Folder 20: Shirley Minker, March - December, 1943

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Shirley and Ralph L. "Lee' Minker, Jr.


Date: March 6, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley writes that Ruth's brother Donald had been commissioned as a first lieutenant.  She talks about her school [A. I. du Pont High School] magazine, the Echo, which will try to print as many pictures of servicemen from the school as possible.  She wants Lee to send a picture for the magazine.  
Names: Donald (Ruth's brother)


Date: March 11, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
The war is ever-present for teenagers: Dick Silver is leaving for the Marines, as well as Harry Hickey leaving for the Navy Air Corps.  Bill Rhodes also went into the Navy.  Meiter Metzger became an ensign in the Navy Air Corps as well.  John Clark was home on leave. Also mentions getting her exam schedule for senior year finals. 
Names: Dick Silver, Harry Hickey, Bill Rhodes, Meiter Metzger, John Clark.  [a Jacob Silver was killed in action on Nov. 12, 1944], [Harry Hickey was lost at sea, July 30, 1945], [2nd Lt. James Clark was killed in action on Nov. 27, 1944, possibly the same person or a brother]

 

Date: March 16, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley, Bernice, and mother saw Claudia at the local playhouse, they all enjoyed the play.  Complains about a heavy snowfall which came right after a warm spring-like day.  Glady's husband, Howard, is home on leave.  She also mentions seeing a Miss Julia Ann Lattomore, who was an old flame [of Lee’s] from Dickinson College. 
Names: Howard {Glady's husband)

 

Date: March 19, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Talks about her upcoming graduation, the class will wear regular clothes at commencement.  The impact of the war on young people is apparent as she mentions how many in the class will be going into the military shortly after graduation.  Went to a Red Cross dinner with her mother.  Several boys in the service are home, Eddie Glennor and Bill Grunier.
Names: Eddie Glennor, Bill Grunier [Wilmington boys in the service.]

 

Date: March 24, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
They have received Lee's photos, teases him about how he looks with his military haircut.  They had a recent snowfall, it is ruining their spring.  Shirley tells Lee about the novel The Keys to the Kingdom, which she highly recommends.  She and Bernice went to a basketball game, the school has a good team.

 

Date: April 13, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley is concerned about mail reaching Lee as he travels the country since he has moved to Lincoln, NE. Spring is coming late this year as there still is frost in the mornings.  There was a surprise blackout drill, but the family did not see the signal right away, which Shirley was not pleased about.  One of her teachers, Miss Lamb, is joining the Red Cross.
Names: Miss Lamb [teacher at A.I. du Pont High School]

 

Date: April 26, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley tells Lee about their Easter church service and the choir.  She saw the movie Star Spangled Rhythm, which she found to be hilarious.  She also talks about tests that all the male seniors took for the Army and the Navy.  The senior ball is coming up but it is informal, so Shirley does not like to call it a ball.  A number of young men are going to Fort Dix.

 

Date: May 2, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley talks about the dance, and how much she enjoyed it.  She loved the orchestra, one of the best she had ever heard.  She talks about more men going into the Navy and Army including Joe Toomey, Billy Baird, Gordon Lang, Glade Brendle, and Cliffton Medders.  She also talks about a Jim Buchanan who was severely wounded.
Names: Joe Toomey, Billy Baird, Gordon Lang, Glade Brendle, Clifton Medders, Jim Buchanan. [Robert H. Toomey, brother? Killed in action Feb. 5, 1945]

 

Date: May 15, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley talks about prom, which she enjoyed, but was over too quickly.  Norman Cook got his notice to leave for the Army, which his girlfriend Jean was not happy about.  She mentions Henry DiDonato and Franny Mac Allister who are home on leave.
Names: Norman Cook, Henry DiDonato, Franny MacAllister

 

Date: June 23, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley reacts to the photos that Lee sent the family, mentioning how young-looking Lee's instructor is.  She asks her brother what he thinks about home front issues, such as the current race riots and coal strikes.  Bernice is starting to teach Sunday School and has joined the Junior AWVS.

 

Date: July 3, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley is concerned about the mail and whether Lee got his letters.  She also asks whether Lee likes Santa Ana, where he is currently stationed.  She mentions seeing a number of his friends home on leave, such as Gordon Lang, Billy Baird, Glade Brendle, Joe Toomey, and Hannon O'Neal.  She also talks about not having done anything for college yet.
Names: Gordon Lang, Billy Baird, Glade Brendle, Joe Toomey, Hannon O'Neal

 

Date: July 6, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley is going to start work at the airport as a general assistant in the mail department.  She is excited to be making $95 a month.  She was pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from Ben. 

