Friday, May 26, 2017

Letters From Ray: A World War II Army Private's Letters Home - Pt 6

November 8 1944
Dear Mom and Dad,

I received your letter dated September 26th today.  I guess these war ballots have a priority on all shipping space and that’s why it took so long for your letter to get here.

Ok, so I’m sorry I misinterpreted your “I hope your satisfied” line.  Its just that I didn’t know what think.  I was completely satisfied the wallet was swell and so were the pen and pencil.  The caps were Ok till I had them washed.  Both of them are now to small for me though.  It doesn’t make much difference though because I no longer can wear the green and white armored force braid.  I now wear the infantry blue.

I haven’t been feeling to well for the last couple of weeks.  I had a cold and was almost finished with it when I took an African to town one night and he forgot all about me waiting out in the rain for him.  Needless to say my cold came back and then some.  I had quite a fever but I didn’t turn in with I just fought it down.  If a guy don’t go on sick call he suffers, if he does go he’s considered a goldbrick so he can’t swim.   That the army for your.

I may have quite a surprise for you within the next few days.  In fact I may have two surprises if my first deal goes through.  I wont tell you what either of them are till I’m absolutely sure but I should no within two weeks and I’ll write us soon as its confirmed, if it is.

I read the news article on Jimmy’s wedding and I certainly hope the guy knows what he’s doing.  By the way, you must have missed my own news article.  The lacko’s had my picture put in the journal, along with a swell little paragraph.  I’m a hero no less.  Keep watching the journal for a complete article on me.  One of the guys up here is backing for a job with Stars and Stripes and he had to turn in two articles.  He picked me for the subject of one of them and it was accepted.  He said it would be sent to my home-town paper. 

I’m at a loss as to what else to write so I’ll close for now.  Keep sending the letters and I’ll keep right on answering them.  Keep everything ?      and I hope that tavern deal goes through.  By now.

 [SM1]Page 10.  How interesting!  Talking about future aspirations, I wonder what influenced this discussion! What did he see? Who did he speak too about flying?

(end of letter)

Observations by Opa Fritz

1) Dad often spoke of owning/operating a tavern at Union Grove, WI and this message seems to confirm that at this time in dad's life he was finally trying to settle down instead of working seasonal jobs. I remember him talking about having trucks filled with German POW's stop by the tavern apparently so the drivers could get some refreshment and a rest stop. Dad also remarked at how he would give the POW's something to drink as well or perhaps some soup. 

2) Ray mentiuons he's no longer wearing the 'armored force braid' but rather the 'infantry braid'. ???? I wonder what happened there.

3) Ray's description of getting real sick and not going to sick call is a sober reminder of what it must've been like at the front - damned if you do and damned if you don't!

4) I wonder if there ever was an article about Ray in The Milwaukee Journal. He already seems to have had a picture of himself appear and now he speaks of a follow-up. Again, more questions!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Marx (?) Convair F-102 Delta Dagger - Red SP

Part of the Century Series of aircraft, the Convair Delta Dagger first entered service in 1956 in a bomber intercept role. It the USAF's first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter. 

I'm not entirely sure who made this particular toy but believe it was one of the soft plastic airplanes which Marx included in their airport/jetport playsets. There are no maker's markings on it but I've seen photos of the playsets and it looks like the one. Here's the goofy part: I have a Marx Jetport playset but it's buried out in The Cave!!! I need to break it out and see what's inside! The plane measures 5 3/8" (13.65cm) L x 3 1/8" (7.93cm) wingspan x 1 5/8" (4.12cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

Letters From Ray: A World War II Army Private's Letters Home - Pt 5

April 4, 1944
Dear Mom and Dad,

I lost my wallet in Palermo just two day before I left the ?dryyoue town and I really miss it…so had all the pictures your sent and plenty of cards.  Damn this war.
                                                                                                Love Ray.

 [SM1]Page 9.  Sounds like he is starting to get worn down a bit from the untimely loss of his wallet.

"Jesus Saves" either ironic or peace of mind, depending on how you look at it.

(end of letter)

Observations by Opa Fritz

1) Ray spoke of 'Angio' beach head which is of course 'Anzio'  beach head in Italy.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Marx No. J-9569 Military Jet Plane (MATS C-5) 1965

From looking at the box art on this Marx No. J-9569 Military Jet Plane it very much appears to be a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. The C-141 first flew in 1963 and was meant as a replacement for the slower prop-driven cargo haulers of the time. It flew for the Military Air Transport Service), its successor the Military Airlift Command (MAC), and finally for the still current Air Mobility Command (AMC) and was finally retired in 2006 after being replaced by the C-17 Globemaster III.

Marx seems to have been very cautious in not using the actual name of the aircraft perhaps due to licensing concerns. The toy is 'selectively compressed' to mimic the basic look of the prototype but it has a much shorter fuselage than the real thing. Like many of my toys this one displays well. It came with a box in great condition and the original instructions on wafer thin paper but the four plastic wing attachment lugs are broken off causing the wing assembly to just sit on top of the fuselage without a nice snug fit. I really like how the Marx logo on the fuselage also has the year of manufacture - '1965'. Too often it's hard to pin down exactly when these gems were made. The toy measures 14" (35.56cm) L x 14 1/2" (36.83cm) wingspan x 4 5/8" (11.74) H and normally would have lights, sound, and action.  Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Courtesy Wikipedia