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David U. Keenen Second World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWII 24, Folder: 12
Identifier: 2017-163-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence from SSgt. David U. Keenen, USA to his wife Phyllis during the Second World War. Also included is a biographical sheet from the donor and a photocopied picture of SSgt. Keenen in uniform.

The letter was written from Florence, Italy and addressed to his wife and daughter, whom he had yet to meet, and he discusses coming home soon though he will have narrowly missed their anniversary. He wants to stay in a hotel in Colorado and go on outings with his wife, arranging that one of his parents will be able to watch their daughter, Sharon. He mentions also a Battalion Sergeant Major Noell whom he met at the Red Cross in Elgin, Texas before shipping out.


  • 1945 July 28

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

Technical Sergeant David Umble "Dick" Keene, United States Army (10/14/1923 - 11/7/2012) was born in West Liberty, Ohio to Clarence and Elizabeth Keenen. Information that follows comes from the donor:

"He married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Buck, on August 1, 1942, and remained happily married to her for 70 years until his death at the age of 89 on November 7, 2012. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in January of 1943 and trained at Camp Hale in Colorado and was stationed with the 616th Field Artillery Battery and the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troop in Italy. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster in April 1945 for Valor and Meritorious Service in combat and received an EAME Ribbon with two Bronze Service Stars.

After the war, Dick returned home to DeGraff, Ohio, not only to his wife but to a baby daughter that he had never seen. His daughter, [donor's] mother, Sharon, was born December 31, 1943. He did not meet her until she was a year and a half old. He began working as a machinist and retired from Monarch Machine and Tool Co. in Sidney, Ohio. He was also a 32nd degree Mason. He and my grandmother lived most of their lives in DeGraff and later in life lived in Urbana and Reynoldsburg, Ohio. His beloved wife died on August 10, 2016 at the age of 91.

David Keenen is survived by his daughter, Sharon Rohl; son, Bruce (Pam) Keenen; grandchildren Kimberly Favinger, Lisa (Michael) Buehrle, Sarah Keenen, Diane (Drew) Kuzmickas; great grandchildren Meaghan (Rob) Fowler, Kristin (Wayne) Rutherford, Gabrielle, Trevor and Abigail.


.01 Linear feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains one correspondence from Staff Sergeant David U. Keenen, USA to his wife Phyllis during the Second World War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the family of David U. Keenen, via Lisa Buehrle.

Finding Aid for the David U. Keenen 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 Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States