The following are letters written between John S. Straw and Clayton Straw, his sisters, and friends while he served in the military during World War II.
John was a Technical Sargent with the 741st Bombardment Squadron; 455 Bombardment Group (H). The 455 Bombardment Group has an informative website.
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB, Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB, Group (H) A.P.O. 9172 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich R 1 Dec [ember] 13, 1943 Dear John, Was very sorry that you could not get home and we appreciate the money you sent home very much. The kids would have had a slim Xmas without it. Dot was home for her birthday and Robert's are planning on coming out Xmas. They have the itch in school. Ruth and 15 others in her class were sent home yesterday and every one in school was notified that if any one of them had any signs of it to stay at home till they were completely over it. Am very anxious to hear from you and if possible would like to know where you are located. I couldn't find a knife for you but had __ one made but the finishing touches. It is all froze up here this morning. I don't know how cold but it is cold enough that the mercury does not show in the dairy thermometer and that means at least zero It a little early for that kind of weather but we will have to get used to it. Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB, Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB, Group (H) A.P.O. 9172 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. Dec [ember] 22 1943 Dear John, Sure was glad to here from you. Dot's address is just Reading as usual and Geo's is 160-39180 Post Dental Clinic A.P.O. 678 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. It would be nice if could get to see each other. I wrote last week and told you that your money got here alright I wish you hadn't said anything on it about it as mother go and read the letter before I saw it. You can imagine what she said as I had not told her anything about it. As usual she is very much afraid that I might get a little benefit from the money she is making. At home here we are getting along fine. The girls are about over the itch and B__ cold is gone. The kids vacation starts tomorrow. Its snowing and blowing today. We're expecting Robert's and Dorothy down for Xmas. Donald was out about an hour the other day and got 4 rabbits with 4 shells. Just finished piping the water up to the kitchen sink this morning. About a month ago I found and bought some ____ so have had the kitchen wired for about that time. Your bond just came. Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB, Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB, Group (H) A.P.O. 9203 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. Dec [ember] 29 1943 Dear John, Got your change of address in time to change it on the outside of your last letter. Hope it doesn't hinder your other mail in getting to you. I sent you a Xmas box so let me know when you got it. Paul S said the P.O. would rush it right throu to you. Robert had to work so they did not get down but otherwise we had a __ pretty good Xmas. Mother was home for 3 days. Grandpa is up and around again but didn't feel able to come over. The boy's have gone over there today to fish throu the ice have been planning on it for a long time. They spent most of yesterday getting corn ___ for bait. Read your cablegram Xmas day. They phoned it out from Reading. And Geo Goodwin drove over and told us. Many thanks for it we were sure glad to hear from you. Wilbur has been in the hospital for about 3 weeks but expects to be home the last of this week. Write and tell me all you can about where you are and what you are doing. Dad
To S/Sgt. John. Straw 16088592 741st Bomb. Sqdn (H) 455th BombGroup (H) A.P.O. 9203 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A Jan[uary] 4 1943 Dear John, Been thinking about you all day wondering where you were and what you were doing. This is one of those foggy days that you can hardly see anything. I've just been puttering around not doing much of anything just trying to keep busy. Was over and butchered a calf for your granddad yesterday and now I have a beef roast over for the kids when they get home from school. Was going to GR last Sat + Sun but mom has the itch now and she was afraid that Donna or Karen might get it so we spent New Years day at home. Wilbur was brought home from Ann Arbor last Wed. I'm afraid that he, like your Granddad D, put his operation off to (sic) long. Earl W is better this winter than he has been for some years. Everybody else seem to all O.K. The Church had a N.Yr. party at Ivan (?) Pauls Fri night. They all asked about you. Write as often as you can. Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB, Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB, Group (H) A.P.O. 9203 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From M Straw Reading, Mich. U.S.A January 11, 1944 Dear John, Dorothy quite her job and went up to Jackson with Mother this week. Betty Van Vorris is home now. Dorothy wants her to go up to Jackson and get work with her, but I don't know if she is or not. Why don't you write to Dad. He don't know what to make of your not. He wrote to Bob, Irene, and George, but he hadn't heard from any of you. Ruth + Jane want to write also to you. Dear John, Ruth says she can't write good enough so she wants me to write to you for her. Have you been fighting yet. I wish you was here to help eat your birthday cake. We missed the bus this morning so I am at home and writing to you. Jane wants to write so I had better leave her some room. Dear John. Moms birthday is today. You wasn't home for your's and neither is she. Me enjoyed your cake very much. It was a Boston Cream pie. Good-by + Good Luck Love Mary, Jane, Ruth Happy Birthday Happy Birthday Happy Birthday
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB, Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB, Group (H) A.P.O. 9203 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading, Mich. U.S.A Jan[uary] 11, 1944 Dear John I've been wondering where you are and what you are doing. I have not heard from you for 3 weeks. Dorothy quite her job at Kroger's last Sat. and was going to stay and help me for a while but Mom talked her into going up with her to Jackson and get a job there. I tried to write Sun on your birthday but there was to much confusion around here to even think let alone write. Betty V was here. The clock stopped last night and I didn't get around in time to get the girls off to school so I'll have them to do the house work today. I got a letter from Irene yesterday and she said they were all OK an getting along fine, but I haven't heard from Geo. in a coon's age. I was to the Farm B organization meeting last night and we go out on the membership drive tomorrow. We had 138 members this last year, some growth eh? Our quota or ___ goal this year is 161. do you suppose we can make it? For a change the weather for the last week has been fine. Write and let me know [your age?] Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A Jan[uary] 17, 1944 Dear John Your letter of Jan 1 received. I got your suitcase, pictures and M.O but not the 50 which you said you were going to send the first of Jan. Your bond from the War Dept is also here. If I remember right I have already told you that, but maybe that letter got lost. I have written you every week so If you haven't received that many you will know that some got lost as none have come back to me. Mrs L Carpenter of Ray had a heart attack last week while washing windows and died before they could get a doctor. I haven't been over home for 2 weeks so don't know how grandfathers and grandma D's are getting along. Alright I suppose or I would have heard. Mac + Joyce are moving on the old Flynn farm. I saw Mac a week ago yesterday and he said they were going to start moving Tue so they ought to be there by now. Mom and the Kids are at S.S. write Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Dorothy Straw 326 Clinton St Jackson, Mich Jan[uary] 22, 1944 Dear John, Well how are you today? I'm here in the apartment all by myself. You see Mom has gone home + Betty went with her. I guess I told you she was up here with us didn't I. She said she didn't like the place but if she could get in at a job in a factory she would be back. So I don't know. Here it is the middle of January and believe it or not we still haven't any snow. We have had it off + on but not to stay long. Pretty soon it will be Georges birthday again. I'm sorry I didn't send you a card but leaving Krogers + everything I had hardly time to know it had come + gone again. Well I have some ironing to do so I suppose I should get at it. Keep them on the run Johnny. We're behind you pushing awful hard. Love Dorothy
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Jan[uary] 24 1944 Dear John Mother was home a couple of hours Sat. Then I had to take her back to Jackson. She + D has a apartment there and she wanted some bedding, dishes, meat, butter, potatoes and canned fruit. While I was gone Tony was over and wanted me to drive the ford to Morrice (?) to see Huberts. He has a job as (Prof) at Austin College in Sherman Texas. He has to be there to start teaching next Mon the 31st. Aunt Lissie put his name in at E Lansing, where she goes to class every Sat for a teaching job. He has ___ to start work just two weeks from the day he first heard from them. How's that for speed? Got a letter from Irene today. She said they got two from you last week, was very glad to hear from you. The kids are all to bed and that is where I ought to be as it is 11PM. Young Vaugn, I thing its Bill, at least it is the one just past 18 has enlisted and has to report for duty Wed. Bob U let his car freeze up and run out of oil so he had to get another car. Love Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Dorothy Straw 326 