|Creator:||Moss, Frank T.|
|Title:||Frank T. Moss World War II letters to his family|
|Quantity:||1.0 Linear feet (2 document boxes, 1 half box)|
|Abstract:||The collection contains letters from Frank T. Moss to his family during his military career in World War II. Box 1 covers the summer months of 1942, when a friend wrote him, and June-December 1943, when he wrote his family. Box 1 contains letters to his family while at basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama, after briefly staying at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He discusss his boredom, guard duty, and the weather at Fort Jackson. However, at Fort McClellan, Frank talks about the enormity of the camp, the stress of service and practice, and the uncertain condition of his eyes. He had four weeks of basic training then went to mechanic's school for nine weeks. He departed Fort McClellan to go to Fort Ord, California at the end of the year. Box 2 covers the entirety of 1944. Due to censorship and the need to pass army examination, Frank rarely talked about his surroundings for the majority of 1944. His focus was on reassuring his parents, asking them about the farm, requesting items, discussing family matters, and mentioning who wrote him. Towards the very end of the year, Frank began to write more about actual army life as a mechanic in the Pacific campaign but as extensively as one might hope. In late winter of 1944, Frank island-hopped in the Pacific Campaign. Box 3 covers January to August 1945. Again, due to censorship, Frank only wrote so much about his activities and surroundings. Still, he detailed much more of his army work in 1945 than ever before. Frank seems progressively more expressive about the war in 1945, in contrast to both 1943 and 1944. In mid-June, he switched positions from mechanic to fire-fighter. By August, he had another job and articulated mixed feelings about when the end of the war would be.|
At the beginning of World War II, Frank T. Moss resided in Union Mills, North Carolina. In the summer of 1942, his friend Pat Kirksey was stationed in the Hawaiian Islands for some time. It seems possible that Moss was inspired to join because of these letters.
By May 1943, Frank had joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He had a close relationship with his parents at the time of his enlistment and wrote them frequently. During basic training, he went through a gas chamber while wearing a gas mask, practiced throwing hand grenades, went on numerous long hikes, and drilled constantly. Frank's father and brother managed farms of corn and cotton back in North Carolina. However, they both visited him at least once in Alabama. During October 1943, he went by train with his company to Fort Ord, California. In late 1943 and all of 1944, Frank was stationed somewhere in the Pacific as a mechanic. He continued to work as a mechanic until mid-1945 when he switched positions several times.
Without a doubt, Frank had a very close relationship with his mother, father, brother, and sister. He adored his mother, her cooking, her letter-writing, and her generosity. He seemed especially interested in his siblings and other young men in his community. Frank appears to have had a romantic interest back home, but he only mentioned her very infrequently and never by name.
Frank T. Moss World War II letters. MS 2262. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.