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James H. Churda Second World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWII 154, Folder: 8, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2020-025-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains three letters from and one photograph of Cpl. James H. Churda, USAAF to his niece Mary Lou Pavlik during the Second World War. The photograph is a copy and shows "Uncle Jimmie" in uniform holding his nieces Mary Lou and Joan on November 11, 1943.

Churda's correspondence mentions B-17 Flying Fortresses and P-51 Mustangs. He told Mary Lou that he would like to show her these planes someday, saying, "I"d show you what the Air Force has in store for Hitler and his pals."

Added October 27, 2021: one biography page of James Churda, one copy of Churda's enlisted record, one copy of Churda's honorable discharge certificate, and one copy of a clipping about Churda as a night taxi driver in September 1952.


  • 1943 February 28 - July 19

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 James H. "Jimmie" Churda, United States Army Air Force (1/26/1901 - 8/23/1981) was born in Ames, Nebraska to Charles and Mary Churda and had one sister, Helen. Helen had two daughters named Mary Lou (b. 1937 or 1938) and Joan to whom "Uncle Jimmie" wrote during the Second World War. According to the donor, James served during the First World War. He was not old enough so his mother signed for him when he enlisted on June 10, 1918 and served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France for nine months, serving with Battery E 67th Artillery C.A.C.; discharged March 20, 1919 at Camp Dodge, Iowa.

Churda married Mary Dorothy Tangney in Casper, Wyoming on October 16, 1926. They divorced February 19, 1932 in Casper and did not have any children.

He later worked at Blue Line Taxi Co. in Nebraska and was inducted back into the Army in Casper on August 24, 1942. He served at Olmstead Field in Middleton, Pennsylvania with the 22nd Communications Squadron as a radio operator, later detached from the 135th Army Airways Communications System Squadron at Granier Field, New Hampshire, and was released from service on November 18, 1944 as a sergeant. According to the donor he served in Quebec, and possibly Alaska or Greenland.

Churda worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and as a night driver for the Owl Taxi Company in Casper. He lived in a veteran's home in Hot Springs, South Dakota where he was a member of American Legion Post 71 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1977, he moved to a veterans home in Grand Island, NE where he passed away in 1981. He is interred at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.


0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains three letters from and one photograph of Cpl. James H. Churda, USAAF to his niece Mary Lou Pavlik during the Second World War.


This collection is arranged by material type and chronology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mary Lou Brown neƩ Pavlik.

Finding Aid for the James H. Churda Second World War correspondence
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States