This collection (33 items) includes 32 letters that John E. Ford sent to his mother and sisters in Athens, New York, while serving in the United States Navy between October 1917 and February 1919. Ford's earliest letters pertain to his experiences at the United States Naval Training Station at Pelham Bay, New York, including his military education and leisure activities. After December 12, 1917, he wrote from the USS Indiana, discussing the ship's movements along the East Coast and describing his activities while on shore leave. On one occasion, he participated in a military parade at Coney Island, New York (May 19, 1918). In late 1918, Ford referred to the influenza epidemic, which led to the closure of public spaces in several southern locations. Ford sometimes wrote on YMCA and Knights of Columbus stationery; one letterhead contains a picture of a man lying in a hammock with the caption "All Night In and Beans for Breakfast" (October 7, 1918). The collection also includes an undated letter from John's brother Lawrence (or Laurence) to their sister Florence about his life in Crescent, New York.