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World War II Letters Abroad: Frank Fuchs

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Murphy’s Area Research Center (ARC)

 

> Location: Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin La Crosse
> CITATION: Fuchs, Frank J. Manuscripts. La Crosse Area Research Center, Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Collection Summary

This collection contains many wonderful letters from across the globe.  They were all written to Frank J. Fuchs from friends and acquaintances serving in the American Armed Forces during World War II. The letters are divided into two boxes. Box 1 has 14 folders filled with letters dating from 1942-1943, all in chronological order. The first folder is different than all the rest.  It holds a few “Return to Sender” letters written by Mr. Fuchs himself. Having never reached their intended reader, they were returned. Folders 2-14 are all letters from soldiers to Mr. Fuchs.  They are labelled by month and year, and ordered chronologically (ex: March 1943, April 1943, May 1943, etc.). In each folder the letters are chronologic by day. This organization continues with Box 2, which holds 8 folders containing letters from 1944 to September, 1945. The last two folders in Box 2 contain Mr. Fuchs’ many address cards, ordered alphabetically, and the Eagles Service Rosters. Since the collection of letters is ordered chronologically, it is easiest to find specific letters by knowing the date written.

Frank J. Fuchs was a prominent member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a charitable club still active today.  He even became president of La Crosse’s branch of the club during WWII. Throughout the war he wrote to over a hundred fellow members – some close friends, others merely acquaintances – who were serving overseas. These men varied in rank, education, and age. Most were bachelors others, such as Roy Cleary, were husbands. Their military duties varied greatly as well. Many were average infantrymen, but some piloted airplanes, drove tanks, worked artillery, did vehicle maintenance, and saved lives in hospitals and on the field. Some men were brothers, and some served in the same divisions, but mostly they were soldiers scattered across the globe. In the early years, (contained in Box 1) most of the letters are from soldiers still being trained in the U.S., but as time goes by these men all begin to travel overseas to fight. Understandably, letters arrive less frequently from men serving on the front, and combat was rarely the topic of discussion in their letters. Instead, because many of the men were terribly homesick, La Crosse, and club happenings are common topics!

Collection Description

Below are all of the men Frank Fuchs received letters from through the years 1942-1943, sorted by date for easy retrieval. Also, included is their location. If no location is mentioned, it is due to the government’s censorship of mail, a measure taken to protect the soldiers and the war effort. Highlighted are a few of the men whose situations or duties may be of particular interest to readers. Before cell phones or the internet were invented, to keep in touch friends and family needed to write actual letters if they wished to communicate over long distance. While slow and painstaking in comparison to today, the value given to these messages was often much higher than any email or text sent today. It was a more intimate form of communication and letters were often kept for sentimental value.

WARNING: Most of these letters are handwritten in cursive. While most can easily be read, some take a bit more effort and patience. Also, 1940s slang is slightly different from today. Some phrases may be outdated or confusing. When in doubt, ask!

 

Alois Abel

Brothers Alois and William Abel both served on the Pacific front and even in the same base for a short while. They mention one another frequently in their letters and their brotherly bond can easily be seen. Both were sent overseas but only William continued to write to Frank once deployed. Alois signed his letters as Al and William signs them as Bill.

  1. Oct. 16, 1942-Washington
  2. Nov. 6, 1942-Washington
  3. Dec. 8, 1942-Oregon
  4. Dec. 26, 1942-Oregon
  5. Jan. 10, 1943-Oregon
  6. Jan. 28, 1943-Oregon
  7. Feb. 13, 1943-Washington
  8. Feb. 24, 1943-Washington
  9. Mar. 17, 1943-Washington
  10. April 24, 1943-Washington
  11. May 27, 1943-Washington
  12. June 17, 1943-Washington
  13. July 10, 1943, Washington

 

William Abel

  1. Feb. 8, 1943-Washington
  2. Feb. 20, 1943-Washington
  3. Mar. 18, 1943-Washington
  4. April 26, 1943-California
  5. July 17, 1943-Pacific
  6. Oct. 12, 1943-Hawaii
  7. Oct. 24, 1943-Hawaii
  8. Nov. 19, 1943-Hawaii
  9. Mar. 12, 1944-Hawaii
  10. May 22, 1944-New Guinea
  11. Aug. 6, 1944-New Guinea
  12. Oct. 1, 1944
  13. Dec. 2, 1944
  14. Feb. 16, 1944-Phillipines

 

Charles Boyle

Many of the men served in the Pacific, but Virgil Cullen’s and Charles Boyle’s letters are the most vivid. Virgil even met General Douglas McArthur while in Australia! Charles signs his letters Buzz.

