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2nd Lt. Martin B. UngeróNavigator Letters 1943-44

2nd Lt. Martin B. Unger
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Picture with Newspaper cliping stating, "NEY YORKERS WIN HERO AWARD: Two Posthumous Awards. In the same area two Oak Leaf Clusters in lieu of additional Air Medals were awarded posthumously to 2nd Lt. Martin B. Unger.
2nd Lt. Martin B. Unger

Note: The following letters cannot be reproduced or used for any purpose without written permission from the Martin Unger family or Patrick Ranfranz. The letters (documents) may be used solely for personal, informational, and noncommercial purposes.

The following letters were written by Martin B. Unger to his family from March 1943 until June 1944. The letters start in March of 1943 when Martin entered the Army Air Force basic training in Nashville, TN and they end the day before his shoot down (the last letter sent on 24 June 1944). His final letter was written while based with the 13th Air Force & 307th Bomb Group on the Admiralty Islands (Mokerang Field, Los Negros). Martin likely wrote his final letter while sitting in his tent on Los Negros as he prepared for one of the longest bombing missions of the entire war (a 13 hour round trip to Yap Island) the following day.

Cecile (Martin's sister) provided me (Pat Ranfranz) with access to 57 letters from 1943 and 34 letters from 1944. The letters are an invaluable piece of Army Air Force (AAF) history that follow Martin from the time he entered the Air Corps on 6 March 1943, throughout his training as a Navigator, and up until his tragic loss on 25 June 1944. The letters provide an insight into someone going through the Army Air Force training during the height of the air war in World War II. In addition, the letters help us understand how an Accountant from New York City, Martin Unger, was transformed into an Army Air Force Navigator who flew numerous missions with the 307th Bomb Group before being lost and listed as KIA/MIA over Yap Island on 25 June 1944.

Martinís letters have allowed me to put more than a face on one of the Coleman crew members. I feel like I know Martin from his letters and can feel his thoughts and dreams that ended too soon. The letters have pushed me to work even harder to locate the Coleman plane and to document the life and times of the Coleman crew members who were lost so many years ago.

The letters were sent from the following locations:

  • March 1943 to April 1943: Nashville Army Air Center (A.A.F.C.C.), Thompson Lane, Nashville, Tenn
  • April 1943 to October 1943: Navigation School, Monroe, Louisiana
  • October 1943 to February 1944: Army Air Base, Pueblo, Colorado
  • February 1944 to June 1944: Overseas

Select One
1943
1944



 
1943 Letters:

The letters are in a PDF file format. Viewing or downloading .pdf files requires that the Adobe Reader program is installed on your computer. The Adobe Reader program is free, and may be downloaded by going to the following site: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

6 March 1943 Letter
From Martin Unger's first letter to his family dated 6 March 1944: We just arrived here a little while ago end have been assigned to barracks already. The train arrived 6 Ĺ hours later & took about twice as long as an ordinary train.


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1944 Letters:

The letters are in a PDF file format. Viewing or downloading .pdf files requires that the Adobe Reader program is installed on your computer. The Adobe Reader program is free, and may be downloaded by going to the following site: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

24 June 1944 Letter
From Martin Unger's last letter to his family dated 24 June 1944: I am well & kept busy flying. Aside from that there is nothing else to write about. You undoubtedly know from the news reports from this area that quite a lot has been happening out this way. It is encouraging news to everyone & it seems as though the beginning of the end is in sight.

Army Air Base, Pueblo, Colorado

Overseas-Pacific

February 1944



Note: The following letters cannot be reproduced or used for any purpose without written permission from the Martin Unger family or Patrick Ranfranz. The letters (documents) may be used solely for personal, informational, and noncommercial purposes.

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