May 25, 1951 Lois via Ken to in-laws

 

May 25, 1951
Lois Shepard
march A.F.B. Calif.

Dear Dick

I am writing [son Kenneth]  for mother because she has a sore arm. She has been in bed almost a week. Daddy, Sue and I have to do the work. She may have an operation. It is a sac of calsium on the shoulder bone pressing against the bone. It has been pretty painful for her.

We went swimming last Saterday.

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David went in  for his first time. He just loved it.

School will be out on the first of June. And if mothers feeling better we’ll have alot of fun swimming and going on picnics.

Alan is eating fine and is a good baby. David is talking a lot now and is just as ornery as ever.

Daddy says he’ll make some woman a good wife.

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We are glad you got our flowers and that you enjoyed them.

Love Lois

P.S. Just time for a word, Dick. Lois’s arm is better. I took her to the hospital thursday and they tapped the shoulder socket, drawing off puss & calcium water. She is feeling much better today. The irritation was pressing the nere and was almost unbearable. I expect her to be OK in several weeks. Will write when I have more time. Love to all.
Bill

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Early 1951 William Shepard to parents

 

Electronics Station
Headquarters 15th Air Force
March Air Force Base, Cal

Dear Dick & Dad:

Here is my quarterly letter. Everyone here is fine Alan is gaining weight and very soon will be 4#. He reminds us so much of you Dad. He has the same configuration. Dave is growing so fast now. He is talking a little and runs us all ragged. I believe that he has almost doubled his weight in the last five months. Sue us doing very well in school and is also growing up. She and Kenny do the evening dishes all the time now. Kenny is the same as usual. His latest obsession is to be tied up with a rope and then to see how quick he can get loose. I cant tie him up any more, he seems to wiggle out every time.

Lois recuperated quickly from having Alan. I guess he was so small that it wasnt so complicated as usual, although Margaret Johnston,

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says that Lois had a serious trouble & we are sure lucky to have Alan.

I have been traveling quite a bit lately, but hope to start staying at home next month. In spare time I work with the radio station, ride with the kids, and shoot a little.

The weather has been fine so I wont bore you with details. I think that you would be much better off here in the south west Dad. It never gets cold and is dry all the time.

I hope that we can stay here long enough for you to visit us. As soon as you can travel let us know and we can have everything ready. I expect to stay here for a while. We have some new pricutes to send you in a few days.

Goodby for now.

You Son
Bill.

November 27, 1950 Lois Shepard to in-laws

Nov. 27, 1950

Dear Dick & Dad,

Hope you aren’t snowed under but by all reports I guess you are. Eve called Bob last nite & it was pretty bad in Dayton. She left this morning. Sorta hated to see her go. One reason I haven’t written is that we’ve been busy & pretty much on the go as we wanted her to see a little before she left. Our furniture arrived Monday, almost a week after we arrived. Everything OK, but our big mahogeney coffee table & our magazine rack. The coffee table has a crack across one corner & the magazine rack was cracked on the side. Maybe we can collect Both can be fixed I guess.

The weather here is beautiful. Except for the 1st weekend & it dripped continuously then. Not exactly a rain but awful thick fog. And that’s when we drove

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into Los Angeles & Hollywood. We did get to see a little tho. Then Thanksgiving day we drove down to San Juan Capistrano It is beautiful country down there. Saw the Pacific ocean. Tho the Caribbean is prettier.

Bill took the kids horseback riding yesterday. They enjoyed it but Bill is a little sore today. He’s Staff Duty Officer today & won’t be home tonite.

We do like one house very much but I’ve still a lot to do. I’ve got a woman coming tomorrow to clean 75¢ an hour she charges. I guess I’ll have her one day a week & then she baby sits too. She lives almost across the street so it’s handy.

We had her Sat. nite & went to a dinner dance at the Club. Haven’t seen any of the folks that

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we knew at Ramey yet. The Schwaderers live in San Bernardino & it’s quite a ways. It certainly is handy to the field here. Almost as close as living on it would be

I feel sort of let down today. Partly cause Evelyn left & partly cause I cut Davids hair. Poor little stinker. He isn’t the same boy. He didn’t mind a bit & sure looks like Bill now. It was so cute when it curled but now it won’t. He looks cute but it’s such a change.

Evelyn gave me another Toni [perm] Friday. Looks pretty good this time. I still could get into my pink formal & that’s what I wore Sat. nite but I won’t be able to wear it again till after Minnie arrives.

Kenny & Sue seem to like their school They have a cafeteria & eat there lunch there  20¢ a day same as Minerva.

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They’ve learned to cross the street here OK & can go to the grocery for me. I hope to get started on my Xmas shopping this week or next but it just doesn’t seem like it’s that time of year yet.

I haven’t done much today & should get busy. We just stuffed things away to get them out of the road & now I have to get them arranged. I’m to get my stove put in this weekend. Be glad to have it to use again. I’ll write again.

Love
Lois

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.

July 29, 1948 Lois Shepard to In-laws

letter_shepardl_to_shepardwr_1948_07_29_p01and04

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.

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1947_01_12_p02

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/]