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Series 2, Thomas E. Bolner correspondence, 1943 July 21 - 1945 July 12


Scope and Contents

This series contains 71 correspondence written by Agent Thomas E. "Tom" Bolner, USACIS to his family during the Second World War. He wrote from Camp Mackall, North Carolina throughout 1943 while training with the 11th Airborne Division.

March 31, 1944 - Thomas E. Bolner shared news with Sgt. Bolner that their youngest brother, Donald E. Bolner was interested in military service as well. He lamented at the possibility that both Merrill H. and Donald E. Bolner might serve abroad while he remained in the US due to his poor eyesight.

May 6, 1945 - Bolner wrote to his parents from Camp Beale, California to update them on his activities.

June 12, 1945 - He wrote to his parents from Oahu, Hawaii about being assigned to the Military Police and described his daily life.

August 17, 1945 - Bolner wrote to his sister, Merval L. Bolner. He reflected on news that the Bolner family dog, Jack, had been killed and shared the following anecdote:

Jack never hurt a living thing, he was, I remember, digging out in the field one day and Bart [Merrill H. Bolner] and I thought he might at last be on to the ways of . . . hunting dog but; when we got a close look he was only playing with a bunch of mice.

August 25, 1945 - he speculated about Sgt. Bolner's location with his parents and offered his thoughts about the deployment of the atomic bombs in Japan.

September 15, 1945 - Agent Bolner wrote to his parents from Wahiawa, Hawaii that "the Army is going to educate us so we [will] be ready for civilian life when we get out . . . We have our choice of several studys [sic] to take." He listed the following as his top choices: "bus. law; bus. ENG.; American Political and Social History; [as well as] pys. and life."

He also described seeing a Japanese suicide plane "at the Navy yard. It was one of those jet jobs that hangs from a larger plane and when they near the objective it's cut loose."

September 25, 1945 - PFC Bolner wrote to Sgt. Bolner in response to his "letter of the 10th [specific year unknown]." He reflected on the past "two years and eight months" and how much he changed since they were forced to serve separately. He admitted that when they first joined the Army, Agent Bolner relied too much on his eldest brother, Sgt. Bolner. He mentioned that at first "it was pretty hard to . . . not have anybody but it didn't take long" for him to adapt without his brother.

He also assured Sgt. Bolner that he would not share his experiences at the Battle of Luzon, Philippines with anyone until Sgt. Bolner was ready. Thomas E> Bolner consoled him and expressed his feeling that Sgt. Bolner had done nothing wrong. He added, "Jesus Christ look back with family (on both sides). Your life on Luzon would be the life of a Saint to most any of our uncles. . . . If you think you did something wrong, forget it."

November 18, 1945 - Agent Bolner wrote to his parents about being transferred to the Headquarters of Central Pacific Base Command's Criminal Investigation Section (CIS). He vented that the CIS "is a damn detective unit that covers up for the officers and convicts enlisted men on the statements they make."

Agent Bolner alleged that "the men that really get by with murder over here . . . is the 810 M.P.Co." He explained that "they have always had a name for rough and cruel treatment to E.M. [likley, enlisted men]."

This series also includes:

  • 2 postcards written by Sgt. M.H. Bolner and sent to the Bolner parents by Thomas E. Bolner in 2 separate correspondence
  • 1 postcard
  • 1 telegram
  • 1 photograph with inscription on verso. Originally contained within envelope potentially postmarked July 30, 1943 [uncertainty due to faded printing]
  • 1 "Application for Ration Currency"


  • 1943 July 21 - 1945 July 12

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Agent Thomas Edward "Tom" Bolner, United States Army Criminal Investigation Section (1924 - 2005) was born in Kokomo, Indiana to Merrill L. and Gladys C. Bolner née Howard. His elder brother was Sgt. Merrill H. Bolner, and his younger siblings include: Lt Col. Donald Bolner; and Merval L. Bolner.

T.E. Bolner first served with the 11th Airborne Division, then served with the US Army Military Police before joining the US Army Criminal Investigation Section in Hawaii sometime during 1945.

According to a donor-provided document:

After graduating from the Spartan School of Aeronautical in 1952 with a degree in aeronautical engineering, [Thomas E.] Bolner completed his studies at the University of Missouri with a defree in mechanical engineering. . . . Mr. Bolner's career in the aerospace industry spanned over 40 years. . . . He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dr. Anne U. Bolner. . . . He is survived by his second wife, Dr. Jeannine Classen; children, Thomas 'Tommy' Bolner . . ., and Anne (Leslie) Bolner . . ., and stepdaughter, Stephanie Classen.


.8 Linear Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States