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Series 1, Merrill H. Bolner correspondence, 1943 July 4 - 1945 November 25


Scope and Contents

This series contains 96 correspondence written by Sgt. Merrill H. Bolner, USAAC to family during the Second World War.

He wrote from Camp Mackall, North Carolina throughout 1943 while training with the 11th Airborne Division, 187th Glider Infantry. He primarily wrote to family about his training, promotions, and current events abroad.

He was relocated to Camp Polk, Louisiana in December 30, 1943 and wrote from this location through the spring of 1944.

July 5, 1944 - Sgt.Bolner wrote from "someplace at sea" and described "life on board [a] ship is pretty much the same as it was in camp except everything is crowded."

August 7, 1944 - Bolner wrote to Leona C. Bergdoll about being squad leader of an 81 mm mortar squad. He also described the local wildlife and scenery.

September 17, 1944 - He wrote to his parents about news of the Allied Forces pushing into Germany and noted that "the Russian have [the Nazis] in Warsaw. Damn, the European War can't last much longer."

Two letters from September 9 and September 11, 1945 were written on Japanese stationary.

September 5, 1945 - Bolner wrote to his parents from Japan and updated them on his career plans after completing his military service. He wrote about the Japanese civilians and US replacement forces.

Of the latter, he stated that they were "screwing up the works by confiscating watches, pins, etc. off the civs." He further wrote, "the God damn fools laid on their rear ends in the states while we were fighting them, when it's all over they come over and try to set things off all over again. It's terrible how ignorant some of our clean[-]cut American boys can be."

October 30, 1945 - Bolner reacted to news that his maternal grandmother had passed away.


  • 1943 July 4 - 1945 November 25

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Sergeant Merrill Howard "Bart" Bolner, United States Army Air Corps (b. 1924) was born in Kokomo, Indiana to Merrill L. and Gladys C. Bolner née Howard. Merrill H. Bolner was the eldest brother to: Thomas E. Bolner; Donald E. Bolner; and Merval L. Bolner.

Sgt. Bolner served with with the 11th Airborne Division, 187th Glider Infantry Regiment in the Pacific Theater of Operations during the Second World War.

He married Crystal Leona Bergdoll in Hartford City, Indiana and together raised Michael T. Bolner, who was born in 1948.


.8 Linear Feet (4 folders)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Processing Information

December 12, 1943 - Sgt. Bolner sent a letter containing four $1 US Silver Certificates so his parent could purchase a gift for his sister, Merval L. Bolner. The US Silver Certificates have the following serial numbers:

  • I59779900C
  • G00873026C
  • J22540612C
  • D92059687C

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States