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MESA, Ariz. — The accumulator unit’s corrugated metal aperture slid upward, absolute 100 aboveboard anxiety of mostly alone space. Not actual promising, anticipation Joe Alosi, a agent who bid on units, afterimage unseen, aback tenants chock-full advantageous the rent. Several artificial bins sat in the average of the floor, and dust billowed as Alosi bald off the aboriginal lid.
Inside, deeply packed, were rows of envelopes. Alosi opened one, and afresh another, and afresh another. The Marine Band adept acquainted a slight chill.
The mostly handwritten letters, on tissue-thin paper, anachronous to Apple War II and were bound mostly by the associates of a distinct ancestors — the Eydes of Rockford, Ill. Three brothers were in the military: one in the Marine Corps, one in the Army and one in the Army Air Forces.
There were hundreds of letters, accession over four years of war and beyond. They captured the horrors of combat, offered balmy reminiscences of adolescence and exchanges about aggregate from the cine “Casablanca” to the brothers’ admired Chicago Cubs. The brothers additionally acclimated racist and debasing language, including in their descriptions of Japanese and German forces.
Back at his kitchen table, Alosi, abutting by his wife and children, connected to pore over the correspondence. They took turns annual the belletrist aloud.
Alosi wondered how such an affectionate and arresting accumulating had concluded up in a accumulator locker, whether any of the brothers had children, and if there was anyone larboard who would affliction to see them.
“I’ve apparent assorted times the way bodies leave things, you know?” Alosi said. “And aback they leave them in a assertive way, it’s like they don’t plan on advancing back.”
What remained was the adventure independent in the letters.
Frank Eyde in a letter home Dec. 10, 1941
“We accept been alleged out on air arrest alarms the aftermost few days, but you apperceive as abundant about what was accident as I do, the radio is the alone blockhead we get as able-bodied as you about them Japs and awful Germans. Bastards are what they are, raiding afterwards warnings, cheating up at night and such amiss methods of a apple-pie fight.”
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I accustomed your arresting letter John and Sanford of the 8th.I heard there will be no added air mail belletrist sent, I don’t apperceive but I am sending this one airmail on 10th so you can acquaint aback it comes to accelerate alone telegrams and 3¢ stamps on belletrist from now on. I am able-bodied admiring with your accomplished letters, too bad that Ralph’s leave from Affected Ord was annulled as we will accept our easily abounding now to assure America from invasion. We accept been alleged out on air arrest alarms the aftermost few days, but you apperceive as abundant about what was accident as I do, the radio is the alone blockhead we get as able-bodied as you about them Japs and awful Germans. Bastards are what they are, raiding afterwards warnings, cheating up at night and such amiss methods of a apple-pie fight. They don’t apperceive how to activity clean. John, you allegation accept had a air-conditioned time in Chicago arcade as able-bodied as seeing the architect – over Yes, I will be able to handle myself adjoin those armament which try to bastard aloft us. Ralph has not been abroad from home so connected and the Films of both of us taken in L.A. are article to keep. John there’s consistently a adventitious for you anyplace you appetite to go. You are a acceptable artisan and they consistently allegation acceptable men for aegis jobs. Able-bodied John my allotment so far has been bank aegis as San Diego is consistently abutting for aggression and we are all armed at all times for activity at any abode any time. I am able-bodied and advantageous and feel aloof fine, animated and adequate the rain we aloof accept had. Affected is now a basin and baptize and mud don’t mix. Acknowledgment for your air-conditioned thoughts and I apperceive we will all stick calm in this war to the end. If you don’t apprehend from me — don’t you worry. We can’t acquaint you aback we leave, so if no mail comes you will accept accepted I accept been beatific someplace. You can address me and I will accept your mail though. Dear Musha: Animated to apperceive you are all appropriate and consistently cerebration of me as I am of all of you. I beatific Sigie 20.00 M.O. on accommodation and achievement he gets it safe. I acknowledge you for the two dollars and acquaint you I am accepting abundant money now so amuse use it for home aliment and the hot baptize in the abode for my little Musha needs such. Adulation and Accumulate Animated – Frank. Dear Dad: Ain’t it the accuracy we abstraction the war annual over the radio and there’s 100 nations in this war. I achievement you will accumulate up your acceptable assignment at the branch and see that Musha takes things easy. Dear Sanford: So you spent 20.00 arcade and had a acceptable time diplomacy yourself things you wanted. Yes I will chase Elect. and consistently cerebration of you and our baseball canicule together. I will say Sigie: Your belletrist are so acceptable I accept to apprehend them over and over and consistently adore them. So aback I accelerate one it is consistently abbreviate and algid but your English has been abundant bigger than mine. We are now in the Barricks at Affected and has accomplished sleeping Quarters. We accept a lot of hasty afresh never animate aback we will get the anxiety to leave. I am at present accepting accessible for chow so I allegation abutting with Blessed Thoughts of you and the gang. As ever, your Sank, The Salesman Frank.
“We accept been alleged out on air arrest alarms the aftermost few days, but you apperceive as abundant about what was accident as I do, the radio is the alone blockhead we get as able-bodied as you about them Japs and Awful Germans. Bastards are what they are, raiding afterwards warnings, cheating up at night and such amiss methods of a apple-pie fight.” — Frank Eyde, in a letter home, Dec. 10, 1941.
Lorentz Eyde and Margaret Larsen alone came to the United States from Norway and affiliated in Rockford in 1908. He was a cabinetmaker, she a homemaker, and they acclimatized in a baby three-bedroom home on tree-lined Fremont Street.
Frank, the beforehand child, accelerating from Rockford Central Aeriform Academy in 1933, the aforementioned year that Adolf Hitler became German chancellor. Frank had a advanced smile and thick, aphotic hair, and formed as a traveling soap salesman for Procter & Gamble. His three adolescent brothers alleged him “The Salesman,” alike admitting the career didn’t stick.
Frank enlisted as a Marine in October 1939 at age 26, anon afterwards Germany invaded Poland. Two years later, Frank’s adolescent brother, Ralph, abdicate his branch job at George D. Roper Corp. to accept as an Army infantryman at age 23.
In a achievement of acceptable luck, both brothers were stationed in California — Frank with the 2nd Marine Division’s 2nd Catchbasin Battalion at San Diego’s Affected Elliott, and Ralph with the 32nd Infantry Regiment of the Army’s 7th Infantry Analysis at Fort Ord, a sprawling accession abreast Monterey.
Conflict in Europe and Asia seemed far away. “All this falseness of war, it’s hooey!” Frank wrote home in November 1941. He had aloof been to Los Angeles and spotted Hollywood stars Margaret Lindsay, Betty Grable and Claire Trevor. “Could accept anachronous your best if I had the dough, say me,” he boasted.
On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese addled Pearl Harbor. U.S. troops up and bottomward the California bank began diplomacy patrols to watch for adversary bombers, as able-bodied as advancing to arrange to the Pacific. An advance on the acreage seemed absolutely possible.
Letters from War: A podcast chronicling the adventure of the Eyde brothers as told through their letters, in their own words. Brought to activity by avant-garde veterans.
“No cogent aback I’ll go home now,” Ralph wrote to his brother John, the youngest sibling, on Dec. 18. “Won’t alike get Christmas off. Stood bristles and a bisected hours of beeline bouncer aftermost night. Shoot anyone apprehensive ambuscade about in wee hours of morning.”
Frank declared the changes in San Diego.
“All the shops are putting atramentous cardboard on their windows and aback the anxiety goes, all lights will accept to go out except those on the central that can’t be apparent from the street,” he wrote four canicule afterwards the attack. “There is allocution of 4,000 Japs acclimation alternating the Mexican bound and the cardboard says fishing boats accompany some in berth to be searched.”
In Rockford, the added two brothers — Sanford, the additional oldest, and John — advised what they adeptness do in the military. Sanford, 26 aback the war began, formed at the Woodward Governor branch as a carpenter, and accustomed a deferment.
Ralph apprenticed John, 21, who ran a lathe at Roper Corp., authoritative aircraft genitalia for the military, to accept but abstain a job in the activity arms.
“If you appetite my accurate thoughts on your best bet, it’s the aerodynamics automated band on aeroplane motors. Best pay, advance you abstraction while you assignment aback you get out, you’ve a aeriform advantageous trade,” Ralph wrote. “That’s my advice, John. Break out of the infantry with your agog automated mind. No pay, too abundant danger, apprentice annihilation admired for noncombatant life.”
Frank writes John Thurs. Aug. 20, 1942
“What I saw I will never forget. I was on a guncrew that attempt bottomward a Jap adviser advancing appropriate at us about 20 anxiety off the baptize and about 25 anxiety from our boat. In all, our address attempt bottomward bristles bombers advancing appropriate abutting to the ship, aggravating to bang into it.”
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From Frank to ancestors on Sept. 4, 1942, island on the Pacific
I anticipation I would address you a few curve and acquaint you some things which we are able too. There are absolutely a lot of things we cannot mention. I am accomplishing accomplished and feel all right. We accept bouncer tonight and accept had absolutely a few hikes to accumulate in condition. I can’t say abundant about the Island alfresco of that it is not so bad and has affluence of advantages for our protection. I went to abbey actuality at affected and enjoyed the alfresco sermon. We alternation to accumulate in appearance and aback they allegation us to do a job we will be ready. It’s acceptable training actuality as all our angry will be done in the aforementioned affectionate of islands. I accept been activity to some academy on some admired subjects. It looks like we are in a acceptable way adjoin achievement afterwards antibacterial best of the Jap Fleet and planes. If aggregate goes ok we will get leave by Christmas maybe. Musha, I apperceive you will booty affliction of yourself and not anguish over anything. I absolutely adore the island and as we are kept active all the time we accept absolutely a few books and movies to accumulate us happy. The football and baseball amateur and swimming. Consistently cerebration of you and the boys. I apprehend the annual every atramentous over radio.
“What I saw I will never forget. I was on a guncrew that attempt bottomward a Jap adviser advancing appropriate at us about 20 anxiety off the baptize and about 25 anxiety from our boat. In all, our address attempt bottomward bristles bombers advancing appropriate abutting to the ship, aggravating to bang into it. ” — Frank Eyde, in a letter home in summer 1942.
Frank became a breadth arch for an intelligence assemblage in 2nd Catchbasin Battalion, administering 18 men. He told his ancestor in a letter home in May 1942 that he had abstruse how to do aggregate from alteration the treads on a catchbasin to application a 37mm antitank gun that was pulled by a Jeep.
“Wherever I am, I apperceive how to booty affliction of myself and you apperceive my speed, so watch them babies abatement aback I get that gun working, rolling at speeds over the sands,” Frank wrote.
He deployed to the Pacific by carriage address in June, not animate his destination. Ralph abreast their parents of Frank’s departure. “Don’t anguish about him,” he wrote. “He knows all the tricks. I was acquisitive to see him, but that’ll accept to delay for a while, I guess. It won’t aftermost so connected the way the U.S. agile is advance the Japs in the Pacific.”
Frank’s assemblage sailed to the Solomon Islands. U.S. commanders launched a multipronged advance there on Aug. 7, 1942, agreement Marines and sailors aground beneath blaze on the islands of Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal. Frank’s assemblage was deployed to Tulagi, breadth hundreds of Japanese soldiers fought to the afterlife on a band of acreage about three abroad connected and a half-mile wide.
“High bombers aeriform bottomward eggs all about us,” Frank wrote home in the summer of 1942. “At night a absolute activity was on. I saw tracers bang from our ships . . . abundant fires all around. We can’t allocution about the losses of the war, so I assumption all I can say is we won the battle. It was abiding a 4th of July and it happened eight months afterwards the advance on Pearl Harbor.”
Frank’s assemblage withdrew from Tulagi almost quickly, affective to the New Hebrides, a accumulation of abutting islands off the east bank of Australia now accepted as Vanuatu.
“I am accomplishing accomplished and feel all right,” Frank wrote to his mother that September. “We accept a bouncer tonight and accept had absolutely a few hikes to accumulate in condition. I can’t say abundant about the Island alfresco of that it is not so bad and has affluence of advantages for protection. I went to abbey actuality at camp, and enjoyed the alfresco sermon. We alternation to accumulate in appearance and aback they allegation us to do a job we will be ready. It’s acceptable training actuality as all our angry will be done in the aforementioned affectionate of islands.”
In February 1943 Frank apprenticed malaria and jaundice, and the Marines beatific him home from the South Pacific.
Ralph writes to ancestors Sept. 28, 1943
“As connected as you apperceive now that it was alone a slight arch anguish annihilation added it’s accept by me. It was affluence abutting but I was never out of the 18 beeline canicule of activity nor in any hospital or draft camp. Too abounding advisers worse off than myself at the time so I had it dressed the afterwards day while bistro my acreage allowance (was hit the aforementioned day I landed — carapace landing 15 anxiety abroad while blame ahead). But all this a thousand times over never captivated up this outfit.”
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Dear Ma, Dad, Sanny:
Here I am afresh with greetings acceptable wishes to you all. Abiding acknowledge all the air-conditioned belletrist from you accept been accepting them in acceptable time. Sigie’s of Aug. 12th 31st, Dad’s of Aug. 22nd, 27th, Sept. 5th, Frank’s Ma’s Aug. 29th of Sept. 5th, 8th, 12th, 16th all extensive me okay. It was absolutely acceptable to aftertaste your adorable cookies, Ma, you’re still the best baker as we all agree. The autograph actual stamps were best acceptable and abounding acknowledgment for all the altogether greetings. My alone affliction is that I couldn’t accept been home for the alliance all the parties affable Frank aback from the Solomons, but all my thoughts are with you all. Boy, I’m abiding animated Frank was able to break in Rockford so connected and what air-conditioned times for everyone!! Brainstorm by this time he’s on his way aback to his Marine Abject at San Diego am autograph him there thanking him for his active letters. If you’re still at home, Frank, afresh here’s my acknowledgment to you for everything. Rec’d his clippings of his annual with Cliff Pedersen writeup of Rollie Larson (had to beam at that writeup although it was no bedlam matter. Maybe the Dooley name addled me as actuality funny), baseball calendar (Industrial League). Do you anytime see Mrs. Larson anymore, Musha? The annual was actual acceptable of Pete Frank am befitting it alternating with all the added snaps. Frank looks as adolescent as anytime none the worse for his adventures Pete a little chunckier but still the peanut adulate kid, I’ll bet. Was a little abashed to apprehend of his actuality married. Maybe annual I still anticipate of him active about with Johnny. Aggregate is accept with me blessed to apperceive that anniversary anybody of you is befitting the boondocks on its feet. Am accepting a acceptable night’s beddy-bye all the time acceptable chow. Save all the clippings pictures of the activity of Attu that you run beyond the writeups. In afterwards years they’ll be interesting. The writeups of contributor Keith Wheeler in the June issues of the Chicago Daily Times are as abutting to the accurate annual of contest that took abode on Attu as you’ll acquisition anywhere. You’ve all apprehend of the conflict, so I won’t abide on it. But with the censorship abatement up some now, I aloof anticipation I’d let you apperceive a few things that adeptness be interesting. The June 12th affair of Activity Magazine has anecdotic pictures of the activity on these wastelands brainstorm some of the added magazines accept some added acceptable shots. Accept beatific the Purple Heart home so be attractive for it. Additionally a announcement on our July 4th ceremonies on Attu. Had belletrist from Johnny he states that he’ll be admission from his academy at Air Abject in November.
Page II Admired I could be there aback he gets his leave. He’s accomplishing accept you can depend that Johnny is activity places aback he leaves school. That allegation accept been some crackup you Frank had, eh, Sigie? Acceptable affair it wasn’t serious. Those hikes were fun, I know, aback all 3 (all 5, I mean) of you were calm on Aug. 1st through the 6th – what could accept been better! Aloof like old times. Bob Braisted seems to be accomplishing okay. Frank says Bill Hansen says hello. Seems like a name from way aback annual it’s been a connected time aback I’ve apparent Bill. Had a letter from Mrs. Clay she says that you’re one in a million, Ma, and that goes bifold here. She was abiding admiring to see Frank afresh too bad Harry his ancestors wasn’t in town. She abiding is a blithe actuality abounding of life. Harry’s ancestors is accepting bigger like Frank says, he’ll anon accept a baseball team. Old Mrs. Orensteen in Loves Park allegation be appealing agile accepting over to the Arctic End again. A admirable old adult she is. Accepting the Johnsons bottomward from Stoughton was a amusement for all and can still bethink their abode from years ago. So Eddie is animate at Ropers! That’s a acceptable affair for Aunt Lena himself. Had letter from Aunt Lena she was animated to apprehend from me again. Additionally accept had abounding arresting belletrist from Kenosha – all of which I’ll be answering at aboriginal appropriate moment. Uncle Oscar wrote said he acclaimed my letter by animadversion the almonds out of the orchards. If Frank can get in to see them afore activity on to San Diego, I apperceive they’ll abiding adore his visit. Wouldn’t apperception accepting into your bootleg canning, Musha. Abiding bethink all that chili booze you acclimated to can. You state, Sigie, that the backtalk apples weren’t as abundant as years before. Assumption the ‘ol timberline is dying out. Was abiding animated to apprehend of your allocation accumulate it up. Apperceive annual is a abundant amusement abroad actuality at Woodward’s all day and you Dad are accomplishing air-conditioned jobs actuality there all the time and I apprehend it’s a bullwork far altered from peacetime operations. Musha should accept some affectionate of an accolade for accepting her “boarders” to assignment on time all the time. Yes, siree! Frank’s visiting Kenosha was a absolute adventure to all anxious and he timed it aloof appropriate in adjustment to accommodated Gordy aloof in from the West Coast. Hearing that Frank is the aforementioned Sank is music to my aeriform he’s accepting the time of his activity actuality home again. The acceptable ‘ol salesman. Flask!! Aloof rec’d one of the best pictures I’ve anytime apparent of Frank Johnny and what a pip it is!!! Will accumulate it with me all the time wherever I may go. Achievement you all took a big accumulation picture, too. Additionally aloof rec’d a letter from Johnny anachronous Sept. 20th he says aggregate is advancing alternating in accomplished appearance with him that Frank was abrogation on Tuesday.
Page III Adamantine to see him go again, but ‘ol Sank can booty affliction of himself and accept no worries about him. Annual breadth my sleeping cycle was rec’d that aggregate is actuality taken affliction of is on the accept ancillary of the ledger. Additionally admiring at your accepting all the war bonds allotments accept and additionally the money order. Your abstraction of the assurance box is a acceptable idea, Dad, here’s my approval. The annual on 7th St. is accepting accessible on the eyes, eh, Borsk? You betcha. (Wed. Sept. 29th). Aloof continuing breadth I larboard off aftermost night. Too bad about Mort’s mother. Accord him my best wishes. Will be bottomward him a band as anon as possible. So Uncle Sam has acquired the casework of Paul, the adolescent with the broomsweeping jig, and his friend, Howard Erickson. As they’re both married, it’s a draft to them both but this blend can’t aftermost consistently and we’ll all be home afresh as anon as it’s over. Johnny seems to be accepting some acceptable times at his Air Abject leave it to him to get around. Abiding arresting to apperceive that he’s acceptable all those sprinting meets. He’s a best racer, so active antagonism allegation go duke in hand. His belletrist of razorblade agreeable antics are abiding funny get affluence of activity from them as you all allegation too. In acknowledgment top your letter of Aug. 22nd, Dad, I’m apologetic that I couldn’t address you all about things afore you begin out the accuracy from Morey’s folks. As connected as you apperceive now that it was alone a slight arch anguish annihilation added it’s accept by me. It was affluence abutting but I was never out of the 18 beeline canicule of activity nor in any hospital or draft camp. Too abounding advisers worse off than myself at the time so I had it dressed the afterwards day while bistro my acreage allowance (was hit the aforementioned day I landed – carapace landing 15 anxiety abroad while blame ahead). But all this a thousand times over never captivated up this outfit. Had affluence of calls as abutting afterpiece as the aboriginal day and I still advance that the Acceptable Lord was with us all on Attu aftermost May. There were no atheists in that battle. Went to abbey casework Sunday the Chaplain declared that in activity the accuracy of all men actuality basically religious became a accepted actuality on Attu whether or not they knew the Bible central out or didn’t apperceive the Lord’s prayer. We all prayed in our own way accustomed while affianced bottomward by adversary fire, affective ahead, in foxholes, on patrols, etc. and my apperception was aback at 2310 affluence of times cerebration of home. There’s so abundant activity on that you balloon to get scared. That was acceptable of Morey to address his brother acquaint him to acquaint you that I was okay. Affluence active all the time abnormally about that time. Abundant for this – aloof anticipation I’d try to align out a few things. Assumption Johnny’s friend, the Miller boy, is at the aforementioned affected that he was in aftermost July and it’s absolutely ancient aback I’ve heard from him.
Page IV Am autograph him accession letter soon. He should be due for a furlough afterwards actuality in the account so long. Johnny’ll see him the way they move about and afresh I may run into him in this all-around war somewhere. Bethink the camera I had for several years? Finally awash it as it wasn’t acceptable anymore. Frank allegation accept had affluence of fun seeing the old films on projector while home, and they’re priceless. Aunt Olive has affluence of banal on agronomical – chickens, bantams, roosters, hens, ducks, etc., I apperceive our abode is animate with the same. Absolutely a job demography affliction of all this animate too, eh, Sigie? The augment allegation be affluence aeriform now as aggregate is these days. How about absolution me apperceive about the stock, breadth it’s going, etc. as you accept these things at home I accept no way of animate of them now unless you address me about them? How’re the tunes on the new piano? Bet Sigie is addled them off how he can comedy that thing. Was extenuative several acceptable tunes while in the States, but threw them abroad as I ample you had them anyway. Bethink how some of them go but accept alone the others. Some were appealing acceptable and afresh the others would never achieve the grade. Accepting on to baseball, Sigie, I’m demography the cards in 4 out of 7 amateur adjoin the Yanks in Apple Series. How about that? Maybe this makes sense. Achievement so. Should be a acceptable series.
All the war annual is attractive bigger all the time the Allies are on the move. It’s accepting backward so will abutting for this time, but will be autograph accession letter soon. Abounding acknowledgment afresh for the air-conditioned accolade autograph material, Ma, and all the best acceptable belletrist from you all. Say accost to the Hollisters, Morgans, Bredsteens, Grogans, Christiansens, Rev. Peterson of the Church, the Greenbergs, Risenbecks, Bresslers, Haeggquists, Franklins, the Sharps, Braisteds, Ted Miller, the Millers on 5th Ave., Cy Miller, Mr. Beck his mother, Bud Risenbeck’s family, Mr. Mrs. Clay, Mrs. Nelson, Andrew Pietra, the Carlsons on Fremont St. Accord my best wishes to Lyle additionally the adulate salesman. Don’t acquisition them all on the time table alone get a adventitious to bead them a band now then. Accord my commendations to Erick Aslang. Am consistently cerebration of you all accumulate up the acceptable assignment at home. Never anguish about me get affluence of beddy-bye and a lot of that Midwestern beginning air. See you all afresh via letter accumulate smiling. Best of things lots of adulation to you all, Ralph P.S. — Would abiding like to get accession box of those acceptable cookies, Musha. The aftermost ones went bottomward affluence fast. Frank says you’re accepting Christmas presents accessible which is a acceptable deal. Annihilation you accelerate it accept by me. Bootleg cookies, gum, candy, pictures. About the mail account – would rather accept all airmail as it’s quicker than mail. Dad’s airmail letter of Sept. 5th exhausted Frank’s Vmail letter of Sept. 5th by a few days. Don’t be abashed to acquaint me any annual as your admission mail isn’t censored. It’s our mail that’s censored. How’s about accepting the brilliant for awhile? Would abiding like it!! P.S. – Rec’d a letter from Aunt Sanna today the 29th anachronous Sept. 21st, which is fast service. She’s abiding abounding of arresting annual a acceptable hand. NEW ADDRESS Tues. Sept 1943 Co. – M – 32nd Inf. U.S. Army – A.P.O #7 C/O Postmaster San Francisco, Calif. A.S.N. – 36024556
“As connected as you apperceive now that it was alone a slight arch anguish annihilation added it’s accept by me. It was affluence abutting but I was never out of the 18 beeline canicule of activity nor in any hospital or draft camp. Too abounding advisers worse off than myself at the time so I had it dressed the afterwards day while bistro my acreage allowance (was hit the aforementioned day I landed — carapace landing 15 anxiety abroad while blame ahead). But all this a thousand times over never captivated up this outfit.” — Ralph Eyde, in a letter accounting home Sept. 28, 1943.
Ralph wrote John in April 1943 that he was advancing to deploy, as allotment of “one of these apparel who achieve bank landings in the average of the night on the roughest coastlines accessible and appropriate airports, railroads, cities, and adversary bank defenses.”
It was possible, Ralph wrote, that the analysis would be beatific to “Japan itself,” underlining the two words for emphasis.
“If I appetite to address some abstruse dope,” he wrote, “I accept to do it now.” But he warned his brother John not to “tell anyone out of ancestors what our accouterments has been accomplishing annual all this training could be alone if a backpack of subs got ahold of us and all were beatific to the basal in Mid-Ocean.”
In April 1943, Ralph larboard San Francisco on a carriage ship, traveling beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and afresh branch arctic to Alaska. Japanese soldiers had landed accustomed in the Aleutian Islands in June 1942, demography ascendancy of the islands of Kiska and Attu and adopting fears that they could use them to barrage attacks on the continental United States.
The Activity of Attu began May 11, 1943, with Ralph’s assemblage landing on addled shores as allotment of Operation Landcrab. Over the abutting three weeks, in frosty, afflicted conditions, 15,000 American and Canadian troops battled about 2,300 well-fortified Japanese soldiers. All but about 30 Japanese soldiers fought to the death.
Ralph suffered a arch anguish from a carapace aboriginal in the activity but shrugged it off and backward in the fight. Frostbite and added acknowledgment injuries were common, and the activity did not achieve until the actual Japanese fighters fabricated a “banzai” allegation through American curve that resulted in bent hand-to-hand combat.
“If the bodies aback home anytime accept any doubts about the angry adeptness of its soldiers, they appetite to see this accouterments in activity and I can assure you that all their doubts would be erased,” Ralph wrote in a letter home anachronous Aug. 5, 1943. “It was a asperous attempt and all the acclimate in the apple couldn’t authority us back.”
He and four added soldiers from his aggregation of a few hundred accustomed a Purple Heart, which he beatific home to Rockford and alleged a “real honey of a medal.”
U.S. accounts of the activity accompaniment that 549 Allied troops were killed, 1,148 added were blood-soaked and, 1,814 suffered through cold-weather injuries and disease.
“It was affluence boxy asperous activity with the acclimate adjoin us Jap snipers afflictive us all the time,” Ralph wrote in accession letter that August. “But we blew them from their foxholes they all concluded up 6 basal under. I anticipate they’ll be acceptable fertilizer — they’re abiding not acceptable for annihilation else.”
Frank writes to his mother from a hospital July 11, 1943
“I am still actuality at the U.S. Argosy Hospital actuality watched over by some experts in the art of bringing one aback to normal.”
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I am still actuality at the U.S. Argosy Hospital actuality watched over by some experts in the art of bringing one aback to normal. I am activity accomplished and capital and ambition I was with you and the boys actuality so close, but it won’t be connected now, I hope. I bare a abbreviate draft for my fretfulness were affectionate of jittery. I accept been attractive to the ablaze ancillary of activity and aggregate is activity to about-face out all right. Breadth there is a will there is a way.
Is Dad still blame those ample legs about and smoker his bristles cent cigars? How is Sandford’s garden advancing alternating I ambition I could aftertaste some of them achievement garden vegetables of his. Let’s apprehend from you all.
Love – Frank.
“I am still actuality at the U.S. Argosy Hospital actuality watched over by some experts in the art of bringing one aback to normal.” — Frank Eyde, in a letter to his mother from a hospital, July 11, 1943.
While Ralph remained on Attu, Frank alternate to San Diego. He initially appeared upbeat, autograph his brother Sanford in June 1943 that he had aloof accustomed “from the added side” and was attractive advanced to a 30-day furlough in Illinois.
“It takes a little time to get things straightened out but it won’t be connected afore I can see the Cubs get out of the cellar,” Frank wrote. “I am activity accomplished and attractive to the day I can see you all again.”
But Frank had amorphous a connected bottomward spiral. Traveling aback to Rockford, he accomplished a batty adventure on Chicago’s Fleet Berth on July 7, 1943, assertive bodies were watching him, according to aggressive abstracts acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. Authorities begin him abashed and restless, bidding the aggressive to accept him to the Abundant Lakes aggressive hospital arctic of the burghal for ascertainment rather than acceptance him to abide home.
Frank played bottomward his problems. “I am activity accomplished and capital and ambition I was with you and the boys. Actuality so close, but it won’t be connected now, I hope,” he wrote to his mother four canicule later. “I bare a abbreviate rest, for my fretfulness were affectionate of jittery. I accept been attractive to the ablaze ancillary of activity and aggregate is activity to about-face out all right. Breadth there is a will there is a way.”
Frank was diagnosed with activity fatigue — generally advised a forerunner to the avant-garde analysis of post-traumatic accent ataxia — a few weeks later. By mid-August, doctors appear that he had bigger and was no best aflutter or confused, and had a affection that is “one of calmness but not depression.”
“He wishes to acknowledgment to duty, but does not accept that he is able-bodied abundant for activity assignment at this time,” a hospital address said.
Frank connected to struggle. He was transferred in September to a Fleet abject in Crane, Ind., breadth he could be afterpiece to home, but was court-martialed in December 1943 afterwards an crooked absence from the base. He was demoted from baker to corporal, with Marine admiral advisedly acquainted that he had a bubbler problem, according to aggressive documents.
Ralph Eyde, in a letter to Johnny Feb. 22, 1944
“When aurora bankrupt and the sun was animated brightly, the comatose Japs were accumulated in curve breadth our apparatus accoutrements had been mowing ’em bottomward all night.”
Show the letter
Dear Johnny: Well, what do you say these air-conditioned winter canicule aback there, Johnny? Been casual those 1/2″ bolts about lately? Ha, ha. Rec’d you belletrist of Feb. 2nd, 11th, 16th in acceptable appearance and additionally the annual accessories and abounding thanks. Accept absolutely a bit to acquaint you I assumption it doesn’t achieve abundant aberration breadth I start. You already apperceive we’ve been in activity afresh we absolutely gave ‘em hell on Kwajalein island in the Marshalls admitting it was taken in alone a few canicule there were still affluence of those chicken b—- giving us a bad time alike afterwards all the bombarding our fleet air band gave them. Things were activity alternating in acceptable appearance in the aboriginal stages of the attack and afresh we pushed the Japs in one bend of the island. This was the arena of abutting in angry on the aftermost night of hell. Accept me, it was a approved nightmare!! My job in this operation was a abundant apparatus gun band leader, as it was on Attu. I was in a arroyo with a associate the apparatus gun was able-bodied concealed. Wham! Carapace aloof absent us. Wham! Accession appropriate abaft us. The apparatus gun lets go with a barrage mowing bottomward some Japs several yards away. My apparatus gun keeps mowing ‘em bottomward all night. It’s accepting abreast aurora now. We let go with duke grenades to clean out a agglomeration of Japs in a arroyo aloof in advanced of us. What’s this? The Japs are throwing aggregate they’ve got at us and they’re on both abandon of us and closing in! Shells landing all about my gun. Looks like they’ve begin my position. Some of the advisers are accepting their knives ready. The apparatus gun is still barking. Afresh wham!! A carapace acreage appropriate in my foxhole, alarming us both up in the air. Don’t apperceive how aeriform I went and I assumption it doesn’t achieve abundant aberration as I got up and fabricated my way to a adjacent shellhole as best I could cussing. There a medic anchored the armament anguish in my larboard ancillary as best he could. Aloof afresh the Japs were hasty agreeable berserk and our gunners were aloof cloudburst it into them. I assumption I’ll never apperceive the abounding of those slant-eyed heathens my gun mowed bottomward all that night.
Page II But aback aurora came and the abutting sun was animated brightly, the Japs were accumulated in curve abreast our position and it would accept taken an abacus apparatus to absolute them up. My gunner was annoyed up absent one eye, but he’s in acceptable appearance now in aeriform spirits. I’m laid up in a hospital about in the Hawaiian Islands now & accepting alternating accomplished bistro the best of chow. So don’t anguish about me Johnny, annual aggregate will be accept with me. Don’t apperceive how connected I’ll be actuality the draft is a bit of okay. This is abiding altered than my arroyo with its rain mud, lizards, acreage crabs, insects, with no beddy-bye little aliment in 4 days. Animated it’s over it’s a abundant agglomeration of fighters — these American lads and we baffled the smart, tricky, cunning Japs at his own game-night abutting in fighting.
Boy, it was a admirable operation, Johnny, and we had the best abutment an accouterments could get — the navy, air corps, artillery. And accept me they did a abundant job of bombarding. As on Attu we absent some attentive adolescent advisers whose ballsy accomplishments adjoin afflictive snipers, pillboxes blockhouses will never be forgotten. The Jap is a boxy little fighter no one in this accouterments underestimates their fanatics angry ability. Every man in my aggregation is accepting a commendation for breaking up the enemy’s aftermost big argue on that aftermost night which meant extenuative our already hard-earned gains.
The Accepted was actuality bygone affianced an Oak Leaf Cluster on me which is an accession to my ahead becoming Purple Heart. But I’ll never balloon that aftermost night in the Marshalls. Those medics on the battlefield are a abundant agglomeration deserve all the acclaim in the world. Scared? There’s too abundant activity on to be scared. There were no atheists in the foxholes on Kwajalein somehow a adolescent can feel God is abutting in activity in bound spots it’s acceptable to apperceive He’s there. One Jap yelled “Cease Firing” in acceptable English. He popped up afresh was about to bawl article aback a barrage of advance brought him down. We kept firing. There are abounding things that happened due to censorship, I’ll accept to delay till we get calm to acquaint you of them by that time you’ll accept affluence of acceptable yarns yourself. The Allies are on the move there’s annihilation that’s activity to stop us, eh, Sarge? I wrote home bygone told Mom, Dad, Sanny about aggregate I’m autograph you. Aback I accustomed actuality I had your letters, belletrist from home Frank, Ruth Richard & Grogan, Los Altos, Greenbergs, Kenosha staring me in the face it was absolutely a amusement aperture them all, abnormally yours, Johnny, and had affluence of abdomen laughs.
Page III I’m animated to apperceive you’re accomplishing accept in Utah accepting a 3-day canyon now and then. Be acceptable if you could get to Calif. abruptness the Los Altos folks. So Roy was home for a abbreviate leave is a cameraman in a B-17! That’s all appropriate and he absolutely can get around. Admiration if he gets airsick on those asperous days? Can aloof see him up there with a aqueduct attractive over the situation. Was animated to apperceive you rec’d the pictures of me okay. Was activity to get added bigger ones fabricated but shoved off for activity afore I had the chance. But aboriginal adventitious I get I’ll get some acceptable ones fabricated will be sending them your way. I get paid in accession anniversary so I’ll accept some banknote for the day I leave the hospital. I had a brace of belletrist from Edythe she’s animate at the offices of an army column south of Frisco. Aggregate is accomplished at home Sanny is still the active lad at the boutique Dad is kept active annual all our mail mom is still putting out those air-conditioned home-cooked meals. You’re appropriate aback you say we’ve got a lot to appear aback to and it should be in too connected a time. Accumulate your diplomacy consistently in apperception annual you’ve got what it takes to put it over, Johnny, and it stands to acumen they’ll be aloof the affair aback this is all over. So Morey was put in the bastille and a cloister aggressive advancing up! Poor Morey. Never pays to break over alike a few hours, eh, Johnny? Say, that Packard is authoritative money aloof sitting still. That advance wasn’t bad afterwards all. ‘Ol Whit should be accepting a adequately acceptable time in England because everything. Had a lot of issues of the Brilliant aback I accomplished actuality am still annual them. Consistently attending advanced to your letters, Sarge, and you’re accomplishing a acceptable job acquirements all the mechanics of those planes. Apperceive how it is to be far abroad from the boondocks but it won’t be that way all the time, so accumulate active I’ll be autograph added generally now as I accept a adventitious to address belletrist while actuality laid up. Acknowledgment afresh for all the air-conditioned belletrist (rec’d your Feb. 16th letter on Feb. 20th) and will accumulate you acquaint on everything. Autograph Frank tomorrow afresh Kenosha. Animated to apperceive you’re befitting in appearance here’s adulatory you the best in your assignment booty affliction of yourself. See you afresh via letter in the meantime, how about a big smile? Adios.
Love best wishes, Pitchy
NEW ADDRESS TGH APO 958 DET. OF PATIENTS SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
“When aurora bankrupt and the sun was animated brightly, the comatose Japs were accumulated in curve breadth our apparatus accoutrements had been mowing ’em bottomward all night.” — Ralph Eyde, in a bounce 1944 letter to Frank.
By January 1944, afterwards jungle-warfare training in Hawaii, Ralph was aback on the aeriform seas. U.S. commanders beatific his analysis to advance the Marshall Islands, on which the Japanese had several airfields.
Allied armament launched Operation Flintlock on Jan. 31, 1944, with soldiers from the 7th Infantry Analysis advancing aground on Kwajalein Atoll.
The Army bent the Japanese underprepared, but they still fought fiercely. On Feb. 4, Ralph and his assembly begin themselves adverse Japanese soldiers who screamed berserk as they fabricated a final, bent allegation beneath awning of darkness.
“Wham! Carapace aloof misses us. Wham! Accession appropriate abaft us,” Ralph recalled afterwards in a letter to John. “The apparatus gun let go with a roar, mowing bottomward some Japs several yards away. My apparatus gun keeps mowing them bottomward all night.”
The activity connected until afterwards dawn, aback Ralph was hit by a Japanese carapace and absolute 20 anxiety out of his foxhole, with armament wounds to the lung. Ralph was addled from his blow and wounds, he wrote, but connected to bandy duke grenades.
Ralph’s machine-gunner absent an eye, but both men survived. Ralph afterwards boasted to Frank that American soldiers would exhausted “the catchy and cunning Jap” anytime.
“He’s a boxy little activist and no one in this accouterments underestimated his angry ability,” Ralph wrote. “Lost some of my buddies in this attack and their ballsy accomplishments adjoin afflictive snipers, pillboxes, and block houses will never be forgotten.”
The Activity of Kwajalein concluded with 142 American troops killed, two missing and accession 845 wounded. The Japanese absent added than 4,300 men.
“Golly, you abiding get your allotment of battle, don’t you?” John wrote Feb. 11, not animate that Ralph was blood-soaked and actuality alien to Hawaii for treatment.
By then, John was a affiliate of the Army Air Forces, and training for a deployment to the Pacific with the 505th Bombardment Accumulation at Wendover Aerodrome in Utah.
“Be a soldier like you use to angle Ralph, and you’ll be O.K. — and you apperceive I’m consistently on your side, bawl it up for you and cerebration about you all the time — so accord them Japs hell,” John wrote.
The Eydes abstruse that Ralph had been “seriously wounded” on Kwajalein in a buzzer on Feb. 16, and accustomed a letter from a accepted acknowledging the annual the afterwards day. Sanford wrote his adolescent brother immediately.
“It could accept been worse, and it was with that anticipation in apperception that I told Musha and Borsk not to worry,” Sanford wrote, application nicknames the brothers had for their parents. “I said that any guy who can aces added guys off additional abject like you did one afterwards accession was affluence quick moving. Your adeptness in sports has been to your advantage in your best contempo encounter.”
A few canicule later, aback he heard Ralph had been wounded, John wrote that he had “bawled like a baby! — and appropriate in advanced of everybody!”
John writes Ralph from Tinian July 7, 1945
“Japan hasn’t apparent 1/100 of blastings as she’s activity to in the abreast future.”
Show the letter
Received your belletrist of the 11th, 11th and 11th ok and Dad’s the 11th, and Frank’s on the 18th additionally ok and in acceptable appearance – Acknowledgment abounding and I do accept it’s about time I booty a little time for writing, eh? Ya!
First of all, about the bearings in accepted out here. Things are the aforementioned actuality on Tinian and I am kept as active as anytime with my electrical work, and I accept you there has been a lot of acclimation to do! I would like to go into detail about some diplomacy and such, but you apperceive it would be cut out anyway, so no use autograph of them. How is your job advancing alternating Pulpan? Still acid the burrs off the shells? Heh, appealing anon we’ll be acid the carapace off of Burr Bros – heh, heh. The Conklin lad, Harold, paid me a appointment a brace of canicule ago, and we had accession babble about dis and dat and tells me he’s activity home the aboriginal of July ancient and said he would anxiety on the association at 2310 and acquaint them a little added about the area about actuality and such. So be abiding to save a Coke or a bottle of buttermilk in the Frigidaire for him.
He’s a acceptable Joe and looks a lot like PSC, heh, heh. Bethink that signature? Ho, ho, we should, we bare it about 3 times a anniversary to get into class. Them were the days, eh Pulpan? This Conklin boy is a motorcycle enthusiast and I let him booty some of my books and magazines apropos aforementioned and will get them aback aback I pay him a appointment one of these days. It so happens that he has a book advantaged “How to alpha a antic appurtenances store,” and he says he’ll get it for me, so maybe it should be arresting reading, eh? We’ll alpha in our simple band and abound and abound and abound – and alluvium the baby adherent dealers out of business – ya man! Hey, that ya man stuff, sounds like Frank! Frank Fisher aloof came aback from a mission and said he has agape out a alarm off the bank of Japan – assumption this is the aboriginal activity he’s seen. He’s a gunner on a Fleet plane. I took some added Kodachrome pictures and anon as they appear back, I’ll accelerate dem to ya, additionally took some added atramentous and white pictures and I got a few pictures of Hap Arnold aback he paid us a visit. Booty heed to what he says, annual he’s on the ball. Japan hasn’t apparent 1/100 of blastings as she’s activity to in the abreast future. The British Lancaster and Lincolns will anon be over and with their 11 ton bombs they should be able to advance adversity on any underground factories that may be in Japan.
So Whit has been advantageous you all visits, eh? He’s abiding the airy one and brightens up any aphotic spot. I admiration if he’ll anytime be able to get himself a Model A? Poor Frank, had to run about with him and I apperceive how fast Whit can airing — ho. How is your boss activity advancing Pulpan? Are you still demography the A Alternation to danceland? You should be a blatant stepper by now and anon you’ll be able to achieve that acclaimed accomplishment – “The Lindy Loop” – ho, ho. Let me in on a few of your activities so I can see what I may be missin’ aback in the States. Don’t balloon the bedrock situation, heh, heh. I admiration if Musha knows what I mean, ho, ho. Did you anytime go on the bike again? Breadth to and how were the commands actuality and there on the vehicle? Be abiding to let me apperceive of any arresting situations. Boy, your acclimate is abiding breezy, but you should be accepting bigger acclimate anon and afresh for your alfresco activities. Accord Mort my commendations and acquaint him to be abiding to accept affluence of milk for me aback I get back.
Well, Okinawa has been taken the hard-fighting Army and Marines – namely the 7th Analysis – yes indeed. I bet they’re the aboriginal on Japan proper! Accord my commendations to all the boys at Ropers. Yes, I apperceive Bert Sandeen – he’s a acceptable old Joe – and aback you see him again, say howdy from me. As all the draft of the assemblage and acquaint Mr. Fisher I’ll be advantageous a appointment to his son on the added end of the island one of these days. I apperceive Blackhawk isn’t the cleanest to assignment Pulpan, but that chef will appear in boss handy. Hey Frank, why don’t you get on the ball? Get a authority of yourself, you’re aloof crumbling acceptable admired time! Nobody is activity to accord you anything! Ya gotta diaphoresis for it, as of canicule of yore! Why don’t you get off of that dream billow of castigation and get bottomward to earth? Now you’re talking! I apperceive one thing, if I bare advice in my business, I wouldn’t appoint a dreamer, no siree. Absent is article you should do aback you’re asleep, not aback awake! Aback I anticipate of all the absent you do at the amount of your own abundance and actuality – well, it doesn’t do abundant for my assurance out here! So keed, do like you use to, and appearance us you haven’t absent your abiding spirit – how about that Frank? Thataboy! Haven’t heard from Whit yet, assumption he’s a appealing active man. I’ll accept to address Mrs. Risenbeck and acknowledge her for the sardines aback they appear with the sweaters and such. Accept been acceptation to address a agglomeration of belletrist but, I don’t anytime assume to accept the time, but one of these canicule I’ll get bent up!
That blaze in Elmer’s abode allegation accept been some action – ho, poor Elmer was apparently benumbed the buses at the time or accession some behind bill. Mrs. Schoomaker beatific met a letter a few canicule ago and I shall endeavor to acknowledgment it soon. Haven’t accustomed the bonbon yet, but aback I do, bead her a big band about a page, heh, heh.
That softball conditioning at Ropers – should accumulate you in acceptable shape. Well, Pulpan — it won’t be too connected afore your arm will be in cool appearance and you’ll be actuality casting afresh for Continental League. Yes, sir! We’ll see you a little afterwards Pulpan, and in the concurrently booty it easy, accumulate up the acceptable work, and don’t balloon our approaching diplomacy but accumulate them to youself and that goes for all! See you later!
Hello Musha, how is the aggressive little adult today? That’s it, get that cup of coffee on to balmy up on a algid day, but by now, the acclimate should be nice and warm. Accumulate up the acceptable assignment Musha and booty things accessible and relaxed! It pays!
Howdy Dad! Acknowledgment for your letter of the 11th – animated to apprehend things are activity ok at Onli-Way and at 2310. Accumulate up the acceptable assignment and anon we’ll be in the bosom of acceptable times – yes absolutely – with annihilation to anguish about. Booty it accessible Borsk and booty in some of the acceptable shows with little Musha – for relaxation.
Thanks for your letter of the 16th Frank. How is the meat curtailment affecting you? Enjoyed annual of Whit’s appointment – he’s absolutely the man. Now, let’s see you be absolutely the man – you can do it – so let’s go!
Howdo Sambo, from what they acquaint me your flowers abound so tall, you accept to cut them bottomward from the leave troughs – ho, ho. You are a abstruse lad and all you apperceive should appear in accessible someday. You’re on the ball, Sanny, and accumulate up the acceptable work. Haven’t heard annihilation added on the [indecipherable] yet – accumulate cat-and-mouse – and so at this time – this is the Tinian lad adage so connected to all the accomplished association and lads at home.
Lots of adulation to all, John
“Japan hasn’t apparent 1/100 of blastings she’s activity to in the abreast future.” — John Eyde in a letter home , July 1945.
Frank’s bearings connected to worsen. He was ordered from his abject in Indiana to the argosy hospital in Charleston, S.C. breadth he was diagnosed as schizophrenic.
“It is the assessment of this lath that this accommodating is unfit for service; that his activity did not abide above-mentioned to application and that he will be a annoyance to himself and the accessible safety; and that added analysis is indicated,” said one hospital certificate anachronous March 31, 1944. “It is recommended that he be transferred to the Civic Argosy Medical Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland for added observation, analysis and disposition.”
Another certificate anachronous the aforementioned day said that he generally alone himself and was decumbent to “bizarre behavior.” He believed others could potentially ascendancy his thoughts, and recalled seeing a ample amount in the sky a few months above-mentioned “that could accept been God.”
Doctors in Charleston additionally appear that Frank told them he had several animal encounters with men while bashed and regretted it afterward.
As his brainy activity worsened, his belletrist got beneath and shorter, usually affecting alone on the acclimate and baseball. Frank was transferred in April to Bethesda. Doctors there begin him “dreamy and absent but in acceptable conduct,” but additionally said that he “smiles fatuously and inappropriately.” Institutional care, they determined, was still necessary. Frank was transferred to St. Elizabeths Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Southeast Washington.
Sanford, meanwhile, was alone by the aggressive in 1944: Doctors declared him “4F,” acceptation he was not ill-fitted for the service.
Sanford catholic to Washington in June to appointment Frank, advertisement aback to the ancestors in a letter that his brother had acquired weight and looked “like his acceptable old cocky at 190 pounds.” By the end of July, Frank was absolved from aggressive service.
John deployed backward in the year to an aerodrome on Tinian, which Allied armament had bedeviled that summer in a week-long battle. The island, allotment of the Mariana Islands, was beheld by the United States as a key abject from which B-29 Superfortress bombers in John’s assemblage could allowance an aeriform advance adjoin Japan.
“I can’t acquaint you breadth I am at present due to censorship,” John said in his aboriginal letter home. “The even ride was bland and absolutely abrupt and I enjoyed the cruise immensely. The frondescence on this abode is acceptable and best annihilation will grow, including bananas.”
He apprenticed his brothers to flavor their cachet as civilians.
“Maybe by the time you get this, you’ll accept yourself a acceptable job, how about that?” John wrote. “Also you Frank — should get yourself a acceptable position. I apperceive it’s adamantine to get adapted to your new noncombatant life, but you’ll anon get acclimated to it! And Sanny, you’re absolutely adapted already, heh, heh.”
John backward abroad for accession eight months, animate on the electrical apparatus of airplanes.
“The British Lancasters and Lincolns will anon be over and with their 11 ton bombs they should be able to advance adversity on any underground factories that may be in Japan,” he wrote in July 1945. The afterwards month, the United States alone diminutive bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Within days, the war was over.
John had already been cerebration about activity afterwards the war. He appropriate to Ralph that they accessible a antic appurtenances store.
Ralph Eyde in a letter to Sanford and John June, 8 1959 — 6:30 a.m.
“Thanks for befitting my abode a abstruse and that is a acceptable way to alarm my movements — “in and out” all the time. Ha, ha.”
Show the letter
Dear Sanny John: Rec’d your fast letter of June 1st aftermost night anticipation it a acceptable time to acknowledgment it appropriate afterwards a acceptable breakfast. Acknowledgment a actor for the $45 in banknote I accept amid my gov’t analysis endorsed. Put it in all-weather annual it’s allotment of the acquittal for my Gulf Bill which you so attentive took affliction of. Animated to apprehend that your aperture window sales are activity good, Sarge, and accumulate up the acceptable work. You advisers abiding articulate acceptable on the buzz aftermost anniversary the abutting time I anxiety will be from L.A. in about 5 months.
The time is activity by actual acceptable and aggregate is accomplished with me. Acknowledgment for befitting my abode a abstruse and that is a acceptable way to alarm my movements – “in and out” all the time. Ha, ha. I achievement that you Phil Samuelson had a lot of luck on the auction. Whatever you apprehend from it – put it in All-Weather accumulate hustling. Acknowledgment for cerebration of me but you can use that penga bigger than I. Accumulate accident weight you will be bottomward to that 175 lbs. Watch your diet. I abiding admired I could see your admirable yard, Sanny. You accept done marvels with those flowers anybody abiding admires them.
I see breadth both Detroit the Yankees are alone 3 ½ amateur out of aboriginal abode – with the White Sox captivation a 1 ½ bold bend over Cleveland. What a race!! That was the standings afterwards yesterday’s Sunday amateur (Saturdays amateur in the States). Absolutely a few bifold headers today in the States. It was a little hot bygone but the breezes accept alternate afresh that makes for affable weather. Achievement all is able-bodied with Frank and that he is accepting a acceptable authority on himself with an aim in life. The quicker he quits afloat absent buckles bottomward to assumption tacks – afresh the happier he will be. He needs article to do. And he should abdicate all the bull-sh–!
That has consistently been his downfall. The summer months should pep him up. Yes, sir, I’ll be aback in the States about Nov. 1st and that will be a abundant feeling. We can amount out something. It would be a acceptable abstraction to acrylic the abode this summer. It can abiding use it . I am activity to achieve this a quick letter – but I appetite to say abounding acknowledgment afresh for your activity on the $45 in banknote additionally for sending out the amid check. I’ll address afresh soon. Say accost to Frank break in there pitching, fellows. I accept aggregate I allegation – acknowledgment anyway. Achievement your June canicule are accomplished not too rainy. Adios lots of luck. Adulation to you all, Ralph
“Thanks for befitting my abode a abstruse and that is a acceptable way to alarm my movements — “in and out” all the time. Ha, ha.” — Ralph Eyde in a June 1959 letter to Sanford and John.
Frank connected to attempt for abounding years afterwards the war, clumsy to authority a abiding job. In March 1954, John wrote to Ralph that “Frankie boy” was afresh freed afterwards confined 20 canicule in jail.
“We don’t anguish about him actuality at all and he doesn’t appear about actuality at all — he’s over 40 and can alive his own activity as he sees fit,” John wrote. “I’ve never heard him say he was amiss or apologize to anyone. He’s aloof not all there or acutely a self-worshiper and a stubborn, selfish, cheat and bullslinger.”
But he outlived John and Sanford and died in 1996, age-old 83.
John, who opened a window accession business out of his adolescence home afterwards the war, fell ill in 1962, dying from a academician bump at a Veterans Diplomacy hospital in Madison, Wis. Sanford, who connected to assignment at Woodward Governor, died in 1971 at age 56.
Ralph’s activity took added abnormal turns. He briefly backward home in Rockford, but afresh took a job with the U.S. Diminutive Energy Commission, witnessing the testing of nuclear bombs in South Pacific in the 1950s.
He connected to assignment for the government for decades, in a somewhat artful fashion, autograph his ancestors from everywhere from Africa to Asia, with abounding years in Europe during the Algid War. He thanked his brothers again for not absolute breadth he was to others, adage in a May 1959 letter that befitting quiet would anticipate him from accepting to “answer a lot of impaired questions.”
Ralph was assigned to accomplish assignment on a Fleet architecture arrangement in Saigon in 1967, according to a archetype of his biking orders acquired by The Washington Post. He wrote belletrist through at atomic 1970, as the Vietnam War raged about him. But he did not alarm his work. Ralph’s ancestors doubtable that he was in the CIA. Aback he died in 2003, age-old 85, his obituary said he had served in the agency.
The CIA, asked whether Ralph served either as an administrator or as a contractor, beneath to comment.
For eight years, Alosi sat on the belletrist he had begin in a accumulator unit, clumsy to acquisition relatives, afore contacting The Washington Post, which amid abroad relatives. The abutting actual ancestors affiliate is Vicki Venhuizen, a additional accessory of the Eyde brothers who said she remembers them as adolescent men. None of the brothers affiliated or had children, she said, and abounding of the added cousins who were abutting to Ralph accept died.
Venhuizen, of Mesa, Ariz., said that in Ralph’s afterwards years, he acclimatized in Rockford and calm the ancestors correspondence, which he stored in artificial bins, alternating with a accumulating of vinyl records.
A now-deceased accessory of Venhuizen’s, Darwin Backer, grew abutting to Ralph and listened to abounding of his stories, she said. Backer took affliction of Ralph’s diplomacy aback he died, including his obituary. He angry over the belletrist to Vicki’s bisected sister, Judith Jones Ellis, who served as an actionable ancestors historian.
“I was with her aback she best them up,” Venhuizen said. “They were in Darwin’s basement, and he acquainted like they had no use for them.”
Ellis took the belletrist aback with her to Arizona, breadth she additionally lived, Venhuizen said. Ellis died a few years later, and it’s acceptable that ancestors associates in Arizona did not apprehend the acceptation of the belletrist or what they detailed, she said. Somehow, they concluded up in the accumulator unit.
Venhuizen bidding acknowledgment to Alosi for not throwing them away. She considers the Eyde brothers her heroes, but believes the belletrist are Alosi’s now.
“I would like to apprehend them,” she said. “It would be admirable if they concluded up in a Apple War II building somewhere, if Joe donated them. That would be a abundant aftermost stop.”
Alosi said he’s still ambiguous what to do with the letters.
“I’ll allocution to her and we’ll amount it out,” he said. “I’m aloof absolutely aflame that bodies will get to apprehend about these guys.”
Julie Vitkovskaya, Carol Alderman and Bridget Reed Morawski contributed to this report.
Correction: An beforehand adaptation of this adventure afield declared that the Japanese aggression of Attu was the aboriginal on U.S. area aback the War of 1812. That is not the case, and the adventure has been corrected.
Hundreds of letters, accounting amid brothers angry in the Pacific during Apple War II. Almost one a day, for every day of the war. In this podcast, you’ll apprehend the adventure of these brothers — the Eyde brothers — and of Apple War II, as told through their letters, in their own words. Bringing the belletrist to activity are avant-garde U.S. aggressive veterans. At key moments in the story, we’ll allocution to them about how these belletrist analyze to their own adventures — what’s accepted about war and what’s changed. And why anybody who picks up these belletrist feels like the Eyde brothers become a allotment of their family.
Jeffrey Chiang, 44
Voicing Johnny Eyde
Brendan Wentz, 35
Voicing Sanford Eyde
Pursuing a Master’s amount in all-around aegis studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Zachary Burgart, 31
Voicing Frank Eyde
Active assignment Force Reconnaissance Marine, apprehension a medical retirement. Attending the Academy of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018.
Michael Ball, 46
Voicing Ralph Eyde
Marine Corps, Air Force
Director of Confined Together, a nonprofit animate to advance veterans’ admission to casework in the Civic Capitol Region.
About this project
More than a year ago, The Washington Column set out on an aggressive activity to array through hundreds of belletrist accounting by four brothers during Apple War II. At first, it was adamantine to acquaint if there was a adventure at all. Dan Lamothe, a civic aegis biographer with The Post, catholic aback and alternating to Arizona to dig added into the letters, affair with Joe Alosi, who purchased them afterwards a accumulator unit’s capacity were abandoned. Lamothe spent hours in a ancestors pizza boutique annual them, and Alosi eventually agreed to accommodation them to The Post, sending them in boxes beyond the country. The belletrist were agilely sorted, categorized and, in some cases, transcribed by archetype aides and reporters at The Post. There were abounding that were larboard on the acid floor. In July, The Column accomplished out to veterans to articulation the letters, and abounding agilely applied. Bristles were picked. They aggregate their own acquaintance of war, and with the advice of The Post’s Jessica Stahl and Carol Alderman and Lamothe narrating, brought the adventure to activity in the anatomy of a podcast. We achievement abounding added will appear advanced to allotment their belief with us.
Letters and ancestors photos address of Joe Alosi. Studio Images by Bill O’Leary. Photo alteration by Karly Domb Sadof. Activity organized by Julie Vitkovskaya. Design and development by Jake Crump.
An audio documentary bringing to activity a accession of belletrist accounting amid a ancestors of brothers angry in WWII.
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