  1. Feb. 17, 1943-Washington
  2. April 24, 1943-Pacific
  3. July 7, 1943
  4. Sep. 3, 1943
  5. Nov. 29, 1943

 

Cullen, Virgil J.

  1. Dec. 4, 1942-Australia
  2. Dec. 27, 1942-Australia
  3. Feb. 28, 1943-Australia
  4. May 21, 1943 – Virgil writes about seeing General McArthur in this letter!
  5. Oct. 16, 1943-Australia

 

Roy L. Cleary

The war across the Atlantic was fought in many places. Don Hall drove a tank in North Africa and sent pictures and foreign money in his letters. Roy Cleary fought in Sicily and Italy. And Karl Fischer describes what Britain looked like after years of Air Raids.

  1. Mar. 24, 1943-Virginia
  2. April 28, 1943-Virginia
  3. May 7, 1943-Virginia
  4. June 15, 1943-Over seas
  5. Aug. 22, 1943-Sicily
  6. Oct. 26, 1943-Italy
  7. Dec. 19, 1943-Italy

 

Karl Fischer

  1. Oct. 28, 1943-England
  2. Dec. 27, 1943-England – Karl discusses air raids in this letter.

 

Don Hall

  1. April 4, 1943-North Africa
  2. June 17, 1943-North Africa – There are pictures that go with this letter!
  3. Aug. 30, 1943-North Africa – Don enclosed foreign currency in this letter.
  4. Nov. 28, 1943-Italy

 

William Parizek

The finest examples of American pop culture from the 1940s come from William Parizek’s letters while stationed in Virginia. William attended musical concerts and many professional sporting events including the World Series and an NFL game. William signs his letters as Bill.

  1. Feb. 23, 1943-Delaware
  2. Mar. 21, 1943-Virginia
  3. April 16, 1943-Virginia
  4. May 5, 1943-Virginia
  5. June 2, 1943-Virginia
  6. June 24, 1943-Viginia
  7. July 10, 1943-Virginia
  8. Aug. 4, 1943-Virginia
  9. Aug. 19, 1943-Virginia
  10. Sep. 22, 1943-Virginia
  11. Oct. 25, 1943-Virgina
    1. World Series
  12. Nov. 23, 1943-Virginia
  13. Dec. 25, 1943-Virginia

 

Reviewed by: David Kopczynski

See also

Read the letters below to find great stories on your own!

Anderson, William T.

  • Feb. 22, 1943-India
  • April 21, 1943-India
  • June 14, 1943-India
  • Aug. 16, 1943-India
  • Oct. 25, 1943-India

Bay, Clyde E.

  • Mar. 23, 1943-India

Beck, Fred

  • Mar. 31, 1943-Florida
  • April 27, 1943-Florida
  • May 22, 1943-South Dakota
    1. Radio man
  • July 11, 1943-South Dakota
  • Sep. 2, 1943-South Dakota

Bentzen, Roy

  • Oct. 17, 1943

Bey, Harold

  • Nov. 9, 1942-New Jersey
  • Dec. 6, 1942-New Jersey
  • Jan. 17, 1943-New Jersey
  • Mar. 1, 1943-Florida

Brenner, Bob

  • May 13, 1943-South Carolina
  • July 3, 1943

Buschman, Russ

  • Sep. 27, 1943-Virginia

Christopherson, Stanley

  • Oct. 20, 1942-Maryland

Clark, James

  • June 7, 1943-Illinois

Corbett, Thomas

  • Jan. 23, 1943-Mississippi

Crandall, Kermith

  • May 5, 1943

Crum, Cliff

  • Feb. 15, 1943-Mississippi

Doering, Abel

  • Nov. 11, 1942-Texas

Farris, Gene

  • Nov. 24, 1943-Colorado

Fiebig, Joe

  • Oct. 21, 1942
  • Feb 26, 1943-Africa/England

Formanek, Charlie

  • Sep. 12, 1942-Australia
  • Nov. 30, 1942-Australia
  • Feb. 8, 1943-Australia
  • Aug. 8, 1943- Southwest Pacific

