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Arthur Montgomery

Despite being a POW, Arthur Montgomery was still able to communicate with his wife. Their postcards and letters are preserved as part of this collection.

Arthur Montgomery survived a downed bomber and ended up in a German POW camp in 1944. He was a ball-turret gunner, entering the service in 1942 and leaving behind a young wife, Bernice, and infant son, Lonnie.

Bernice’s letters convey her worry and uncertainty as communication was tightly controlled. Montgomery’s answers are brief, but he constantly assures his wife that he is being treated well. However, POW letters were heavily censored, and the prisoners’ conditions were severe.

The Montgomerys’ predicament was not unique, and it is a snapshot of how the war created anguish and pain for families in Texas and beyond.

Their Letters and Postcards

Postcard from Arthur to Bernice, September 21, 1944

Postcard from Arthur to Bernice

Sept. 21, 1944

My Darling Wife,
We can’t be together today but the day is coming soon when we can. Then I will tell you the things I’ve been thinking of today. I want you to know that I remembered the day and all it means.


Postcard from Arthur to Bernice, November 11, 1944

Postcard from Arthur to Bernice

Nov. 9, 1944

My darling wife and son,
Everything is fine with us. Would like to have been home for Lonnie’s first birthday. Have received only one letter. It was from Elizabeth. Darling, don’t worry about anything. We will be together again soon.

As ever, “Dainty”

Letter from Bernice to Arthur, October 3, 1944

Letter from Bernice to Arthur

October 3, 1944

Hello darling,
I just received your official address, so now I can write and tell you how glad we were to get your card last week. I never was so happy to see anyone’s handwriting in all my life.

Everyone here is well except for occasional colds. Calvin is going to college- the University of Texas- this year, and Maxine is working for a law firm here at home. James still has his old job.

Honey, Lonnie will be ten months old this month. The day before our wedding anniversary, he took several steps and discovered he could walk without any help. Since then, he hasn’t crawled anymore. He is twenty- seven inches tall and weighs about nineteen pounds. Too, he has quite a lot of hair now and four teeth. As soon as I can mail a package, I’ll send you some pictures that were made when he was six months old.

I received a letter from Loyd Carter the other day. He and Bill McGill both are still well.

All our love,
Bernice and Lonnie

Letter from Bernice to Arthur, October 30, 1944

Letter from Bernice to Arthur

October 30

Hello Sweetheart,
I know you think I don’t write very often, but the Red Cross advised me not to write too many letters each week. It has been nearly a month now since I have heard from you. Sometimes, I get awfully discouraged and lonesome. If I knew that you were getting our letters and packages it would be a great consolation.

The other day, I went to see Frances and her baby. That was the first time I had seen Pamela Sue, and she is a beautiful child. All except her mouth- it is too large to be pretty. But she has dark eyes and blonde, curly hair. She and Lonnie had a good time playing together. The last time Johnny saw Pam, she was about Lonnie’s age now. So both of you will never be able to realize how much your children have grown. While we were there, Pam had a birthday, and Frances took some snap-shots of them together. I hope they will be good.

All my love, Bernice

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