Clinton St Jackson, Mich 1/29/44/ Dear John, I have your letter you wrote to me now. Was I glad to hear from you. I thought you had forgotten me. I was surprised about ___ myself. I had an idea more like what you thought it would be like. I went to a show tonight it was "Happy Land". Don Amechie stared (sic). It brought back many of the times we had together when we were little kids. It was sad but a nice show. The factory + I am comeing (sic) along pretty good. Sometimes I get pretty discussted (sic) at it. Mom went home over the week end so I'm here by myself. Grandma D. is going to stay with Dad + the kids for a few weeks. I'm sure I don't know how they will get along. We heard from Dorothy the other day + she says everything is doing fine up there. She would like for you to write to her. Karen Sue is walking around in her playpen some now. Until next time------------------------------Love Dorothy Ann
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Feb[uary] 2 1944 Dear John, Just finished canning beef yesterday. 75 cans. Not bad for me is it? We took Mom back to Jackson Sun and had dinner there. Dorothy had part of it ready and we took the rest of it along with us. I noticed that D had a letter written to you so guess you will know all about them up there. We want to go to G.R. next Sun, but its snowing now so don't know how the roads and weather will be by then. I would have gone a month ago but Mother wanted me to wait fro her. We haven't been up there since last summer. I've been watching the mailman like a hawk for a week now. Haven't heard from you for about two weeks. Got a card + letter from your G-ma D. Last week. she wants to come over and keep house for me this winter. I believe I would rather batch it. Its time I'm getting dinner and this letter in the mailbox. I wrote to Mom today the first since she went to Jackson . Grand-pa's were fine Sat when I saw them. Dad *batch = short for bachelor... remain single
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Feb[uary] 14 1944 Dear John, Last week end we were up to G.R. to see Robert's. they were all fine. R. has been put in I.A. but his shop has appealed it so don't know how he will come out. Donna wanted to know why I didn't bring up a pup and an cow she said she wanted both of them. I told if I had known it I would have brought the pup but didn't see how I could a cow. She thot I ought to have been able to put one in the car that Daddy brought one up once in a car. She wanted to come home with me and put up an awful holler when Irene said she couldn't. Donald went to Jackson Friday and all were coming home Sat. I went down to both B___ but none of them showed up. Don't know what was the matter. We have had a very mild and open winter till last Fri but the now its trying to make it all up. Hope it don't snow us all in like it did the winter Jane was a baby. Write often if you can. Dad
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 3 1944 Dear John, Rec'd your letter of the 13th last Sat. which made 3 last week. Mac's address is Montgomery. They moved on the John Flynn farm. Got your money Mon. Barbbara B told Mary that Bobby had to go. The draft board told him that if he had time to spend a week in Chicago a couple of times (he has a girl there) and visit Wayne and Detroit that they didn't need him very bad on the farm. Sydney has appealed so don't know how it will come out. I heard yesterday that I was granted a combine for this year. i put in a application last year but didn't get it then. Its going to make me scratch because now you have to pay cash. Dont know what Mom will say as she didn't want me to apply for one. Guess I wont tell her. She has been home only once in the last month but look for her tomorrow. Now they have measles and scarlet fever in school the teachers looked the kids all over for signs last night and told all that had cold to stay home.
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 6 1944 Dear John, I always intend to write to you the first of the week but usually dont get to it till last part. Mom + Dot were home this last week end. Mom got a letter from Bess. She wanted to know if you got her Xmas box. and by the way I don't know if you got mine. Let me know if the box of candy I sent last week gets throu alright. The postmaster has to stamp your letters asking for certain things before they will except anything to be sent to you. We have a nice cold March rain rain today hope it lets up for I have to go after some coal today or freese (sic) to death. We were
oferover to Grandpas yesterday for dinner the first we have been over since Xmas. They all seem to be OK. Aunt Neva has some new teeth E + Tony have been keeping his sister Ediths baby for the last six months she is just learning to walk very cute but very shy and not in the least bit pretty. Didn't hear from you last week but got 3 letters the week before so am looking for a couple this week. Have you heard from Geo. I don't only about once in 3 months. Dad.
