Dorothy Andrew letters  1944-1945
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Dorothy Andrew letters consist of 16 letters addressed to her by five of her nephews during their military service in the Second World War. Her nephew Francis Earl Smith, a frequent correspondent, reported on his life in Belgium and England in 1944 and 1945. His letters reflect an interest in local currency; when he was in Belgium, he enclosed two local coins in a letter; one was Belgian money and the other was German invasion money (January 12, 1944). In the same letter, he remarked that even though he saw only a "fraction of what is happening," he found no glory in war. In England during the June 1944 "invasion of Hitler's Fortress [Europe]" (June 9, 1944), he expressed his hopes for a quick end to the war and, later, told her of his life in Germany in the early days of the occupation (August 14, 1945). He shared his fear of the atomic bomb following the conclusion of the war in the Pacific: "That new bomb makes one realize how quickly this world could be destroyed. Let's hope they put it to good use instead of destructive power for another war." (Germany, August 14, 1945)

Dorothy's other nephews related similar aspects of military life, including a dislike of the tedium of the army. Richard frequently complained of the swamps near the air base in Alexandria, Virginia, and Dale K. Smith mentioned the weather in the central Pacific. Several of the letters referred to another relation, Dewey; Dale encouraged him to stay out of the army, but Robert (Bob) wanted to know, "what the hell are you waiting for?" (March 23, 1945). Bob described his impression of Indians' opinions of America in his December 1944 letter, written from "somewhere in India," and in a later letter enclosed Chinese money and Japanese invasion money as souvenirs (March 23, 1945).

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