January 1, 1943 (Jeannette Davidson) +Recap


January 1, 1943

Dear Dip,

Hi there, and a Happy New Year too!

I thought I would write you a letter this New Year’s Day just to prove I was a good girl last night.

Every year Gamble-Skogmo throws a party at the Town and Country Club, to which all of the men from our office are invited. As a result, the office was closed at 1 P.M.

I had lunch with Marion Alson and went shopping (after Christmas at that.) Later we met Arline Dimond, I had a coke and they had a drink. Marion went home and Arline wanted to stay down and go to a show. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do less than that, but consented to stay down anyway.

One can name the places to eat at night on one hand, all of which were packed last night. We ended up going to Brady’s. In there I met a girl I worked in the Bank with, and she had two girlfriends with her so we had quite a bunch.

There was such a wild crowd all over, so I saw the New Year in at the Jolly Miller. Oh how the Navy and Army takes over at midnight! There I was, just dreaming of two years ago and had the total sum of four cokes all evening. For some reason liquor still doesn’t agree with me at all, and can have just as much fun and make believe, if I have to, I am just as “happy” as the rest drinking a coke.

Mother’s company was leaving just as we came home at 1:30, via streetcar, and we had turkey, olive rolls, cookies, etc. Wasn’t I good tho?

I was surprised to see so many boys and girls about 14 & 15 out on the streets, and some making fools of themselves. They start young nowdays, don’t they?

Of course, there was a fight in front of the Gopher Theatre which took two cops to break up. Civilians at that.

Dad went down to the Nicollet for the Shrine breakfast this morning and has never seen so much food in all his life. One cup of coffee though. He said the Holly Miller was packed. Maybe some people stayed right on through. Who knows!

I probably write about three letters to your one at times, but I have about three times as much time as you do too, so if you don’t mind my rambling on, I’ll just continue on in the same manner.

Bye for now,




January 1, 2019

Dear Folks,

1943 will be an exciting year for Dorance Alquist. If he passes Officer Candidate prep course he will move on to formal Officer training and finally leave Fort Bragg behind. After basic training at Bragg almost a year and a half ago he accepted a position in the Headquarters Battery. There he and a few other soldiers did the administration work for all the trainees moving through the Fort. He proved to be a good pencil pusher and rose in the ranks from Private to Corporal to Sergeant. He has enjoyed a few furloughs and sometimes takes weekend trips to the beach but is itching for something more.

Dip and his friends James Wheeler and Chester Biven (from the Headquarters) decided to apply for Officer Candidate School, with the recommendation of their Captain. After they are accepted they need to pass a five week preparation course at Fort Bragg before they get sent to School elsewhere. Biven gets a bit of bad news before they start, his vision is not good enough to enter the Field Artillery program that they applied for so he will have to take the administrative track. Currently, in the first week of January, they are halfway through their course and will hopefully finish in the next two and a half weeks.

Dip’s success or failure in Officer Candidate School will determine his path for the coming year, but either way he is going to be moving on from Fort Bragg and entering active duty overseas before the year is over.

If you remember, Dorance was dating a girl named Marian when he entered the Army and they were still together at this time last year. Then on his birthday (February 27th) she dumped him and less than a month later she married some civilian. It was quite a shock to Dip, but he recovered soon enough if you remember this letter from the end of March:

“Well I’m off on a couple more correspondence courtships now. A week after I received the jilt from Marian I got two very nice (& I mean nice) letters from a couple of ol’ galfriends – namely Marian Sneen & Jeanette Davidson”

You can tell they were close because he spells both of their first names wrong. Marion Sneen is a different Marian from the one he was dating before (There are at least four Marians mentioned in these letters).

That pretty much brings us up to date. He is still writing both Marion Sneen and Jeannette Davidson back in Minneapolis, and going dancing with whatever local girls he can find on the weekends.

He is still in touch with his friends from Minneapolis who call themselves the “Kinsmen”. We have letters coming up from Rolie Iverson, Bob Coll, Lee Stensrud, Ralph “Sykes” Peterson, Bob “Swanny” Swanson and others. And of course we will hear from his mother Edna and his sister Dorothy. 1943 will be a busy year and I’m looking forward to it.

If you haven’t seen yet, a service dog puppy was named “Dip” in honor of Dorance Alquist. You can follow the puppy as it gets trained @herodogsdip on Instagram and Facebook. I’d like to thank Hero Dogs for the work they are doing.

I’d also like to thank a few people for their financial support of the project; Gregory Boehm, Tahroma Alligood, Jeff Neuman, Larry Jordan, Jody and Fritz Fredeen, Sam and Jill Nigh and Jan and Bruce Larson. This project is a labor of love and I fund most of it myself so every little bit makes a huge difference to me. I am committed to putting these letters out for three more years and if you would like to help me make sure that happens please visit the Donate page at airmailfromdip.com and make a contribution.

Life gets much more interesting when Dorance leaves Fort Bragg and I’m excited to share it with you. Thanks for following along and please tell your friends, now is a great time to join in.

Once again the website is airmailfromdip.com. To have the letters sent to you just sign up for the Mailing List and to listen to them, subscribe to the podcast. Have an excellent year.



Christian Olsen