Cards from an Airman

Interspersed among thousands of old postcards at Kaleidoscope Books in Ann Arbor are many of the cards sent by Army Air Corp Private Edw. M. Siantz to his future father-in-law, Valentine Smutek. From 1942-1943, Valentine Smutek spent 14 months in a body cast at a Detroit hospital following spinal surgery and Private Siantz was stationed at Kessler Field in Mississippi, training to become an Air Cadet. Aside from documenting the day to day activities of an airman in training, the cards memorialize the friendship and respect between the two men.

Valentine Smutek passed away in 1965 and Edward "Eddie" Siantz passed away in 2000. We'll share some of his postcards with you before we send to his family.

December 23, 1942:
Hi Pop. Well, I feel much better today because I got two letters from my Virg. I also got my x-mas gifts from home just what I needed too. I hope you are feeling as good as I am today. Good luck-Eddie

January 29, 1943:
Hi Pop. How are you feeling today? I finally got some new type cards, cute, I think. I got two letters from Virg today so I feel pretty good although I am very tired from loafing yesterday. It was our day off. Good luck. Eddie.

July 22, 1943:
Hi Pop. How are you today? I hope it isn't as hot in Detroit as it is here. Boy the sweat just pours out of us. All I did today was work on a little detail. We start classes Monday and we get our books today. Classes last 4 weeks and then...? Good luck, Eddie.

August 17, 1943:
Hi Pop- How are you feeling today. Helen and Ray have probably been over to see you. I know that's one of the first places I would go, just like I did on my furlough. You have certainly treated me well and I only hope I can repay you and live up to your expectations of me. Take care of yourself. Good luck Eddie.

August 18, 1943:
Hi Pop- how are you today? Boy, this is a grand day for us. I leave for home Monday for about 15 days and I'll see you next week at this time. Boy, it's going to be good to get home again. I can't wait. I told Virg all about it and so I'll bet she's glad. Well, Pop I'll see you next Wednesday. Good luck, Eddie.

November 26, 1943:
Hi Pop- how are you feeling today? I hope your feeling better. Don't believe the other side of this card because this will be the longest stop I've made since I became a cadet (4 months). I'm going to do some extra studying tonight. Good luck- Eddie.

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