Frankie and the Ford GPW

IMG_3064_covergirl On the windshield of this jeep – Frankie. During WW2 GIs would emblazon their loved one’s names on vehicles. This one is Frankie. frankiepose This is one of my favorite photos of Frankie. She’s standing in my 42 Ford GPW with a striking pose. redhaltersuit_cropped Close up of the above picture. The girl? Her name is Francesca “”Frankie”” Moretti, a model, at least until recently when she joined up as a Red Cross Nursing Cadet. Born in March, 1920, she is 22 years old (it’s 1942). What can I tell you? I got a wayback machine… IMG_2417_bluepolkadotdress

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Frankie’s boyfriend, John “”Bud”” McIntyre left college and joined the Air Corps or the United States Army Air Force as it would soon be known. After flight school he was shipped off to Dale Mabry Field to serve as a Flight Instructor. By now the boyfriend had been promoted to Captain. Anxious to get into the war, he applies and re-applies for transfers.

On weekends and furloughs (dang few of those, he’d tell you), Bud wangles a jeep from the Motor Pool Sargeant for a “test” ride to make sure the vehicle is performing up to standards. You know it pays to remember it may be the officers that are in charge but it is the NCOs that run the military–that and an occassional box of cuban cigars for Sarge. It’s always the jeep, “”Frankie”” that was assigned to him that he takes.

IMG_2439_green_polka_dot Frankie doesn’t like to be kept waiting. Sitting on the hood of the jeep, she’s ready to go. IMG_2814_whitedress Stopped by a country lane, Bud picks some flowers for Frankie as she reflects on other times and places. IMG_2590_blackdress_red_accent Frankie uses any excuse to doll up and riding in a jeep is no exception. IMG_2474_reddress_skincolor Once in a while, usually after a bottle of wine, Bud lets Frankie drive. So far no wrecks but she’s a little hard on getting into second. The Motor Pool Sargeant is going to wise up to this Captain any day now. IMG_2692_sailor_suit Frankie looks cute in her sailor suit, anything to cheer up Bud. He’s still sulking about the transfer (it’s a different time and place, that’s for sure) not coming through. IMG_2850_redhalter_redshorts Frankie’s movie star pose. “No, autographs pah-leese…I vant to be alone.” Another one of my favorite photos. IMG_2870_bluehalter Bud always did like blue, guess that’s why he joined the Army Air Force. Frankie remembers too and wears a blue halter on this weekend. IMG_2892_afshirt_blueshorts2 Stealing Bud’s AAF shirt, Frankie puts it on as she’s digging in the small picnic basket for the bread, cheese and, of course, wine. IMG_2980_bluefancyshirt Frankie looks pretty good in anything, this blue shirt is no exception. IMG_3059_redbathingsuit Bud has driven the jeep to the swimming hole. Frankie poses for a snapshot.