Ang is back on Corsica, for what it's worth in terms of flying enough missions so he can go home. He flies his 43rd mission on the 20th and "training flights" on the 28 and 29th. There are "stand downs" from the 22nd through the 30th. Betty attends Officers Wives meeting and dinners, receives one letter from Capri, the box of gifts from Rome, is busy working but her letters that arrived while Ang was at rest camp must have been expressing many concerns because he spends alot of time trying to reassure her about his health and well-being. He mentions that Betty's mother has been staying at a hotel, which Betty has not mentioned. I assume that was due to the crowded conditions in the apartment before they "got" another apartment in the building.
Ang introduces her to his friend Tom Cahill, whose mother lives in the Los Angeles area and encourages Betty to go visit her. She does visit and then in 2015, I met Tom's niece Michelle! More on Ang and Tom later. I've noted missions they flew together on the Crew Sheets under the Official Documents tab.
October 20. Very damp this A.M. Another strenuous day. To Officers Wives Club in evening. Nice time—bed by 12:30.
Form 5. C-20, Combat flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:45h
[Crew sheet under Official Documents tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION #43.]
Canneto RR Bridge.
No flak. Hit bridge.
Led Group. Capt D.L. Glade Dozier Woolcott
[The 340th BG flew 4 missions this date. Ang's 486th BS flew this one. The 340th diary recorded: "For a record breaking day the formations participating scored 100% for bombing accuracy and bombing efficiency."]
[Letter, postmark, 10-22, stamped “Passed by Base Army Examiner” and taped closed on the side with tape “OPENED BY U.S. ARMY EXAMINER.”]
Well, here I am back at the old stand. One nice thing about coming back here—the mail situation. There were millions of letters—well, at least a dozen. It still hasn’t straightened out yet—the mail, I mean. Some of the letters were from the beginning of last month—and a few from this month. However they are coming in a hurry once again, thank goodness. One of your letters was dated October. 11.
Talking about that particular letter—I am enclosing the last paragraph you wrote to me. Tch, tch- honey you should read your letters over—that part sounds awful. However, as I’ve said, all your mail hasn’t caught up yet and perhaps that is why I don’t know why you only have one “redeeming thing in your favor.” Tch, tch!
I packed up all the presents today and will send them off tomorrow. Just to get them straight. The blouse—the picture frame and the pictures (two that I had taken on Capri)—the portrait (made in Rome) are yours. The round pin (The man said it was silver, but since he couldn’t talk well, probably meant silver plated—but we’re lucky if its actually tin—but, according to price, should be solid god—oh well, its nice looking anyway) is for your mother.
The sandals, the tam, and the little pin (it’s a couple of dogs—and boys shouldn’t wear pins, but I’ve got it and I had to send it to somebody—maybe Peg can wear it) is for Donny. I bought a pin for Peg—but I can’t find the damn thing. Don’t say anything to her, and if I can’t find it, I’ll get one for her the next trip I make someplace.
There are also a couple of stones from Tiberius’s castle (from the floor) for our private museum. I guess that’s all, but be careful what you throw away—I’ve got odds and ends all over the box.
I love you my darling—Love, Ang
October 21. Up about 9:00. Did some laundry & odds and ends in apt. Saw “Winged Victory” -- very good. Read all evening. 1:00
October 22. To 10:30 Mass. Sewed in afternoon. Had late dinner and wrote letters in evening.
[Letter, postmark 10-23-44]
I’ve been going thru your letters trying to find something to write about—and so I guess this letter is mostly going to be answering questions.
First of all—please don’t worry so much about me. I’m not really in such bad shape—and I’m sorry if I’ve given you that impressions. When I’m down in the dumps and let you know about it, I guess I just don’t realize how bad it sounds to you.
Really, honey, I’m really pretty well off over here—and its not half as bad as some people think. I’m about as contented as a person in my position can be. What I really miss is you. If I could only have you near me—or if I was in a position to see you once in a while—I would gladly sweat out the war right where I am.
As far as army life goes—we have the best little set-up in the world here. There is very little “C.S.”—and everybody from the Major on down is informal as hell. I have finally found a place where a Bombardier or Navigator is as, if not more, important than a pilot. With the exception of missions, no one cares what we do (hardly)—we wear what we want (no neckties—even in Rome—not even to see the Pope)—the shack is pretty nice and the food is good.
Now, knowing me, do you think I could be anything but satisfied with a situation like that. so, please, when I start bitching to you—don’t take me so seriously. I’m no worse off than when I was away at school or at Santa Ana. Believe me, there is only one thing that puts me down in the dumps—and that’s the fact that I miss you so darn much—but I always get over it—at least for awhile.
