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Phyllis Okoniewski collection, 1941-1945 (majority within 1942-1945)

0.75 linear feet

This collection is made up of letters that Phyllis Okoniewski of Buffalo, New York, wrote and received during World War II. She corresponded with servicemen in multiple branches of the United States Armed Forces during the early years of the war, and wrote over 150 letters to her future husband, Richard J. Szymczak, from September 1943-May 1945.

This collection is made up of approximately 200 letters that Phyllis Okoniewski of Buffalo, New York, wrote and received during World War II, 4 manuscript writings, and 6 newspaper clippings..

The Correspondence series consists of Phyllis Okoniewski's incoming and outgoing letters. From February 1941-August 1943, Okoniewski received over 40 letters from members of the United States Army, United States Army Air Forces, and United States Navy. They wrote about aspects of military life at bases such as Camp McClellan, Alabama; Camp Croft, South Carolina; Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida; Camp Pickett, Virginia; Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina; Sampson Naval Training Station, New Jersey; Camp Gordon, Georgia; and South Kelly Field, Texas. The servicemen discussed their classes, possible assignments, daily routine, and leisure activities. Okoniewski occasionally composed drafts of letters to these soldiers, in which she discussed her life in Buffalo, New York. The bulk of the series (over 150 items) is comprised of Okoniewski's letters to her future husband, Richard Szymczak, between September 1943 and May 1945. She commented on news from home, activities with members of the Okoniewski and Szymczak families, her senior prom, and her love for Szymczak.

The Writings series (4 items) contains 2 drafts of an explicit poem about Adam and Eve, a recipe for "love cake," a parody of Longfellow's poem "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," and a typed joke about married women.

Five of the six Newspaper clippings relate to the Buffalo Bisons hockey team during the war. One of these lists war casualties from western New York on the reverse side. The sixth clipping is an image of members of the 95th Signal Company, 3rd Division, United States Army, surrounding a cow.


Weston Marshack collection, 1942-1946 (majority within 1942-1944)

0.75 linear feet

The Weston Marshack papers contain correspondence, news articles, and photographs pertaining to Herbert Weston Marshack ("Weston"), who served in the 179th Infantry in North Africa and Italy during World War II, and Robert C. Marshack, who was an observation pilot in the European Theater. The majority of the collection is made up of Weston Marshack's letters to his parents; it also includes correspondence to Marshack from acquaintances and family members in the United States.

The Weston Marshack collection (0.75 linear feet) contains correspondence and other items pertaining to the military service of Herbert Weston Marshack ("Weston") and Robert C. Marshack ("Bob") during World War II.

The Correspondence series (216 items) contains letters that Weston Marshack wrote to his family from February 1942-July 1944, as well as letters that family members and acquaintances wrote to Marshack during the war. Weston Marshack reported his experiences at Camp Croft, South Carolina, and in North Africa and Italy. He discussed his training and adaptation to military life, noted serving at Anzio, Italy, commented on the progress of the war, and described the scenery overseas, particularly in Sicily. His last letters concern medical issues and hospitalization. His correspondence includes picture postcards of buildings in Syracuse, New York; Richmond, Virginia; and Daytona Beach, Florida; as well as telegrams and V-mail letters. He sometimes included enclosures such as a newspaper clipping regarding the battle for Java (March 29, 1942) and a certificate attesting to the completion of his training at Camp Croft (July 6, 1942).

Marshack received letters about life on the home front, and occasionally received letters from his brother Robert ("Bob"), who was also in the U.S. military. A letter of support from a man at St. George's Rectory contains an enclosed booklet entitled Forward Day by Day (September 24, 1942). Among the collection's final items are letters from Bob Marshack to his sister Marion about life in France and Germany following the war.

The Printed Items series (6 items) contains 3 articles about World War II and soldiers (January 1943; April 3, 1945; and May 28, 1945) and Army Talk 146, a publication about the Red Cross and its relationship with the United States Army (October 26, 1946). The series also includes a stamped identification card concerning Weston Marshack's unemployment benefits around December 1941, and a postcard ordering Marshack to report to a doctor for a physical examination (December 10, 1941).

The Photographs series contains 19 black-and-white photographs pertaining to Robert C. Marshack's service in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The pictures show groups of soldiers in uniform and military observation aircraft. Robert C. Marshack appears in at least 2 of the images, including one in which he and other lieutenants received awards for their work piloting observation planes. One labeled photograph was taken at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in 1949.