[Letter] 1944 November 22 [to] President Stoughton

Dublin Core


[Letter] 1944 November 22 [to] President Stoughton


Bryan Army Air Field (Texas)
Army Air Forces (AAF) Instrument Flying Standardization Board


Bakke writes of a visit to Wagner and apologizes for not seeing President Stoughton during that visit. He informs Stoughton of his marriage and the birth of his son. He then tells of his activities since early 1943 including various training assignments and activities.


Bakke, Oscar


Wagner College Archive, Horrmann Library




Wagner College, Staten Island, NY

Is Part Of

A complete index to the letters in this collection can be found here: http://library.wagner.edu/wagnerarchive/StoughtonPDF/Correspondence index.pdf









Document Item Type Metadata


22 Nov 1944
Dear President Stoughton,
While this letter wasn’t intended as an apology, I imagine I can’t very well avoid expressing my regrets at having missed you when I was last at Wagner. I say that I’m not apologizing because actually I accomplished everything I intended while on Staten Island. Primarily, I was interested in learning how the cabinets Einar and I had built in the laboratories were holding up – and I was satisfied, in fact, greatly relieved, to see that almost all of them were intact. You’ll probably think me a liar and then some, but for over three years now I’ve worried as to their condition and I’m satisfied that they will stand another three years. Secondarily – and no undue reflections are intended – I was interested in seeing Prexy. I may have missed the opportunity to speak with you but I certainly couldn’t have missed seeing you since, when I opened the chapel door, a sight vividly reminiscent of many a chapel morning seemed to have been prepared for me. There was Prexy,

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the same President Stoughton who used to call his “family” aside for heart to heart chats over the conditions of the campus, the attitude of the underclassmen, and chapel attendance; the same old heart-warming approach which used to waste so much time but which was immediately forgiven since everyone feels the personal touch that urged one to reluctantly concede “well, just one more chapel service.”
I don’t know what could have been more appropriate than to see Prexy swing into form – unless perhaps I had met Mr. Cook and started another one of our once periodical sessions investigating our financial standing, or more adequately, reaching a precarious agreement as to what Wagner student was a mercenary ingrate. Good old Mr. Cook! But it was satisfying to see the chapel filled with warm, proud faces and to hear the number one man of Grymes Hill justly reflect their pride. I believe I stood in the doorway for approximately three minutes, but in three minutes three years of army were undone and I was back at Wagner again.
While this all sounds like so much nonsense, what I really am trying to say is that I did see

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you, President Stoughton, whatever complaints you may have as to the brevity of my visit.
At the time I was assigned, Temporary Duty, at Fort Dix and had been for about four days. Mrs. Bakke was visiting her home in Brooklyn at the time and, since I hadn’t seen either her or Stevie in approximately a month, you can imagine why I had no desire to wait. However, I met Marguerite and she complained that no notice was given you of our marriage or of the birth of our son. I took exception to the complaint, however, and I’m sure you were informed. She insisted, however, that I had written no letter since leaving Lubbock and I’m afraid that that is very true.
During the first few months of ’43 I was anticipating tactical orders and expected to join a combat unit shortly. However, only a few days before such orders arrived, I was sent to Bryan, Texas for an Advanced Instrument Course. Upon return to Lubbock I was to leave for B-26 light bombardment. However, Bryan had been authorized to retain some of their students as instrument in-

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structors without necessity of requesting transfer prior to such selection. The short story is that I was retained at Bryan and immediately informed that no transfer could be expected for at least a year.
After approximately nine months of instrument instruction at Bryan, I joined the ground school at this station and, in addition to flying duties, lectured and lectured and lectured. However, my stay at Ground School lasted only about three months after which a Board was designated by Training Staff as the AAF Instrument Flying Standardization Board of which I became a member. At present the Board has further increased both in size and responsibility and it provides an extremely interesting duty although the volume of flying that I know log is decreasing. My duties consist largely of experimental flying and the writing of Technical Orders used in conjunction with Instrument Training.
The most significant change is, of course, the fact that I altered my marital status and wisely so. You have met Mrs. Bakke

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several years ago in Brooklyn but I doubt very much that you recall her. Sufficient to say that a happier couple have yet to be.
Should I find occasion to visit New York again soon, you may be certain that I’ll take advantage of it to see you. Greetings to Mrs. Stoughton and to the Wagner faculty.

Original Format


Date Digital



Bakke, Oscar, “[Letter] 1944 November 22 [to] President Stoughton,” Wagner College Archives and Special Collections, accessed November 26, 2022, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/16282.