||Frank R. Penzenstadler was born in Oshkosh, WI on June 7, 1915, the son of Adeline Penzenstadler. He attended public schools and worked for McMillen Company and Laing & Reeve Bottling Company.
He married Charlotte Bernier in Oshkosh, WI. He entered military service in November 1941 and was trained as an airplane engine mechanic, radio operator and mechanic, and aerial gunner. He was killed in action over the Ascention Islands in the Atlantic Ocean when the ferry bomber he was in crashed on December 15, 1943.
||Winnebago County Historical Commission
|Dates of Accumulation
||Letter from Sergeant Frank R. Penzenstadler, Army Air Force, to his mother, Adeline Penzenstadler, in Oshkosh, WI.
Sgt. F. Penzenstadler 36239522
Hunter Field, Ga.
314th Airdrome Sqdn. 11/29/43
The mailman was good to me today. I got five letters. Three from Charolett and two from you. One of them was the one you sent to Lake Charles. Will you give Lizzie my thanks for the money?
Ma, what passed between us while I was home is just water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned. I understood your point of view and I thought you were wrong or I wouldn't have got married. I'm glad everything's okay now. All I told Charolett was that the folks at home thought that we were foolish to get married then instead of waiting until the end of the war. So the next time you see her, watch if she doesn't look scared more than anything else. When she'd write that she'd visited you I'd ask her if she lengthened her skirt before she went. Remember that? It still makes me laugh, that and when I opened the box holding the red tie she gave me for Xmas. That allotment still goes. It won't start until the end of December. It was too late in the month for it to start on this one, or Id have had it done. As for my reasons, well in the last year I threw plenty of money away gambling and I know darn well you can use it. Money doesn't mean so much to me now while I'm in the Army. It doesn't take much of my pay to keep me going in smokes, toilet articles, candy and stuff like that. I don't get any kick out of going to town and drinking, not near as much as I like to gamble, so that's what I always did. When I went broke, that was the end of it until the next month. There's no sense to it, but I enjoy it. I'm always hoping to make a big killing, but I never have. I guess I can come just as close to it if I start with less, so it won't be any hardship on me. If it comes to a pinch my credit is always good because I seldom borrow. So you take that money and use it, then I won't feel quite so guilty about how I've been throwing my money away in the past year.
Since we've finished with our processing I haven't done a single, solitary thing. All we have to do is answer roll call in the morning. When that's over I crawl back in bed until noon. We don't even have to clean the barracks, just make our beds. Talk about the life of Riley, we've got it. It's come to the point where I'm even looking for something to do. Just for a change we got up a football game this afternoon. It rained last night and it's been misting all day, but in this sandy soil that doesn't make any difference. What I'm afraid off [of] is what my legs will feel like for the next couple of days from lugging these G.I. shoes around. Boy, are they heavy. The ordinary G.I. shoes are heavy enough, but the new ones I've got have an extra half sole of rubber. It's been the only exercise I've had in months too. Even though I do get stiff I'm going to keep it up. Maybe it'll keep me from getting too damned lazy. I'm bad enough now.
Each day new rumors crop up about what's holding us up, and the kind of crossing we'll make, by boat or fly our own plane. Rumor seems to have it that we'll end up somewhere in the European theater. I've always expected to go there, but I'm still not positive that I will. What makes it seem fairly sure is that our orders have been changed from going by boat to going by plane. Another rumor backs that up by saying we're waiting for a celestial navigator. Still another says we're waiting for more crews and are going over in one big group. Army rumors are just like gossip in civilian life, a person can believe part of it but never knows which part to believe. Do you remember when I was still going to radio school I said I expected to still be in this country by the end of the year? Well, I still think so and I've done some good guessing up to now.
Boy, it sounds as though Alfred had a close one. I'm glad to hear he's up and around. Don't tell him this, but some of the stuff he writes to me makes me feel embarrassed just to read it. Goofy stuff like "you were always a better man than I was and I knew you'd make good where I couldn't". And that would on and on, you know how he writes. If it makes him feel any better it is okay with me, though I feel like a fool reading it. For the Lord's sake don't tell him that or he's liable to get another one of those ideas he did the last time I didn't get around to answering his letters. There's one way he does snow me under. I couldn't possible keep up with him, he dashes them off to fast for me.
One of the fellows was caught with his jacket open and without a cap. They put him in the guardhouse. There he stayed all night because we haven't a C.O. and he couldn't get a hold of any officers on his crew to get him out. They were all in town so he was stuck until morning.
Passes to town are easy to get, but everyone has to be inside the gate by one o'clock. The ones that are late use the "Burma Road", a new name for jumping over the fence. It's used pretty often too, always successfully. One fellow was successful, to a certain extent. He was pretty drunk and the barbed wire on the top of the fence was almost too much for him. He got caught in the barbs and nose dived. The calves of his legs had a [at] least twenty deep scrathes [scratches] and a lot of little ones. His pants legs were nothing but shreds. The next day he washed the pants and turned them in for a new pair. But he doesn't use the fence anymore. He stays in town until the next morning and uses the gate.
The lights in the day room went out a while ago and I've been finishing this letter in the latrine, sitting on a toilet bowl. These guys with their late showers have made it pretty uncomfortable, so I'll call this a letter.
Love to all,
P.S. I tried to get some pecans, but it's an off season.
P.P.S. I haven't moved. The new address ___ of red tape.
||World War II
||8: Communication Artifact
||Oshkosh Public Museum
||Penzenstadler, Frank R.
||World War II
United States Army Air Force
European Theater of Operations
North African Campaign