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John N. Vachet Second World War correspondence

 Collection — document-box: 1, Folder: 1-4
Identifier: 2016-029-s-r

Content Description

This collection contains official communication, correspondence, and documents pertaining to the death of Seaman First Class John Norman Vachet, United States Naval Reserve during and after the Second World War. Inventory:

1 application, copy, appointment and statement of preference for reserve officers, US Army, August 1942

1 request, official copy, request for birth certificate, John Norman Vachet

3 cards, change of address

1 letter, to Vachet's parents, reported MIA, June 9, 1945

1 brochure, "Information Concerning Naval Personnel Reported Missing"

1 letter, to Vachet family from Lieutenant John R. Curry, June 4, 1945

1 letter, to Mrs. Vachet from John Vachet's Navy friend "Bud", September 30, 1945

1 telegram, to Vachet's parents, confirmed KIA, October 19, 1945

1 letter, official, from Commandant of Ninth Naval District A.S. Carpender, condolence letter, November 5, 1945

1 letter, official, from United States Senate, condolence letter from Senator Raymond Willis, November 10, 1945

1 letter, official, noting parents of John Vachet as beneficiaries of life insurance policy, Nov. 1945

1 letter, with check, funds found in the personal effects of John Vachet, January 21, 1946

2 letters, official, to William Francis Vachet (brother), concerning military benefits, Nov. 1946 and June 1947

1 receipt, carbon copy, Vachet's personal affects, with shipping slip, July 8, 1947

2 letters, official, posthumous award of World War II Victory Medal and American Campaign Medal and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal to John Vachet, March 1947 and Sept. 1948

1 letter, to Vachet's parents from Gerald Toebe, November 22, 1948

1 photo, b/w, group photo of Gerald Toebe and John Vachet and other sailors, sent by Toebe in Nov. 1948 letter


  • 1942-5 - 1948-11

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

John Norman Vachet, nicknamed "Frenchy," was born on December 27, 1921 in Vincennes, Indiana and lived there until he attempted to join the United States Army Reserve as an officer in 1942. Included in this collection is an application form to join as a Second Lieutenant, however by 1944 he was a Seaman Second Class in the United States Naval Reserve.

On June 3, 1945, Seaman 1/c Vachet was working on a barge alongside a ship in Nagasuka Wan Harbor, Okinawa during the battle that ensued after the Allied invasion of the island. A direct enemy attack was made and he and three others thought the attack was directly on their position and jumped into the water to escape the blast. Unfortunately, the blast killed them, though he was initially listed as missing in action. His body never resurfaced and his parents were notified that he was missing until a telegram dated October 19, 1945 informed Mr. and Mrs. Vachet that the facts had led to the conclusion that he was killed in action on June 3.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence and documents pertaining to the death of Seaman First Class John Norman Vachet, United States Naval Reserve during and after the Second World War.


This collection is arranged chronologically by material: Series 1: Correspondence to Vachet parents--Series 2: Awards correspondence to Vachet parents--Series 3: Correspondence to William Vachet--Series 4: Papers.

Physical Location

Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased by The Book Shop, 8/1/2016

Finding Aid for the John N. Vachet Second World War correspondence
In Progress
Andrew Harman
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange 92866 USA US