David Baldwin papers  1754-1870 (bulk 1790-1868)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of over 170 letters that Staff Sergeant Lawson L. Lindberg ("Lucky") wrote to his wife, Elsa Kunze (referred to as "Dorothy" or "Dottie"), while serving in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. Lindberg described camp life and his training exercises in the United States, and also wrote about his service in the Pacific Theater during the final year of the war.

Lindberg wrote his first letter shortly after enlistment in December 1941; he commented on his experiences at the Marine Corps Base in San Diego, California, until April 1942, when he was transferred to Camp Elliot, California. At Camp Elliot, where he was a drill instructor, he discussed his unsuccessful attempt to transfer to the Air Corps. Lindberg spent the majority of the war in New River, North Carolina, and Camp Pendleton, California, where he trained with the 23rd Marine Regiment. He described aspects of camp life and military exercises, which included grenade training, rifle training, and large-scale maneuvers. He also reported his punishments after returning late from two furloughs.

Lindberg wrote about his love for Kunze, whom he married while on leave in August 1942; on one occasion, he shared his opinion that she should return to housekeeping after the war, despite having earned several promotions at her wartime job (March 11, 1943). Lindberg wrote less frequently after his deployment to the Pacific Theater in late January 1944, where he served in the Marshall Islands, Iwo Jima, and Saipan in multiple units, including the 5th 155mm Howitzer battalion. Lindberg's letters from overseas often pertain to strained relationships with his family members, including his mother and his older brother, Jack. In his final 2 letters, written from a transient center in October 1945, Lindberg anticipated his return to the United States.

Two of Lindberg's letters contain enclosures: a sexually explicit poem (November 22, 1943) and a photographic negative (July 8, 1945). Kunze also received several telegrams and V-mail letters, as well as a birthday card. Some of Lindberg's letters are written on United States Marine Corps stationery, depicting associated logos and a marine in dress uniform with a rifle.

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