“Greetings from . . .” the Large Letter Postcards of Military Fields

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In the jargon of the manufacturers, Big Letter or more simply Letter postcards that within the hobby became Large Letter Linens first appeared in the 1930s and were wildly popular for more than two decades. Most came with the tagline “Greetings from…” There were two basic styles: the solid and the open (or pictured) large letter.

The “solid” letter cards, such as the Berry Field card below, seemed to be brighter and more colorful. It may be stated without reservation that the more colorful a card was what determined how popularly it would sell. The “open” letter cards included photos of prominent buildings and scenic areas within the named cities.

There were at least twelve to fourteen major manufacturers of large letter postcards, but companies that dominated the market were: Curt Teich, Chicago; E. C. Knopp, Milwaukee; Sanborn Souvenir Co., Denver; Dexter Press, West Nyack, N.Y.; Tichnor Bros., Boston; and the Ashville Postcard Company, Ashville, N.C.

The manufacturing processes used by the leading publisher – Curt Teich of Chicago, Illinois – is faithfully outlined in the book Large Letter Postcards: the definitive guide: 1930s to 1950s, by Fred Tenney and Kevin Hilbert. Published by Schiffer, ©2009.

The collecting and sorting of Large Letter postcards is not much different than any other collection of cards, however it is amazing how enthusiastic and devoted some collectors are to the various genres of Large Letters. (The amount some collectors are willing to pay is a topic left for another article.) For example, there are collectors who are devoted to STATE cards, CITY cards, FOREIGN cards, NATURAL WONDER cards, BEACH cards, LAKE and RIVER cards. And even, large NUMBER cards (there are a few). Among the most popular of the large letter cards are ones found under the topic MILITARY LARGE LETTER cards.

Military letter cards were especially popular because so many of our sons, brothers, nephews, fathers, uncles, and grandfathers used them as an easy way to let the folks at home know that they had arrived – safe and sound – at their assigned duty post.

Military cards are often re-sorted into FORT, CAMP, BASE, CENTER, BARRACKS, STATION, and FIELD.

The subtopic of “FIELD” cards is the focus of this article. Examples of both solid and pictured letters are presented with some pertinent data concerning the example card. The list is no doubt incomplete. A checklist of the known “FIELD” cards follows.      

Berry Field, Nashville, Tennessee

Namesake:  Col. Harry S. Berry, a local administrator for the Works Progress Administration.

Established: June 1937.

Repurposed: Berry Field is now Nashville International Airport 

Other: Home of the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Drew Field, Tampa, Florida

Namesake: John H. Drew, former owner of the land on which the airport stands. 

Established: 1928

Repurposed: Now Tampa International Airport

March Field, [Riverside County], California

Namesake: Lieutenant Peyton C. March, Jr.

Established: February 1918.

Repurposed: Currently March Air Reserve Base

Moody Field, [Valdosta], Georgia

Namesake: Major George Moody (1908–1941), was a U.S. Army Air Corps test pilot who died on 5 May 1941. Moody Army Air Field was named on 6 December 1941.

Established: 1941.

Repurposed: Now a United States Air Force installation near Valdosta, Georgia

Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas

Namesake: Named in honor of Senator John Morris Sheppard of Texas (1875–1941).

Established: 1941

Repurposed: Currently Sheppard Air Force Base


The following is a checklist of other military “Field” installations.

Note: There are large letter postcards for every location listed below,
however the list is probably incomplete.

Biggs Field, near El Paso, Texas
Buckley Field, near Denver, Colorado
Gowen Field, Idaho
Geiger Field, Washington
Hammer Field, California
Kirtland Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Lowry Field, Denver, Colorado
MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida
Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama
Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama
Randolph Field, University City, Texas
Scott Field, Belleville, Illinois
Smoky Hill Field, Salina Kansas
Spence Field, Moultrie, Georgia
Tinker Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Turner Field, Albany, Georgia
Wendover Field, Wendover, Utah
Williams Field, Mesa, Arizona
Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


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I had only seen state and city Large Letter cards. never military ones before.That made it a very interesting article. Thanks.

Very nice article, fabulous cards. Thank you.

I liked the article very much. One more thing to look for. I also created my own Hometown Large Letter Postcard with a description of the images on the Back


The back of Bronx Greeting


Beautiful cards and very interesting article. Perfect as Memorial Day approaches.

Add Chrissy Field in San Francisco to the list.

Obviously the same original illustration was used for the Berry Field and Sheppard Field cards.

Would love to see Biggs airfield, served there 73-75 thanks

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