Now to the questions. Yes Bob Merkel is the one you are thinking about.
I won’t feel badly about Arne going home—in fact I’m as glad as I can be for him. It must be hell to have an unseen son.
I think it would be nice for you to help at the Service Club.
Please don’t send the Kleenex—my cold is completely gone.
The only mail I’m getting regularly is Time—but it may be because of the screwed up mail situation.
I didn’t know you hadn’t seen the snap of you and Donny—in fact I thought you were the one who sent me one of them—Oh well!
Its too bad your Mother has to stay at the hotel—but I guess it does give her more rest. Remind me to thank her for watching over my interest—going to the hotel instead of you. Tch, tch.
As far as my dreams “way over here”—I’ll keep them until I see you—they are not to much different. I really don’t think that I have changed much. I suppose whatever growing up was needed has happened—but nothing drastic. Don’t take too much stock in these “expert” magazine writers. Very few of us have turned in to “killers” at heart—we haven’t become the hardened characters they have painted us—and we haven’t lost our little dreams or forgotten the decencies of life. Don’t worry I won’t get “discouraged and morose.” And combat is not the “awful strain” its cracked up to be—its just to our advantage to let everyone, especially the Squadron doctors, think so—then we can get home sooner—ha!
The stove was made of 5 gallon [the word “gas” was scribbled out here] can—and it has very few “limitations” (the can I mean)—believe me!
I love you darling—Love, Ang
P.S. I took the pictures out of the box and am sending them in this letter—you’ll get them faster.
October 23. Had a wonderful letter from Ang today. He’s at Capri for a week. To movies in evening. Mr S for dinner. 12:00.
October 24. Cloudy today & rainy in evening. Very busy at office. Mr. L. out of town. Read papers in evening & some typing. 11:00
[Letter, postmark 10-25-44.]
Before I forget, please send me a list of address of all my correspondents. I’ve lost my little book, and I sure am in a hell of a shape. Also a list of dates—birthdays etc. Woe is me, I sure do get in the darnest predicaments.
That fellow Wheeler I told you might call on you just got back here—full of excuses why he didn’t see you. He came to the house and you weren’t home—etc. Oh well—some people are like that.
I don’t have to much to write about today, so I’m going to fill in space with a cute little poem I read in a magazine. Its something on the order of the ones Peg used to recite—I’m sure she’ll like this one--
Wabbits are a funny wace,
The way they act is a disgwace.
You’d be surprised if you but knew
The awful things that wabbits do--
And often, too.
Cute, isn’t it?
We haven’t had any mail for a few days—the mail situation is sure in a mess. I haven’t even heard from Bud in a long time. Such is life.
I know this is a rotten letter darling—but I’m just completely out of anything to write about. I’m sorry.
I do love you very dearly, sweetheart—Love, Ang
October 25. Rather warm today—very uncomfortable. Another busy day at office - sure am tired. Wrote letters & did laundry.
October. 26. Dashed home from work and down to Rowena’s. Ang’s things arrived from Rome. Wonderful. Bed late.
[Letter, postmark 10-26-44]
Well, I’ve just finished writing three letters—Schrickers, Falls, & Kay. Theirs are the only letters I have with return addresses. In case someone bitches about my writing—please explain the circumstance. I sure get in the darnest messes. Oh yes, I also have Wally’s address—so I’ll drop him a line.
The weather is typical Chicago weather—you know the kind that makes you want to tear your hair out by the roots and scream. Oh well, the sack feels all the better for it.
Your mail is coming thru in 9-10 days again—glory be. However a lot of the back mail hasn’t reached here yet. for example, I have no acknowledgment that you know about the money I sent in. Just in case I’ll mention it once more—1900.00 bucks in two months.
Since then I’ve written a check for two hundred—and I’ll have to write another for 100 to pay off some debts. I guess that’s got it straight.
I’m sorry honey, I just can’t get a decent letter off in weather like this—I just can’t think of anything except that I love you very, very much—Love, Ang
October 27. Very warm today. Everyone thrilled with things from Rome. No mail! Wasted evening. Mrs Lewis in.
October 28. Alone in office today & very busy. Did some shopping - sure tired. Mr S for dinner. Peg & I home alone in evening. Bed 11:00
Form 5. T-28, Training flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:00h
[As noted, there were stand downs for weather at the end of October. But if the weather on Corsica allowed, they flew practice or training missions.]
[Letter, postmark 10-29-44]
Before I forget, and I have been forgetting for over a week, I want to give you an address and phone no. in L.A.