French, Herb

  • Feb. 10, 1943-Oklahoma
  • Feb. 28, 1943-Oklahoma
  • Mar. 24, 1943-Oklahoma
  • April 9, 1943-Oklahoma
  • April 27, 1943-Oklahoma
  • May 9, 1943-Oklahoma
  • June 3, 1943-Oklahoma
  • July 9, 1943-Oklahoma
    1. Deaths
  • July 29, 1943-Oklahoma
    1. Married
  • Aug. 20, 1943-Oklahoma
  • Sep. 20, 1943-Oklahoma
  • Oct. 24, 1943-Oklahoma
  • Nov. 30, 1943-Oklahoma

Gillis, Arthur

  • Oct. 31, 1942-Florida
  • Feb. 24, 1943-Florida
  • Mar. 15, 1943-Florida

Goldsmith, Glenn

  • Feb. 8, 1943-Washington
  • Feb. 25, 1943-Washington
  • Mar. 16, 1943-Washington
  • April 12, 1943-California
  • May 2, 1943-California
  • June 6, 1943-California

Gray, Milton F.

  • Jan. 16, 1943-England
  • Mar. 7, 1943-England
  • May. 15, 1943-England
  • Sep. 9, 1943-England
    1. Italy’s Surrender
  • Oct. 24, 1943

Greens, Harold E.

  • April 23, 1943-California
  • June 22, 1943-California

Griffin, Frank J.

  • Nov. 12, 1942-Washington
  • Dec. 14, 1942-Washinton
  • Jan. 2, 1943-Washington
  • Jan. 28, 1943-Washington
  • Feb. 12, 1943-Washington
  • Feb. 26, 1943-Washington
  • April 17, 1943-California
  • May 1, 1943-California
  • June 4, 1943
  • Aug. 15, 1943-Pacific
  • Sep. 26, 1943-Hawaii
  • Nov. 7, 1943-Hawaii
  • Dec. 11, 1943

Grossbach, Carl

  • April 24, 1943-Florida
  • June 29, 1943-Florida

Groth, Elmer

  • Feb. 14, 1943-Wyoming

Gruebal, Ralph

  • Nov. 5, 1942-Colorado
  • Nov. 28, 1942-South Carolina
  • Dec. 10, 1942-South Carolina
    1. Passed flight school
  • Dec. 22, 1942-South Carolina
  • Jan. 12, 1943-South Carolina
  • Feb. 20, 1943-South Carolina

Hanson, Ted

  • Sep. 13, 1943-Alaska
  • Nov. 18, 1943-Alaska

Hanson, Joseph C. (Joey)

  • Oct. 21, 1942-Massachusets
  • Oct. 29, 1942
  • Nov. 15, 1942-New York
  • Dec. 13, 1942-New York
  • Jan. 3, 1943-New York
  • Jan. 20, 1943-Virginia
  • Feb. 3, 1943-Virginia
  • Feb. 19, 1943

Harriman, George

  • Feb. 8, 1942
  • Jan. 13, 1943-North Africa
  • April 17, 1943-North Africa
  • June 17, 1943
  • July 29, 1943-North Africa
  • Sep. 4, 1943
  • Oct. 22, 1943
  • Dec. 17, 1943

Helm, Joseph

  • Dec. 17, 1942-California
  • Jan. 16, 1942-California

Hichey, Gregory S.

  • Nov. 10, 1942-Virginia
  • Mar. 1, 1943-Florida
  • April 27, 1943
  • May 6, 1943
  • June 27, 1943
  • Aug. 20, 1943
  • Sep. 21, 1943
    1. Poem

Hoff, Oscar F. Jr.

  • April 28, 1943-New York

Holst, Bob

  • Mar. 4, 1943-Georgia

Holst, Harold

  • Nov. 5, 1942-Alabama
  • Jan. 6, 1943-Mississippi
  • Feb. 12, 1943-Mississippi
  • May 2, 1943-Arkansas
  • July 10, 1943

Holte, N. O.

  • Sep. 15, 1943-California

Holvers, Karl

  • Mar. 5, 1943-Florida

Huebner, Herman

  • Feb. 11, 1943-Delaware
  • Mar. 16, 1943-New Jersey
  • April 10, 1943-New Jersey
  • April 26, 1943-New Jersey
  • May 17, 1943-New Jersey
  • June 28, 1943-New Jersey
  • Aug. 3, 1943-New Jersey
  • Sep. 19, 1943-New Jersey
  • Oct. 27, 1943-New Jersey
  • Nov. 22, 1943-New Jersey

Johll, Arthur N.

