October 31, 1954 William Shepard To Parents

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31 Oct 1954

Dear Dick & Dad:

Just after writing you a letter, I received yours of the 15th. In fact Im not sure if I received yours before or after I wrote last. Anyhow this letter will bring you up to date.

I am now at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa for several weeks, after which I shall return to K-55 at Osan Korea.

The outfit moved here to Kadena, and I was transferred out just prior to their leaving. I will be as Headquarters 5th Air Force at K-55 when I return, about 12 November.

The cool weather had just started when I left K55. Here at Hadena it is windy, but not cold. About 60º-65º.

Sorry to hear about Bess. Hope that she is alright by now.

Give Doshi & Burch my regards, and dont work so hard.

Looks like Ill be home early in March. So Ill try to write a few more times before then. But remember that I was behind the door when the pens were passed out. — Bill

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October 24, 1954 William Shepard To Parents

 

24 Oct 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

I havent forgotten you. Havent been writing anyone very much lately. Work has been real heavy the past month. 14 to 16 hours a day. Altho there hasnt been much flying.

It is cool here now. Frost in the evenings. Clear blue skies. The days are warm. Typical October weather at home I guess.

I quit work today (Sunday) at 1200 noon. A party of us went hunting pheasants. I shot one. Only had one shot. We saw a lot of them, but they would get up just out of gunshot. They are ringnecks like the ones at home. The Koreans dont hunt, so there are lots of them here. A lot of ducks and geese too.

If I stay here this fall I will probably get to do a lot of hunting. I heard from Ruth yesterday, and she says that everything is going O.K. Havent heard from you folks lately, but I imagine everything is alright too.

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Lois writes every few days that one of the kids is spending a night with you. I know that they enjoy it. And Im happy that I brought the family back to Westerville while I am overseas.

According to the calenday, it is 128 days to go. That is, if I stay in Korea. If I should move elsewhere it would be about 180 days. In any event Ill be home before school is out.

Take good card of yourselves & write when you have the time.

Your son
Bill

August 21, 1954 William Shepard To Parents

 

21 August 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Its a good thing that you dont hold your breath until I write! But I do try to get in a few. By the time I write Lois & the kids I’m usually written out.

I have been flying a lot during the last few weeks. Nearly all in jets. Dont fly the C-47 much anymore.

It has been unbearably hot since the 1st of August. I cooled off a little yesterday, but it is back at it again today. We had a hurricane called “Grace” that tore up southern Japan several days ago. It just barely reached here with light winds, so may be it will change the weather.

Lois wrote that she and the kids had a fine time in Canada and a good trip home. I want to thank you again for giving them a vacation.

When do you plan to come back to Westerville? You may have told me, but I forget. Really, I guess the best time of the year is in the fall. I would enjoy it the most. Hunting

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and fishing would certainly be better then.

Is everything going all right? I wonder if it is. I mean if you & Dad are both OK?

I dont have any real news, but I wanted to write a line. Havent had a letter from you for a while, but guess I owe you one.

Take care of yourselves

Love
Bill

August 5, 1954 William Shepard to Parents

5 August 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Lois & the kids are undoubtedly on their way home by now. I just want to thank you for having them up. From what they wrote, I know they all enjoyed it.

Work has been pretty heavy again. I let up on the office work for the last part of July and did nothing but fly. When my jet training was finished & had to go back to the office. So Im about caught up now. Ill be flying part the time & pushing a pencil the rest. Id rather fly now.

By the news, Canada is the place to spend summer. The heat has certainly been terrific hasn’t it?

We have had it cool – only the last month it has been raining very heavy. – 6 inches in 5 hours several times.

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There isnt very much news. I just wanted to write to let you know I was around. –

Its only about 6 months until I start home. Cant get finished soon enough to suit me, but I cant complain – I picked this business.

Take care of yourselves

Love
Bill

July 10, [1954] William Shepard to Parents and Son Kenny

10 July

Dear Dad & Dick & Kenny

You wouldnt know a week ended. We are working right on, as it looks as if the weather would be good. Good flying weather is scarce in Korea during July & August, so we must make the best of it.

Lois writes me that she expects to start up about the 25th of this month. I hope they all have a good time.

Wish I could taste some of the lake trout now. Perhaps next year I can.

