This collection is made up of 34 letters that United States military personnel wrote to army nurse Erna E. Maas during and just after World War II, as well as 3 letters that she received from an acquaintance in New Jersey. The 10 military men discussed their service in the Pacific and European Theaters, shared news of mutual acquaintances, and commented on military life.
Collection processed and finding aid created by Kay Miller, April 2013, and Meg Hixon, August 2013
Scope and Content:
This collection consists of 34 letters that United States military personnel wrote to army nurse Erna E. Maas during and just after World War II, as well as 3 letters that Maas received from Gus A. Ochsner, who commented on his work for the Bloomfield, New Jersey, Department of Health. Maas received 35 manuscript letters and V-mail, 1 typed letter, and 1 postcard with a picture of Geneva, Switzerland (postmarked February 1, 1946).
The soldiers, who were members of the United States Army, United States Army Air Forces, and United States Marine Corps, discussed aspects of their service in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific Theater between April 1943 and June 1946, often commenting on their travels and their appreciation for Maas and other nurses. The men in Europe served in England, France, Germany, and Austria. Some shared news of mutual acquaintances and Maas's younger brother. A man named Larry briefly described his visit to World War I cemeteries at Verdun and noted the differences between trenches and foxholes (February 5, 1945). Fred A. Kierstead, Jr. (10 items), and "Don" (10 items) wrote most frequently, and several other men wrote 1-3 letters each; see below for a complete list of correspondents.
List of Correspondents
Jack Bauer (1 item, April 19, 1943)
"Don" (14 items, September 30, 1945-June 20, 1946, and undated)
George Gabriel (1 item, February 1, 1946)
"G. G. G." (2 items, March 4, 1946-April 25, 1946)
Carl Goldschrafe (2 items, October 26, 1944-May 17, 1945)
Fred A. Kierstead, Jr. (10 items, July 22, 1944-August 29, 1945)
"Larry" (1 item, February 5, 1945)
"Nick" (1 item, undated)
Gus A. Ochsner (3 items, January 25, 1944-June 7, 1944)
"Pete" (2 items, June 10, 1945-June 23, 1945)
Biographical / Historical:
Erna Elizabeth Maas was born in Newark, New Jersey, on October 2, 1919. She graduated from the East Orange General Hospital School of Nursing in 1940 and served in the United States Army Nurse Corps in the United States and Europe from 1943-1946. In 1951, she earned a nursing degree from Seton Hall University, and from 1967-1979 she was a school librarian. Maas married Donald McKeon around 1951 and had two children, Jon and Mary Ellen. Erna Maas McKeon died on February 22, 2003.
2004. M-4409.3 .
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.
Rules or Conventions:
Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Additional Descriptive Data:
The Erna Maas collection arrived at the Clements Library with 11 apparently unrelated items. Please contact the Manuscripts Division for more information.
"Erna Elizabeth Maas McKeon." The Daily Courier (Prescott, Ariz.) 27 February 2003: 5A.
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