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George M. Chase collection, 1914-1918 (majority within 1917-1918)

0.25 linear feet

This collection is primarily made up of letters that George M. Chase wrote to M. Kathryn Hicks of Rhinebeck, New York, while serving in the United States Navy during World War I. Chase, who was a native of Poughkeepsie, New York, and a member of the New York Naval Militia prior to the war, served on the USS Lydonia in European waters and returned to New York in June 1918 after sustaining a knee injury.

This collection is made up of correspondence and other materials related to George M. Chase of Poughkeepsie, New York. The Correspondence series contains 48 letters that Chase wrote to M. Kathryn Hicks of Rhinebeck, New York, between October 7, 1917, and December 25, 1918. From October 1917-March 1918, Chase discussed his service in the New York Naval Militia and the United States Navy; he served on the Lydonia in European waters until March 1918, when he sustained a knee injury during a storm. He commented on Hicks's life in Dutchess County, New York, and expressed his confidence in an eventual Allied victory.

From March 1918-May 1918, Chase recuperated at a hospital in Europe, and he was transferred to a naval hospital in Brooklyn, New York, in May 1918. While there, he was often permitted to visit Poughkeepsie, New York, and his letters to Hicks describe his accident and the continuing effects of the injury. His letter of June 10, 1918, encloses a newspaper clipping regarding his return to Poughkeepsie, and his letter of September 2[2?], 1918, encloses a printed photograph of himself in uniform, a negative of the same image, and an additional negative showing sailors. From October 1918-December 1918, Chase wrote about his life in Rahway, New Jersey, where he worked for the local YMCA; he enclosed a clipping with a drawing of the building in his letter of October 20, 1918. An undated letter encloses 4 photographic negatives; the letter implies that the photographs depict George M. Chase (in uniform) and M. Kathryn Hicks.

The Printed Items and Ephemera series (5 items) includes 2 newspaper clippings about George M. Chase's military service and the Lydonia a New Year's card that Chase sent to M. Kathryn Hicks, a piece of red ribbon, and a program for commencement activities held at Rhinebeck High School on June 22, 1914. M. Kathryn Hicks gave the valedictory address at her commencement and won class honors in every subject except for German.


Norma Greiner and William R. Kent collection, 1942-1945

0.5 linear feet

This collection is made up of the World War II-era correspondence of Norma Greiner, her husband William R. Kent, and the Greiner family. The papers include letters that Norma Greiner wrote to her family while serving as a United States Navy nurse in San Francisco, California, in 1943; letters that William R. Kent wrote to his wife Norma while serving onboard the USS Cape Esperance in the South Pacific from August 1944-November 1944; letters that the Greiner family received from various servicemen during the war; and letters that Norma Greiner Kent received from her mother- and sister-in-law.

This collection (79 items) contains the World War II-era correspondence of Norma Greiner of La Grande, Oregon; her husband, William R. Kent; and the Greiner family. One receipt pertains to a small payment from Mrs. R. C. Greiner to C. E. Branner (July 9, 1942).

Norma Greiner wrote 38 letters to her parents while working as a United States Navy nurse at Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, in 1943. She described her experiences treating wounded servicemen and sometimes provided details about specific patients. In one letter, she discussed a set of photographs shown to her by an officer returning from Guadalcanal (February 13, 1943, mailed with letter dated February 11, 1943), and in another, she described her wedding (August 3, 1943). Some letters refer to Greiner's dating life and several from late July and early August concern her marriage to William R. Kent. Her final letter, dated February 19, 1945, pertains to life in San Diego, California. Three of her letters have enclosures: a newspaper clipping about nurses (March 15, 1943), 4 snapshots of natives in an unidentified location (May 27, 1943), and bicycle licenses for Norma Grider [sic] and Wanda Tucker (June 4, 1942). One item is an illustrated printed form letter 2'8" long, including grains of sand glued to one page, that Norma sent to her brother Lawrence (March 27, 1943).

