February 25, 1943
JOHN EULICE (PETE) BARBER has been transferred from the local board here to Montgomery, Ala., where he is working now but expects to get into uniform soon.
March 11, 1943
EULICE (PETE) BARBER was inducted into the army at Montgomery, Alabama, Tuesday and has been sent to Atlanta, Ga. Mrs. Barber is, at present visiting with her mother in South Carolina. Pete and Lina spent last weekend here.
April 8, 1943
A letter from JOHN EULICE (PETE) BARBER the other day. He is in the army air force technical training school down at Miami, and likes it fine.
April 29, 1943
V. W. MCKENZIE, JR. has been, transferred to Riverside, Calif. He is in the army, you know.
May 6, 1943
After writing in this column last week a wish that we could hear PETE BARBER'S story on Florida versus California weather, we got our wish fulfilled the next day. Pete said Florida has everything California has except mountains "and you can’t see them for the fog.” On the hand Pete added, "The people are really friendly to the soldiers. They seem to think they can't do enough for us, and it's usually appreciated. They talk about war with Japan all of the time- - hardly ever mentioning the European war. Maybe they have a right to because they'll bear the brunt of it if the U. S. is ever attacked." Pete said their camp is located on the famed Santa Anita race track - using everything, even to the stables.
July 22, 1943
Another letter this week is from Pfc. J. E. (PETE) BARBER who has been in California for several months but is now in Casper, Wyoming, going there by way of Salt Lake City. Pete says, in part: "We finished school at Santa Anita and were sent to Salt Lake City for assignment to a base. After a week there, I was assigned to the Second Air Force and sent to Casper….. Casper is quite a town; population. 20,000; wind velocity (at all times) 50 miles per hour and over, sand storms, continuous; trees, none. There is a river, the most water I’ve seen since the Mississippi. . ."
Pete also said a number of his original group became separated while in Salt Lake City, some becoming cadets while others were assigned to limited service duty.
August 12, 1943
Another letter from PETE BARBER who has been sent to Wendover Field, Utah. Pete said he was sent to Casper, Wyo., for an 8weeks stay but remained only eight days. Pete is at the same field where Charles Walker is stationed. Hope he runs into Charles.
September 23, 1943
Pfc. JOHN E. (PETE) BARBER is here on furlough. Pete came in a few days ago from Wendover Field, Utah, and was met in Jacksonville by Mrs. Barber who has been living in South Carolina.
November 4, 1943
It's not Pfc. PETE BARBER any more. He is now addressed as Cpl. (Congrats, Pete)
November 18, 1943
Cpl. PETE BARBER has changed his address to "care postmaster, New York City."
December 30, 1943
Received a letter this week from Cpl. JOHN (PETE) BARBER who reeent1y landed in England and has been assigned to the famous Eighth Air Force. Pete says that "living conditions are a little primitive when compared with our bases at home but “chow,” thank heavens, is surprisingly good, England. I imagine, would be beautiful in summer. Right now it is somewhat raw to a Floridian x x x. I never realized what the people were doing without here or the little they had to do with until I had a chance to see, They are cheerful and a pleasant lot x x x. Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas and I am accepting The Tribune as about the nicest Christmas gift I could receive."
February 10, 1944
We had the pleasure this week of reading a 17-page letter from PETE BARBER to his mother here. Pete recently enjoyed a short furlough in London, and the letter told of Pete's visiting and enjoying many of the historic places, also some of the humorous and interesting experiences he had during his stay there. We, too, had a card from him today.
April 6, 1944
Had a V-Mail letter each from PETE BARBER and Alfred Tucker, both in England. PETE asked us to change his address and told of planning to meet Alfred a few days later. Then we turn to Alfred’s letter and learn that he did meet PETE and, incidentally, asking us to change his address too. PETE said he had received only 6 copies of The Tribune since being in England, but Alfred reports that he has received them regularly. He has been there longer than PETE, however.
