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Series 3, Correspondence from Hal H. Hervey, 1944 February 16 - July 14

 Series — Box: WWII 111, Folder: 3, Folder: 3

Scope and Contents

This series contains three correspondence, including one V-Mail, from SSgt. Hal H. Hervey, USMC to Joyce Smith during the Second World War.

His correspondence came from overseas in the Pacific Theater, based on his discussion of how long the mail takes "coming from the states" and a recent trip to Australia.

On February 16, 1944 SSgt. Hervey mentions the difference between fighting in Europe versus the Pacific, saying that friends Andy and Steve will probably be part of the "Continent Invasion," and that it will be a "bloody undertaking." He goes on, "Considering things he is very lucky in being sent to Europe because when they take a town or city it is at least civilized and somewhat up to date, what will probably be left of it. While over here we take a place and then civilize the damn place." He then talks about the Tokyo radio and their propaganda, finding it funny until it irritates him to the point of turning it off.

On June 9, 1944 he wrote about moving to a new location and getting very drunk, as well as sending sand home to Joyce. He sent sand, a comb and shells. He also mentions his brother, hoping to move to where he was before next year, and Andy in Europe. Andy had fun in England but just a couple months before the invasion, in which Hervey expects Andy would participate, then continues discussing the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He says, "Boy, the fall of Rome, and the second front started, is really some thing. I guess you people back in the states really had the extras when the news was let out." A friend named Jerry is also mentioned, as being out at sea, and asks after some other mutual friends. The final letter in July 1944 asks after more friends, some who had a baby, some who have married, and others in the service.


  • 1944 February 16 - July 14

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Staff Sergeant Hal H. Hervey, United States Marine Corps (10/25/1923 - 8/8/2000) was born in Breckenridge, Texas and attended Abilene High School where he met Joyce Smith. After school he worked with his father, a First World War veteran (Hal was a member of the Sons and Daughters of Legionnaires club at Abilene High), at RP Hervey and Son photography when he received a draft registration in June 1942.

According to the donor, his brother was killed in the Pacific, near Okinawa, and Hal joined the Marines to go and find his body. The earliest letter, however, was written while he was already a sergeant in February 1944 and mentions when he used to serve with the 5th Marines. The Battle for Okinawa was not until April of the following year. The federal census of 1930 shows an older brother, by two years, that does not appear on the 1940 census. SSgt. Hervey wrote these letters while serving with Service Company, Headquarters and Support Battalion, 3rd Amphibious Corps in the Pacific Theater.

Joyce mentions that they used to ride together in beat up old cars after school. She never heard if he came home alive after the war. He did, and passed away in 2000 and is interred at Moran Cemetery in Texas.


0.01 Linear feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States