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Frederick L. Steinberg Second World War Collection

 Collection — Box: WWII 102, Folder: 33, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2017-427-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains eight correspondence with transcriptions from Sgt. Frederick L. Steinberg, USAAC to his sister Ruth during the Second World War, as well as two transcribed articles and three reproductions of photographs of Sgt. Steinberg with fellow crew members and his brother, Richard Steinberg who was also in the US Army. Also included with the collection is a war record and narrative, typed, that was written by Sgt. Steinberg and given to Ruth that provides a narrative and personal memories of his war service.

The transcriptions have supplementary biographical and contextual information in brackets, added by Steinberg's niece Mary Hauer Rankin. The first letter, dated October 29, 1943 from Italy discusses being glad that Ruth stayed home instead of going overseas to work with the nursing corps and the food situation where he is staying, mentioning, "The Germans took everything they could, when they left." The back of the envelope contains notes about Ruth's budget, written by Ruth. The second letter is a short note on the back of a Christmas card, "From the Boys Overseas! Italy 1943," and the third letter is another short note about Christmas packages.

The remainder of the letters discuss his living conditions, asking about the family, and asking for supplies such as soap and razor blades. He does mention a Ralph Thomas from Mason City that he ran into in Tunisia and Don Simes who is in New Guinea. He also asks about his brothers, whom are apparently by January 1944 only finishing training, though by August he mentions Richard being out to sea and in September meets him in Naples. In that same letter, he writes a postscript, "We have 548 enemy vic [victories] in the air. A record."

In Sgt. Steinberg's last letter in this collection, he asks about his brothers and mentions his unit reaching two years overseas and earning yet another citation, three total, giving them one ribbon with two oak leaf clusters. This one was for "a successful dive bomb attack on some Ploesti oil refineries that the heavy bombers couldn't hit, because of a smoke screen the enemy always laid down. We came in low and took them by surprise." He then jokes that they have 550 air victories but will probably not earn any more because the enemy has nothing left to send up.

The two articles are presumably from local Iowa papers and describe similarly the service thus far, around Fall of 1944, of Sgt. Steinberg and his unit. The second is apparently signed "Certified Passed by Field Press Censor., by Cpl. Robert Elliott."

The photographs are black and white reproductions on photo printer paper and include one photograph of Sgt. Steinberg and two others standing in front of a P-38 Lightning. Another paper includes two photographs; one of Steinberg in his flight jackeet and cap from February 1944, the other is of Steinberg and his brother Richard in Naples in August 1944.

Dates

  • 1943 October 29 - 1944 September 23

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

Staff Sergeant Frederick Lewis Steinberg, United States Army Air Corps (7/8/1919 - 2/25/2006) was born in Mason City, Iowa to Edwin Richard Steinberg and Lorinda A. Marshall Steinberg. He had two older sisters, Esther M. and Ruth L., as well as one older brother Richard M. and two younger brothers, John H. and Thomas L. All four Steinberg brothers served during the Second World War. Ruth Steinberg worked in nursing and dietetics, hoping to go to Australia with the nursing corps, though here brothers were all overseas and she was advised to stay home during the war. SSgt. Steinberg served overseas with 96th Fighter Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group, 41st Bomber Group.

Edwin Steinberg worked at a grocery store, as a carpenter, and then as a farmer (according to the 1940 census) and Frederick worked with him when he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940. Steinberg entered the service with the Army Air Corps at Mason City on January 27, 1941 and trained at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, graduating from Aircraft Mechanic School, Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois. He was assigned to A-29's for the 41st Bomber Group at Hammer Field in Fresno, California and transferred to the newly formed 82nd Fighter Group at Muroc Field in Mojave, California. He then became a crew chief on P-38 Lightnings at Glendale Air Terminal in California until his unit was deployed to Europe.

According to SSgt. Steiberg's narrative as given to his sister Ruth and retyped by his niece Mary Hauer Rankin, he sailed to Scotland aboard the Queen Mary, and was aboard during an incident in which their ship crashed through an English cruiser escort and killed many English sailors. They then sailed to England and North Africa to the port of Oran. They stayed in many airports along the way and began working on maintenance for the P-38s while conducting combat missions. Their unit served in North Africa until moving to Italy in late 1943 where he describes a German strafing attack. They continued to move north in Italy, staying at Leece, Foggia and Mandredonia. It was there that he volunteered to aid the British in PT boat missions across the Adriatic Sea.

SSgt. Steinberg returned to the United States on June 8, 1945 and was discharged September 27, 1945. In 1950 he married Margaret M. Skidmore in Oklahoma and passed away in February 2006 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Extent

.08 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Overview

This collection contains eight correspondence with transcriptions from Sgt. Frederick L. Steinberg, USAAC to his sister Ruth during the Second World War, as well as two transcribed articles and three reproductions of photographs of Sgt. Steinberg with fellow crew members and his brother, Richard Steinberg who was also in the US Army. Also included with the collection is a war record and narrative, typed, that was written by Sgt. Steinberg and given to Ruth that provides a narrative and personal memories of his war service.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged by material type, and the correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mary Hauer Rankin.
Title
Finding Aid for the Frederick L. Steinberg Second World War correspondence
Status
Completed
Author
Andrew Harman
Date
5/21/2019
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Contact:
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States