Alís Odyssey
From Catonsville MD to Japan
Edward Albert Aldridge II, World War II Letters


Before the United States involvement in World War II, the Axis leaders looked at America and decided we would never get ready for their kind of ďtotal war.Ē They regarded us as disarmed pacifists who liked to dance rather than march. Our leader was an old man who could not stand up without help and was having difficulty getting us out of a deep decade long depression. We did not have the big industrial military complex necessary to produce the needed weapons. The Japanese doubted we had the will to fight and that they could negotiate concessions from us and use us as a source of raw materials. To dictators and fanatics, democracies always appear to be in a state of weakened chaos and doomed to collapse.

Al was just a nice young man from Pittsburgh and Catonsville, Maryland who did not want to go to war, but became caught up in the explosive growth of the Army Air Force, the most violent period of the war, and the implosion of the military after the war. When he enlisted, he was shipped to Miami, Florida; Amarillo, Texas; Fort Meyers, Florida; Naples, Florida; Lincoln, Nebraska; Clovis, New Mexico; Topeka, Kansas; Mather Field, California; Tinian in the Pacific; and Saipan. Along the way he did his duty and contributed what he could. He ended up as gunner in one of many B-29 bombers that helped end a terrible war.

Alís letters chronicle the everyday life of a typical airman during the World War II. The annotations in this collection of Alís letters offer enough background information to help the reader understand World War II, how it started, and how the U.S. Army Air Force was created. The book puts Alís letters in the context of his life before and right after the war, and describes events happening on the home front and in the war, and after the war.

Alís letters illustrate the minute details of an individualís life during a momentous period in history, and the global policies that affected him. Hopefully, readers will find this a thought-provoking book, interesting and educational.



Library of Congress Control Number: 2009906604

ISBN-13: 978-0-9841210-0-7
ISBN-10: 0-9841210-0-5

         Details            
Author: Aldridge, Edward Albert
Editor Penski, Elwin Carl
Title: Alís Odyssey, From Catonsville MD to Japan
Subtitle: Edward Albert Aldridge II, World War II Letters
Edition:    First Edition
Publisher: Joppa, Maryland, Elís Research Studies, 2009
Description: 382 pages, 34 images, 9 inch height
   Note:    Includes footnotes, index, and references
Language: English
Subjects: United States History, World War II
United States Army Air Force History
19th century to 1946, Tinian, Japan
Catonsville, Maryland; Catonsville Manor
Penski. Neher, & Aldridge families
Miami, Florida; Amarillo, Texas;
Fort Meyers, Florida; Naples, Florida
Lincoln, Nebraska; Clovis, New Mexico
Topeka, Kansas
Format: Book

