December 27, 1942 William Shepard to home…

[Had a week off and decided to vegetate, so no posts. But, vacations over now so here we go again…]



December 27th [1942]

Dear Mother;

You have the wrong idea about those darn insurance policies. The only thing I want to do is arrange it so there won’t be any delay in Lois is getting the insurance if Im knocked off. You see I am having all my legal affairs handled by the Adjutant General’s office, as all officers in the armed forces do. There is no investigations or delays the way they handle it.

You have been the best mother in the world to me. It was not your job to take out and keep up the insurance. It was mine and I never dune[?] it. I want to receive you of the responsibility that you didn’t


have to take on yourself. I never have been worried about the money. Understand?

I am going to the Engineering School here in Sacramento. Up at 600 and athletics and breakfast. Classes from 8:00 till 11:30 then lunch. Classes 1:00 till 4:30. Dinner then classes from 7:00 till 9:00. However I do get off on Sundays. Ever since I have been in the army I have had so much school that I didn’t have time for anything else. If you would have come to visit me I couldn’t get off.

In  a month or so Ill be through schools and be on the job. I want you & Lois to come out then. It would be nice if you could come with her … [rest of letter missing]

December 26, 1942 William Shepard to home…

December 26

Dear Family:

Thanks for the christmas. I went down to Stockton and spent the day. I opened my packages there.

The ring is swell. I like and can use everything that was sent.

I arrived in Stockton about 1:00 PM and stayed until 7:30 PM. Uncle Bert has a nice home, family and business. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Stub came home and we went around to all their friends. I met a lot of peopled they looked alright to me.


I hope that everyone had a good christmas at home. I was able to get your present Lois and will send it right away. I had it ordered through the PX and it was about 30% off on price.

Ill close now to go to class Goodbye all.


December 20, 1942 William Shepard to home…


Dec. 20, 1942.

Dear Mother & Father,

Ive never been away from home on Xmas, until now. Yet you have my best there, Kenny and Lois. Please try and make them happy without me this Christmas. It makes me feel pretty bad to think Im not there but Id feel worse if I wasn’t in the Army.

You have been wonderful parents to me and I know it. I was so relieved and happy when Lois wrote & said that she was at home. I want you to want her to stay there until you & she can come out. Don’t come alone Mother, bring Lois with you.


I will probably be at H B Hatch’s on Xmas. They invited me down, so I won’t be alone.

Have a merry Xmas with a lot of love from

Your son

December 17, 1942 William Shepard to home…



Dear Mom and Pop:

Excuse the paper. Ill try to clear up everything. I was commissioned 12-9-42 and started for California the same day.

We traveled by pullman, cost me $110.75 for the trip. As an officer you get travel pay, so that will compensate for it.

Arrived here in Sacramento 12-14 or 15-42 Traveled thru Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

After I arrived here I found that I had been selected to attend the Army Engineer School here (providing I can pass the entrance exams.) I had to talk my way into it. My classmates are all graduate engineers, one a metalurgist, another an aeronautical engineer.

There are 15 men selected every 3 months I believe. The classes are very small and you really get the works.

Classes are about 15 hours a day , 6 days a week 5 hours in airplane mechanic work course per day 5 hours in aeronautical engineering per day 5 hours administrative engineering per day, full schedule isnt it?

It is a wonderful opportunity and I dont see how I ever made it. I must be good and dont realize it. Seriously, I am tickled to death.

It means that the government is giving me an education, then will put me in a real job.

I will get a field or maybe two fields to supervise the engineering work. I probably will be made an assistant engineering officer until I get the hang of it.

Tell Herman I will have to be a “Baird” it is an office job but I think that Ill like it.

The quarters here are swell. Officers have the best of everything. I had to bring some more clothes here.


Well I dont have much more so Ill close be sure to write me. Send all correspondence to

Lt. William A. Shepard Jr.
Engineering and Supply Officers Training School
McCelland Field, California

Keep the home fires burning. Love to all

Your son

P.S. I graduated 441 in the class of 3620 at OTS in Miami Beach.

Please don’t tell anyone outside the family anything about the school ??st[Just?] that I am going there.

December 8, 1942 William Shepard to home…



Dear Mom & Pop

You wont get any letters for a while so this is the last, probably before Xmas.

Graduation tomorrow, then I get shipped to my new post. I meant it when I said to ship all my Xmas packages to Lois’ Uncle Berts. Ill be within a stone-throw of his place.

If you mail them there, all in one big ^or small box. I can pick them up.

