This collection contains 17 letters and 2 notes of telephone calls that Russell Joseph Sommer ("Joe") of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received from his brothers and acquaintances during World War II. The collection also includes 2 ephemeral items and a newspaper clipping.
George W. Sommer wrote 13 letters to his brother, Joe Sommer, while serving in the United States Navy around 1944-1945. As a naval air cadet at Great Lakes, Illinois, he commented on military life and medical testing. George allowed Joe and his wife Dot to use his car while he was away and discussed car maintenance, repairs, and, in one letter, the possibility of selling the vehicle. He wrote about his plans to have a "big wedding" despite his mother's recent death and some family members' misgivings. One group of his letters pertains to George's poor relationship with Joe's wife Dot. George discussed a dispute between his wife, Loretta, and Dot; he expressed his desire to maintain a relationship with his niece, Dorothy Mary, and shared his regret for the strain that Dot's recent actions had put on the brothers' relationship and on George's relationship with Loretta.
Jerry Sommer wrote 2 letters to his brother Joe, in which he discussed his pregnant wife's health (May 1, 1945) and his arrival in port in the United States (July 14, 1945). Joe Sommer received 2 brief notes about phone calls from Jerry, as well as 2 letters from acquaintances; one correspondent enclosed a newspaper clipping about Cincinnati Reds catcher Ray Mueller (May 21, 1944), and the other mentioned a flight he took with an air corps pilot (December 28, 1944). The remaining items are a printed calendar of events at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for May 12, 1945-May 18, 1945; a card with a Christmas wish and picture of a nativity scene, produced by the National Catholic Community Service; and a newspaper clipping about Catholic marriage rites.