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James N. Morton Second World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWII 21, Folder: 13, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2017-288-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence from Captain James N. Morton, United States Army Air Force, to his family during the Second World War and one correspondence from his son Sergeant James E. Morton to his sister Barbara in 1954. Along with his twenty correspondence and V-Mail messages, Capt. Morton sent a package with six postcards of Stratford-on-Avon in England, forty-nine photographs sent in various correspondence, a secret message envelope, one newspaper clipping, and a bunch of lavendar.

In his correspondence, Captain Morton spends most of his writing describing England and the places he has seen in great detail. There is also an emphasis in 1943 on Christmas, including some photographs of Bing Crosby. Some letters specifically address his wife, Ethel or his daughter Barbara while the bulk address the kids. His son, James E. Morton, is referred to as "Eddie" which is short for his middle name Edwin.

Of particular note are the first letter chronologically, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a letter on June 4, 1944 describing the press coverage of the invasion. In the first letter he explains to his children that he must leave to help in the war effort and justifies the reasoning for men like him to go so far to fight a war to save others. On D-Day, he was still in London but saw the press interviewing the first pilots to return and the excitement of the day.

The last letter in the collection, dated February 28, 1979 from James N. Norton to his daughter and her husband, reminisces on the bombing of Berlin and other targets, the more than one thousand planes overhead, and includes an envelope through which he received secret messages during that time. Included is a clipping from the Daily Express in England, dated June 28, 1943 which includes a John Steinbeck article entitled "The Common Man at War."


  • Creation: 1943 May 14 - 1979 February 28
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1943 May 14 - 1944 August 14

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.

Biographical / Historical

Captain James Newton Morton, United States Army (11/12/1894 - 4/1984) was born in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania and married his wife Ethel in 1925. They had two children, Barbara and James Edwin "Eddie" by 1932. Capt. Morton trained with the Army in Colorado Springs, Colorado and left for England during the Second World War in May 1943 as a First Lieutenant as part of the 22nd Photo Squadron. He spent his time in England working with several units' public relations and witnessed the takeoff and landing of thousands of planes for the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. He earned Captain in July 1943 but it remains uncertain how long he stayed in the service. Capt. Norton passed away in April 1984 in Camp Hill, PA.

Sergeant James Edwin "Eddie" Morton, United States Army (11/8/1932 - 9/12/2017) joined the Army and served in Korea with Battery "C", 26th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (Self-Propelled). He remained in 1954 when he turned 22 years old and wrote to his sister Barbara that he hoped to come home soon.


.16 Linear Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence from Capt. James N. Morton, USAAF, to his family during the Second World War, as well as one letter from his son, Sgt. James E. Morton, USA, to his sister Barbara.


This collection is arranged in chronological order. Photographs are arranged with the correspondence with which they were sent.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of N. Lea Gochnauer in memory of Barbara Morton Imbt.

Finding Aid for the James N. Morton Second World War correspondence
Andrew Harman
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, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States