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William Hermann letters, 1944-1945

19 items

This collection contains letters William Stine Hermann, a high school teacher and sports coach from Middleburg, Pennsylvania, received from acquaintances and a nephew serving in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during the Second World War. Hermann's correspondents described life in the military, often referring to their experiences playing sports, and commented on news of the sports programs at Middleburg High School.

This collection contains 18 letters William Stine Hermann received from men serving in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during the Second World War, as well as 1 letter he received from the United States Navy Office of Naval Officer Procurement. Frequent correspondents included Stanley M. Bowser (5 letters), Frank H. Attinger (4 letters), Charles W. Steininger (3 letters), and other acquaintances from Middleburg.

The first letter, from the Office of Naval Officer Procurement, informs Hermann that, because of a change of requirements, he was no longer eligible for an unspecified appointment (May 22, 1944). Personal acquaintances wrote the remaining letters while in training for and serving in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during the final year of the Second World War. Staff Sergeant Stanley M. Bowser, Hermann's nephew and a member of the Marine Corps Reserve's 151st Marine Scout Bombing Squadron, wrote 5 letters between January 3, 1945, and November 18, 1945, describing military life in the Pacific Theater and, particularly in his last letter, referring to marines' leisure activities, especially sports. Hermann's interest in sports is echoed in nearly all of the letters, as sailors and marines described their experiences playing baseball, basketball, and soccer during their military service, inquired about sports at Middleburg High School, and commented on Hermann's officiating duties. Several addressed Hermann as "Coach." Other aspects of military life, such as training in Los Angeles and life on a small boat in the Pacific Ocean, are also regularly discussed. Correspondents frequently sent their best wishes to Hermann's wife and children. Many letters are written on personalized or otherwise decorated United States Navy stationery.

  • Frederick H. Attinger, United States Navy Repair Base, Advanced GM School, San Diego, California
  • Paul H. Bachman, United States Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland
  • Staff Sergeant Stanley M. Bowser, 151st Marine Scout Bombing Squadron
  • "Danny"
  • R. E. Felker, USS Mendocino
  • Aircraft Material Officer 1st Class Howard L. Millhouse, Astoria, Oregon
  • Pharmacist's Mate 1st Class George B. Pearson, USS LCI(L)-768
  • Private 2nd Class Charles W. Steininger, USS Texas