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Mary G. Fitzgerald Second World War and Korean War correspondence

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2015-113-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence written to Mary Gain Fitzgerald from several of her former students during both World War Two and the Korean War.

Mary was an English teacher at Heatly High School in Green Island, NY. As one of her former pupils states: ". . . the guys on the ship here can't get over me writing to my school teacher. I guess they never had a teach like you . . ." (Carlie G. Whitaker, letter dated 13 March, 1952). Mrs. Fitzgerald--occasionally referred to as "Fitzy"--seems to have made quite an impression on several of her students, keeping in touch with them after they had joined the service.

Most of the letters include the tidbits from the soldiers' day-to-day lives (training, leave, work, etc.) and questions about the folks back home. In one letter, however, a former student, Francis X. Howle, Jr., reflects on an essay he was required to write for Mrs. Fitzgerald's class: "I remember once you had us write an essay on 'Americanism', now after actual experience, I know just what we were trying to bring out in that essay" (letter dated 7 June, 1944). He goes on to describe the environment of comradery and support he witnessed in a locker room after a boxing match put on by and for the servicemen: "In the room were the men who only a few minites [sic] before were throwing hooks, jabs and uppercuts at each other . . . each one was advising the of [sic] his shortcomings, giving him some ring advice and every soldier present was telling his former opponent what a great guy he was and what a swell fight he put up . . . At that moment, I wished the whole world could be looking in and listening . . . That, lady, is good sportsmanship. And more than that, its Americanism."

Also included in this collection are several periodicals, newspaper clippings, and photographs as well as a baby book belonging to John F. Gain, Jr., Mary's brother.


  • 1914 November - 1957 July 18
  • Majority of material found within 1942 - 1957

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. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Gains Fitzgerald, Teacher, 1909 - ?


.833 Linear Feet (2 document-boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence written to Mary G. Fitzgerald from various senders during the Second World War. Also included are a book of letters on CD, photographs, a baby book, and various periodicals.


This collection is arranged by type and date:
  • Series 1 - Correspondence to Mary G. Fitzgerald
  • Series 2 - Periodicals
  • Series 3 - Photographs
  • Series 4 - Newspaper clippings
  • Series 5 - Ephemera
  • Series 6 - Baby book.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Rae Ann St. Clair (rec'd. October 2015).
Finding Aid for the Mary G. Fitzgerald Second World War and Korean War correspondence colleciton
Andrea Paquin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States