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Charles W. Lund collection, 1942-1945

0.5 linear feet

This collection contains 118 letters that Private Charles W. Lund of Edgerton, Wisconsin, wrote to his family while serving in the United States Army during World War II. Lund trained at bases in Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and later served in the European Theater.

This collection (122 items) contains 118 letters that Private Charles W. Lund of Edgerton, Wisconsin, wrote to his family while serving in the United States Army during World War II. Lund trained at bases in Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and later served in the European Theater.

The Correspondence series (119 items) comprises the bulk of the collection. Lund, who addressed the majority of his letters to his mother, frequently inquired about his siblings and other relatives in his correspondence from November 26, 1942-August 1, 1945. At Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, and Fort McClellan, Alabama, he commented on basic training and other aspects of camp life. Two of his letters from December 1942 concern members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, a regiment comprised of Japanese soldiers, and Lund reported one lethal fight in which a Texan killed a Japanese man (December 14, 1942). At the Mississippi Ordnance Plant and at Camp Forest, Tennessee, Lund wrote about the weather, family news, and his health.

After his arrival in England in February 1944, he discussed his finances, as well as ongoing health problems and hospitalization. During the summer of 1944, his regiment was stationed on an island where they encountered Italian prisoners of war. Lund was hospitalized again for back problems in September 1944. After rejoining his unit in 1945, he described his experiences in Germany. In the summer of 1945, he oversaw prisoners of war at a submarine factory in Mönchengladbach, and he anticipated a furlough and possible transfer to the Pacific Theater. Lund sent 2 greeting cards home in December 1944, and the series also includes a V-mail letter and a postcard regarding address changes. The final item is an undated letter that a soldier named Robert wrote to his mother from the United States Naval Air Station at Norfolk, Virginia.

The Visual Material series (3 items) contains a color photograph of a soldier with a dog and 2 pages of Sad Sack comic strips.


Correspondence, 1944-1946, and undated

1 cubic foot (in 2 boxes)

The collection consists mainly of correspondence from Lloyd W. Thompson to his wife, Lillian, 1944-1946.

This is a wonderful collection documenting the state-side World War II experience of the average homesick Michigander, pressed into duty for his country and wanting desperately to get home as soon as possible to his wife and new baby. It is also a unique collection documenting the prisoners of war, mainly German, who were processed in/out and worked in North Carolina, their treatment, work projects, and care.

The collection includes 173 letters that Lillian received from her husband, Lloyd Thompson. 165 were written between February and December 1945, and eight were written in 1946. Lloyd wrote them from North Carolina, where he was stationed either at the Prisoner of War Camp of Fort Butner or Hendersonville. Lloyd always wrote of missing her, wishing to be discharged, of his friends and officers in the army, of working on and driving various vehicles, of their baby, of life in the barracks, of prostitutes and drinking in town and at parties, of the arrest of prostitutes and GIs caught with them in Durham, and of the point system by which U.S. soldiers were dismissed from duty. Mostly, Lloyd wrote of the prisoners of war (POWs), who were all Germans until November 23, 1945 when French, Czech, Polish and Dutch prisoners were added to the camps. He noted the weekly American movies they watched, the crops they harvested, POW escapes, a tunnel and bomb they created, searching them, transporting them, what they ate, changes in their status and privileges after VE Day, how his truck drivers occasionally hit POWs, and how local farmers and pulp wood manufacturers fought Washington, D.C. to extend the time they could employ POWs. (The deadline originally was January 1, 1947, but this was extended through the end of March.) Lloyd was assigned to clean out side POW camps and eventually Camp Butner. His dismissal was delayed until the camp was nearly emptied, at which point he collected supplies for his wife and himself (new shoes, wool trousers, a jacket, soap, and towels) and shipped them home. He also noted others, particularly civilians, who were caught sneaking into POW areas and, later, civilians who stole camp supplies.

Also included in the collection are letters Lillian received from female relatives and friends, including two from her mother-in-law, Mrs. M. Thompson, in 1944 and 1945; one from a friend Corporal Abbigail Balgooyen [spelled with two b’s]; two from her sister, Ella Jannetta, in Durham, North Carolina, in 1945; two from Thompson relatives, Mary Ellen, and Bob, Helen and Kids; and a congratulatory baby card form two friends, all dated 1945. Most of the letters are pretty general in nature and brief, inquiring about Lillian and the baby, Lloyd being gone, and noting the health and activities of mutual friends and family members. Of special note is the letter from Lillian’s friend, Cpl. Abbigail Balgooyen, dated June 20, 9144. Abbigail was a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (a WAAC) stationed “Somewhere in England”. Her letter vividly describes the extremely uncomfortable living conditions in her “camp,” which included straw mattresses (bolsters), “cell” like rooms, and having no pillows. She had had measles, which delayed her being sent to England. A U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Record of Lloyd W. Thompson (copy) is included.

The letters are all handwritten, mostly in ink, a few in pencil, on various types and sizes of paper. A few of the letters are acidic and yellowed. Two photographs are included, one of an old man and two young boys ( with letter of March 27, 1945) and one of Lloyd, who has his back towards the camera (with letter of June 8, 1945). Information about POW camps in the U.S. and Fort Butner is included (copies, 2006), as well as a rough inventory of the letters.


Lawrence Nash collection, 1942-1945 (majority within 1944-1945)

16 items

The Lawrence Nash collection is made up of letters and other items pertaining to Nash's service in the United States Army during World War II. Nash received letters about his draft status from the Selective Service System and later wrote to his wife Shirley about his experiences in western Europe during the final months of the war.

The Lawrence Nash collection is made up of 16 items pertaining to Nash's service in the United States Army during World War II. Nash, a sergeant, received 2 letters from the Selective Service in 1942, and wrote 12 letters to his wife Shirley from Europe in 1944 and 1945. The remaining items are a handkerchief and military newsletters.

The Selective Service System sent letters to Lawrence R. Nash ("Larry") in Rochester, New York, on October 1, 1942, and October 26, 1942, about his classification and selection for induction on November 10, 1942. From August 16, 1944-June 8, 1945, Nash wrote 12 letters to his wife Shirley in Syracuse, New York, including 6 written in March 1945 and 2 written after V-E Day. Nash discussed their separation, his hopes for a quick end to the war, and his experiences in England, France, Luxembourg, and Germany, where he spent some time in foxholes. Though he wrote little of military life, Nash mentioned the age of German prisoners, who, by the spring of 1945, were mostly "old men" (March 16, 1945).

His postwar letters refer to his plans to travel to Paris and his desire to return home. A woven handkerchief is enclosed in an envelope postmarked December 8, 1944, and two newsletters (clipped together) contain notes on Allied progress in Europe ("I & E News Bulletin," January 23, 1945) and a poem about "The Soldiers Who Sit" ("The Snowball," February 9, 1945).