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INDEX
313th Bomb Wing, 248, 283
313th Bomb Wing, Presidential Citation, 318, 340
3701 Base Unit, 132
58th Wing, 310
902nd Training Group, 105
9th Bomb Group, 302
Aberdeen Proving Ground, 368
aerial embarkation, 239
Aguigaun Island, 244
Air Force, 12
Air Medal 198, 298
Aldrich, Edward A.; Edward A. Aldridge II; 232
Aldridge family, 18
Aldridge, Edward Albert I; "Ed", 18
Aldridge, Edward Albert II; "Al", 31
Aldridge, Frank, 19
Aldridge, Nelson, 19
Aldridge, Samuel, 20
Allotments, 101, 124, 126
Alrewic, 18
altitude chamber, 161
Amarillo Army Air Field, 87
Amarillo, Texas, 87
Appendicitis, 250, 362
atomic bomb, 14, 242, 267, 272-274
Aunt Martha, 24-25
Aunt Rolly; Roseline Shearer, 15, 120, 193, 259, 290, 291, 353
Aunt Sophie; Sophie Smith, 15, 119, 193, 231
Autry, Gene, 256
B-17, 13, 145, 150, 200,
B-24, 150, 157, 171, 177
B-26, 145, 157
B-29, 14, 72, 87, 145, 161, 178, 203, 205, 212, 217. 228, 235-236, 241-244,          262-277, 286, 293, 304, 310, 331
Baltic Fleet, Russia, 7
Baltimore County, Maryland, 31-45, 147, 264, 315
Baltimore Municipal Stadium, 146
Baltimore, Maryland, 26, 28, 31, 35
Baseball, 28, 37-42, 64, 129, 131, 141, 145, 279, 289, 319, 365
Bay Shore Maryland, 264
Ben; Benjamin Henry Neher "Uncle Ben", 19, 31, 107, 120, 366
Birmingham Congregational Cemetery, 20
blister gunner, 236
blue eyes, 366
Boeing, 72, 200, 228
Brigadoon, 32
Buckingham Army Air Field Flexible Gunnery School, 150
Buffalo Lake, 133
Cadillac Hotel, 59, 77,
Carpenter, 27
Catonsville Democratic Club, 40
Catonsville Elementary School, 40
Catonsville High School, 40-41
Catonsville Manor, 31
Catonsville Public Library, 33
Catonsville, Maryland, 37
change of address form, 234
Cherbourgh, France, 140
China, 7, 14, 148, 276, 304
Cigarettes, 37, 231, 260
class A uniform, 66
Clovis, New Mexico, 203
cord wood, 27
coup in Japan, 276
CQ, Charge of Quarters, 100, 132
Crullers, 45
Cunningham Falls State Park, 369
Dalkiewicz, Edward B., 232
Dallas, Texas, 140-142, 152
Darwin, Charles, 9
DCA, see Donut Corporation of America
Delawders, 220
Deller, Bud, 75
Delmar, Col., 150
Depression, Great, 3, 10, 27, 31, 46, 107, 366
Discharge, 71, 143, 146, 271, 284, 289, 302, 313, 331, 346, 353-354, 358-359
Dolores Smith, 258, 306
Donut Corporation of America, 44, 81, 123, 365
Donuts, 44
Downsizing, 329
Draft, 15, 47
Dunckelman, Lonnie V., 232
Edmondson Heights Park, 32
Edgewood Arsenal, 40
Ellicott City, 35, 41, 44, 50, 81, 166, 183, 220, 262
Emperor of Japan, 7, 273, 274, 278
English Field, 87
Eureka, South Dakota, 15, 24,
Flamingo Park, 64
Florida 46, 149, 176
fly over 69, 286
Flying Fortress, 13, 72, 200,
Fort George Meade, 212, 363-364
Fort Meyers, 150-175
G.I. shoes, 179
gasoline ration, 251, 280, 294,
Geer, Ferel, 52, 61,
Genocide, 9,
German United Evangelical Cemetery, 20
Germany, 5-9, 12-15, 24, 140, 146, 149, 183, 200, 216, 242, 319, 363
GHQ Air Force, 13
GI Bill, 365
Gonzales, Claudio S., 232
Grandma, 31, 40, 43, 45, 64, 80, 102, 134, 197, 213, 219, 233, 246, 249, 257,          263, 269, 275, 281, 289, 321, 322
Grandpa, 21, 168,
Griel, Martha, 21
Ground Moving Target Range, 150
Guam, 242, 259, 264, 267, 292, 295, 310, 346