Mrs. Mary W. Cahill
2949 ½ Van Buren Pl.
Telephone Parkway 4294
That’s the mother of one of my buddies over here—and I thought you might like to get in touch with her. If she and his sister are as nice as he is—you should like them very much.
He is a bombardier—a lead bombardier—and we’ve flown together a few times. We were together at Capri too. When he found out that you were in L.A. he insisted that I ask you to call his home and go over and see them when you can. He says the “J” car will take you within a block of the house—just get off at Van Buren Pl. you might enjoy a visit with them—cry on each other shoulders or something—and maybe they can show you a few things about L.A. His name is Tom—she calls him Tommy. He’ll write to her about you. I hope you get along—because he’s really a swell kid.
One of my original enlisted men—Slocum, the radio man had a bunch of pictures developed and gave me a batch of them—and they are really beauties. However they all have planes for backgrounds and I don’t know how many, if any, the censor will let me send. I’ll see him tomorrow and see, however don’t be disappointed—I can always bring them home.
I’m not really as thin as those snaps indicated—I’m far from slim and I’m putting on a little weight again (woe is you).
I love you honey—Love, Ang
Undated photo of a seemingly random mix of people of various ranks and jobs. Posting it here because it shows Ang with several people he's mentioned, particularly Tom Cahill. Cahill is 2nd from left, top row. Ang is also in top row. Written on back: Anderson #2, Barnard, Savard, Marty, Nomland, Anderson #1 // Snoggles, Cahill, Faith, Whited, Me [Ang], Vail, Hoschar, Reagen.
October 29. To early Mass --slept all PM. Caught a cold somewhere and feel pretty awful. Wrote couple letters and bed 10:30.
Form 5. T-29, Training flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:15h
[Letter, postmark 10-31, so probably misdated]
8/29/44 [probably misdated] Corsica
I haven't seen the censor about those pictures yet--but I will tomorrow--so help me!
There are a couple of boys leaving for the states one of these days--and they both swore they'd stop in to see you (they live in L.A.) — so you ought to see one of them so don't be surprised if they pop in one day.
One is Wells Morris (that's in the right order) and the other is Art Nomland. Wells is unmarried and lives with his folks in L.A. and Art is married and plans to spend his leave in L.A. — they're both good pals and ought to give you a lot of poop---maybe even enough to satisfy your curiosity.
Another fellow may pop in if he gets out that way--his name (last) is Carroll--his first name is Garnett so call him Carroll--if you get what I mean. He's a bombardier (lead) and just about my best buddy over here. I'm sure you'll like him— he reminds me an awful lot of Frankie. He swears that his main ambition is to date you up---so don't give him too much opposition — it will do you good to get out — with him I mean — so don't get me wrong--see! I flew most of my missions with him so he ought to give you plenty of poop.
Boy it seems like everybody is going home. I'm really getting to be an old timer around here. I'm seeing them come and go. If only they hadn't put me in the lead and left me on the wing ship with Arne I'd be finished now too. Ah well, such is life — its happened so often that it so longer hurts so much when I see one of them head for the states.
I guess it's supposed to be an honor to be in the lead and it is true that you ride with the best, most experienced and safest pilots and we ride in a jeep while the other boys ride trucks----but! That was supposed to be sarcasm---but I should be ashamed of all my bitching---look at poor Frankie and others. If only Christmas wasn't so close I wouldn't mind.
Did I tell you I got a bunch of your boxes---thanks a lot for them. That was a clever idea hiding that bottle in the cracker box - but it almost backfired. I put the box in my suitcase so the mice couldn't get at it and started on the other box. It was week before I opened the box and found it. It's a good thing I didn't decide that I had too many crackers and to give a box of them away. Honey you're as clever as you are sweet and I love you very much.
I still haven't got the camera or the cigars but I guess they'll come through one of these days. I hope! I hope I get that camera before I finish my missions and miss some beautiful shots.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
October. 30. Stayed home from work today and in bed too. Feel much better - although still whoozy.
[Letter, postmark 11-1-44.]
Its taken me a full half an hour to get from the salutation to this first sentence. I sat here trying to figure out what to write—and it did me almost as much good as having a long, long talk with you.
It struck me that writing a long letter and pouring out my heart to you produced the same effect. You never said much in those talks—just tactfully drew me out and made me feel as if I knew what I was talking about. Its almost the same in a letter—and maybe that’s why I can write a better letter to you than to anyone else. Also, that’s another of the thousands of reasons that I love you so much. You’ve been handing out compliments so lavishly about me being the best husband in the world, that, since I haven’t yet called you the best wife in the world, (in a letter) an outsider would think something was wrong. I just take it for granted that you know that I know that you are. I suppose that is one of my failings in trying to be the best—taking so many things for granted, I mean. That is also the difference between us—I try to be the best husband and you are the best wife. I love you so very much darling.
