William P. Fessenden papers  1855-1868, 1908
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of 18 letters that Elaine Fisher (later Hanson) of Muscatine, Iowa, and North Powder, Oregon, received from members of the United States Army during World War II. Her correspondents discussed their experiences while training at camps within the United States and while on duty in North Africa, Hawaii, and Europe.

Technician Fifth Grade Frank Rado Hanson, a member of the 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Company B, and Elaine Fisher's future husband, wrote 3 letters while in training at Camp Phillips, Kansas, in September and October 1943, and 6 letters while serving in France, Belgium, and Germany between October 1944 and April 1945. He discussed his love for Elaine, mentioned his participation in recent military actions, and commented on the military's drinking culture.

Private Robert Armstrong, whom Fisher had known in Muscatine, wrote 3 letters while undergoing medical training at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma, between July and September 1942. As well as writing about his life on base, Armstrong detailed his drinking habits and his experiences with local women. After being promoted to corporal, Armstrong wrote 3 additional letters about his service with the Medical Detachment of the 435th Signal Battalion in Italy and North Africa, describing the scenery and Roman ruins.

Fisher also received 1 letter from Private William Hendrix of the 371st Bomb Squadron, then in training at Ephrata Air Base in Washington (June 13, 1942), and 2 letters from Corporal Kenneth H. Maach of the 210th Field Artillery Battalion, who was stationed at Camp Young, California, and in Hawaii. Both soldiers discussed military life; Maach included descriptions of the Californian wildlife and a Hawaiian luau, and enclosed a photograph of a hula dancer letter in his letter of October 16, 1943.

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