Charles Pospisil's Amchitka Scrapbook
1945

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Charles PospisilCharles Pospisil was born on 11 August 1915 in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating high school Charles served with the Irvington, NJ police force as a Patrolman. He lived in Irvington, NJ with his widowed mother and younger brother. Charles, single at the time, was one of ten Irvington police officers drafted by the Army with a reporting date of 7 May 1943 for the duration of the war or other emergencies, plus six months, as were the terms of the day.

In early March of 1945, after completing military police training and having been assigned to several stateside postings (Camp Robinson, Little Rock AR,1944 and Ft. Ord, California, February and March 1945), Charles was assigned to Amchitka's 173rd MP Co, Amchitka, Aleutian Islands, Alaska-otherwise known as "APO 986." His rank in 1945 was that of Corporal.

Amchitka is the southernmost island in the Rat Island group of the Aleutian Chain, and is located between 51 21'N 178 37'E and 5139'N 17929'E, bounded by the Bering Sea to the north and east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west. Amchitka hosted 15,000 troops at the peak of its occupancy. The center of Amchitka is "mountainous," while the western end is barren hosting only sparse vegetation.

Charles wrote many letters to his intended, Myrtle, who lived and worked in the "Lower 48." He included many photographs of Amchitka (which had been procured primarily from friends and acquaintances) in his letters home. In addition to letters and photographs, he also sent home several postcards he'd obtained along the way. They all do an excellent job portraying life on a remote Aleutian Island as well as on mainland Alaska during the time America was engaged in the war against Japan. You will surely enjoy reading of his experiences on Amchitka, including descriptions of the weather, wrecks, and the menu of the day!

The collection of letters, photographs, and postcards as presented here was purchased at a New Jersey estate sale by Lynne R., who promptly set about scanning and saving the photos to files intending to share them with us as well as the public at large. Lynne also then selectively transcribed the letters for public viewing to include only that information which revealed as much as possible about the daily life of one stationed at such a remote location during WWII, while excluding content of a very personal nature out of respect for Charles' and Myrtles' privacy, as well as that of any living relatives.

Censor's Stamp, WWIIKeep in mind as you read these letters that the content of wartime letters sent home was reviewed by Army Examiners (censors) to ensure nothing of a secure nature regarding their location, weapons, tactical or strategic plans, defense, troop movements, etc. was included. Once a letter along with any enclosures had been approved, it would receive the "stamp of approval" by the Army Examiner and sent on its way. Recipients of this mail would often find sections of the letters missing, physically cut out by the censors during their review process leaving the recipients to wonder what was going on! This censorship accounts for much of the lack of detail that would have otherwise contributed to a more in-depth description of life in the Aleutians during that period of time.

Japan announced their surrender and cease-fire on the 15th of August, 1945, five months after Charles' arrival on Amchitka. By this time he had amassed only around 33 "going home" points, as opposed to some who'd served for a lengthier period of time and who as a result had upwards of 88 points to their credit. To be transferred home one required 85 such points. Charles would be amongst the last to leave Amchitka due to his lower number of points acrued.

[Online research revealed that one received points as follows: +1 point for each month of service between 16 Sep 1940 - 12 May 1945, +1 point for each month overseas during that same time period, +5 points for each award received (DSC, LM, SS, DFC, SM, BS, AM, and PH), +5 Campaign stars worn on theater ribbons, +12 points for each child under age 18 (up to 3 children).]

In the last letter of this collection sent home from Amchitka, dated 21 February 1946, Charles talks about the boat due to arrive at Amchitka on 15 March 1946 that would be his transport back to the states. We assume he shipped out shortly afterwards. Charles and Myrtle married soon after Charles returned home, however, their marriage did not last and for personal reasons they soon divorced, ending the relationship that lasted before and during WWII. They had no children.

Charles subsequently married Doris L'Abbe of New Bedford, MA, to whom he was married for 46 years. They had three sons together. He continued serving on the Irvington, NJ police force for another 30 years after returning home. Charles passed away while living in Arizona on the 9th of January 2001 having reached the age of 85.

If you would like to get in touch with Lynne regarding questions pertaining to elements of this collection, you can email her at: "LKRanieri at gmail dot com" [Please translate this address to the appropriate form for sending emails.]


Letters


Note: The letters as transcribed include some syntax, grammar, and spelling corrections. Information
of a more personal nature has been omitted in deference to remaining family connections.

Stateside

Mar 1944   Nov 1944   Dec 1944   Jan 1945   Feb 1945   Mar 1945

Amchitka

Apr 1945    May 1945   Jun 1945   Jul 1945   Aug 1945  Sep 1945
Oct 1945    Nov 1945   Dec 1945   Jan 1946   Feb 1946


Newsprint

 
12 Sep 1945   10 Oct 1945   15 Oct 1945    Cartoon, Nov 1945   27 Dec 1945  
29 Dec 1945   30 Dec 1945   06 Jan 1946   03 Feb 1946   7 Feb 1946   13 Feb 1946
 


Pictures

   
Ft. Ord, CA, 26 Feb 1945; Learning to speak Japanese, Front 1. Ft. Ord, CA, 26 Feb 1945; Learning to speak Japanese, Front. Training at Ft. Ord included demonstrations of Japanese equipment from clothing to firearms, as well as learning a few Japanese words pertinent to operations.
   
Ft. Ord, CA, 26 Feb 1945; Learning to speak Japanese, Back 2. Ft. Ord, CA, 26 Feb 1945; Learning to speak Japanese, Back
   
Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Pacific Hut Campsite 3. Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Pacific Hut Campsite
   
Russian Orthodox Gravesite, Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945 4. Russian Orthodox Gravesite, Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945
 
Amchitka's Service Club; 28 Jul 1945 5. Amchitka's Service Club; 28 Jul 1945
 
Amchitka Scenery; 28 Jul 1945 6. Amchitka Scenery; 28 Jul 1945
 
Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Army Engineers 7. Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Army Engineers
   
Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Army Engineers at work. 8. Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Army Engineers at work.
   
Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Army Engineers at work (R4 or D4 Dozer?) 9. Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Army Engineers at work
(R4 or D4 Dozer?)
   
The Great Divide-Bering Vs Pacific Ocean 10. The Great Divide-Bering Vs Pacific Ocean
 
Amchitka's "Williwaw" Theater, 28 Jul 1945 11. This type of structure was typically built as a dining facility (chow hall), otherwise...there is no description for this photo.
 
Amchitka's "Duchess" Theater; 28 Jul 1945 12. Amchitka's "Duchess" Theater; 28 Jul 1945
 
Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Exploring with dog 13. Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Exploring with dog. [Possible location-Harlequin Beach]
 
Amchitka Landscape; July 1945 14. Amchitka Landscape; July 1945
   
Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Fishing 15. Amchitka, 28 Jul 1945; Fishing
 
Amchitka's Snack Bar; 28 Jul 1945 16. Amchitka's Snack Bar; 28 Jul 1945
 
Amchitka's "Williwaw" Theater, 28 Jul 1945 17. Amchitka's "Williwaw" Theater, 28 Jul 1945
Amchitka's Public Room, Inside; Jul 1945 18. Amchitka's Public Room, Inside; Jul 1945
   
Amchitka's Post Cemetery Gate; Jul 1945 19. Amchitka's Post Cemetery Gate; Jul 1945
   
Amchitka's Post Cemetery, Close-up; Jul 1945 20. Amchitka's Post Cemetery, Close-up; Jul 1945
   
Amchitka, Jul 1945; Anna Zaochney's gravestone, 1884-1930. 21. Amchitka, Jul 1945; Anna Zaochney's gravestone, 1884-1930.
   
Amchitka Sea Otter; Jul 1945 22. Amchitka Sea Otter; Jul 1945
   
Charles Pospisil, resting in hut, 1945 Amchitka 23. Cpl. Charles Pospisil, resting in hut. 1945
 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; friend posing with two Blue Fox 24. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; friend posing with two Blue Fox
 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; friend and Charles posing with two Blue Fox 25. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Charle's friends posing with two Blue Fox
 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; friend with two Blue Fox 26. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; friend with two Blue Fox
 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Charles with two Blue Fox. 27. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Another brave soul poses with two Blue Fox.
 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Charles with wrecked Jeep. 28. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Posing with wrecked Jeep.
 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Friend with wrecked Jeep. 29. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Friend with wrecked Jeep.

 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Remains of wrecked Jeep. 30. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Remains of wrecked Jeep.

 
Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Typical Aleutian Island Jeep with custom cab. 31. Amchitka, 9 Sep 1945; Typical Aleutian Island Jeep with custom cab.

 
32. Amchitka, 173rd MP Sign; 13 Sep 1945
 
Amchitka, Masonic Club Certificate; 13 Sep 1945 33. Amchitka, Masonic Club Certificate; 13 Sep 1945
 
Aleutian Islands Masonic Club Honorary Member Form; 13 Sep 1945 34. Aleutian Islands Masonic Club Honorary Member Form; 13 Sep 1945
   
The S. S. Columbia, Transportation To/From Amchitka, 14 Sep 1945 35. The S. S. Columbia, Transportation To/From Amchitka, 14 Sep 1945. From a postcard.
 
Juneau, AK, June, 1945; A postcard sent home on 18 Sep 1945 of midnight Juneau, AK 36. Juneau, AK, June, 1945; A postcard sent home on 18 Sep 1945 of midnight Juneau, AK
 
Juneau, AK, June, 1945; A postcard sent home on 18 Sep 1945 of uptown Juneau, AK 37. Juneau, AK, June, 1945; A postcard sent home on 18 Sep 1945 of uptown Juneau, AK
 
Amchitka Dock; 20 Sep 1945 38. Amchitka Dock; 20 Sep 1945
 
Amchitka, Charles posing with Jeep. 20 Sep 1945 39. Amchitka, Charles posing with Jeep. 20 Sep 1945
 
Amchitka, Dock; 20 Sep 1945 40. Amchitka, Dock; 20 Sep 1945
 
Amchitka, Bomb Dump; 20 Sep 1945 41. Amchitka, Bomb Dump; 20 Sep 1945
 
Mt. Edgecombe, AK, circa 1945; a postcard of Mt. Edgecome, AK sent home 21 Sep 1945 42. Mt. Edgecombe, AK, circa 1945; a postcard of Mt. Edgecome, AK sent home 21 Sep 1945
 
Nome, AK, Reindeer Transport, circa 1945; from the name on the store front it is possible this photo was taken in Nome, AK 43. Nome, AK, Reindeer Transport, circa 1945; from the name on the store front it is possible this photo was taken in Nome, AK. Photo sent home on 21 Sep 1945.
 
Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945 44. Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945
 
Amchitka, Duchess Theater; 22 Sep 1945 45. Amchitka, Duchess Theater; 22 Sep 1945
 
Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945 46. Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945 47. Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, Chales by the shore; 22 Sep 1945 48. Amchitka, Chales by the shore; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945 49. Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945 50. Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, coastal road; 22 Sep 1945 51. Amchitka, coastal road; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka; Shoreline scenery (sea lions?); 22 Sep 1945 52. Amchitka; Shoreline scenery (sea lions?); 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, Williwaw Theater; 22 Sep 1945 53. Amchitka, Williwaw Theater; 22 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945 54. Amchitka, shoreline scenery; 22 Sep 1945
   
Mrs. America Candidate, Mrs. Darleen Demos of NY.26 Sep 1945 55. Mrs. America Candidate, Mrs. Darleen Demos of NY. 26 Sep 1945. Mrs Demos posing in "something new and different in bathing suits." The winner will receive $1,000 and tour 10 cities.
   
Amchitka, Blue Fox, 27 Sep 1945 56. Amchitka, Blue Fox, 27 Sep 1945. As on many of the Aleutian Islands, there were plenty of Blue Fox, a breed of Arctic Fox, with which to become acquainted! These were taken by a friend of Charles.
   
Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945 57. Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945 58. Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, Blue Fox, 27 Sep 1945 59. Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945 60. Amchitka, Blue Fox; 27 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, B-29 "Superfortress" along with a pair of B-24 "Liberators;" 28 Sep 1945 61. Amchitka, B-29 "Superfortress" along with a pair of B-24 "Liberators" parked on the flightline; 28 Sep 1945.
   
Amchitka, a well-worn B-24 "Liberator" parked on the flightline; 28 Sep 1945 62. Amchitka, a battle-worn B-24 "Liberator" parked on the flightline. Charles was one of the MPs guarding the aircraft.; 28 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, a B-24 "Liberator" parked on the flightline. Charles was MP guarding the aircraft; 28 Sep 1945 63. Amchitka, a B-24 "Liberator" parked on the flightline. Charles was MP guarding the aircraft; 28 Sep 1945
   
Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" parked on flightline. 64. Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" parked on flightline. 65. Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" parked on flightline. 66. Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 30 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" and B-24 "Liberators" parked on flightline. 67. Amchitka, 30 Sept 1945; B-29 "Superfortress" and B-24 "Liberators" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; a pair of  B-24 "Liberators" parked on flightline. 68. Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; a pair of B-24 "Liberators" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; a B-29 "Superfortress" and a pair of  B-24 "Liberators" parked on flightline. 69. Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; a B-29 "Superfortress" and a pair of B-24 "Liberators" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; a B-24 "Liberator" parked on flightline. 70. Amchitka, 29 Sept 1945; a B-24 "Liberator" parked on flightline.
   
Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945, sightseeing 71. Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; sightseeing
   
Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; practice fending off an attacker 72. Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; practice fending off an attacker

   
Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery 73. Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery

   
Amchitka; 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery 74. Amchitka; 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery

   
Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery, weapons training 75. Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery, weapons training

   
Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery 76. Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; coastal scenery

   
Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; Coastal Artillery 77. Amchitka, 8 Oct 1945; Coastal Artillery

   
Nude Cutout 78. Nude cutout made for a lot of fun! (See Dec 1945 letters for full story).
   
Amchitka Campsite, 4 Feb 1946 79. Amchitka Campsite, 4 Feb 1946

   
Amchitka Campsite, 4 Feb 1946 80. Amchitka Campsite, 4 Feb 1946

   

MORE TO COME!

Last Updated: 23 January 2014 09:32