S/Sgt. John Straw 16088592 741st Bomb Sq 455th Bomb Grp. A.P.O. # 520 New York, City c/o Postmaster N.Y. Robert Van Voorhis 10470 W. 6 Mi Rd. Northville Mich. Mar[ch] 9, 1944 Dear John: am finally getting around to writing you. Last week end I went home so didn't have any time. I sure had a swell time. We are busy as heck here. But that makes time go faster, as you have found out. Haven't heard about my draft classification as yet. But probably will soon. You ought to see my girl friend in Fremont. Som girl and oh is she swell. But we probably won't last long. Well here it is a day later and am just finishing this letter. Been pretty busy today, am pretty tired tonite. But decided I'd better finish this. It has been a swell day here and nearly spring. Well here it is Sunday nite and am just getting around to answering this letter or I mean finishing it. Been so darn sleepy that I just couldn't finish it. So until next time, be good and write. Your Pal Bob
3/12/44 Dear Pop. I have no pen so I guess I'll have to use a pencil so here goes. The P.X. opens tonight + I think they have some pens in, I sure do hope so. I got a package from Grandma yesterday but no letters. I've gotten only four letters in the past month. Say I got all of my back flying pay the other day so I sent two hundred home. It will probably beat this home but you will at least know where it came from. I'm trying to get my shoes dryed out and wax them this afternoon. They've been wet for the Lord only knows how long. I got a 48 hr. pass starting day before yesterday. Its up at six tonight. I've spent all of it sleeping + eating. I was in town for two hrs. yesterday + thats all the time I've been off the field. It's been muddy as all h___! out for quite some time. Well I think I'll close for now + write to Bob + Irene. So Cherio old Chap! Your Son John
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 15 '44 Dear John, Read your letter of 2-29 yesterday. How much do you get a month? Just curious. you said with your allotment you drew $50.00. I've got to go to Litchfield and then to Union City tomorrow. And I want to go from there to G.R. but am not sure yet. If I don't go now don't know when I can because when Spring work starts I'll be to busy to even thing about going anywhere. My old sow did not come in heat so changed her to pork Fri. The head meat is on cooking now will take til midnight to finish so thought I'd make good use of my time while waiting on it. Had about 60# sausage and have the hams and side meat in a sugar cure. Canned 8 qts from on shoulder and put the other one into sausage. We had a sleet storm last night about an in. of ice on the ground this morning and the light were out for a couple of hrs this PM. Came on about 1/2 hr before dark had me worried as our lamp chimney was broke. Jane is over the measles but Bud stayed home from school today with a cold he thought he was coming down with them but hope not. Dad *Bud = Lee
To S/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sqdn. (H) 455th BOMB. Group (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Dorothy Straw 326 Clinton St. Jackson, Mich. 3/15/44 Hi Buddy, How be things with you? My jaw doesn't feel any to hot right now. I went to the Dentist today at 3:00 + did he ever drill. "man aLive" He filled two. He said, my teeth were in quite a shape. My next appointment is April 25. So you can see how they are rushed. You would think by the look of the trees they were tired of standing up cause they are all bent over + if you don't watch where you are going you run into a branch. Its loaded with ice. You remember we had everything covered once before just like it. Did I tell you Jane came down with the measles? What a time Pop is haveing. He is getting along fine though. H told mom to stay here + work until the last of May. So I guess thats what shes gonna do. Well no more room in this letter. Write Soon. Love Your Sis Dot
