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Davenport West collection, 1945

18 items

This collection contains reports, notes, and manuscript maps related to the actions of Task Force Poinier, a United States Army unit, between March and April 1945, as well as a narrative account of the 331st Infantry's experiences in France in January 1945. The reports provide detailed records of American military operations as Allied forces progressed eastward across Germany in the closing months of World War II.

This collection contains 3 reports, 3 pages of notes, 11 manuscript maps, and a narrative account of the 331st Infantry Regiment's experiences in France in January 1945, written by Technical Sergeant Davenport West. The reports provide detailed records of American military operations as Allied forces progressed eastward across Germany in the closing months of World War II.

The S-3 Worksheets series contains 3 typed reports on the actions of various units including Task Force Poinier (comprised of companies from the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron; the 18th Tank Battalion; the 809th Tank Destroyer Battalion; and the 7th Armored Infantry Battalion).

The first document (5 pages, incomplete) is a list of communications received from various units moving east through Germany toward the Rhine River on March 1 and 2, 1945. These communications often reported encounters with enemy troops and occasionally relayed information received from captured prisoners of war. The battalion receiving the communications was stationed in Wankum, Germany, near the country's western border.

The second report (20 pages) is comprised of daily communications compiled throughout March 1945. The typescript has occasional manuscript revisions and marginal notes. During the first part of the month, soldiers remained in camp and spent most of their time participating in training exercises, and on March 24 they began making preparations to join other troops attempting to cross the Rhine River. The orders received on March 24 pertain to several tactical considerations for the upcoming military action to establish an Allied line between Hamm and Soest, Germany. The resulting battle to capture the town of Dorsten is covered in detail between March 28 and March 31.

The third S-3 worksheet, an incomplete copy of a report entitled "Secret After Action Report" (2 pages), contains daily updates on Task Force Poinier's progress through Germany between April 1, 1945, and April 4, 1945.

The Manuscript Narrative and Notes series includes a narrative account and 3 pages of miscellaneous notes. The narrative is entitled "Travels of Too Bad: Le Havre to Herzberg," and chronicles an unidentified unit's experiences between January 5 and January 12, 1945, written by "an informal EM" (p. 1). After landing on January 5, the unit traveled through northern France, and the author described the countryside and the army's movements. Though the narrative ends near Nomény, [France], on January 12, a table of contents indicates that the full document was intended to conclude after the author's unit moved into Herzberg, Germany. The narrative is accompanied by 3 pages of notes.

Ten Manuscript Maps show various sections of Germany that the 7th Armored Infantry Battalion crossed in March and April 1945. These include detailed battle maps showing the location of various American units, as well as overlays of the battalion's route. An additional map is a sketch of the town of Dorsten, Germany.


Emanuel Levy collection, 1941-2007

2 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, soldiers' newsletters, and other items related to Emanuel Levy's service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II and his involvement in veterans' reunions. Levy corresponded with family members and friends in Brooklyn, New York, while serving in in the United States and the Pacific Theater from 1941-1943; he later received updates from fellow veterans. The collection also includes Levy's war reminiscences, and sheet music and manuscripts of Levy's musical comedy, Hey Mister Satan (1942).

This collection is made up of correspondence, soldiers' newsletters, and other items related to Emanuel Levy's service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II, and to his involvement in veterans' reunions.

The Correspondence series (244 items) contains Emanuel Levy's incoming and outgoing correspondence from January 1941 to June 1943, and a single letter written in September 1945. "Manny" received letters from family members and friends in Brooklyn, New York, who discussed the family news and, less frequently, politics and the war. His correspondents included women named Muriel, Evelyn, Alberta, and Frances. In his letters and postcards, Levy commented on his experiences at Camp Upton, New York; Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Camp Beale, California; Camp Butner, North Carolina; other bases; and in Hawaii and the Pacific Theater, where he was stationed for most of 1942. He described his life on base immediately prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, discussed finances and allotments, and responded to news from his family's letters to him. He occasionally used stationery from the Jewish Welfare Board, USO, and various military installations.

The Military Transmissions and Communications series (8 items) consists of official communications sent during World War II, primarily related to the signal corps and the Pacific Theater. The series includes Irving Strobing's transmission reporting the surrender of Corregidor (May 4, 1942) and a separate order to stop American vessels bound for Corregidor, a communication from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the United States Army forces in the Philippines (beginning "Personal from the President to Lt Gen Wainwright…"), and an undated notice of the German surrender.

The Reunions and Postwar Papers series (94 items) includes materials related to reunions of the 303rd Signal Operation Battalion, the history of the unit, and Emanuel Levy's involvement with veterans' organizations. The 303rd Signal Operation Battalion held reunions from 1947-1993. Items include Emanuel Levy's postwar correspondence with fellow veterans, invitations, address lists, newspaper clippings, and ephemeral materials. Several incoming letters to Levy inform him of fellow veterans' postwar lives and deaths.

The Writings series (8 items) pertains to Emanuel Levy's service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II. Three personal reminiscences, written sometime after the war, recount his work for the 101st Signal Operation Battalion and 303rd Signal Operation Battalion in the United States, the Pacific, and Europe during and just after the war, with details about military communications operations, his movements, and specific incidents. One item is a list of the posts where Levy served between April 1941 and September 1945. The series contains an article that Levy submitted to Harper's Magazine in 1957 ("Two Ugly Beasties") and typescripts and manuscript sheet music for Levy's musical, "Hey Mister Satan," written with George H. Johnston and C. W. Erdenbrecher.

The Printed Items series (20 unique items) contains multiple copies of soldiers' newsletters. The Burpee, by the 303rd Signal Operation Battalion, related news of the battalion's activities while at Camp Crowder, Missouri, and in Sunnyvale, California (August 5, 1943-November 18, 1943). The Taylor Maid chronicled events onboard the General Harry Taylor at the close of the war in the Pacific; the series holds a marquee "War Ends" issue (August 15, 1945) and a signed souvenir issue (August 18, 1945). Other items are a copy of The Message, a professional newspaper produced in Camp Crowder, Missouri (September 9, 1943), and a published volume, 303rd Signal Operation Battalion: An Informal Unofficial History, April 17, 1943-February 25, 1946. The publication is a unit history comprised of photographs and essays by several of its members and a unit roster.

Three World War II-era newspaper clippings pertain to Emanuel Levy's promotion to master sergeant, a Women's Army Corps member's visit to her dying soldier son, and the 303rd Signal Operation Battalion's service in Europe, including participation in the Battle of the Bulge.