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Series 2, Correspondence from Steven Powers, 1943 April 2 - 1945 August 7

 Series — Box: WWII 87, Folder: 16, Folder: 2

Scope and Contents

This series contains fourteen letters and one postcard from Cpl. Steven D. Powers, USA to Joyce Smith during the Second World War. The postcard is undated and includes a photo of Arolsen, Germany (original by Fliegeraufnahme).

Cpl. Powers' correspondence began on April 2, 1943 from Camp Hulen, Texas. Three of the letters are addressed to Joyce's father, Maj. L.A. Smith at Headquarters 30th Battalion, Camp Wallace, Texas. His discussion mostly revolves around training, inspection, how hard the work is, and a note about the artillery guns, 40mm. He talks about friends in the service and where they are and in the middle of June 1943 he travels home and stays the night at Joyce's house and they visit Galveston. On September 30, his letter was addressed from Shreveport, Louisiana where he was stationed with Pvt. Andy Baldwin and his rank had been increased to corporal. His correspondence continues to November and he mentions Pvt. Ray E. McClure and that by the way Joyce talks about them, they "seem fairly hot."

The letters cease until September 1944 when he is overseas. He mentions Ray again saying, "That was really too bad about Ray, I saw his outfit just about July 1 but missed him somehow." (July 1 was the date of Ray's last letter to Joyce and just before he died on July 7). The remainder of the September 5 letter was censored and cut out. The letter dated November 28, 1944 has "Germany" written at the top and in a separate envelope, on the same date, a Christmas card. The next letter is dated May 4, 1945 from Germany and he says "maybe I can make it home in time for your funeral that is if you die of old age. Say you know this sounds kina bad but no kidding we except [sic] to be bald or gray headed before we see the states again." The last letter was sent from Arolsen, Germany (same as the undated postcard), August 7, 1945 and discusses taking educational courses awaiting the dissolution of the 552nd. The postcard shows the Waldeck Castle, now Arolsen Castle and a museum, and he describes the prince and princesses in the castle and some of its history.

Of note, he frequently "jokes" about breaking her neck in response to something she has said or done.

Dates

  • 1943 April 2 - 1945 August 7

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Corporal Steven D. Powers, United States Army lived in Abilene, Texas and attended Abilene High School. He was a "buddy" of Joyce Smith and loved to sing. After the war, when Joyce moved to Oregon, he bought her home "and didn't tell his wife he was [only] my buddy." (source: donor)

Cpl. Powers served with Battery D 552nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Mobile Battalion (Pvt. Andy Baldwin was in Battery C of the same Battalion, Series 5).

Extent

0.05 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials

English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Contact:
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States