  • Nov. 15, 1942-North Carolina

Jones, Benjamin

  • Nov. 18, 1942-Texas

Justin, Shorty

  • July 27, 1942
  • April 27, 1943
  • May 12, 1943

Kamperschoer, Henry

  • Oct. 23, 1942-Virginia
  • Feb. 3, 1943-Virginia
  • May 3, 1943-Oregon

Kaus, Ronald

  • Jan. 30, 1943-California
  • Feb. 24, 1943-California
  • April 1, 1943-California
  • May 3, 1943-California
  • Aug. 12, 1943-California
    1. Tanks
  • Sep. 7, 1943-Michigan
  • Sep. 26, 1943-Michigan
    1. Picture
  • Nov. 5, 1943-Michigan
  • Dec. 9, 1943-Arizona

Klick, Thomas A.

  • May 5, 1943-New Mexico
  • July 2, 1943-California

Kramer, Donald

  • Nov. 8, 1942-California
  • Jan. 10, 1943
  • Feb. 18, 1943
  • April 13, 1943
  • May 25, 1943
  • June 28, 1943-Hawaii
    1. Picture
  • Aug. 26, 1943
  • Oct. 6, 1943-Hawaii
    1. Pictures
  • Nov. 9, 1943
  • Dec. 29, 1943

Krudston, Almer

  • Dec. 18, 1942-California

Lamke, Wayne

  • Feb. 25, 1943-California
  • April 25, 1943
  • July 28, 1943-Pacific

Latchin, Robert

  • June 3, 1943

Leproh, John

  • Dec. 6, 1942-Arkansas
  • Dec. 9, 1942-Arkansas
  • May 25, 1943-Georgia

Lindberg, Al

  • Nov. 10, 1942-Texas

Lusk, Sylvester

  • Feb. 24, 1943-Louisiana
  • Mar. 22, 1943-Louisiana
  • April 11, 1943-Louisiana
    1. Injured hand
  • April 28, 1943-Louisiana
  • June 5, 1943-Louisiana
  • June 29, 1943-Louisiana
  • July 20, 1943-Louisiana
    1. Dismissed from duty

Mach, R. F.

  • June 16, 1943-Illinois
    1. Military Doctor
  • July 3, 1943-Illinois
  • Aug. 5, 1943-Illinois
  • Sep. 14, 1943-Illinois
  • Oct. 31, 1943-Illinois
  • Dec. 3, 1943-Virginia
    1. Amphibious Med Officer

Mader, Frank

  • July 3, 1943

Marshall, Alfred

  • Oct. 24, 1942-Virginia
  • Nov. 15, 1942
  • Dec. 13, 1942-Virginia
    1. Jack Benny Radio

Meihl, John

  • July 13, 1943-England
  • Aug. 18, 1943-England
  • Sep. 3, 1943-England
  • Sep. 27, 1943-England
  • Nov. 26, 1943-England

Meyer, Ervin

  • May 14, 1943-Wisconsin

Michel, John

  • July 1, 1943-California

Michle, George

  • May 17, 1943-England

Miller, Norman

  • Oct. 25, 1942-California
  • Dec. 4, 1942
  • Feb. 5, 1943-Hawaii
  • May 13, 1943-Hawaii
  • Aug. 12, 1943

Monson, George

  • Feb. 14, 1943-Illinois

Morgan, Maurice

  • Nov. 1, 1942-Illinois
  • Dec. 16, 1942-Pennsylvania
  • Feb. 1, 1943-Pennsylvania
  • Mar. 19, 1943-Ohio

Muth, Karl

  • Feb. 7, 1943-Missouri
  • April 24, 1943-California
    1. Picture
  • July 11, 1943-Illinois
  • Aug. 23, 1943-Illinois
  • Oct. 17, 1943-Washington

Niemeyer, Donald

  • Oct. 24, 1942-California

Oldenburg, W. H.

  • Nov. 4, 1942-Kansas

Olsen, K. E.

  • Feb. 15, 1943-Missouri
  • Feb. 23, 1943-Missouri
  • Mar. 11, 1943-Missouri
  • April 5, 1943-Missouri
  • April 20, 1943-Missouri

Pfoff, Russell E.