3/16/44 Dear Pop. Here it is Thursday afternoon + I've been sleeping the biggest share of the forenoon. I saw the first snow storm this morning that I've seen since I left Ft. Custer, but its all melted by now. Say I just had a brain storm this morning after I got up. You know that extra cash I've been sending home. Do you want to take it + use it to buy some heifers about two or three months old or even less, just be sure they are old enough to be certain that they will live O.K. Check their records to be sure they are of good stock. I'd like to have about two hundred + fifty bucks when I get home, all the rest you can use to buy them. If you won't have enough hay or grain for them you can get a few tons of hay + some corn. I'll be sending about a hundred + fifty bucks a month home so you can depend on it. fifty will come by allotment + I'll send a hundred direct. B the way have you gotten the allottment yet. I'd like to have a dozen or so because some of them are bound to test out. It will be quite difficult to pick that many good heifers up. But keep your eyes open because I sure as heck won't be able to get them over here + I sure would like to have them when I get back. Well I guess I'll close for now. So Solong. Your G.I. Son John
No. 16088592 S/Sgt John Straw 441 st Bomb Sq 455th Bomb Group APO 520 c/o Postmaster New Your C N Y. Water V Strawe 2653 N Mogast Chicago,__ Ill 3/20/44 Dear John: How is the Sargent? Mother sent me your Address so I'll try you out again. Do you remember? You wrote us twice in one week. I ans. but never heard from you again. And only once or twice anything about you. We hope you are having good luck. and not being worked too hard. You address gives one a chance to read a lot between the lines. Has your mail caught up to you by this time. You folks were over to your Grand Parents last Sunday and were all in good spirits. Jane had measles tho. You probably get news from there tho as soon as we do. Our school has purchased over $50,000 worth of stamp and bonds since Sept and beside now are in on waste paper Collection good + heavy. [good theory]? Sincerely Your Uncle Walter + Aunt Catherine
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq. 455th BOMB. Grp A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 22 '44 Dear John, Just got your letters of Jan 17 Feb 18 + 23 all in one day. Dean and I were to Union City yesterday setting up his combine and if the weather is favorable tomorrow we are going after shine. They don't set up or deliver anymore. Just got a letter from the war dept. Sat. stating that you had made an allottment of $50 and that I would get it by April 15th and the first of the month thereafter. That was what I understood when you wrote last Dec. But when you sent that money last month I thot maybe that I had misunderstood and was not looking for it as Burlew + Mrs Carpenter to got theirs in Feb. Was up to GR last Wed night they were all OK. Karen is almost ready to walk and about the spriest youngster that I ever saw of her age. Grandpa's and Tony's are fine. It's time for Paul and I've got to go. Dad
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Grp A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 25 '44 Dear John, Recd your letter of the 14th came throu the quickest yet. Jack is fine only fat and lazy. Nig my bird dog was a Gordon Setter a born coal black without a white hair on him. Dean + I brought my combine home yesterday. they are the same old price but with a little more freight charges added. The cows didn't do so well last year as I didn't have any grain for them and you couldn't buy any for love or money. but we are doing real well now as they come ____. Got a card from Mother said she wouldn't be home this weekend. She is having a big time with 28 a week to spend and nothing to show for 6 mo. of it but a pair of glasses that I know of or can see. Its raining now but we have had a nice week. I expect to go to town after dinner and the mail goes. Dad.
