Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Monday: A WWII Officer Answers Mom's Note

On Memorial Day, my thoughts turn to family members who've served our country in the military. Looking for a photo to scan and post, I chanced across this letter written to my mother (the then-unmarried Daisy Schwartz) on April 17, 1945. 

The writer, Major A. Schn___(illegible), showed a return address of Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Although the hospital no longer exists, it was a major war-time medical center specializing in plastic surgery. 

I don't know whether AS was recuperating or on staff, but he clearly knew Mom from an office job she had during the war. This is the only letter AS ever wrote her (if there were others, they haven't survived), but it speaks volumes about his longing for an end to the war and his knowledge that my mother hoped to settle down and marry some day soon. She was 25 at the time AS wrote, and her first date with Dad (Harold Burk) was still six months in the future.

Here's what Major AS wrote:

Dear Daisy,

What a pleasant surprise it was to read your most welcome note at the end of your boss' letter. And to learn that you still like me made the outlook in this war-torn world much brighter for me. Now wouldn't these words sound swell if they came from a single, unattached fellow? Trouble is there are too many men off to war, and the rest haven't been lucky enough to meet you yet. Perhaps at your new job there'll be plenty of eligible men around to recognize your charm. Then you'll need a bat to keep them in line.
     So you're really going to leave Charlie Phillips? He'll surely miss you, I know, and the office just won't be the same. But you must know what you're doing. So good luck! Let me know where you locate and what happens to you. Maybe I'll find your Prince Charming for you and I won't know where to send him.
     Best regards to you, Charlie, and Freddie. Here's hoping you have a swell vacation. Take a rest for me too. 

     Cordially,  AS


  1. What a nice note! Sounds like your mom made an impression wherever she went!

  2. Thank you so much, Heather! And AS sounds like a nice guy. Wonder what became of him? I can't read his last name, so I'll never know...