  • Nov. 25, 1942-Arkansas

Piercy, Barney

  • Oct. 22, 1942-Illinois
    1. 4 brothers in military
  • Nov. 20, 1942-Illinois
  • Dec. 14, 1942-Illinois
  • Dec. 29, 1942-Illinois
  • Jan. 11, 1943-Illinois
  • Jan. 26, 1943-Illinois
  • Feb. 15, 1943-Illinois
  • Feb. 24, 1943-Illinois
  • Mar. 12, 1943-Illinois
  • April 7, 1943-Illinois
  • April 28, 1943-Georgia
  • May 10, 1943

Sage, Harry

  • Mar. 4, 1943-Missouri
  • April 15, 1943-Missouri

Schmikla, Ben

  • Oct. 2, 1942
    1. Met Charlie Formanek
    2. World Series on radio

Seabolt, Walter (Wally)

  • Aug. 25, 1943-Wyoming

Seger, Russ

  • Nov. 4, 1942-Missouri
  • Feb. 27, 1943-Missouri
  • Mar. 26, 1943
  • May 21, 1943
  • July 24, 1943-Kentucky
  • Oct. 19, 1943-North Africa
  • Dec. 4, 1943-Italy

Selek, Ralland

  • Sep. 12, 1943-Arkansas

Sendelbach, Adolph

  • Feb. 15, 1943-Idaho
  • April 28, 1943-California

Servais, Joe H.

  • Nov. 10, 1942-Virginia

Smith, Harold

  • Oct. 15, 1942-Texas

Sopher, James

  • Feb. 15, 1943-Texas
  • Mar. 8, 1943-Texas
  • April 15, 1943-Pennsylvania
  • May 22, 1943
  • June 24, 1943-England
  • Dec. 11, 1943

Spah, Jerome J. (Jerry)

  • Dec. 3, 1942-Australia
  • Jan. 15, 1943-New Guinea
  • Feb. 14, 1943-Australia
  • May 10, 1943-Australia
  • Nov. 27, 1943-Southwest Pacific

Stachowitz, August (Auggie)

  • Oct. 10, 1943-Southwest Pacific

Sweet, Ray

  • Dec. 9, 1942-Missouri
  • Feb. 1, 1943-Florida
  • Feb. 13, 1943-Florida
  • Feb. 14, 1943-Florida
  • Feb. 28, 1943-Florida
  • Mar. 24, 1943-Florida
  • April 22, 1943-Florida
  • June 10, 1943-Florida
  • July 10, 1943-Florida

Reager, Mike

  • Oct. 28, 1942-Illinois
  • Dec. 27, 1942-Illinois

Ricker, William

  • May 16, 1943-Texas

Riffle, Ray

  • Dec. 5, 1942
  • Mar. 16, 1943-New Guinea
  • May 31, 1943-Australia
  • Aug. 19, 1943-Australia
  • Oct. 27, 1943-Australia
  • Dec. 14, 1943

Rothraupt, Russel P.

  • Oct. 27, 1942-South Carolina
  • Jan. 3, 1943-700 mi. from New York
  • Feb. 12, 1943-England
  • April 13, 1943
  • July 2, 1943
  • Aug 12, 1943-Bermuda

Tumianie, Johnny L.

  • Feb. 14, 1943
  • Mar. 13, 1943-Washington
  • April 10, 1943-California
  • May 16, 1943-California
  • June 30, 1943-California
  • Aug. 12, 1943-Pacific
  • Sep. 27, 1943-Hawaii
  • Nov. 4, 1943

Wardlow, Leo

  • Sep. 7, 1943-Missouri
  • Oct. 6, 1943-Nebraska
    1. Plane Mechanic
  • Oct. 18, 1943-Texas
  • Nov. 11, 1943-Texas
  • Nov. 26, 1943-Texas

Woodard, Cleary

  • Aug. 1, 1943-Missouri

Yeager, Adrian

  • Oct. 26, 1942-California
  • Nov. 10, 1942-Washington

Yohe, L. F.

  • Feb. 21, 1943-Missouri

Young, Harold

  • Dec. 26, 1942
  • Aug. 8, 1943-Missouri
  • Oct. 30, 1943-Missouri

Young, Ronald

  • Feb. 27, 1943-Mississippi
  • April 11, 1943-California
  • June 20, 1943-California
  • July 19, 1943