Gunner, 13, 150-152, 161, 168, 177, 183, 236, 242, 272, 281
Gunnery simulators, 150, 177
Healey, Bunk, 102, 115, 117
Healey, Dick, 67, 115, 117
Heavy Cruiser Indianapolis, 267
Hershmann, Charley, 220
Hialeah, 78
Hiroshima, Japan, 14, 268, 273
Hitler, 6-8
Hooper, Gene, 50
Hutchens, Wallace J., 307, 232
Income tax, 53, 59, 101, 123
Individual A.A.F. Issue Record
influenza epidemic, great, 10, 23-24
Ingleside Avenue, 31
Ingleside Shopping Center, 32
Iwo Jima, 205, 268
Japan, 5, 7, 9-11, 14, 46-47, 146-148, 205, 239, 241-245, 252, 262, 265-280,          286, 288, 298, 303, 318, 340
Japanese 1st Naval Air Fleet, 242
Japanese I-58 submarine, 267
Jerkwater, 35
Jero, John P., 230, 257,
Joe, Joseph Shearer, 51, 75, 209, 259, 264, 269, 291, 321, 346-347, 354
Joseph Horne Company, 15-16
Judik's Field, 41, 269
Kamikaze, 14, 241, 245, 266
Kampel, Edward Joseph, 31-32, 43, 102, 197-200, 216, 271, 290, 332
Kampel, Florence "aunt", 15, 31, 64, 112-114, 197, 216, 271, 289-290, 332
Kampel, Larry, 31, 43, 112, 216, 221, 259, 271, 289-290
Kate, see Neher, Kate
Kay Hotel, 229
King, John R., 232
knights of the air, 12
Kokura, Japan, 268
Kumagava, Japan, 277
Kuwana, Japan, 262
Kyushu, Japan, 241, 244
League of Nations, 242
LeMay, General Curtis, 262
Lincoln, Nebraska, 169, 196, 203-204
Little Elwin, Elwin Carl Penski, 368
Lord Tarleton Hotel, 60-62
Los Angeles 224
lost B-29s, 266
Maebashi, Japan, 272
Major Bowman, 108
Manchuria 7
Mariana Islands, 14, 197, 205, 242-243, 248-
Marianas Campaign, 243
Marshall, George C., 14, 359
Mather Field, California, 239
Meadows Industrial Park, 32
Mellor, Roger, 132, 183, 207, 216, 220
Miami, 46-85
Miami Beach, 46-85
Miami Beach Schools, 46-85
Miami Hotels, 46-85
Mincemeat, 350
Mining, 18, 340
MIT, 368
Mom, 15
model airplane, 39
Mory, Robert M., 232
motor scooter, 337, 339, 353
Nagaoka, Japan, 272
Nagasaki, Japan, 14, 268, 272
Naples Municipal Airport, 175
Naples, Florida, 175-195
Napoleon, 5
National Life and Accident Insurance Co. of Nashville, Tennessee, 15, 19
Nazi, 9-10, 47, 72,
Neher, 15
Neher, Benjamin Henry, "Uncle Ben," 15, 19, 31, 107, 120, 366
Neher, Edward James, "Buddy", 24
Neher, Kate, 80, 290, 366
Neher, Maria; see "Grandma"
New Orleans, 152
Nigata, Japan, 268
Nippon Oil Company, 277
Nylon, 290
Occupation of Japan, 225, 278
Oella Grays, 365
Okinawa, Japan, 244, 310, 314, 342-344, 347
Oriole Park, Baltimore, 146, 148
P-38, 145
P-52, 145
Pacifism, 6
Palo Duro Canyon, 132
Parry, Ann Elizabeth, 20
peace ultimatum, 268
Pearl Harbor, 7, 11, 46
Peggy, 18
Penski, Carl August, 24
Penski, Elsie, 22
Penski, Elwin "Pop", 21
Penski, Elwin Carl "Little Elwin" "El", 16, 30, 32, 43, 83, 109, 368
Penski, Freda, 22
Penski, Herman, 22, 122
Penski, John (see Grandpa)
Penski, John (Johnny), 22, 338
Penski, Lillian; Lillian Rice, "Aunt Lilly", 113-114, 116 Penski, Margaret Elizabeth (Neher Aldridge), "Mom", 15
Penski, Roland, 22
Pentagon, 13
Pets, 43, 103
Pettit, Alvin E., 232
Philadelphia University, 368
Pilots, 6, 12-13, 72, 203, 215, 233, 264, 266, 272, 281, 312, 321, 336, 338
Pinar del Rio Hurricane, 173
ping pong balls, 41, 121-122, 250
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15, 19-20, 31-32, 40-41, 64, 107-108, 112, 197, 199,       222, 226, 275, 281, 289
