Garret Abeel papers  1792-1827
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (37 items) contains letters that Santo R. Ferrara received during his service in the United States Navy Seabees during World War II, including 21 letters from his brother Henry, a member of the United States Navy Reserve, and numerous letters from other military personnel. Also included are a letter that Ferrara wrote to his wife and daughter and a Christmas card that he sent to a friend.

Henry Ferrara, who wrote from October 6, 1943-November 5, 1945, encouraged his brother to remain in the United States during the war, shared news of their mother and mutual acquaintances, and commented on his life and work in Washington, D.C. His single letter to Marjorie Ferrara congratulates her on the birth of her daughter (December 5, 1943).

Santo Ferrara's other correspondents included Paul Feldman Cox, who served with a navy demolition unit, and Corporal Tony Pirrone of the Army's 806th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Cox complained about his training at Camp Peary, Virginia, and described his work after a transfer to the Marine Corps unit; he was reassigned to Fort Pierce, Florida, in January 1944, where he became an instructor after his unit shipped out in late February. Pirrone discussed his experiences at Camp Rucker, Alabama; commented on his health; and shared his plans to get married after the end of the war. Ferrara also received a V-mail letter from James E. O'Toole, a member of Seabee Detachment 1040, about O'Toole's time in North Africa ([February] 12, 1944).

After the end of hostilities, Henry and Billy Ferrara wrote to their brother Santo about the possibility of being discharged under the military's point system. Billy Ferrara described the Philippines and expressed uncertainty as to whether he would become a member of the occupying forces. He also remarked on the bartering system between American soldiers and Filipino natives and shared the prices of commodities

Santo Ferrara wrote 2 items: a Christmas card to Mr. and Mrs. John Wallace of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (December 15, 1943), and a letter to his wife and daughter about his assignment to specialized classes at Camp Endicott, Rhode Island; his letter encloses a "C.B." emblem (December 22, 1943). The collection also contains a hand-colored illustration of a palm tree on a beach and the words "Happy Birthday," signed by Henry Ferrara.

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