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Philip E. DeKorn Second World War correspondence and personal narrative

 Collection — Box: WWII 37, Folder: 16, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2020-110-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains thirty letters, original, from RdM2/c Philip E. DeKorn, USN during the Second World War. Also included is one personal narrative of his tour of duty, which includes extra copies of two sections, a photocopy of a letter describing Nagasaki that is not included in the originals, and his separation papers from the Navy, as well as one history of the USS Uhlmann (DD-687) from the Office of Public Information, Navy Department, and one sheet of biographical information of DeKorn.

DeKorn was in Tokyo Bay and both his letters and personal narrative describe the sights as he saw Nagasaki after the atomic bomb. He describes the destruction of that city and others, including Sasebo which he describes as looking like someone had take a "mower" to the buildings. Also mentioned in the personal narrative is seeing the radar ping as the Enola Gay flew over for its mission to deliver the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.


  • 1945 September 7 - 1946 February 5

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

Radarman Second Class Philip Eugene DeKorn, United States Navy (8/4/1922 - 9/6/2019) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Joseph Peter DeKorn and Christina Catherine Blandford. He graduated from Union High School in 1940 and worked as an industrial salesman and registered for the draft on June 30, 1942 and enlisted on August 28. He served in the Navy aboard the US destroyer USS Uhlmann until 1946. The Uhlmann, with DeKorn, served in the Philippine Liberation and took part in strikes on Okinawa, Formosa, Luzon, Samar, Hongkong, Hainan, and installations near Saigon and other ports. It also supported the Iwo Jima landing and earned a position in Task Force 58 and later attacked the Japanese mainland.

He married Marianne Haadsma on January 5, 1968. DeKorn passed away two years after his wife in 2019 and is interred at Rosedale Memorial Park in Grand Rapids.


0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains thirty letters, original, and a personal narrative from RdM2/c Philip E. DeKorn, USN during the Second World War. Also included is biographical information and ship history.


This collection is arranged by material type and chronology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sue Haadsma-Svensson.

Finding Aid for the Philip E. DeKorn Second World War correspondence and personal narrative
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