Sunday, June 12, 2011

Camp Grant

"Social "Mixer"-Service Club, Camp Grant, Ill. Dancing at the Camp Grant Service Club is enjoyed by every soldier. All types of entertainment are to be had here; include books, concerts, amateur shows, radio broadcasts, and impromptu gatherings. The Service Club houses one of the most modern cafeterias in the middle west, and offers a haven for the army man who wants "something to do" or merely wants to sit down and write a letter to the folks back home." Addressed to "Mr. Thomas Schiller, 1201 Meridian, Granite City, Ill." The message, "Dear Tom, Boy is it dead around. I sure miss home and that Good old Beer. Otherwise camp is swell. I think I am going to like the army. your Pal Ralph." Postmarked "2 ROCKFORD, ILL AUG 28 12:30 PM 1943." During World War 2, military personnel had hand franking privileges that allowed them to use the mails for free. The post office put a cancellation, an ad for war bonds, that partly obscures the soldiers name, and it's a shame because I can make out a last name with over twenty letters. This is what I can make out, "Pvt. Ralph Pasyustd (and then rest is obscured.) Co. E Bx T160 SU. U.S. Army, Camp Grant, Ill." Poor Ralph, he's bored, misses home and his favorite beer. But still, he thinks he's going to like the army. Well, it's not like he had much of a choice. In World War 2, once in the military, you were in for the duration.
About Camp Grant. It was built on land outside Rockford, Illinois in 1917, and was decommissioned in 1921. It was used by the Illinois National Guard from 1924-35, and housed CCC workers from 1934-35. It was reopened in 1940 when the peace time draft came in, and closed after the war in 1945. Today, the site of Camp Grant is now the Chicago Rockford International Airport. From Sept. 23 to Oct. 1, 1918, over 1,000 soldiers died in the great flu pandemic that swept the world. For more info on Camp Grant, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment