Pvt. Ray W. Wilson
460th PFAB, Battery A
From an eBay listing:
WW2 Correspondence from Pvt. Ray Wilson,
Battery A, 460th Parachute Field Artillery.
I've not seen for sale another group of WW2 Paratrooper letters as complete as these.
Written on a regular basis to his family and former employer back in his hometown of Eugene, Oregon, there are 28 letters in all - most with return addressed envelopes. - That number includes one V-Mail.- There are eleven (11) pages of "Ray Wilson" personalized & embossed paratrooper letterhead, in two styles. There are twenty six (26) total pages of embossed letterhead, of the following types: Fort Benning, Camp Mackall, Red Cross, 17th Airborne, and UNITED STATES PARATROOPER.
There are 68 total pages of paper, most written on BOTH SIDES. - There is a staggering amount of information in these letters regarding life as a paratrooper and soldier. Though not long out of high school, Ray was a well spoken and thoughtful young man, who conveyed his experiences very well.
The letters start with Jan. 2nd 1943 - in which he's describing making jumps - And end with a letter dated September 21st, 1945, from a hospital in Berlin, Germany. So they cover about 33 months from stateside training, to time overseas, reflections on combat, and conclude with descriptions about events and activities in post VE Day Europe, during occupation duty.
Most letters are multiple pages, there being only two or three single page letters. You can see him transform from a hard charging young paratrooper, to a tired and wizened young man with a new appreciation for the simple things in life, and looking forward to the day he can go home !!
More than just individual letters, these are Ray Wilson's story in wartime writing. You can read between the lines, and cross reference the letters with 460th PFA & 517th histories, to help complete the picture of when and where they were written, and under what conditions.
Copy of wartime photo of PFC Ray Wilson, along with copies of discharge and DD-214 documents. **Again, these are copies of originals, NOT originals, as the originals are not currently available for sale.
And a reprint of the 517th Parachute Infantry Combat Team's December, 1944 Christmas greeting. Ray Wilson is listed as a member of Battery A, 460th Parachute Field Artillery
from eBay listings
April 15, 2005 and January 29, 2007