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Tom D. Ellison

Tom D. Ellison was born on August 14, 1925 in Sierra Blanca, Texas. He graduated high school early, at the age of 16, and, like many other young men in the wake of Pearl Harbor, was determined to join the war effort as soon as possible. To do so he needed the consent of both of his parents, but Tom’s father refused to sign the necessary paperwork, so Tom enlisted the day after his 17th birthday. Stationed in England, Tom served in the US Navy as an airplane mechanic from 1942 until 1946, during which time he maintained a regular correspondence with his family back home. His letters provide a surprisingly ordinary accounting of his activities and experiences, including winning a bet on the date that D-Day would take place!

While in England, Tom met his wife, Jean, perhaps the “girl of the women’s land army” Tom mentions meeting in his letter of January 12, 1944. In 1946, Jean, pregnant with their son, moved from England to Texas “just in time” for Roger to be born a Texan. At the end of World War II, Tom was sent to the Pacific Theater, where he served until late summer of 1946.

January 30, 1944 Letter, Page 1

Somewhere in England
January 30, 1944

Dear Mother,

Last night when I can [sic] in from liberty your letters of the 1th and 19th were on my bed. There was also a letter from a girl I know in Altanta [sic] Georgia.

Friday afternoon I went to town. I fooled around until eight o’clock at which time I had a date. Jean and I went to a show “The Falcon Strikes Back” & “My Friend

January 30, 1944 Letter, Page 2

Flica” which were very good. After the show I walked here home. I had an overnight pass so I stayed at the Red Cross.

Saturday I met a couple of the fellow from here and we spent most of the day looking around town. I spent about a half hour pushing a little baby girl around in a buggy while one of the other fellows was talking to the baby mother and a girl whom he knew.

About noon we took a walk

January 30, 1944 Letter, Page 3

through the park as it was such a pretty day (very unusual for here). We then went back to the Red Cross and ate dinner.

I had another date with Jean so we saw “Thumbs up” & “The Lamp Still Burns.” Then we went for a walk before I took her home and then came home myself.

Something that I wanted to tell you and almost forgot was that Saturd Friday afternoon one of the other fellows and I were sitting in a cafe

January 30, 1944 Letter, Page 4

eating “Fish and Chips”. A couple of Soldiers came and sat down with us. One of them knew Ed Moseley. So I told him to tell Ed where I was and that I wanted to see him.

The place will be changed with all the junk gone. I haven’t received Jackies address.

No, I am not getting training here, but I am learning quite a few things. Hope I get some more mail tomorrow.

Your son,
Tom D

January 12, 1944 Letter

January 12, 1944


Dear Mother,

Today I received three letters from you of the 21st, 29th, & 30th of December. I also had three letters from Ruth. I was very glad to get some mail again as I always enjoy reading it.

Last night I went on liberty and had a good time. I bought some post cards, but don’t suppose that I can send them. I met a girl of the women’s land army. She is a couple of months younger than myself and seems like a very nice girl.

There really is very much to say now that I can’t write about what I am doing so I will close for this time.

Your son,
Tom D

June 6, 1944 Letter, Page 1

D-Day - England
June 6, 1944

Dear Mother,

You have no doubt heard the news that so many have been waiting for. Two weeks ago I bet 2 pounds, 8 dollars, that the invasion would come on the 6th of June. For once I was right.

The only letter I received today was from Grant Sanders but he didn’t have very much to say. He had a leave coming to him and started to go to Blanca but then didn’t take it.

June 6, 1944 Letter, Page 2

It is still cold here today. I don’t know when it will warm up again. Today I did receive the book about Texas and have read a little bit of it. When I finish it I will get it give it to Jean provided I can get liberty to take it in sometime.

There is not much I can write about so I will close for this time. Hoping to hear soon.

Your son,
Tom D

Group of students standing for a picture in England

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