I suppose that all sound very much as if I’m in the dumps and being philosophical (I wish that dictionary would get here) but on the contrary I feel very good—much better than the past few weeks.
Honey, I’ve turned into quite a bitcher lately, haven’t I/ (Its allright—the word bitch is quite respectable now—“Time” uses it every week) I’ve just been thinking over some of the letters I sent you and they must have sounded awful. I guess it sounded as if I were turning into the type of man I despise the most (“Waaaa, I want my mama” type).
I’m really not—at least I hope not! I really feel pretty good—and with the exception of getting pretty restless when I don’t have anything to do—I do quite well for myself. Its just when I start writing to you, you are, naturally, a little more in my thoughts than during the rest of the day. Well, I start missing you more and more and pretty soon I’m pouring out my misery to you. Believe me honey, its never as bad as it sounds, so don’t take it too much to heart. Its just something to prove my great love for you than anything else. (That sure sounds gooey)
Really, darling, except for a few short periods, I’m pretty doggone happy and contented and consider myself very lucky when I think of others. So please don’t fret about me. After all we should bellyache because I have to stay overseas for 9 or 10 months when there are thousands who are wondering if they might get home after 3 or 4 years.
Yesterday I got a whole bunch of letters — last months — Sept 18—20th—etc. It sure was funny reading it after getting about 20 of this months letters. Oh well, such is war and mail for the duration.
Before I start on anything else, I got last months bank statement. If I remember correctly, the balance was 2016 dollars or thereabouts. I’ll send it on tomorrow. I don’t know why they sent it to me. I did ask them for a statement of balance but I didn’t think they’d send me the regular statement. Anyway, they evidently got all the money—so everything is O.K.
You sure seemed worried in last months letters—about the money I mean. You probably have white hair by now from worrying. Just like I always said, money brings nothing but troubles, but it sure is nice to have troubles like that, eh what?
Don’t worry, honey, I’m not exactly a baby about money. I’ve lost money in my time, but I never carry enough around with me to really make a dent. As far as checks go, I’ve only got two left in my checkbook and I’m hoarding them. (I’ve used the others as scrap paper—making notes etc.)
You also seemed quite worried about all my drinking. Really, honey, its not as bad as it may sound. In fact, I’m considered a very moderate drinker around here. I doubt if I’ve been really drunk twice in all the time over here—and that would be a pretty good average even in the states. Five or six times a month (when the[y] get American whiskey) I go over to the club and have a few drinks—that’s not really so bad is it. As I’ve said before don’t take everything I say too seriously—remember that imagination of mine. I’m not, in any way, acting any worse than I did in the states, and I doubt that anyone there considered me a drunker or a rounder.
Now to get to my cigar smoking. We are rationed to three cigars a week—and I smoke them—just as I usually eat some of the rationed candy even if I don’t especially care for it. That’s about the way I feel about the cigars. The only reason I asked you for a box, was so that I could pass them out for my promotion. You have my permission to tell anyone that plans to send me some more that I don’t need any more. I promise you that I won’t stain my pearly white teeth with that nasty cigar chewing.
Now that I have so staunchly defended my character, I’d better go on to more material things. By the way, I don’t mean to be sarcastic and I’m not angry or even slightly perturbed—I just wanted to set the record straight so maybe you wouldn’t worry so much.
I got your mothers Christmas present today—the identity bracelet. I’ll write her a thank-you note tomorrow—it was very nice of her and I certainly do appreciate it.
I kind of pulled boner as far as the Falls are concerned. I wrote a nice long letter advising him to stay home and stay out of the army as long as he could—and then I get Is’ letter that you sent saying that he was as good as in. Oh well!
I got the Tribune “Wake” book and also the other one—Thanks, hon! I also appreciate all the clippings that you send me—especially about U. of Ill. It looks like our team is doing pretty well this year.
I have been sending all my packages first class mail—they shouldn’t take too long to get to you.
Well, hon—I think I’ve done quite well—about the longest in ages. As I said its almost as good as talking to you. I love you very much—Love, Ang
October 31. Went to work today and felt pretty good. Very dark day and drizzled in evening. To Off. Wives dinner and had real nice time. Bed 11:30.
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Joni Adams Sesma, daughter of Angelo and Elizabeth Adams. Ang served on Corsica with the 57th Bomb Wing, 340th Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Squadron. April 1944-April 1945.