plane reservations for Jan. 5th that is.

I’m really selling the furniture at a sacrifice. Wrong time of year I guess. But I have to get rid of it. I’ll never buy any more furniture as long as we are in the Army.

Bill has our quarters & is living in them I guess 5rms all tile floors. It sounds wonderful & I’m so anxious to get down there. I’ve a million & one things to get done between now & Jan. 3.

When will you come out and I don’t suppose you can go to N. O.

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since I’m not leaving till the 3rd. However if you can it will be O.K. Hope to see you soon.

Love
Lois

December 4, 1947 Lois Shepard to her in-laws

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Dec. 4, 1947

Dear Dick–

Raining here again but rather warm – Three more letters from Bill today. He’s probably in Puerto Rico now and if you haven’t heard from him– his new address is–

Lt. Wm A. Shepard Jr.  048155
C/O Postmaster
Officers mail section
Borenquen Field
Puerto Rico

He has a tentative assignment to the 334th troop carrier squadron. So we are now hoping he gets to stay there. Capt. Davidson stays in Panama at Hawaii field so I won’t get to go don’t with her. Bill seems to think Panama is all right. Says the hardest work he’s seen anyone do down there is playing golf and fish. He also says not to send Xmas presents but if you want to send money he can get things he wants wants cheaper down there.

I went back to bowling today and my

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absence didn’t improve me any. I bowled about 85 average today.

Kenny got his grade card Wednesday and he got all A’s. Isn’t that wonderful! I’m so proud of him. I have to give him $1.00 for that. I never dreamed he would get all A’s. And he got outstanding marks in dependableness, accomplishment and something else – I forget what.

Dick – I don’t think I’ll come home for Xmas at all. The way Bill writes it might not be too long till we can go down so I’m not planning on leaving here till I go down there. There’s too much to do. So you can make your plans accordingly.

Time to put the children to bed.

Love
Lois

October 18, 1947 Letter to Dick & Dad

Trenton, Ill.
October 18, 1947

Dear Mother & Father:

I am happy to hear that you all had asuch a good time in Canada, and that the fishing was so good.

I had planned on going up next year, but now I guess it is all off. I received instructions today to be prepared to move to the Carribean area very soon. I will leave Nov 1. for Camp Kilmer and go on from there to either the Panama Canal Zone or Puerto Rico, (I think).

Lois & the kids will stay here until I get the house all ready, wherever that is. She will probably come down about Christmas time. Everyone says that I am lucky to get foreign service so close to the U.S. and it is supposed to be nicest place to live in the Air Force.

I think that It would be a good idea for you folks to drop out before I go. If you can make it next week end (the 25th) it would be fine. Anytime between now and the 1st of Nov.

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I wont be able to make it home. If H.O. & Ruth can come we can make room for them also.

Dad. we owe you $1700.00 and I am enclosing a check for $1600.00 Perhaps we can send the $100.00 next month. Thanks so much for letting us use the money. It helped out very much.

Dont worry about the kids as the climate and surroundings are very nice in the Carribean. It isnt like going to Japan or Germany.

Well Ill close and I hope you can get out to see us.

Love
Bill

Dear Folks–

I think perhaps if you can arrange it; it would be better to come the week-end of the 25-26th. I’ll probably still come home for over Thanksgiving–
Love
Lois

January 12, 1947 William Shepard to parents…

This letter is in regards to William and Lois Shepard move to Puerto Rico.

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January 12, 1947

Hello Dick & Dad:

We are settled down now. At least we are settled as much as we can be until the trunks arrive.

Lois & the children like it here very much and it is nice. I work when I want to, report in the morning 8 to 9. Off at 11 until 1, quit about 4.

It has been raining some the last two days, rather cool, about 70°! It will undoubtedly warm up the next few days.

Sunday we went to the beach for a while after lunch. The kids had a swell time. Played in the sand. Found coconuts. I opened one for them. They found about a bushel of shells.

I think they are going to send some home. Havent sent your Xmas present yet. So it is still pending. What I have in mind is in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. My next trip there, Ill pick them up.

Prices on food are about the same as the U.S. a lot of frozen foods. The milk is also frozen. Vegtables are fresh grown & frozen both. We get the sweetest tasting cabbage here. No lettuce though. Oranges, big ones, are 1¢ a piece. Lemons grow all over the place.

The farmers grow coffee, sugar cane & vegetables. Some pinneapple too, I think.

Sue is going to school here. She goes about two hours a day. KW & Sue both seem to like the school here.

We went to the show friday. Saw Spencer Tracy in “Cass Timberlaine.” Only about 2 blocks away as Ive told you.

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The only thing that you folks can do for us or rather me is to have my gun fitted with a poly-choke and shipped down. Pack it well & ship it to me at the below address.

Lt. William A. Shepard Jr 0-48155
24th Composite Wing*
Borinquen Field**
Puerto Rico

What ever it costs let me know. By the way we will send you the $100 we owe you next month. And while we are on debts. Thank you very very much Dick, for helping Lois to New Orleans she really appreciated it. And Lois tells me that dad helped a lot in Trenton. It made the trip a lot easier.

I expect the car down the 25th of January. We can use it here. The post is large and we want to travel over Puerto Rico.

Well, Ill close for now. Xcuse the paper.
Havent found film to take pictures yet.

