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J. Merle Adler Korean War correspondence

 Collection — Box: Korea 8, Folder: 8, Folder: 1
Identifier: 2022-119-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains one letter from Lt. J. Merle Adler, USAAF to his brother and their family during the Korean War. His brother, Captain Wayne Guy Adler, United States Army Air Force also served overseas. Also included are one clipping, one birthday card, and one printout of Lt. Adler's Korean War Veterans Honor Roll.

Lt. Adler wrote March 12, 1951, about the similarities in the weather in Korea and Washington state. He also briefly mentioned a trip to Japan he took the day before writing the letter.

The birthday card was a Western Union card from Adler to his wife, Beverly Ann Adler née Butchart dated May 5, 1951, two-days before "he was shot down" and pronounced missing in action.

The clipping was part of the Seattle Times and updates Adler's status from MIA to presumed dead. A note from the donor states that this this article was published "Thurs. Feb. 4, 1954." The clipping contains a photograph of Lt. Adler's four- and five-year old sons Daryl and Merle as both gaze upon a photograph of their father.


  • 1951 March 12 - 1954 February 4

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

First Lieutenant Junior Merle Adler, United States Army Air Force (8/13/1925 - 1951) was born in Bismark, North Dakota to Merle Rupert Adler and Bertha Adler. He graduated in 1943 from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington and began studying chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle. He was married to Beverly Ann Adler née Butchart, with whom he had two sons, Merle Lee Adler and Daryl Robert Adler.

Lt. Adler served with the 345th Bomber Squadron, 98th Bomber Wing as one of thirteen crew members of the B-29 Superfortress Bomber nicknamed Shady Lady, tail number 44-86371. He was listed missing in action after conducting a bombing mission over Pyongyang, North Korea on May 7, 1951. During the bombing mission anti-air artillery struck one of the recently deployed bomds causing an explosion serverely damaging the B-29. Four crew members were able to escape the aircraft before it crased. All four were captured as prisoners of war but only three returned during Operation Big Switch, while the fourth died as a prisoner of war. Lt. Adler was presumed dead on January 31, 1954. He was awarded the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.


.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains one letter written by Lt. J. Merle Adler, USAAF to his family during the Korean War, as well as other materials.


This collection is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Wendy Loree Adler-Goiseer

Finding Aid for the J. Merle Adler Korean War correspondence
Frank J. López-Huerta
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