Getting a lot of flying time now. Will get about 25 jet hours & 10 conventional this month. Like the jets best. They sure fly easy.

Down to weight now and have stopped dieting — Im at 180# now and so help me Ill try not to get any heavier. Feel so much better when Im not fat.

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Kenny — have you been catching any fish? And how about wild game? Is there any around? It has been so long since Ive been up there I have forgotten how it looks. Why dont you take some pictures?

You know I bought a .35mm projector the other day. It is a TDC with automatic slide changing – a beauty. So we dont have to borrow any more.

No real news so Ill close the letter. Wish you all good health and good fishing.

Bill

July 5, 1954 William Shepard to His Parents

6 July 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Very happy to hear from you. and also happy to hear that you are all well and having a good time.

Yes-I received the box of candy and thank you very much. It was sure tasty. [Hey Gramps aren’t you on a diet?]

By the time you get this – I will have about 7 more months to go. That isnt so long is it? Time is going by so fast now that I’m busy. I have all this office work I can do and I am learning jet fighters in my spare  ? time. Should get 20 hours flying time in jets this month. Still instructing in the C-47 too so it keeps me humping.

You tell Kenny that he had better take time out to write me a good letter because Im his old man and I said for him to do it!

That cartoon of the boat reminds me of our little 12 footer & the 25

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horsepower Johnson. The time has come to go to bed so Ill have to close. Have fun.

Bill

 

June 21, 1954 William Shepard to Parents and Son

21 June 54

Dear Dick, Dad & Kenny:

When you get this you will have had time to get settled. How have you found everything at the cottage? I suppose that you are eating some nice golden brown lake trout by now. What I wouldnt give for some right now.

Work is heavy here. Im trying to do my regular work, and get my jet schooling in too. Start flying them next week. Im happy about it because they are easier to fly, and faster too.

I have been watching my weight lately with the help of the Flight surgeon and weigh less than anytime since OCS in 1942. Im at 184 now, and have 6 more pounds to be to my proper weight of 178#. It feels so good to be where I should be.

Kenny dont you make the mistake I did and eat that little bit too much of fat & fried food I never watched it and was always about 30 pounds overweight. The Doc says a person is healthier when

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they stay slim, and who wants to be unhealthy when they dont have to be?

I know I dont have to tell you to enjoy Canada, but dont overwork up there.

Ill try to write next week. Cant before then as I will be in an air-ground school which teaches us how to support the troops with our F-86’s. Ill be with the army for the next few days. (roughing it.) Well goodbye for now.

Bill.

Spreading Their Version of “The Word”

preaching
John Eliot, puritan, preaching.

When many of my ancestors came to this country in the 1600s, their prime motivation in coming was to have the freedom to practice their own version of religion, without fear for their lives.  So they came, and settled.

Then, they started to send their gaze out to the wilds of this new world that they were now inhabiting. It frightened them. A lot. The people that were living in this world when they arrived were these strange, incomprehensible ‘savages’. They dressed very differently, spoke bizarre languages, practiced scary religions that were nothing like their own.

Of course the first thought that pops into some of their tiny, closed minds is that these folk needed to be ‘civilized’. And by civilized, they meant converted over to their beliefs, their own system of values, way of dressing, language, rules of law. They needed to convert these ‘savages’ to make themselves feel more comfortable, self-satisfied, safe. They also needed everyone to believe in their version of God. They wanted to save them.

Sorry to say, one of those religious zealots is mine.

William French was born in England, some histories say about 1603, in Halsted, Essex County. He married there, and had four children with his wife Elizabeth. In the summer of 1635 William and his family boarded the ship Defense, along with the Rev. Thomas Shepard, and left England in order to practice, in freedom, their own interpretation of the christian religion.

William settled his family first in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They moved again in 1652, being one of the original proprietors, and earliest settlers of Billerica, Massachusetts.

He was very involved in his community, as were many of the early settlers. (Well, the male ones, of course. The women just had to stay home and mind the household, not worry their pretty little heads with men’s business.) He was a Lieutenant of the militia, and later a Captain. Was chosen “to sit in the Deacons seat” and as Commissioner to establish the county rates, [whatever that is]. Served nine years as a selectman starting in 1660. And he was also on the committee to examine children and servants in “reading, religion and the catechism.”

