November 27, 1947 William Shepard to parents

[Page 1]
Albrook Field
November 27, 1947

Dear Folks,

Everything has closed upon the field until tomorrow & perhaps until monday. If that is so, I wont get to Puerto Rico until next week some time. I expect to be re-assigned at Puerto Rio to some other island. The way housing is in Pannama I am thankful for that.

I am happy to hear that you are getting a new car soon, and I hope that you like your new house. I wonder how Herman likes his new job? I think that it is a step forward for him.

[page 2]
I found out that Lois & the kids  & I can come home once each year for about a month with transportation furnished by the air force! That sounds good doesnt it? Panama is a beautiful place and you would go crazy here in the shops. Beautiful imported rugs, china, silver and all sorts of things. I cant make connections in time this year, but next year Ill send some home by flying them to the U.S. that way Ill get out of paying duty.

It rains every day & sometimes 3 or 4 times and we sleep without covers of any kind, but the things dont get musty or mouldy as they said.

[page 3]
It is a jungle all around us but very very beautiful. All kinds of birds. I havent seen any snakes yet but they are here.

Fishing would wear a person out here. 40 & 50 pound fish arent anything at all. Fishing tackle is cheaper here than anyplace I have ever seen.

If I had a real good camera I could get shots that would be breathtaking I have never seen such picture material. But Lois has the camera. I didnt think to bring it.

[page 4]
Lois and Sue were down at New Orleans for about a week. We had a wonderful time.

Well Ill close with a caution not to mail any Xmas presents to me. They will be screwed up something awful, Ive been so many places.

Your son,
Bill

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1947_11_27_p04

Advertisements

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.

[page 2]
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.

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1947_01_12_p01

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/]