Skip to main content

Claude Z. Watt Second World War correspondence and other materials

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2019-033-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence and other materials relating to the service of Cpl. Claude Z. Watt, USA during the Second World War. Included are 30 correspondence, loose photographs and one album, one discharge document, two clippings, and artifacts including Nazi memorabilia, a French flag, one knitted piece of "trench art", four handkerchiefs, several pamphlets, a metal book of matches, nine uniform patches, one uniform decoration cord, and one bible. Of the correspondence, 22 were written by Cpl. Watt, the rest from various authors including one First World War postcard.

Dates

  • 1918 - 1949
  • Majority of material found within 1942 March 14 - 1949 November 3

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

Corporal Claude Zeverts Watt, United States Army (12/29/1919 - 2/15/1986) was born in Ray, Minnesota to Carl and Irtie Watt. He worked with his father as a carpenter and registered for the draft on July 1, 1941, entering into active service on March 13, 1942 at Fort Snelling. He attended boot camp at Camp Cooke in California and was assigned to the 58th Field Artillery Battalion.

Cpl. Watt was among the first to arrive on Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy. He was shot while evacuating his tank, an M7 Priest, in the ocean. He laid wounded on the beach for four hours before being retrieved by medics and taken to a relatively safe zone. He was shot a second time while in Germany, which earned him the oak leaf cluster for his Purple Heart. He spent some time in the hospital in England where he made some English friends, and made a friend in Belgium named Catherine Soullier.

According to the donor, his daughter, Watt was never a religious man after the war and ceased attending church due to his experiences. He married Joan Florence Savard in 1950 and they moved to Orange, California where they had a son and a daughter, Brian and Jean. Watt passed away in Orange in February, 1986 at the age of 66 and is interred at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Extent

0.3 Linear Feet (2 folders, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection contains correspondence and other materials relating to the service of Cpl. Claude Z. Watt, USA during the Second World War. Included are photographs, clippings, Nazi medals, and various books and pamphlets.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged by material type:

Series 1, Correspondence from Claude Watt Series 2, Correspondence from other authors Series 3, Service documents Series 4, Photographs Series 5, Clippings Series 6, Realia Series 7, Books and pamphlets

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the family of Claude Watt, via Jean Willis.
Title
Finding Aid for the Claude Z. Watt Second World War correspondence and other materials
Status
Completed
Author
Andrew Harman
Date
4/24/2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Contact:
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States