November 2, 1944
PETE BARBER, who has been at an Eight Air Force bomber station in England for more than a year, recently contacted his brother-in-law, Jessie (Junior) McKnight, B-24 pilot, also flying out of England. We are also informed by public relations from England that Pete "is an important participant in the Eighth Air Forces onslaught against: Germany" in the "vital job undertaken by ordnance soldiers."
Pete is a member of the 448th Bombardment Group, Heavy, and which was recently cited by the commanding general of the division for "outstanding performance of duty."
January 11, 1945
Here's another of those always enjoyable letters from Cpl. JOHN E. (PETE) BARBER from England, dated January 1, 1945.
Pete says: "For some reason or other of late, I thought my morale had hit a record low. Today I believe I realized a chief reason. I received four copies of The Tribune which reminds me that it had been months since I had seen one.
These made a total of 11 copies in 14 months (I've kept account of 'em). Doesn't sound so good for our APO system, does it? It is too bad the army has a war to fight besides handling tons of mail for us. It would be appreciated, however, if they managed to bring over a few more weekly newspapers from the hometowns to the fellows instead of so many large dailies. These small papers are much like a long personal letter.
Fuller, frankly I don't see how Germany is still standing up under the bombs that the Eighth Air Force alone has dropped. It seems our group itself has hauled over enough to blow them from the face of the earth.
We came to England early enough to get in on a few small shows of the Luftwaffe. Comparing results of their negligible bombing to what our mammoth raids theoretically produce, she should be out of the war. I suppose though it has been the fault of nearly all of us to underestimate Germany's strength, and especially her determination to take all hell and high water to stave off defeat. I hope that someday soon that the combined Allied air forces will pull such a big one that all the ground men will have to do is walk in and take over. Those boys deserve just that.
We had that ‘White’ Christmas this year, although England gets very little snow. The whole countryside was covered with ice and very heavy frost. The trees were hung with icicles, then dusted with snow. It was a very pretty sight - one I'll long remember. Anyway, the mud was frozen, and that was truly a Christmas present from Mother Nature.
I suppose you know that Junior McKnight is here and is stationed close to my base. In fact, in cycling distance (that is the way we usually get around). He is flying his missions regularly and seeing plenty of action over Germany. We manage to get together occasionally in a nearby city, but that's hard to do as we're both pretty busy.
Surely hope the holidays were merry and happy to both of you. And thanks for sending the paper. I'll get a few of them anyway.
P.S. I think that phrase ‘Oh my aching back’ must have originated from us aviation ordnance men. After hauling out tons of bombs and working like mad all through the freezing night to get them loaded on the planes, then this English weather decides to do an about face. Then orders come through to scrub the mission and we have to take them off. You can imagine how many backs ache after doing that night after night."
(Ed note: We wish we could devise some way to insure you of getting each copy of the paper but we can't. Because, as you say, the army has a war on hand as well as handling the mail. However, some other soldiers in England are getting them more regularly than you are. Anyway, we hope that soon you can just go over to the post office in Bunnell and get yours).
June 21, 1945
Another V-Mail note from JOHN E (PETE) BARBER who is a member of the Eighth Air Force, and was stationed in England for many months. Pete notifies us to hold up the paper for a while. It is not clear whether he is headed for home or whether he is on his way to the Pacific.
July 19, 1945
Two Flagler county men arrived here Sunday from the European Theater of operations. Cpl. J. E. (PETE) BARBER and Pfc. Carol Rodgers. Carol is a member of the 87th Infantry division and Pete is a member of the Eighth Air Force. Both units are scheduled for action in the Pacific after furloughs and retraining.
August 16, 1945
Two boys are leaving here tomorrow to return to Camp Blanding after having 30.day furloughs at home. They are Cpl. J. E. (PETE) BARBER and Pfc. Carol Rodgers. Both were scheduled for the Pacific before the surrender this week. We hope they will not have to go, and that they will be back "for good" soon.
October 11, 1945
Cpl. JOHN E. (PETE) BARBER is at home here on furlough, expecting to be discharged soon.
October 18, 1945
CALL ME MISTER
JOHN ELUICE BARBER
The above named Flagler County men are now entitled to be addressed as “Mister” instead of by any military title heretofore held...........