William R. Kent sent 26 letters to his wife Norma Greiner Kent while serving on the USS Cape Esperance in the South Pacific from August 1944-November 1944; these letters form part of a much larger series (not present). Kent discussed navy life, anticipated the birth of their first child, and counted down the days remaining in his enlistment. While stationed on an unidentified island, he described his health difficulties, including a sprained ankle and a diminished appetite, and responded to Norma's news of her hospital work and pregnancy. He mentioned his initiation as a "shell back" after crossing the Equator and encloses a humorous mock subpoena for a related ceremony (August 14-15, 1944). On October 19, 1944, Kent reflected on the death of a friend named Hallowell, enclosing his obituary. Other enclosures include letters and V-mail from the Kent family (September 20, 1944; September 29, 1944; and October 15, 1944); 3 snapshot photographs of an unidentified man with a dog and horse (September 14, 1944); a notice that his subscription to Parents' Magazine would soon expire (September 14, 1944); a cartoon (October 16, 1944); and a list of recommended Bible verses (November 19, 1944). Norma also received letters from her sister-in-law, "Jay" Kent, and from her mother-in-law, Helen Kent.

In addition to Norma's letters, the Greiner family received correspondence from William R. Kent (1 item, March 22, 1945) and other servicemen. Private Dale Greiner, a relative, wrote about his experiences while training with the United States Air Forces in Miami Beach, Florida, and Gulfport, Mississippi; David G. Weathers wrote twice of his love for Norma (April 4, 1943, and July 11, 1943); Norman E. Olson mentioned his participation in naval campaigns near the Philippines on the USS Heywood (February 27, 1945); and Private Chester J. Hoab discussed tank training at Fort Knox, Kentucky (ca. March 25, 1943). Private Bryce E. Miller wrote his letter of March 4, 1943, on stationery bearing printed images of military aircraft.


Robert A. Green memoir, 2004-2005

1 item

The Robert A. Green memoir contains Green's reminiscences about his service in the United States Navy during World War II. Green spent most of the war as an office worker at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California.

The 68-page Robert A. Green memoir contains Green's reminiscences about his service with the United States Navy during World War II. The document begins with a 2-page introduction in which Green explains the importance of the war to those who lived during the 1940s and reflected on the occasional inaccuracy of his memory. The typescript is written from memory, with excerpts from Green's war-era letters and diaries (Green directly addressed occasional inconsistencies). The memoir covers Green's experiences between the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which occurred just before his graduation from high school, and the summer of 1946, when he fully returned to civilian life. He described his training and military experiences at Harvard University, where he was a member of the V-12 Navy College Training Program; at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, where he mainly worked in offices; and at the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago, Illinois, where he began his medical education. Green recalled specific stories about his friends in the military, friends from home, girlfriends, and superior officers. He often traveled around California and was sometimes able to accompany wounded sailors home. The typescript concludes with brief notes about the post-war lives of Green and his military acquaintances.


Shirley Kunz collection, 1942-1946

0.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of 56 letters that members of the United States Army, United States Navy, and United States Coast Guard wrote to Shirley Kunz of Chicago, Illinois, during World War II.

This collection is made up of 56 letters that members of the United States Army, United States Navy, and United States Coast Guard wrote to Shirley Kunz of Chicago, Illinois, during World War II.

Kunz's early correspondents included Frank S. Kunz, Jr., who discussed his service in the United States Coast Guard at the Manhattan Beach Training Station in Brooklyn, New York, and near New Smyrna Beach, Florida; and Jos. L. Bussa, who trained at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in llinois. Frank Kunz later wrote from New Guinea and the Philippines, where he commented on postwar destruction. Henry A. Petru ("Hank") of the United States Army's 335th Infantry Regiment wrote to Kunz after 1943; he reminisced about an outing with Kunz and her friend Dolores, mentioned his involvement in engineering school and his glider training, and commented on his combat experiences in France and Germany, where he was wounded in late 1944. Some of Petru's letters enclose drafts of Kunz's responses. Richard C. Hoover ("Dick") wrote to Kunz from 1944-1946, discussing his attempts to earn a rating, his enjoyment of football and bowling, and his family's health. He provided updates about his mother's medical treatments, and shared news of her death in February 1946.

Kunz's other correspondents included Russel E. Sorensen and Harvey J. Hopsicker, who both served in the United States Navy's medical corps at San Diego, California; and William B. Vogel, a mutual friend of Hank Petru. She also received letters from Ray Warczynski, who served onboard the SS City of Grand Rapids, and from a correspondent, "Le Roy," who commented on his high school schedule in McHenry, Illinois. Some letters are written on stationery depicting the logos of United States military bases; other letterheads show Jesus Christ, a cartoon sailor with radio equipment, and the SS City of Grand Rapids. Shirley Kunz drew a picture of a foot in her letter to Hank Petru of July 26, 1943.