Pneumonia, 84
point system, 289, 292, 302, 304, 307, 312-313, 315-318, 321-324, 326, 331-333, 337, 346, 354, 356, 359
Poland, 6, 8
Pop, 21
Potsdam Conference, 268
pressurized area, 161
property List, 361
punch card tabulating machine, 44-45
Puschmann, Martha, 21
Queen Victoria, 18
Quonset huts, 248, 293, 302, 304, 309, 317-318
Racism, 9
Radio, 2, 21, 49, 81, 140, 147, 172, 214, 217, 278, 358
Rationing, 34, 46, 48, 54, 57, 61, 63, 83, 103, 116, 145, 204, 251, 280, 294,           347
Religion, 9, 39-40
Rice, Vernon, 246, 248, 259
Rice's Bakery, 36, 104
Ridgely, Emerson M. "Emery", 166, 183, 216,
Ridgely, Mrs., 183, 207, 223, 262, 343
Ridgely, Russell, 262
Roger Mellor, see Mellor
Roosevelt, President Franklin D., 46,148, 225
Roosevelt, President Theodore, 12,
Route 1 in about 1910, 24
RP-63, 150
Russia, 5-9, 145, 147, 245, 276
Sacramento, 237
sail boat, 69, 280, 282-283, 300
Saint Agnes Lane, 33
Saipan, 197, 242, 248, 284, 306-307, 313, 328, 332, 362
San Francisco, 67, 224, 239, 248, 267, 298
Seabees, 244
Shearer, Joesph, see "Joe"
Shearer, Roseline, see "Aunt Rolly"
Shell Road, Ingleside Avenue, 35
Shot Tower, Baltimore, 27
show of force, 286
slowdown of demobilization, 329
Smith, Dolores, 258, 306
Smith, Neil C., 232
Social Security Administration, 32
Socialism, 6, 8,
Stalin, Joseph, 6, 9, 268
Stearman Aircraft Company, 228
Strauss, 110
Streetcar, 25, 35
Submarines, 48, 69, 267
Suicide Cliff, 243
sulfa drugs, 84
Super Fortress, see B-29
Surrender, 226, 242-243, 268, 273-274, 276, 278, 286, 288
T-6, 150,
Tail Gunner, 236, 238, 272
Taiwan, 7
Tax, see Victory Tax
Texas Panhandle, 87, 104
Tibbets, Paul Warfield Jr, 72, 272
Tinian, 14, 242-244, 248, 255, 267-268, 231-272, 274-275, 281, 284, 290,          292, 302, 307, 310-313, 315, 318, 321, 323, 328, 338, 343-344, 346,          362
Tokuyama, Japan, 268
Tolchester, Maryland, 264
Topeka Army Air Field, 226, 228, 230
Topeka, Kansas, 226, 228-229, 233, 239-240, 252, 269
Total war, 47
Treaty of Versailles, 7-8
Trolley, 25
troop strength, 329
Truman, Harry; President and Vice President, 148, 225 244, 329
Tsu, Japan, 266
Tsuchizakiminato, 277
Tucson, Arizona, 222 224
Twentieth Air Force, 14, 268 270, 272 298
Typhoid, 19-20, 326
Typhoon at Okinawa, 314
Uji-Yamada, Japan, 270
Uncle Ben, see Ben
Uncle Carl, 15, 275
United States Army Air Force, 12
Ushi Airdrome, 242
V-E Day, 226
Veterans of World War II, 2
Victory Tax, 123
V-J Day, Victory over Japan, 286
WAAC, Womenís Army Auxiliary Corp, 76
Waddell, Charles R., 313 320, 325, 348
Walden Circle, 32
Wallace, Henry; Vice President, 46, 225
Walsall, 18
Walther League, 141
War time, 315
Warnings, 273-274
West Baltimore Baptist Church, 40
West Edmondale, 33, 41
Westinghouse, 28
Westview Park, 32-33
Westview Shopping Center, 32-33
Westway Theater, 36
Whitlock, A.J., 232
Wichita, Kansas, 228
Wiedenhoeft, John, 38
Winchell, Walter, 145
Witt, Byron, 98
Wood business, 26-27
World War I, 12-13, 23,
World War II, 5-13
Wright, Wilbur and Orville, 12
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 368
Yawata, Japan, 286
Zimmerman Cemetery, 20


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