Ang and Betty were married September 26, 1942 while Ang was still in Santa Ana, California. This is their wedding photo. For their anniversary, Ang sent roses and $50. Betty notes in her diary on the 22nd that she sent him a cable, which he mentions in his letter of the 27th. Receiving it scared him because cables were only used for emergencies! If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter stories, imagine getting a “Howler” and that’s what it must have felt like to read his response to the cablegram! Apparently she didn't receive this letter until December. Betty never mentions his response in her diary but must have in a letter because Ang apologizes for his response in his December 27th letter. Another reminder of what it was like to wait weeks for mail to travel. We expect people to reply to email within hours!
Ang hoped he’d be home in time for Christmas but learned they now had to fly 60 missions instead of 55--however the weather was preventing them from flying. He revised his estimate to hope for his birthday in March. Betty's routine remains the same but has added her Officers Wives Club activities. She mentions dinner at the Brown Derby with Mr. S, though she doesn't mention who else went. I assume her mother, Margaret was with her because Mr. S was Margaret's friend.
Tuesday, September 23. Awfully hot today. Downtown, but not much shopping done. Home and loafed all P.M. Packed boxes. Bed 11:00. Tired.
[Letter. Postmark 9-24-44.]
You won't mind if I shed a few tears—and pour out my sorrows in this letter. I’m down in the dumps but good—I guess you could call it homesickness.
Do you remember Bob Merkel? You met him at one of the dances at the club—the one that had gone to Lake View—remember? Well, he left for the States today. We spent all last night at the club—and I had to listen to what he was going to do when he got back to Chicago. He was going to the Bar Ritz and have them put out a bottle of “V.O.”—he was going to do this and he was going to do that. Finally I threatened to hit him with the table if he didn’t shut up. Woe is me! I couldn’t have stood it for another moment. Oh well, I guess my turn will come one of these days.
Don’t mind me, honey, I really don’t feel that bad today—although I must admit that last night I could have given Uncle Walt a head start and still won the prize in meanest disposition race—grrr! Bob promised to call the folks—and give Mom a chance to have a good cry over him and make her feel better—so that’s something.
Something is screwed up somewhere—I haven’t had any mail for four days now—and of course that doesn’t help my sweet temper any. I can’t even answer questions to fill my letters.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
September 24. Warm today again. To Mass and loafed rest of day. Ironed and laundry in evening. Bed about 11:30. What a life!
[Letter. Postmark 9-25-44]
Well, well—I finally got some mail yesterday—and of course all the news from you. So the Brandons’ now have an heir—what do you know? Where did they get the Jeffrey Alan—never mind—thank goodness, at least its not another Jr. Of course a Jr. isn’t so bad—it just makes fewer names to remember—and to me that’s a real blessing.
By the way, that Alan just made me think—how is Falls’ first name spelled—one or two “l”. I’d be kind of embarrassed if I spelled it wrong.
So Jack is in France now—boy he sure does get around.
Your mentioning Christmas brought something else up. Please don’t plan on presents or a box for me. I don’t know where I’ll be then—and I have my hopes of being beside you—so it would be kind of silly and I’d probably never get it—at least not for months afterwards.
I’m glad to hear that you have made contact with that club. It really will be good for you to go out and meet people and enjoy yourself. Even if you don’t have fun at the meetings, at least it will give you something to do—and pass the time away.
By the way, you sound like you are about ready to start your winter wardrobe. If you feel you’ll need it, that offer on the fur coat still goes. Just one thing, don’t buy something that you’ll have to throw away next year—get a decent one! The bank roll is yours, honey.—Just leave me enough for a car and a months binge when I hit the States.
I love you sweetheart—Love, Ang
September 25. Cooler today but still warm. Worked steady but not hard. Mr. S. and dinner at Brown Derby. Nice time and drive. Bed 11:00.
Form 5. T-25, Training flight as navigator, B-25J, 0:45h
September 26. What a wonderful day. Our 2nd anniversary. More cards and dear Ang sent me roses. I was so thrilled. He’s a dear -- always.
[Letter. Postmark 9-27. This letter and envelope were both stamped in Los Angeles on December 15!]
Boy, winter is really catching up with us around here. Nothing very bad—just continuously cool weather. I’ve felt a cold coming on for a couple of days—and this morning it sure got here. I’d give ten bucks for a box of Kleenex—Oh my poor, poor tender, running nose. Thank goodness its just in the nose—at least my head and body feel O.K.
This joint is really getting to be [a] mess since Skeezix left. We try to keep it clean, but somehow we don’t have the knack, or industry, of Skeezix. For instance, neither of us have the heart to get on our hands and knees and scrub the floor—and therefore, even though it is clean, it still looks like a mess.
And you should see my laundry—I’ll never catch up. It just piles up and I never seem to catch up. I guess that ought to be enough to get me some sympathy—so I’ll stop crying now.
