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Marion T. Disbennett Second World War correspondence

 Collection — document-box: Disbennett Box 1
Identifier: 2017-014-w-r
This collection contains correspondence between Army Air Corps S/Sgt Marion Thomas Disbennett and his wife Margaret Mills Disbennett during the Second World War and one letter from Mrs. Clifford (Aileen) Bell to Mrs. Marion Disbennett (Jan. 8, 1945). The collection also includes photographs of Marion and Margaret Disbennett and biographical information about them. -- Early letters describe life on base and radio operator training. He trained to be a radio operator on B-17s and B-29s. Later letters tell of overseas assignments in India and China. -- The last assignment of his enlistment was as an instructor at Scott Field, Illinois where he had received his training two years before. -- Disbennett's letters include information about daily life, food, entertainments, instruction and sharing news from his parents and sister in Orange, CA and of Margaret's school teaching in Indianola, Iowa. He shares his regrets of how the war ("this mess") is keeping them apart and how much he loves and misses her. He occassionally shares his thoughts about the war and his role in it -- "I dread to think of going across, but I came in this man's army to get this war finished and a guy can't do any fighting over here. I will sure be glad when this mess is over. It all seems so foolish and wrong."


  • 1943-07-27 - 1945-05-13

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.


.5 Linear feet (7 folders)


This collection contains correspondence, photographs and biographical information from S/Sgt. Marion T. Disbennett during his service in the Army Air Forces during the Second World War.

Biographical / Historical

Marion Disbennett was born in Bellflower, Illinois, but graduated from high school in Orange, CA in 1937. His family was living in Orange at the time of the letters in this collection. He retired from the U. S. Postal Service after serving in Orange for 23 years. His parents were William T. and Martha Disbennett of 330 East LaVeta St. in Orange. He had a sister, Ruth. Marion Disbennett enlisted in the Army Air Corps in March 1942 and was discharged in September 1945. -- He married Margaret Mills in St. Louis during his service training. After radio operator training in the United States, Disbennett served with the 40th Bombardment Group in India and China. Marion and Margaret had two sons, Donald T. Disbennett (1945 - 1996) and James M. Disbennett (1950 - 2012).

Background/History of 40th Bombardment Group -,


This collection is arranged by material type, author and date. Series list: Series 1. Correspondence from Marion Disbennett to Margaret Disbennett 1943-07 - 1945-05 -- Series 2. Biographical material -- Series 3. Photographs

Physical Location

Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections, CAWL Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Fanning in memory of Marion and Margaret Disbennett. Copyright transferred by Norma Hooper.
Finding Aid for the Marion T. Disbennett Second World War correspondence collection
Sharon Clairemont
March 14, 2017
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States