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 28 1944 Dear John Recd your letter of the 12 + 16 Sat. and the one of the 6 today am taking your glasses to Reading as soon as I get this wrote. Recd 6 of your letters last week the oldest was written Jan 17. Hope your glasses go through OK. Mother has my clock and my watch has gone on a strike so its hard to tell time. Jane missed the bus this morning. Have had your watch over to Coldwater to get fixed they sent it to Detroit. its a Swiss watch and they couldn't get the part needed so that is out for the duration. They have 10 days Spring vacation in Reading Starting April 5. The boys have been teasing to go to GR that week ever since they know of it. I tell them there is to much work to do here if the weather is nice but if it is stormy OK but that doesn't seem to suit them. Had 3 in snow Sat PM. Dad
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Mar[ch] 30 44 Dear John, March is sure going out like a lion, we have had winter weather since last Sat. Wilbur died yesterday morning the funeral is next Sat at 1 P. M. Recd your letter last Sat. saying you had sent $200. it hasn't come yet but it most likeyly will be here anytime now. Will let you know as soon as it comes. Mary's Junior play is tonight and we're all planning on going. Ruth is staying to-night with the Lewis girl that comes out here every once in a while. Jane doesn't seem to get enough sleep since she has had the measles. went to bed last night at 5-30 and still wan't ready to get up in time to go to school. Got water heating to take a bath got a new wash the other day have needed one for about a year but it was one of those things you couldn't get. Dad
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. Apr[il] 4 1944 Dear John, Your letter of the 19 came Sat. Mom + Dot were home over the weekend and I went to Litchfield yesterday after alfalfa seed so hardly had time to write before. Your money came last Friday. I forgot to look for any candy yesterday but I will the next time I go to town. That is one of the things you can't always get here. Their alibi is that most of it is sent to the armed forces. How about it? Over half of the time one can't get any cigars either. The boys and I have had bad cold's the last few days. They are home today. They are about driving me nuts so if this letter sounds crazy you will know why. I don't remember if I told you that Wilbur Y died last week or not. His funeral was Sat P. M. at Fremont. A big croud. The kids counted 26 cars. Dad
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. April 10 '44 Dear John Rec'd your letter of 3/30 Sat. Some fancy stationary you have. What does E.M.s mean? Am sending you a box of candy bars to-day. I had to put an order in for them and then wait a few days. Could not get the kind I wanted buy they sent me what they said was almost the same. Dot is home for the weekend. is taking the 4 o clock bus back. Donald and Bud are up to Robert's coming home to-day on the afternoon bus. My cold is much better and the sun is shining part of the mime to-day. We have had quite a little rain this last week. Grandma has asked us all over there next Sun for my birthday dinner. Wish you and George were home to help celebrate. The girls are back on the farm someplace and its dinner time. So guess I have a job for me or go hungry. Write often. Love Dad
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. April 23 '44 Dear John, Rec'd your letters of the 5th, 10th, this last week and the one you wrote last month asking about Bill Vaughn. Bill is in Florida. Dean got an A.C. combine too. Got a letter from Geo. he writes about once in 3 mo. Walter's and Grandpa's was over for dinner to-day though Mom was not home. Dot is home keeping house for me now. Just got started plowing then it started raining again. I have four heifers lined up at Dale Wigentis. (?) He has to wait till is boss gets home from Oregon to know the price. Expects him home the first part of May. Bob and Betty just came in. He is wating call from the navy. By the looks of this letter I'll ave to get me a different pen point the next time I get to town. Well be good. Dad
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. May 4 1944 Dear John, You most likely feel like bawling me out. I rec'd your letters of the 11th + 18th the day after I last wrote to you and last Tue yours of the 23 + 25. I wish we has some of your warm weather here. The fruit trees are usually in bloom 2 or 3 weeks before this. Our apricots a re just coming out and the rest don't show any signs yet. Betty and Dick have bben down tonight. Bob has a bad cold and has been laying around for the last few days. Had 2 fresh cows this evening 1 h and 1_ calf. just came in from the barn from looking after them. Dot has been home this makes the 3rd week. She keeps me busy when is raining which seems nost of the time. One day we started to paper the living room got it about 2/3 done and run in some loose plaster. I have that all off and replastered. And as its raining now suppose I'll have to finish it tomorrow. I put that 5 a of Dick W. to aots been to wet to plow. Dad
