IMAGE AND STORY: YOUNG SOLDIER COMES HOME FROM WORLD WAR I (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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On November 11th, 1918, World War I came to an end. It was a joyous time and soldiers and sailors from all the fighting nations were able to return home to their loved ones. This real photo postcard provides a visual image of that time in history. We see two ships speeding home on a a rough ocean. The postcard shows an American soldier who is portrayed as being on one of these ships. Note the American flag in the background as well as the flags on each ship. This was truly a patriotic time. On the reverse of the postcard is a most interesting message. On 12/13/18, about a month after the war’s end, Richard M. Daebelliehn (1889-1964) wrote a message to his wife. I will decipher it the best that I can as it is not totally legible. “Dear Wife, I will wire you just as soon as I hit USA and will have you meet me. You can be expecting a telegram from me”. He signed his name and followed it with an alphabet soup of letters, “HQ (headquarters) M.O.R.S. (?) A. E. F. (American Expeditionary Force) France. It also appears that the word “Cook” appears before his name. Daebelliehn sent this postcard to his wife who was living in Davenport, Iowa. Research reveals that his wife’s name was Grace Luttsia Anderson. The 1920 US census reports that the couple had two children, Dorothea (age 9), and Robert (age 7). The census, as well as many city directories, indicate that Richard was a butcher (meat cutter) for many years. In fact, he owned his own business. Knowing that Richard was a butcher before the war likely explains why he was a cook in the military. Richard and his family lived in Rock Island, Illinois at the time of the census. I wish I could say that after Richard was reunited with his family that they lived happily together for many years. However, Grace died in September of 1921 in Springfield, Illinois. Richard remarried (Margaret Daebelliehn) sometime before 1930. This postcard was produced by Furia, a French postcard company. The postcard certainly is a relic of history with an image on one side and a story on the other side.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on First Night History.

  2. Millions died and still millions came home broken physically and mentally; many dying young in the states. This man was one of the blessed. Imagine what he saw: 2 world wars and Korea and Vietnam. I suppose he learned that mankind has never changed. I’m glad he was able to have a wife and children and a business of his own. The American Dream. – I suppose his children are still alive? Thanks Cabinet Cards. – This is so moving. It took a lifetime for these men to forget what they experienced. – Look at his face. Most never could forget. This card is a treasure.

  3. I assume that the photo in the card is a generic one, not the sender of the card … ??? … bought at (what passed for) the PX … alternatives not very feasible at that time and place (and anyhow, it is too good).
    Could be ? … H.Q. % O.R.S., A.E.F. ??? That could suggest ‘Headquarters, Ordnance Repair Shops’ … which was actually located near some town in France. They needed food service (cooks and butchers) too. But what do I know? Seems like a fast track back to USA after the armistice … no rank indicated, sort of puzzling message for a doughboy-rank.

  4. I agree that this postcard was likely of the generic variety. The soldier in the photograph may have actually just been someone with “the look” that the photographer was seeking. I could not find appropriate World War I information to ascertain the message writer’s rank.

  5. I love how his handwriting is so neat for the address part. This is one gorgeous RPPC.


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