In 1652 the following volume was published in London:

strengthoutofweakness

This was a publication of several volumes consisting of testimonials, in the form of letters, sent to the Pastor Mr. Henry Whitfield.1

The introduction to the Reader is as follows:

Christian Reader.
These ensuing Letters doe represent unto thee, and to the Churches, the outgoings of Christ, as a Light to the Gentiles, that the grace which brings salvation hath appeared unto them also in the furtheset parts of the Earth, for the accomplishment of that ancient and glorious Promise; “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou may’st be my Salvation to the Ends of the Earth”…The People of God have been greatly affected with the appearances of Christ, when he hath rode forth upon a red Horse to the destruction of his Enemies; for he “is glorious in his apparell, even when his garments are dipt in bloud”, but much more when he rides forth upon a white Horse, for the Conversion of Soules, and goes on “Conquering and to Conquer”.

It continues along this theme. The summary of which is that they were printing these volumes to show how they are enlarging the “Kingdome of Christ” making sure to spread the word of their God from sea to shining sea. “Hereby the soules of men are rescued out of the snare of the Devill.”

This particular volume was number V and included a letter from William French. I have included the pages from the volume below. Is this a true letter of a conversion, or merely an anecdote? The subject of the ‘conversion’ is not named or personalized in anyway, so it is hard to tell.

It starts out — The best news I can write you from New England is, the Lord is indeed converting the Indians, and for the refreshing of your heart, and the hearts of all the godly with you; I have sent you the relation of one Indian of two yeares profession, I that took from his owne mouth by an Interpreter, because he cannot speak or understand one word of English.

page1page3

page2

William’s first wife Elizabeth died in 1668 and he married his second wife Mary Lathrop (my 9x great grandmother up the Brooks/Hatch line). Mary was the granddaughter of John Lathrop, a famous religious martyr, who was imprisoned in England, and eventually released, with the promise he would leave the country and never come back.2

I am sure that William wasn’t the only one in my tree that pushed to convert others to their faith. He is just one we can point to, because he made his work known with this publication.


Source:

  1. “Strength Out of Weakness” afterwards republished in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collection 3d S. Vol. 4, pages 149, 196.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lothropp

May 27, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

 

[I believe that Gramps is in Korea at the time he is writing these letters.]

27 May 1954

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter of the 17th a few days ago. Im not much at writing outside the family. When I write Lois and each of the kids once in a while Im wrote out!

It sounds like everything will be going North in June, so this is the last letter Ill write to you at Park St. The address is Route 3, Thessalon Ont., isnt it?

I have been receiving the Sunday papers and they are sure welcome. I read every want add!

Had a touch of the flu for several days, but it is all cleared up by now. The next time I get to Tokyo I want to get some things and send them home. Ill send your present at that time. Ill try to get you something to wear but keep your fingers crossed.

The rain, real hard rain hasnt started yet. It is suppose to about now. Everything is green, the rice is about knee high. I have

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a lot of pictures on the way home now, so when they get there you can see how some of the things look.

If Kenny goes north with you, he will have a good time, I know. I wish that there was a way for me to spend a little time up there. Just doesnt seem to work out.

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This is Gramps in Korea.

 

Take care of yourselves. Ill write you in Canada.

 

Your Son
Bill

P.S. The fudge was good, in case I didnt tell you- Everyone in the barracks liked it too (too much)

April 6, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

16 April 54

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter yesterday. Even if I am out of ink, Ill write. Lois has probably kept you informed of what little news I have.

Work is  not very heavy. When I get my files straightened out the way I like them I wont have too much to do. That is, unless I get another job too.

The time goes fast enough, as there is plenty to do. I seem to be getting 9-10 hours sleep every night & feel like a million. The food is very good. Weather is typical spring weather. In fact it is hot today.

I have met quite a few people I knew previously, but that is to be expected

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expected. Ive been in the service almost 12 years now.

I suppose that you will be going to Canada soon. It will be time to fish in a few weeks!

When I get home next year it should be about April 1. If it isnt too cold I would like for Lois & I to go up for a week or 10 days. I cant remember when we have gone on a trip by outselves. Its our own fault I suppose because we were parents so young.

I hope that you & dad are feeing OK. Take it easy. Ill write gain sooner that you think! Not a year between letters any more!

Goodbye for now
Bill