About Me

My photo
In 1943 I was drafted into World War 11 right out of Madison High School, Rochester, NY. This is my story as told in the letters I wrote home. They’re all here, all 192 of them. Spend some time with me as I describe my experiences in basic training and then off to war. They were written in an attempt to help me feel close to my family and to let them know what was going on in my life. It’s the first time I was away from home and I have to confess that I was homesick. My folks were Esther and Jacob Kaplow. We were four children in this order: Arnette, Ruth, Bob, and myself.

Postcard, Camp Upton

A gentle person, Ben’s letters to his folks were carefully written with descriptions of his experiences. His concern was to avoid worrying them, so he includes some humor as he keeps them informed. And he definitely shows his appreciation for all the letters and packages sent to him by family and friends.
The viewer will see Ben’s growth from an innocent, young Jewish boy who begins basic training to become a soldier, and who, as time passes, will be exposed to the atrocities of war. So many soldiers had the same experiences, but Ben chronicled his.
June 26, 1943 Ben is at Camp Upton, Long Island, an induction center for new soldiers. He will be transferred to a permanent camp for basic training.

This card is the beginning of Ben’s many informative letters to his family. http://www.benkaplow.com

Front of Picture Post Card: “They sure make you feel at home here!”
Ben, writes on the front, “Like Hell!”

Back of Post Card - Addressed to Ben’s mother

June 26, 1943
Hi Everybody,
Arrived in New York after a train ride that was really funny - We all looked like miners out of the mines.


  1. Hi. looking for a picture of Camp Upton around 1945. specifically a shot of a guard house. this guard house waqs eventually actioned and ended up on a piece of property I own. Just looking for some historical reference. I think buyer's last name was Morshe or Morche or Morsche.

  2. Hi Basso, A photo of Camp Croft Military Post appears on Ben's website at http://www.benkaplow.com/1944/19440121.html.
    The photo also appears on a South Carolina website at
    Hope this helps. Good luck, Florence