1.5 linear feet
The John and Paul Pitman papers consist primarily of correspondence that the brothers wrote to their parents, Jay and Blanche Pitman, while serving in the Philippines during World War II. They commented on their daily lives in the final months of the war.
John Pitman, who wrote 201 letters, began to write to his parents shortly after reporting for gunnery school at Fort Knox, Kentucky; he related his experiences in training before his transfer to California in January 1945. In March 1945, he traveled to the Philippines with the 44th Tank Battalion, Company B. He wrote about many aspects of his life in the Pacific Theater, such as watching American planes on bombing runs (May 3, 1945) and anticipating the effect that Germany's surrender would have on the Pacific war (May 8, 1945). During the Allied occupation of Japan, Pitman reported that soldiers often played baseball games and watched movies. This series also has a letter to Blanche Pitman about her son Bruce, who had been reported missing in action in Germany (November 27, 1944).
Paul Pitman, who wrote 145 letters, served in the 129th Naval Construction Battalion. He began his correspondence on March 5, 1945, while at Camp Shoemaker, California. After reaching the Philippines in April 1945, he frequently wrote to his parents about his experiences during the war's final months and during his postwar service on the troop transport ship War Hawk. He often wrote about his leisure activities and, after the war, about his increasing eagerness to return home. Paul's letter of August 15, 1945, encloses an issue of the 129th Beacon, his battalion's newsletter, about the end of the war and the sailors' expected return to the United States.
The Pitman family correspondence (27 letters) contains letters to Blanche Pitman, Jay Pitman, and Althea Pitman from friends and family members, including nephews and cousins. Some writers expressed their condolences after hearing that Bruce Pitman had been declared missing in action in 1944.