A Collection of 100th Letters

assembled by Paul West

Charlie Davis
Many of you remember Charlie Davis of Group Operations, one of those quiet, warm sergeants, without whom most departments could not have functioned, or certainly not have functioned well. He was well enough to attend the reunion in Washington in 1969 where he and his wife, Marge, helped and inexperienced chairman keep his sanity. Marge wrote of Charlie’s condition in 1974 and we want to share with you her beautiful letter to Harry Crosby.
Horace L. Varian

Dear Harry,
For months after your letter arrived in May Charlie carried it folded tightly and would fold and unfold it, saying each day he would answer it tomorrow. He treasured it! Now, he has regressed through this terrible arteriosclerosis of the brain and child-like, but sweet and kind.

One month ago today the two kids and I took him to a V.A. Facility just five miles from here to be admitted for constant care and ever since then his conditions has worsened. I regret I’m not wealthy and an amazon so I could lift the weight of finances and body so I could have him near me twenty-four hours a day, but I’m not! I had cancer surgery March 7th of this year and do well to put in a full day at the office and go by to love him a bit and feed him supper.

His pictures were a pure delight to him as long as he was home and they are just waiting for a time when I am sure he will to want them or have need for them and at that time I’ll gather them for Chaplain Teska.

Life deals out strange blows and how much treasure our memories of gay bygone days. God’s way is forever best and out of the black of night experiences we learn to trust as faith increases.

Charlie is dying before my very eyes. He has been slipping for seven years. The last three have been a nightmare, but God has much better place for Charlie, soon. Meanwhile the love of all those close to him is ever near him. Both our children live in town close by!

Thank you again for your kindness, Will keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Marge


The Croulebois – Rosie Exchange
The following exchange of correspondence took place in 1976 between the 100th’s good friend, Leon Croulebois and Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal.

Dear Bob!

I write to you for historical information. If possible for you to explain. Your plane is named "Rosie’s Riveters" if possible for you send me the meaning?

The riveters is because the bomb riveter German territory when bomb away or is because the sympathetic crew of your B-17 is very enterprising with the ladies?

In the French language (slang language) a "riveter" is a man very powerful with the girls. If possible, Bob, you explain me this? Many thanks for your great kindly;

Your French Friend
Leon

Rosie’s reply:

Dear Leon

Until I received your inquiry for historical information as to the meaning and derivation of "Rosie’s Riveters," I would have said that it came about as a result of a song that was popular in the States during the war, called, "Rosie the Riveter," which did honor to a female riveter working in our war industry. As everyone called me Rosie, it seemed to be a fitting name for our B-17.

However, since your inquiry, I realize that such explanation is pale and inadequate compared to your suggestion that the name derived from our success with women. In deference to my honor and that of my crew, history has been revised to salute the suggestion of my honorable French friend.

I never realized the extent of love and esteem that my wife felt for me until she offered to give me and affidavit to the effect that your version about my prowess was accurate, but since I do not wish her to perjure herself, I declined same. Again thanks for your interest.

Vive I’Histoire Revisited
Rosie


The Rosenfeld – Longhurst Correspondence
Leonard Rosenfeld, an arm-chair golfer, thought a voice he heard on CBS television describing an international golf tourney was a familiar one. The following correspondence with Henry Longhurst shows how Leonard revived some old but vivid memories

Leonard writes:

Dear Captain Longhurst:

For so I think of you whenever I hear you comment over CBS on various golf tournaments. However, this memory goes back almost 30 years, and may be erroneous. You, however, are in a position to tell me whether memory has served me well.

The events which I recall began on June 5, 1944, when as an ordnance officer with U.S. Eighth Air Force, I was sent on detached service from headquarters of the Third Air Division in Thetford to Eighth Air Force Headquarters in High Wycombe, with a stop in London en route. I stayed over that evening at the Jules ARC Officer’s Club in Jermyn Street.

I recall that there was a panel discussion at the club that evening, on a subject which I no longer remember. I believe that one of the panelists was the late Marguerite Higgins of the late-lamented New York Herald Tribune, and one of the other panelists was an M.P. whose name I now believe was Captain Henry Longhurst. I also seem to recall that Captain Longhurst was described as a leader in the world of British golf – which is why I associate your voice with a member of Parliament who appeared on that panel.

I recall that after the discussion I approached the M.P. and asked if I might sit in on a session at the House of Commons the following day, and being assured that I might do this – I recall feeling that I was standing in some magic world of history, seeing the likes of David Lloyd George and Anthony Eden just a few paces away from me…

I farther recall listening with fascination and certain amount of amusement to the interrogation which shortly thereafter went on in the House, and I particularly recall that one of the women M.P.s asked the Minister of War, or of the army, when "those awful ATS caps" would be replaced with berets.

Finally I recall Mr. Churchill coming in and delivering his address in his characteristic style, beginning with a report on the status of the war. if memory serves, he mentioned in particular the fall of Rome which had occurred recently. Then I recall his going forward, without any particular change in tone or emphasis, to announce that the invasion of France had started in the wee hours of the morning and was even then in full progress.

If you are indeed my gracious host on the unforgettable occasion, I send you belated thanks for having made the experience possible for me.

Whatever your answer, please be assured that, though I am only an armchair golfer, I thoroughly enjoy your comments and those of your colleagues, on the superb players whom we see in action almost every weekend on the tube.

Sincerely,
Leonard Rosenfeld

Captain Longhurst’s reply:

Dear Mr. Rosenfeld:

What a memory you have, and what a pleasure to get your letter! I am indeed the same person, and I think the panel evening was arranged by the then Anne Rothermere, wife to Lord Rothermere, the newspaper baron, who later married Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond and a very old friend of mine.

I got thrown out of Parliament at the landslide election at the end of the war and became a prospective candidate for my home town of Bedford and a certainty for the next election, but after three years of it I threw in my hand for the sort of live I have led since, which has been most rewarding in the way of travel, and people, and places. I often wonder, though, where the other fork of the road would have led me, I suppose I should have been Lord So-and-so by now, instead of a comparatively humble TV announcer, author and golf writer. On the whole I am very glad that I took the fork that I did.

On the other hand, they were stirring days when we met so long ago and I am privileged indeed to have been so close to the center. My most impressive memory is of the final scene when the Old Man (Winston Churchill) came in to announce the war with Germany was over. I stood up and waved my Order Paper, but sentiment overcame me to such an extent that I was unable to raise a sound, much less cheer – a memory which I would not sell for many thousand pounds.

My very good wishes,
Henry Longhurst