Everything is fine here, the weather is beautiful. I am taking a sun bath while writing this.


I dont suppose Lois will be able to come out until after a start in life, then perhaps you & her can come out. I can have a home ready by then.

I sent all my old army clothes home. Pack them away where the moths wont get them.

Ill tell you that I have a swell job in the army, I got an assignment that will probably keep me from active fighting duty. I will be pretty far back of the lines, so Lois can stop worrying.

Tell everyone hello & I love you all.

Your Son
Lt. Bill

November 12, 1942 William Shepard to home…



Dear Mom

Same old story here. everything is going OK so far, but keep you fingers crossed.

If and when I graduate,
It will be Dec 9.

Some facts:
You can not come to the hotel I. stay in because of military laws. contact me by calling the South Seas Hotel and they will get me.

I cannot get to to see anyone only on Saturday from 3:00 to 3:00 Sunday. Hope you are well. Give my love to all, no more time to write


October 27, 1942 William Shepard to home…


Dear Mother & Dad:

Received the candy and we (roomates have eaten it. Thanks a million. I am just finishing guard duty and have no news. Weather is find and I’m OK. Ill close & write some more this evening.

Well I just came of the last shift of guard duty. I will be an upperclassman tomorrow and will not be subject to guard and orderly duties. They take the guard business serious in the army and especially so along the coast.

I don’t know whether you know it or not, but I have bought my offer uniforms. They will cost about $200. There are so darn many expenses going to O.C.S. It isn’t like


being in the army as a private. We have orderly fees we pay the men who helps to hop up the hotel, and we pat about $10 a mo. laundry. Now they want us to put $25 apiece in a kitty to get class rings and throw a banquet but I don’t thin that I had better. The uniforms are really bit tailored to fit. One blouse, 4 shirts 2 pr. pants, overcoat, cap and etc. Its a good start towards an outfit.

I won’t be able to get a leave to come home. They have cut them out. I won’t get one until I have been in the army 3 mo as an officer.

I don’t know where I will be and won’t know.

If you can get gas you should come down for my graduation. It will be about Dec 5-10. Don’t bring the car unless you can get the gas because it is dry here.

Love to all, Ill write later, your son

September 27 [1942] William Shepard to home…


Sept. 27

Dear mom

I just got a letter from you. Thought that you were home but you are still in Canada. Everything is fine here. I told you before I guess, but Clark Gable is in my wing #(the same division) wing no 1. He is a sergeant in the section just in front of me. He looks different without a mustache. All the men like him  because he’s a man’s man. I haven’t got to talk to him yet, or rather I haven’t had the occasion. It sure is a fine place here. I think that when the war’s over Lois & I will move here to Florida. Ill write later.


P.S. Never mention anything I write you to anyone connected with newspapers. It would get me a dishonorable discharge and I would rather be shot than that.

September 15, 1942 William Shepard to home…


September 15, 1942

Dear Mom & Pop:

Im off to Miami. I expect to get there the 18th or 19th of Sept. Should get my commission by Jan 1. Ill probably go for flight training after I finish there.

Hope that your cabin is taking shape. Ill bet that you are having a swell time. Catch a lot of fish.

I don’t have much time so Ill have to close. I’ve just been rated a corporal so thats some extra pay.

I wrote you several letters but  they came back because I don’t get free mailing privileges in Canada.

Ill write later

Your son

July 22, 1942 William Shepard to home…


July 22, 1942

Dear Mom & Pop

Sure have been busy lately. We have been on K.P. and P.P. (common labor) for four days out of the last seven, and now they are making up for the lost time by cramming in our lectures and drilling. Dont feel bad if I write infrequent because we are busy.

I received your packages, and thanks a million. Those socks and underwear will come in handy

I don’t know where you can write me after the 26th of the month, but I’ll let you know, as soon as I can.

Mom, I appreciate the paper, but maybe you had better discontinue it. The mail facilities are overused here and I don’t like to see some boys not get letters because of the time that has to be spent on papers.

We have just about completed our Basic Training, and by the time that you receive this letter, we will have. We only have four weeks, where other branches of the service take twelve weeks.


We studied and practiced:

Military Courtesy
”  Sanitation
” Drill without arms
” Drill with ”
Gas warfare
aircraft nonelomature [nomenclature – thanks dad!]
Guard duty
Orientation lectures
and many other things, that one cant mention.

So far I think that I am doing alright. If I can handle men I will make out, and I’m not discouraged about that, because after you learn to take orders you can give them.

Love to everyone

Your son