2 linear feet
The Charles J. and Jean C. Molnar correspondence (2 linear feet) largely consists of over 570 letters received by Molnar and his wife, Jean Corser, during his service in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Other items include small groups of photographs, ephemera, and printed materials.
The Correspondence series (over 570 items) contains personal letters addressed to Charles J. and Jean Corser Molnar during the World War II era. The first item is a letter and contract regarding Corser's teaching career in Kimball, Minnesota, with a stipulation that marriage would void the agreement (August 10, 1939). The remaining correspondence is dated July 8, 1943-October 3, 1945, covering much of Charles Molnar's service in the United States and India. The majority of items are letters between Charles and Jean Molnar concerning his experiences during intelligence training in Utah; his life in Greensboro, North Carolina, while awaiting deployment; and his service in India. He commented on his courses, his leisure activities, the scenery, and the end of the war; after the birth of his daughter, he responded to news of her growth and addressed some of his correspondence directly to her. In 1943, he occasionally wrote brief diary-like notes about his daily life, sometimes on patriotic or military stationery. At least two of his envelopes bear cartoonish ink drawings of soldiers.
Jean Corser Molnar frequently wrote to her husband throughout his war service, sharing news of family and friends and providing updates about her daughter during her pregnancy and after Mary Ann's birth, some written as though they were from Mary Ann. She also received letters from her mother, female friends, and various family members. Additional correspondence includes a pamphlet about Catholicism that Charles sent to Erma Molnar (September 18, 1943) and letters to Charles Molnar from Dave Corser, one of Jean's young relatives. One family member sent Charles a birthday card in October 1943 with a drawing of a young African American child enjoying cake and a linguistically stylized message. Jean sometimes enclosed newspaper clippings and, on at least one occasion, photographs in her letters (July 6, 1945).
The Photographs series contains 9 black-and-white photographs of United States servicemen and military planes. Two pictures showing the 82nd Squadron, 12th Bomb Group are labeled.
The Poetry, Cards, and Ephemera series (10 items) includes a handkerchief with an air force logo painted on it, a small handmade book with captioned photographs of Mary Ann Molnar as a baby, Hilliard L. Gandy's membership card for the Army Air Forces Aid Society, a 2-page draft of a poem, a ticket stub for travel between Calcutta and Chandmari, India, and 5 Christmas cards. Three of the Christmas cards present greetings from the John Corser family of Peoria, Illinois, with line drawings of the family home and Christmas bells; one is signed by the Elks of Barberton, Ohio; and one from the 82nd Bombardment Squadron has colored insignias of several air force units.
Printed Items (5 items) consist of a pamphlet with censorship regulations for United States soldiers serving overseas (2 copies, July 29, 1943), an article about the United States Army Air Forces reprinted from Yank ("Earthquakers' Odyssey," December 9, 1944), an additional undated newspaper clipping, and a pamphlet welcoming soldiers to Greensboro, North Carolina.