This collection contains 98 letters that Eric C. Marker wrote to his wife Ruth while serving in the United States Navy during World War II. Marker commented on life onboard the USS Fergus in the Pacific Theater from July 1945-February 1946, and described his experiences in the Philippines and Japan after the end of the war.
Marker began his correspondence, at the United States Naval Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois, around May 1945, where he reported on his daily schedule. He wrote the bulk of his letters on the Fergus, commenting on his work with the ship's boilers, life in port, and his relationship with his wife. After September 1945, he shared additional details about his wartime travels to places such as Eniwetok Atoll and Okinawa Island, and described an encounter with a Japanese submarine. In the fall of 1945, the Fergus was stationed in the Philippines and Japan, where Marker noted the large size of the American fleet and the effects of the war on Manila. He also shared his opinion of sailors and expressed his disapproval of some of their activities while on liberty.
In late 1945 and early 1946, Marker wrote from California, Hawaii, and Guam while traveling on the Fergus. On December 15, 1945, he shared news of a murdered African-American sailor who had been discovered in the water. Marker's correspondence is comprised of V-mail letters, airmail letters, and telegrams; at least 2 of his letters contain sketches of sailors, and his letter of September 29, 1945-October 3, 1945 includes 2 manuscript maps of the Fergus's travels in the Pacific. Marker's correspondence also includes a "Plan of the Day" for the Fergus (January 6, 1946), 2 undated photographic postcards depicting the HMS Hood and HMS Courageous, and a photograph of the USS Fergus.