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A Guide to the Ferdy W. Freytag Letters

Finding aid created by Kalthoum Elfasi

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2015


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Freytag, Ferdy W. (Ferdinand), 1902-1957
Title: Ferdy W. Freytag Letters
Dates: 1924-1926
Abstract: This collection consists mainly of letters sent from Ferdy W. Freytag, a military airplane mechanic stationed in the Panama Canal Zone between 1924 and 1926, to his love, Beryl Burton, a college student and teacher residing in Redfield, New York. While the content of the letters mostly regards love and other personal matters, interesting details regarding the lives of military men stationed in the Canal Zone during the 1920s is also included.
Extent: 0.42 Linear feet.
Identification: MSS 0348
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Ferdy (Ferdinand) W. Freytag (1902-1957) enlisted for the Army Air Service sometime between 1924 and 1925, and was stationed in France Field, Panama Canal Zone, 25th Bombardment Squadron. While he worked as an airplane mechanic, his lover, Beryl Burton (1903-1985), was a college student and teacher residing in Redfield, New York. The couple later married.

Sources consulted for biographical information include the National Archives 1940 Census Data and Find a Grave.


Scope and Content

This collection consists mainly of letters sent from Ferdy W. Freytag, a military airplane mechanic stationed in the Panama Canal Zone between 1924 and 1926, to his love, Beryl Burton, a college student and teacher residing in Redfield, New York. While the content of the letters mostly regards love and other personal matters, interesting details regarding the lives of military men stationed in the Canal Zone during the 1920s is also included. Stemming from Freytag's position as an airplane mechanic, many of the experiences mentioned in his letters involve machinery and transportation, such as planes and submarines. Freytag also reveals some details about the living conditions of American military men stationed in the Canal Zone and moving within the military ranks, as well as the weather and seasonal changes in Panama.

Additionally, this collection includes a couple letters from other people, a lottery ticket (likely from Panama), and two U.S. temporary passes into Panama. The majority of the letters are handwritten.


Arrangement

The letters from Freytag to Burton are arranged chronologically, followed by the small group of other items and letters, which are also arranged chronologically within that group.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

This collection is open for research.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ferdy W. Freytag Letters, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

This document was purchased in 2012.


Contents List

Box Folder
11 Letter to Beryl. 1924 September 17
11 Letter to Beryl. 1924 September 22
11 Letter to Beryl. 1925 January 15
11 Letter to Beryl. 1925 June 23
12 Letter to Beryl including ‘Air Service Dance' card, ‘The Aviators' dance orchestra card, and a piece of wire. 1925 July 1
12 Letter to Beryl. 1925 July 2
12 Letter to Beryl relating to weather and military living conditions in Panama and Colombia oil fields. 1925 July 8
12 Letter to Beryl relating to fruits in Panama and including two newspaper cutouts. 1925 July 12
12 Letter to Beryl. 1925 July 19
13 Letter to Beryl relating to living conditions in Panama. 1925 July 15
13 Letter to Beryl including a letter from Geo E Rapp to Moons. 1925 August 2
13 Letter to Beryl relating to living conditions in Panama. 1925 August 8
13 Letter to Beryl relating to a fire that made it to the news. 1925 August 15
13 Letter to Beryl. 1925 August 30
14 Letter to Beryl relating to weather in Panama. 1925 December 23
14 Letter to Beryl. 1926 January 5
14 Letter to Beryl. 1926 January 14
14 Letter to Beryl. 1926 January 17
15 Letter to Beryl relating to a submarine ride, a cross country to La Peña and Culebra, and prices of products in Panama. 1926 January 20
15 Letter to Beryl relating to weather in Panama. 1926 January 24
15 Letter to Beryl. 1926 January 29
15 Letter to Beryl. 1926 February 4
16 Letter to Beryl. 1926 February 11
16 Letter to Beryl. 1926 February 21
16 Letter to Beryl. 1926 February 28
16 Letter to Beryl including a dried flower. 1926 March 4
17 Letter to Beryl. 1926 March 19
17 Letter to Beryl. 1926 March 28
17 Letter to Beryl. 1926 April 4
17 Letter to Beryl. 1926 April 12
18 Letter to Beryl. 1926 April 17
18 Letter to Beryl. 1926 April 20
18 Letter to Beryl related to jobs in Colombia. 1926 May 4
18 Letter to Beryl related to weather in Panama. 1926 May 15
18 Letter to Beryl. 1926 May 21
19 United States temporary pass for the Republic of Panama. 1925 November 30
19 United States temporary pass for the Republic of Panama. 1925 December 6
19 Letter from Lee to Beryl. 1926 June 19
19 Card from Web to Beryl. undated
19 Lottery ticket, likely from Panama, in Spanish. undated
19 Paper from ‘The New England Steamship Company'. undated

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Canal Zone
Panama
Panama Canal Company
Panama--Colón
Panama--Panama Canal



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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