T/Sgt. John Straw 16088592 741st Bomb Sqd (H) 455th Bomb Group. (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, City, N.Y. Robert Van Voorhis Reading Michigan May 6, 1944 Dear John: I'll bet you have thought that I had forgotten your address, but just didn't get around to writing. Gone some where most of the time. Went around on a milke route with Leo Olvey (?) yesterday. The day before I was gone all the time. Go to Fremont about three to fouth times a week. It is just like it alway was. The girls there haven't changed a bit. You know of what I mean. I've been here at home for over a month now and still don't known when they are going to call me to the navy. Probably about next week, I expect. That is just a guess. Nothing sure. Been working around home. I am enjoying my self. Suppose Dale shall be down next or to-nite I mean. Probably go to Fremont and play pool. Nothing else much to do. Well my paper is about filled up. So shall close. Your Pal Bob
T/Sgt. John Straw 16088592 741st Bomb Sqd (H) 455th Bomb Group. (H) A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, City, N.Y. Robert Van Voorhis Reading Mich. R.F.D #1 May 14, 1944 Dear John: Got your letter yesterday and was sure glad to get. I was expecting it for some reason. Boy am I tired, Been out to many nites. But probably will get a lot of sleep after Tuesday. I go to the navy the 16th. I've been here at home since April 1st. Sure have had a good time. Dale and I have did pretty good this week. We've been to Angola, Fremont, Coldwater and Quinsy tonite. This is my last nite to out around here. Sure is swell around here now. Been working for my dad. Seems nice to be around here. Will write you as quick as I get settle and known where I'm gonna be. Supposed to have company today and so I must close. So will write with more later on. So be good and take care of your self. Your Pal Bob Robert VanVoorhis
To T/Sgt John Straw 16088592 741st BOMB. Sq 455th BOMB. Gr A.P.O. 520 c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y. From Clayton Straw Reading Mich U.S.A. May 18 1944 Suppose your bawling me out for not writting last week. everything was ____ and topsy turvy. We have had the living room all kicked up for over a week. Dot has been after me to get it fixed up. I prepared the walls and painted the floor, she waxed it yesterday and expects to give it another coat tomorrow. Rec'd your letter of the 2nd with the M. O the 8th a week ago Mon. If you had sent it the other way I would have got it aobut the 21st or 28th. That letter to D in which you wrote about being all dolled up for a medal which didn't come, I wish you would go more in detail I'm very much interested. I told Grandma + Pa and Grandma told me to scold you for not telling more. Sent you a box of candy Tue. Let me know if it gets there O.R. Mrs Freeburn can get candy at Byran O and that has been the only place that I have been able to ge a box of bars. Dad
Montgomery, Mich. June 14, 1944 Dear John: Did you think we had forsaken you for good. Well we haven't and we think about you very often. I had a letter started to you and one to Arthur ______ and was going to let Mac finish them when we got word of the death of Art's mother so he didn't finish either one. I will write this one and maybe he can write you in a few days. His days are pretty well filled with summer work now. He went up to Dr. Lane at Reading this morning and had a tooth pulled. More fun? ? I suppose you know where we live by now. 3/4 mile west of Hall's Corners, beside Rose + Matt Vance's. Mac is farming 160 A. here, Matt Vances 110 A. and about 15 or 20 A. on the parsonage. He can't do much loafing I guess and have a clear conscience, can he? I am working in Quinsey now. We work on Airplane wiring for bombers. I have worked there about 2 months and like it very much. I don't know how much news you get from around here so maybe I am telling you something you already know. The folks are farming as usual only more land. Bob George has been working for them all spring and summer. What are you doing over there? Could you write and tell us some of your experiences? Carl Beecher was home about a month ago and was over to see Mac. Jan Sperbeck + Carl Redding are home right now. Do you and George correspond? They had a Memorial Service for Robert McNaughton Sunday P. M. in Ray. You knew he went down on a transport didn't you? Darwin Kinney was home a couple of months ago. He and Vera Shoult came over and stayed until about 1:30. We discussed old school days; remember? Do you remember Doris Paul???? She just got a divorce from her husband. -- Now's your's chance. I don't see your family very often. Your mother doesn't get to church up here very often because of her work. We see Dorothy + Mary and the other children once in awhile. Your Christmas cookies we sent had quite a journey before they reached you didn't they? Did you hear that Harold Null + Morton Ferguson had a reunion in England awhile ago? Well, John, be good and we will write again soon. we promise. Your friends Joyce + Mac Joyce Pridgeon Carpenter (1923-2003) Mac Ambrose Carpenter (1923-1999)