Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hazel Beckham- the War Years

Hazel was born during the Spanish- American War.  Soon after she married Jerd, her brother Loyd was drafted for service during WW I. Several members of her family served during WW II. Buell Breuer died when the US Hopson was sunk while participating in a training exercise during the Korean War. (Find-a Grave Link). Link to article about the sinking of the U.S. Hobson. Hazel made a note of this event in her journal. She also experienced the Cold War and the Vietnam War.

On September 6, 1918, Loyd Jackson Beckam was inducted, at Rolla and he reported to Camp McArthur in Texas:CO A 5 BN Recruitment Camp McArthur,TX until 23 SEP 18, then CO F 2ND BN Replacement Training Center Camp McArthur Photo Link, about Camp McArthur, Camp McArthur

 The only surviving letters are from the WW II period, although it seems certain that she would have written to those serving in other wars.

On December 4, 1943, Kenny (Kenneth S Beckham) writes from England, he says that "the farms are smaller and he is glad to be in a place thet speaks English." He also says, "well aunt, you are the only one that don't write and say why don't you write more often."

On November 16, 1944, Johnson Breuer wrote from England to thank Hazel for the fruitcake. He says that he is going to save it for Christmas because he knows that will be good and he would rather have it then.

William Eckstein (Frieda's son) wrote this from Corpus Christi, Texas on Jan 15, 1945: " I thought people would never stop raving over that brown fudge you made. They all wanted to know if my mother made it & what she used. I told them it was from my Aunt who lived in the country & I imagine she had all the eggs & cream & butter to put in it. Well any's a close race between you and mom & I wouldn't want to be a judge on deciding which is the best. ha ha
Photo credits: box:Jonathan Some rights reserved Photo Link,Fudge:Elana Amsterdam Some rights reserved Photo link, Stove:"Iron stove" by Hardyplants at English Wikipedia - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Link
In case you have wondered how to make fudge on a wood stove, here is a recipe with illustrations: Boiled Fudge: A Vintage Christmas Tradition

On January 17, 1945, Kenny writes that he is well and hopes," that this thing will be over this year."

Kenny write from "Belgium someplace" on February 21, 1945: "I believe you said that you wanted to know where I was at xmas, well we had a white xmas, it was kina ruged along about then, we had two meals that day, Just luck would have it- one of the boys had got some canned chicken from home and we had it for supper, so I can't kick."

"I guess it won't be very long till you will be going hunting and fishing, and getting you a mess of squirrels. I am going to be so far behind with my fishing and hunting. It will take me 10 years to catch up.

PS cheer mom up as much as you can. I know that I don't have to say it for aunt it is kina hard to write sometimes.

In a letter dated April 13, 1945, Buell Breuer thanks Hazel for the package she sent him He also writes, " Well I suppose spring is in full bloom at home by this time. The trees should be in all leaved out and everyone should be planting corn. By the way, is anybody doing any fishing? I lay around thinking a lot how much I would enjoy laying on a Bourbour bank with a pipe in my mouth and about fine fishing lines strung out in front of me. I would just lay there and watch those corks bob up and down."

From Italy, dated November 22, 1944, Charles Breuer writes: "The night before Thanksgiving and it doesn't seem much like it. Suppose holidays never will until I return to Missouri." He also expresses his concern over Buell being transferred to the Pacific and asks Hazel to write to him about the health of his parents.

"Enclosed is a menu (of their Thanksgiving dinner), which we re very proud of, what do you think of it?"

"Is Jerd hunting quail these days? That is something that I really miss."

A letter from Kenny dated Oct 7, 1945 on which Hazel wrote that this was the last letter she received from him while he was over there. At first, they were told that they were going home soon and there was no way to send mail because they would probably be home before the mail go there. "Next we spent a week in Germany and so far we have spent 3 weeks in Camp St Louis. Not in good old Mo, but in France, so now the boys is betting that we will be in the States by the 23 Oct. I just hope that they are right."

"I suppose it won't be long until Uncle will be butchering. Are youns ready? Oh those good old roasts. I don't believe that I will ever get enough corn bread and beans when I get back. I haven't seen much corn over here just a few little rostnears patches, and just a few of those."

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