Folder 4: Ralph L. "Lee" Minker, Jr., October - December, 1943

Thunderbird Field II and Pecos Army Air Base.

(Click here for PDF format of this abstract)

Date: Sunday evening, October 3, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Thunderbird Field II, AZ
Passed twenty hour check, working hard, pay of cadet, anxious during surprise check ride, received five packages, report of hours in the air. Spent time in Link trainer.  Includes detailed drawing of basic maneuvers he is learning for the check ride.
Names: LeFriece [instructor]

 

Date: Sunday afternoon, October 10, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Shirley Minker
Place: Thunderbird Field II, AZ
Concern about forty hour progress check ride, drawings of solo landings.

 

Date: Wednesday evening, October 13, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Thunderbird Field II, AZ
Reasons why maneuvers are getting worse, homesick after eight months, explanation of finances, purchased war bonds, questions about events at home. 
Names: Mike Zographone

 

Ralph L. "Lee"Minker to his mother Edna, October 17, 1943

Date: Sunday afternoon, October 17, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Thunderbird Field II, AZ
Report of flying time, civilian progress check, learning to fly cross country, description of Scottsdale, Japanese relocation camps.  Enclosed picture of flying group [see scrapbook].

 

Date: Sunday evening, October 31, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Thunderbird Field II, AZ
Has completed another phase of training. Feels he is more mature, recognizes how training will help with the “job to do.” Rumors of future training; single and two engine fighters, list of choices of ship. Tries to ease parents’ concern, assures that flight training is safe. Compares flying the Stearman with the Ryan.
Names: Mr. Newton [ivilian flight instructor], Bill Virgin [Dickinson College]

 

Date: Monday morning, November 1, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Shirley Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Summary of his 8 months of military training. Scheduled to move again on Wednesday.  Description of future training, and assignments. Has not heard from Julia
Names: Julia [Taylor]

 

Date: Sunday noon, November 7, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Arrived at Pecos, analysis of Air Force training, limitations of Pecos Field, flight line with BT-13 and AT-17 planes, cadet allowances have been cut, athletics are fine, disappointed in his flying, transferred to single engine.
Note: comments written on letter were made in 1990s by Minker, may not be accurate.
Names: Lieutenant Nolan

 

Date: Thursday evening, November 11, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Detailed schedule, took parachute jump, flying the BT-13, asks for cookies, lonely for home at Thanksgiving, needs a flying wrist watch.

 

Date: Thursday noon, November 18, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Happy birthday to dad, progress on flying hours, classes in instrument, communications, radio code, aircraft identification. Dentist removing wisdom teeth. Developments in army aviation, growth in power of Air Corps. Questions about the Ferris School.  


Date: Friday evening, November 26, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Instrument flying practice with instructor, possible future assignments and furlough by March 15, 1944.
Names: Lt. Nolan

 

Date: Sunday morning, November 28, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Pecos to become advanced flying school for twin engine training, expects to have wings by March. News of Blue Rocks and Blue Bombers. 
Names: Professor [Russell]Thompson, [Dickinson College]

 

Date: Sunday afternoon, December 5, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Pearl Harbor day at Dickinson in 1941, how his life has changed.  Advanced training in BT-13, rumor is for instructor or air transport.  Directions to get gifts for Shirley, Julia, Grandmother Minker. Letters received from friends.

 

Date: Thursday evening, December 9, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Thirty-two hours of flying, six hours of Link trainer, first cross country on Saturday, night flying to begin. Lonely for the family at the holiday, Will try to get phone call through Christmas week.

 

Date: Wednesday evening, December 15, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Class 44-C at Pecos, three hour cross country, trip marked out in navigation class, passed Hellcats and a C-46. Requirements for night flying, passed basic instrument check, will soon enter advanced flight training.  Enjoys night flying. Took Diazine pills to ward off flu.
Names: Leland Inscho, Howell Finn [Dickinson College]

 

Date: Monday evening, December 20, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Bernice Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Basis of assignment choices, asked for B-26, B-25, Air Transport. Has fifty-four hours in Basic. Formation flying is exacting. Book he is reading, hoping to get to El Paso on pass, List of Christmas cards received. Will try to call on Sunday.

 

Date: December 23, 1943 - view telegram
Western Union telegram from Ralph L. Minker, Sr., with times for him to call hom
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Christmas greetings to family.  Notes on the back reminding him of what he wanted to say. 

 

Date: Christmas Day, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Edna Minker
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Heartfelt expression of loneliness and the importance of the job at hand. Opened his gifts from various friends, their gifts had not arrived. Sending photographs as gifts. 
Names: Howell Finn [Dickinson College]

 

Date: Tuesday evening,  December 28, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Lee Minker  
Recipient: Ralph L. Minker, Sr.
Place: Pecos Field, Pecos TX
Yearning for Christmas at home, difficulty in placing phone calls [got through on Dec. 27]. Welcome package of cookies arrived, the watch from mom and dad is favorite gift. Wishes he could personally thank everyone. Finished formation flying, firing range for Colt 45 and sub-machine gun.

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