By the way, in my last letter I asked Dad to send me a good Kaywoodie pipe. In every letter, he pestered me to ask for something—so I finally did. In fact he seemed to be getting mad at me for not asking. What a father, most of them are glad to see their sons grow up and on their own—but he gets mad. Oh well, I’ve got no kick coming.
I hope that camera gets here pretty soon—I sure am missing a lot of beautiful shots. Don’t forget to keep after all the film you can get. To make the request formal—Please send me some film for the camera you sent—I forget the size.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
September. 27. Worked hard today. Hurried home and changed clothes for Off. Wives dinner. Had nice time. Bed by 11:30. Cooler.
[Letter. Postmark 9-28-44]
I just got your cablegram congratulations—and I really do appreciate the sentiments behind it—but if you ever do it again I’ll paddle your little hind-end until you’ll never be able to sit on it again. I don’t want to scold you because I know you meant only the best—but--
Honey, a cablegram over here means to us a serious injury, death, or birth in the immediate family. I didn’t even know that one could be sent for other reasons. What I went thru in the few seconds it took me to rip it open and read it—shouldn’t happen even to Hitler. Flak won’t even faze me after that.
I’m sorry honey, I guess I’m just a crabby, old grouch. I just got the cablegram as I was getting ready to start this letter—and my nerves are still jangling. I really do appreciate the cablegram.
I wonder if I gave you anniversary greetings in yesterdays letter—If I didn’t, I’m sorry—I must have forgot—forgot to write them, not that it was our anniversary—that’s been in my thoughts for over a month now.
I got your letter of the 7th—with Shrickers & Mrs. Bylunds letters. Ev sure sounds happy doesn’t she—I certainly am glad that she is so pleased about everything. I don’t imagine having a baby with your husband at the other side of the world is very good. Oh well, such is war. I told Arne about Ev telling you how much she appreciated what he’d done—and even though he mumbled something about silly women—I could see he was pleased as punch.
I love you my darling—and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having a wife like you sending me anniversary greetings—even if they do scare me to death. Did I ever thank you for marrying me—I do, a million times. Love, Ang
September 28. Worked hard at office. Did some laundry. Mother home late. Wrote letters all evening. Sure had a cramped night.
September 29. Another hard day at the office. Ugh. Called about apts - should have months ago. Packed two boxes and wrote Ang. Bed 11:00.
[Letter. Postmark 10-1, so Ang must have misdated his letter.]
Just got your letter of the 6th—and after reading it my hat size doubled. My, my—such praise—I’m not really as good as all that. Not that I’m suspicious, but after reading all the praise, I started looking for the part where you were going to talk me into something—but you didn’t—or does that come in a later letter?
The mail situation is horrible around here lately—and I’m afraid it will stay that way. Your mail takes 20 to 25 days to reach me. I guess the weather is curtailing the flying of mail and it probably comes by boat now. Oh well, such is life.
Of course, you had to tell me to hurry home in your last letter—just as I had decided that it would take longer than I thought. Don’t expect too many explanations—although since winter is now upon us, you can see that it will take longer to finish my missions. Also, I will have to fly 60 instead of 55—so that automatically cancels any thoughts of my being home for Christmas. I still think I will be home for my birthday—even if just barely. Lets act as if I will be home for sure then—and you can base all your plans on that. I’m sorry honey—it sounded to good to be true anyway.
Honey, I’m sorry I got so lit up in my last letter. I shouldn’t have got so excited—at least I shouldn’t have written a letter in that condition.
We made ourselves a stove today—and the heat sure feels good. Let me tell you, I sure am going to be a jack of all trades by the time I get home. It won’t be any trouble at all for me to whip up a little home and all the trimmings for us.
I love you sweets—Love, Ang
September 30. Worked hard for Saturday. Didn’t do any shopping. Came home & washed - sure tired. To dinner & to movies. Bed about 11:00.
Form 5. C-30, Combat flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:50h
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION #41.]
Magenta R.R. Bridge
Heavy Int. & Acc.
11 ships holed.
1 man injured
Glade, Satterthwaite, Woolcott.
[No crew sheet available. Target photo and crew list for 488th. 57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/093044_Magenta.htm]
A note regarding September 23, 1944. Ang did not fly on the 23rd, but the 340th Bomb Group was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for their efforts to sink a German ship in the La Spezia harbor. Sinking ships was not their typical activity. Their specialty was bombing bridges, gun positions, and German supply lines. The 340th diary describes the mission: "To prevent Jerry from utilizing the light Italian cruiser “Taranto” as a block to the port of La Spezia an 18-plane mission was dispatched to bomb and sink same where it sat in La Spezia harbor. The three boxes laid perfect compact patterns directly on the ship causing it to sink where it stood." This mission is described in Dale Satterthwaite's "Truth Flies with Fiction" and fictionally in Heller's "Catch-22" at the end of Chapter 35, and in his memoir, "Now and Then."
You can see the citation from Ang's scrapbook under the Awards tab.
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.