 

Date: July 10, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley congratulates Lee on news of his promotion.  She also asks if he is able to watch many movies on the base, or if is he allowed to leave to watch them.  Their cousin Billy had appendicitis, which is serious since he is only 9 years old.  She still has not decided about college, because she has not found anything yet.

 

Date: July 18, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley talks about piloting and aviation, since she is up to date due to her job.  She talks about some aircraft that she has seen at the airport, such as a C-47 being repaired.  The band from the nearby air base will be playing for the servicemen.  She listened to Glenn Miller playing live on the radio, which she loved.

 

Date: July 27, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley has seen glider training at the airport. People are being given rides in them, she wants to give it a try.  She asks if Lee has had any glider training.

 

Date: August 3, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley is closing in on a decision on which college to attend, which is Boston University.  She wants to take medical secretarial courses at college as well.  There is an upcoming baseball game where the Yankees will be playing the Blue Rocks.  

 

Date: August 7, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley is finishing work at the airport in order to prepare for college.  She saw Reed Gerald who was on leave from Aberdeen.  She tells him about the Blue Rocks who have been on a decline recently, which is exemplified by a game with the Yankees.
Names: Reed Gerald

 

Date: August 25, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley talks about her friends and their futures, concerning going to college.  She also mentions the Blue Rocks finally doing well, by beating Lancaster in two straight games.

 

Date: September 5, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
The family [Ralph Sr.] is questioning Shirley going to Boston due to morality issues there concerning servicemen.  Therefore, she is going to go the Dickinson Junior College in Williamsport, PA.  Her friend Allen sent her a letter from Sicily.  She then briefly talks about the situation in Italy.  

 

Date: September 20, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley is disappointed that she was not able to talk to Lee on the phone recently.  Dickinson Junior [College] is postponing the opening a week.  She is encouraging brother, telling him not be so tense about learning to fly, and just to relax a little.

 

Date: October 1, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley describes the campus and living arrangements; despite the college being rather small, she enjoys it.  There are  more than 350 air cadets attending college [air cadet training program] with her.  She discusses the classes she is taking.

 

Date: October 9, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley tells Lee about going to a community concert with her roommates, which she thoroughly enjoyed.  She writes about football, and how excited she is to know a Notre Dame football star.  She is getting ready for monthly tests for college.  The Miller boys are in training camp but will soon be going overseas.
Names: Dick Miller, Leonard Miller

 

Date: October 12, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley tells Lee about her classes, especially biology and the field trip to a local stream.  There are dances with the air cadets nearly every week.  She is now the freshman representative to the student government.

 

Date: October 19, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley is getting ready for her exams and papers for class.  She describes her surprise when her mother, father, and Bernice came to Williamsport for a visit.  She encourages her brother in flying training, insists he is will get better.    

 

Date: October 30, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley saw The Phantom of the Opera starring Nelson Eddy.  The letter tells her brother about the first weeks at college, feels she is finally 'in' at the college. She gives Lee a progress report on her grades.   

 

Date: November 17, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Exam week is coming up.  She will not go home for Thanksgiving break, the end of the semester is not until December 22, she'll have to do her Christmas shopping in Williamsport.  

 

Date: November 25, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley describes her Thanksgiving day, and her progress report; she had an A in all her classes except English, where she has a B.  Shirley finds the semester getting increasingly difficult which her dorm mates agree with.  She consoles Lee on having to get his wisdom teeth removed.  There is a discussion of Christmas plans, including advice for Lee in getting a present for Bernice. 

 

Date: November 29, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley talks about going back to classes and beginning the final stretch until finals.  She talks about English and chemistry tests that she did very well on.  She also mentions seeing the film Bachelor's Sister, which she found to be quite good.

 

Date: December 7, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley reminisces about the war having lasted 2 years at this point.  She also talks about her birthday, and that she has received a lot of cards.  She mentions a Taylor Edler who is now in the Marine Corps.
Names: Taylor Edler

 

Date: December 14, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley is doing final shopping for Christmas, which she offers to do for her brother. There was a blackout drill at the college, which is only the second one they have had that semester.

 

Date: December 22, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley talks about her evening, which was the last one on campus for the semester.  She had a large dinner, a pageant, among other events.  She also mentions a Johnny Carlett, who is stationed at Camp Maxey in Texas guarding German POWs.
Names: Johnny Carlett

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