Prelude: We’re taking a break from the letters to Miss Frances Fairfield, but I promise to get back to them soon. We are however staying in the Fairfield family. This letter was written October 11, 1943 from Young Hank and addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Frank Fairfield of 194 Seneca Street, Hornell, NY. Young Hank is in the military and may be writing from somewhere in Europe but his return address is written as NY, NY, Where much of the military mail was filtered through the Army Postal Service during the war. Just a reminder, I try not to correct spelling or other errors in these letters… I want them to be authentic.
I received your V mail of Sept. 22. Thanks a million. I also received your letter from Canada. I sure would have liked to have been there with you. Lilah and myself had a swell time while we were there. Dad and mother want us to go up again so they can go with us.
At one time I figured I would like to visit Europe and see what was over here but I have changed my mind. If I ever do any traveling after this war is over it will be in North America.
I suppose you have lots of work for the shop. By the way, what does Mr. Fairfield think of the new cars when they come out? I suppose they will be a great deal different than the last. I hope it won’t be too long until there out. What do the people back home think of the war and when it will be over?
Just had a little interruption, you know how it is these days. I’m feeling swell and getting along fine to. I have been very lucky and hope I keep on being lucky. The food situation is good and they keep us supplied with cigarettes. It’s very seldom the fellows don’t have smokes. I think the O.M. does a swell job on that point.
Thanks loads for the swell compliment you paid me in you last letter. I haven’t heard about flags being put on the Honor roll, but if they are doing that now it will sure make it look nice. It’s sure good to know that you have friends back home that think enough of you to do things like that. Thanks again.
All the boys said to say hello. We really have a good bunch of fellows in our outfit. We get along good and have our share of good times.
How is everything at the Big Elms these days? I wish the next time you see cliff and the rest, that you would tell them all I said hello. I wish I could write to more but you know how it is these days.
I hope this finds you all well and getting along good. Tell Mr. Fairfield I said hello and take good care of himself, you do the same.
These military letters from young soldiers during World War II always get to me. I imagine what they were going through, fighting and longing to be back here in America. Young Hank is writing this lovely letter and asking common questions about what is going on back home… Then he asks…”What do the people back home think of the war and when it will be over?” Boom! He gets to the heart of the matter and it gets to me!… A question all the soldiers fighting overseas must wonder about, and a question they still ask today when they are over there risking their lives for their country… It makes you think.
I also I love Young Hanks speech and his use of words and phrases like, “Swell” and “A good bunch of fellows.” Young Hank seems to be writing more to Mrs. Fairfield than to Mr., I believe she was the one sending him letters. I wonder if Young Hank worked for the Fairfield’s, or if they were neighbors or just friends of the family. Regardless, Young Hank seems like a really nice guy and his letter seemed hopeful considering he was in the middle of a war. What do you think?
Here are a couple of links about October of WW II: