San Antonio, Texas
Dear Mother and Dad:
Here I am again, in a barracks. All the fellows are swell. Its just as if I was a G.I. (dogface) again. We all live together, eat and march like O. C. S. Only it is easier. Not too easy. The meals are swell here. Best since Pendleton. Up at 5:15 and quit at 5:00 we also have plenty of calisthenics, running and sports.
Looks as if I would get through, at least I feel like it. Just saw “See Here Pvt. Hargrove” its a scream and the best army picture
that I have seen. See you when you get the chance.
Tell Herman Ill write him soon. I hope to get some pictures of you all soon.
Well Ill close and give you a chance to write. Do. Give my regards to everyone
2413 Elgin Ave
29 april, 1944
Dear Mother and Dad:
Ill dash you off a letter and eat. I awoke late this morning and have written a ream of letters.
It is still cool here. The wind is always blowing. I wont know how to fly in calm weather when it comes, if it does.
The flying is coming along O.K. I have 5 hours 40 min. now. I will probably solo when I get about 10 hours. It is so strict now that Ill be lucky to get through. If I should happen to wash out, Ill call Lois and have her come down for a short visit, as I will
probably go overseas right away. If I don’t, then you folks can come down and bring K W and Susie. Do you think that would be okay? If everything goes as planned, you all will be coming out about July 1st.
No news of any importance so I’ll close.
All my love
Dear Mother and Dad:
Well the waiting is over and I have passed the tests. I start training Monday March 13, 1944. I should finish training in November or December. I will probably get test-pilot work, but if I dont, Ill get fighter aviation. Its what I want.
I miss you all. It was sure nice being home. Ill get another leave when I finish training. (I hope) Ill be in Texas until I finish. If you all can why dont you come down this summer? About a week
or two before I graduate I want Lois to come down. We can talk about that later.
I dieted for five days when I came down. Then I just got in under the limits.
All my buddies passed the exams, but most the other fellows in the bunch washed out twelve out of twenty five failed. Only six out of twenty five made pilot. Bob Orr, Cleveland, Bill Stewart, Texas, Maness, S. Caroline, Pick-?, and Steve Butler, Youngstown made navigator.
We all buddy around together
Well folks, Ill sign off for a while
Here is that oft promised letter. About finished here. I think Ill go to Enid Okla. in about two weeks. I have 58 hours now. I will have my acobatic check ride soon. It will be easy as acrobatics are easy for me: I seem to fly better upside down. I always was crazy. Ill be glad to get to a larger ship. Lately Ive wanted some more power on the nose. The new trainer has about 500 H.P.
We have a 39 Oldsmobile coupe or did you know? It sure is a nice car. I bought it from a boy in the Rainbow Division here at Camp Gruber.
It is a club coupe so we have plenty of room.
I wish I could go to Canada with you but it will wait.
Well Ill close for now.
P.S. Send Carls address
470 Base Hq & A B Squadron
Pendleton AAF, Oregon
December 13, 1943
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
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
470 Base Hq. & AB Sq.
Pendleton AAF, Ore
December 9, 1943
This is a letter of consolation to you. The war department regrets to inform you that your son
1st Lt. William A. Shepard Jr. 0570214
Was injured in the service of his country observers state that in a frenzy of patriotism, when the General yelled “shit on the jap”, he nobly pulled down his jeans and spread fourth and filth upon the yellow race untill he wore out his muzzle bore.
Seriously mother, dont worry a minute about my operation. Was one of those things. I had my choice of having it done now when there is less danger or later some 10 or 15 years. I choose now. I like to clean it up. The doctor is OK and
I’ll probably be out before Xmas and so don’t worry.
Dont let Lois worry either. After all we have a lot of these operations any more. I didnt know it till I came in. They are nearly all successful, even the bad cases. And it pays to have it taken care of.
Ill close now. Write please
P.S. I dont have a damn thing to do but read letters so that’s the extra reason for writing.
P.P.S. I think they changed my caliber I’m not sure.
470 Base H.Q. and Air Base Squadron
Pendleton Army Air Field, Oregon
November 21, 1943
Dear Mother & Father:
Arrived here safely, after much delay. Waited at Patterson Field for three days. Met some fliers I knew and had a ride home, but at the last minute the flight was cancelled and I had to come via airlines I was kicked off at Cheyenne and Boise and came in on the train, just making it.
As you have probably noticed, I have been transferred to another organization. You can address all mail to the above address until further notice.
It was nice to get home and probably will be the last time for a while at least. Although it will take me three monthes to pay you and Lois back.
Ill send you the money for Lois’ ring in two weeks. Get it wrapped and give it to her on Xmas eve for me. Ill send a note to put in with it. I can pay you back Jan & Feb.
Same old place out here. The weather ifs foggy. Im just waiting now. Ill write later.
301 Service Squadron
Pendleton AAF Oregon
September 19, 1943
Dear Mom and Pop:
Ill bet that you are having a good time. I only wish that I could be with you all. It wont be to long now. We should lick Hitler in another year, then beat the socks off Tojo. That makes two years., 1945.
I probably wont be around long. You know all soldiers have to go, sooner or later, and I have been here a year and one-half now.
When I go I want you to kind of keep an eye on my family for me. Make Lois take care of herself. Im makin out another alootment to her, so she will be getting enough to live
on. The goverment will send her 1 war bond each month and my insurance is paid automatically (my goverment insurance) I have $10,000 insurance. Lois has a power of attorney for me. Im making a will, what for I dont know, but its there just the same. All my personal affairs are in order.
Im sending a trunk home. In the trunk there will be some clothes and missceellaneous items. Lois can store them till I get back.
Please dont tell people about this. I guess best friends, mothers, fathers and sweethearts have sank as many ships as the enemy, because they let something slip. Its hard not to talk, but someone may tell someone and so on until (offensive image drawn) hears. That old promise “never to tell a soul” has cost and is costing right now, soldiers lives. I know I can trust you all. Ill write soon
301st Service Squadron
Moses Lake A. A. B., Wa.
August 24, 1943
Dear Mother and Father
Here goes a letter. I try to write Lois all the news but now and then Ill slip you all a letter, presonal like. Nothing much stirring here. Ill be here for a while yet. It doesnt look as if Ill ever get overseas. Now Im a training officer. Its a horrible death to die. Happy to hear about Herman.
Say mom how about you and dad coming out Christmas to join Lois & me and we can have christmas together? Maybe you could come about Dec 15 and stay over & go to California? It would make a real trip, a vacation for you all and a chance for us to see eachother. Leaves of absence arent being given out here. Dad would enjoy this county. Yo may never get another chance. How about it?.
Its getting cool up here now. I expect it though because its Sept 1 almost.
Have a good time in Canada. I wish that I could come up, but the fish are just as big here and just as many. Im getting trout and bass with my fly rods. Some fun. The first bass I caught with my small rod took 5 minutes to land.
Well Ill shut up and listen
May 11 
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
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
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.
P.S. Don’t mind me – I’m just getting discouraged – And I might add – Damn this War!