Love
Bill

 

*From August 1946 until replaced by the Antilles Air Division in July 1948 the wing supervised large numbers of major and minor bases and Air Force units in the Caribbean area from Puerto Rico to British Guiana. [https://www.revolvy.com/topic/24th%20Composite%20Wing&item_type=topic]
and
Constituted as 24th Composite Wing on 19 Nov 1942. Activated in Iceland on 25 Dec 1942. Served in the defense of Iceland. Disbanded on 15 Jun 1944.
          Reconstituted on 5 Aug 1946 and activated in Puerto Rico on 25 Aug. Assigned to Caribbean Air Command. No tactical groups were assigned, but the wing supervised various air force units and bases in the Antilles. Inactivated in Puerto Rico on 28 Jul 1948. [http://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/24th_Composite_Wing.cfm]

**Borinquen Field was an American military airfield built in northwestern Puerto Rico in 1940. During WW2, it served as a base for US Army Air Corps (later US Army Air Forces) reconnaissance flights over the approaches to the Caribbean Sea. In 1947, it was turned over to the newly formed US Air Force, which renamed the field Ramey Air Force Base the following year. [https://ww2db.com/facility/Borinquen_Field/]

June 10, 1944 Lois Shepard to in-laws…

 

301 N. 26th St.
Muskegee, Okla.
June 10, 1944

Dear Dick —

Have expected to hear from you again. Haven’t gotten the Saturday mail yet – so maybe there will be a few letters from home today. They have been few and far between.

The news of the invasion was a relief wasn’t it. I’m afraid it will take a while but I’m glad it has started. We got as a car – the ’39 Oldmobile $700. It needs a little work but much better than the Studebaker which is still advertized for $300 now & has to be sold by Sunday. That was just a story to get rid of the thing quick. The car we have has loads of space to pack things. It is a coupe – & no seats in the back but room behind the front seat for Bills & my trunks & a place for Kenny to sit. We could even fix a bed back there for them. Then the trunk is plenty roomy also. It is black & looks very nice. Radio-heater-clock. Tho they all need a little work done on them.

Bill had to fly this morning as it rained

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Thursday all morning. He will be home at noon today tho. He had O.D.[?] Wednesday of this week, so we thot we’d have the whole weekend & here he has to fly this morning. Bill had his 40 hr. check then 40 hr. re check – he’s still in – tho he had me worried again. I refuse to worry any more.

Sue is taking her morning nap but it is about time for her to get up & I’ll have to get the kids cleaned up as we’ll have to take them to town with us.

We wanted to go out tonite but Sat. nite is the only nite Mrs Kelly goes out so we’ll have to wait. Maybe tomorrow nite.

Sue is awake so I’ll close –

Love
Lois.

September 6, 1943 Lois Shepard to in-laws…

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Sept 6, 1943

Dear Dick & Dad,

Labor Day. And a very wet one. We had quite a wind storm today at noon. We were eating and I started upstairs to shut windows when the dining room door started on a rampage – knocking me into a chair, about breaking my shoulder & did break my brassier strap. K. W. & Mary E. thot it quite funny. I came up home Thursday nite. Left everything under control as much a possible.

Friday we started in-picked red kidney beans & lima beans. About a bushel of each.

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Then Mom & I shelled most of the limas & canned them. I have twelve pints of lima beans. Saturday we shelled all the kidney beans that weren’t to dry & I got five pints of them. Hope to dry & can corn last of this week.

Mary starts to school tomorrow. She is ready to go. Kenny has been having a grand time here on the farm. Sue crawled today. And I’m not kidding tho I don’t suppose you’ll believe it. She went about two feet across the floor to get her rattle .

I have had only one letter from Bill since you left tho

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it was a large one. 10 sheets of paper & full. He even sent it in a large square official envelope. He wrote it because I said Herman had written Ruth a ten page letter. Nothing much of any news. Just rambling. He wrote it before he left Moses Lake.

It is time to put Kenny to bed so I’d better close. Received your cards Sat. Hope you are having a pleasant time.

Love,
Lois

May 11, 1943 Lois Shepard to in-laws

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May 11 [1943]

Dear Dick, Dad & all –

Well – you can cease corresponding with Bill at Moses Lake – He arrived here last nite at 2:00 A.M. and is probably on his way now to Orlando, Florida – Yes, I said Florida – lovely, isn’t it? But he will be back here in one month. We know this as he was told to take only what he’d need with him for the month. It is another school. Some sort of school of tactics.

And I shall stay here – patiently awaiting his return. It will be one hell of a month but if he is coming back it would be silly for me to come back & miss seeing him again.

Now Dick – I’d still like for yo uto come out. You may not want to now tho –  with Bill being in Florida – The thing is – tho we don’t know anything about it – is that when he gets

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back here he may soon be sent overseas. So your best bet to see him would still be to come out here. – Gee how I wish I could go to Florida with him tho I don’t imagine Orlando would be any place to stay – anyway it won’t compare with Miami Beach.

I went to a show with my neighbor last nite! Saw “Star Spangled Rythym” [released in 1942] – Very good. Also bought myself a dress yesterday – pink cotton for $7.95 I could make three for the price – It is darling tho – I must be losing weight as it is a size 13 – 14s are way too big for me. Also got Bill’s ration book but I certainly don’t need it. I’m not supposed to have it as long as he eats at Officer’s Mess but heck – I never know when he might be home & I’d need it. I just sent the films on to Bill in Wash – yesterday. I suppose they will have to follow him around the world before he

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ever gets them.

Well, Evelyn is home by now. I must write her a letter I’ve so dam[darn?] many to write it takes half of my time. Well – anything to keep me busy. – I think a few more partings from Bill & I’ll be able to keep from bawling – I’ll soon run out of tears & they don’t do you a darn[dam?] bit of good. Exept to make you feel worse.

Write & let me know what you plan to do. All I can ever plan on doing is to wait. That’s all I’ll ever get done, I guess, is wait.

Love
Lois.

P.S. Don’t mind me – I’m just getting discouraged – And I might add – Damn this War!