Official Personnel Folder" (OPF), ends in 1937, when she resigned after marrying my grandfather. I checked to see if a second OPF had been created under her married name, but none was found. My mother knew that she had worked during the war. I also have a copy of the resignation letter she submitted to the Inspector-in-Charge in 1944.
2) It's possible to compare relative dollar amounts at MeasuringWorth.com. My grandmother's earnings in 2009 would have been worth $19,600 on the Consumer Price Index. The "Value of the Consumer Bundle" would be $37,200. These are the two indexes the site recommends for comparing wages. I know she started working in May (see letter excerpt below), so this is only for 8 months of work at most.
My grandfather's earnings would be $50,500 on the CPI and $96,600 on the consumer bundle.
3) I wondered what I would find if I compared my Grandfather's earnings to current military wages. There turns out to be too many unknown variables.
I looked up current salary ranges for active military. My grandfather spent (approximately) five months of 1942 as a Captain, and six as a Major. Today, depending upon years in service, he would make between $38,089 (less than 2 years) to $57,267 (10 yrs). However, while my grandfather would have been on the low end for active service, I know from a letter he wrote that he got a 10% increase due to time he had spent in the reserves.
Furthermore, part of my grandfather's earnings in 1942 was for one month as a Postal Inspector in the St. Louis Post Office. I have no idea what he earned for that one month. My grandmother's OPF contains a nice spreadsheet outlining her salary for every year at the Post Office. Unfortunately, my grandfather's doesn't have a comparable page.
An excerpt from a letter my grandmother wrote to him helps a little, but not enough
I figured my income tax yesterday and find I’ll have to pay $167.04 federal income tax. I earned only $1489.13 last year as I didn’t start to work until May. The only exemptions I claimed were $500 (for a “single” person) and my contributions and sales tax. I’m leaving all the other exemptions to you because of your larger income. Your income as a POI and army officer (base pay only) amounts to approximately $3430 and possibly $100 additional as interest on investments, so you see it won’t be so bad. I understand that as head of the house you can claim $700 exemption plus $700 for our daughters. (V-mail sent from Myrtle V Deutsch to Martin J Deutsch - Feb 14, 1943)$3430 is equivalent to $45,100 on the 2009 Consumer Price Index. However, I don't know if that includes the 10% bonus my grandfather received. (I suspect it doesn't.) And I know it still includes the unknown salary from the Post Office.
4) However, there is one thing I can compare without any missing variables. The child deduction. In 1942 it was $350 per child. In 2009 dollars, that would be $4,610 on the Consumer Price Index. Slightly higher than the current $3,650.