Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Charles Wochna Letters, [1953]-1954

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, April 2012

Summary Information
Title: Charles Wochna letters
Creator: Wochna, C.
Inclusive dates: [1953]-1954
Extent: 27 items
This collection is made up of 27 letters that Lieutenant Charles Wochna wrote to his parents while serving with the United States Marine Corps in Korea and Japan during the Korean War.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1997. M-3359.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Charles Wochna Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Lieutenant Charles Wochna served with Company B of the 1st Marine Corps Division in Korea during the Korean War. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. Wochna, lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Wochna had at least one sister, who married and had children before the war, and a brother, Jerry.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 27 letters that Lieutenant Charles Wochna wrote to his parents while serving with the United States Marine Corps in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. Though only one letter is fully dated (January 1, 1954), the letters cover much of his time abroad.

While stationed abroad, Wochna attended artillery training, participated in several amphibious landing exercises, and constructed bunkers. In their spare time, the American soldiers often played volleyball or other sports. A few letters, written late in the war, discuss Wochna's anticipation of returning home via Japan; in the March 14 letter is a list of items he wished to be shipped to him, and some sketches of emblems that were on his desired clothing. In addition to news of life in Korea, he also mentioned taking periods of rest and relaxation in Japan, and reported purchasing souvenirs in both countries.

Wochna occasionally commented directly on military operations, detailing his experiences upon landing on an unidentified beach (May 15), mentioning the proximity of a peace delegation (August 7), and relaying news of recent operations. In a letter dated June 11, he summarized two schools of thought regarding the presence of American military operations in the country. Other letters refer to the general progress of the war. Wochna's correspondence also reflects his ongoing concern for family members and friends who remained in the United States. He often responded to news of his family, including sadness upon hearing of his grandfather's death (June 14). Wochna frequently offered advice to his brother Jerry, then a student, and requested news about the current football seasons of the Cleveland Browns, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Ohio State Buckeyes. He attempted to follow the teams while stationed abroad.

Charles Wochna sent several letters on stationery bearing colored images, which include:

  • the USS Talladega
  • the insignia of the 1st Marine Corps
  • combat ribbons signifying participation in the Philippines, China, and Japan during the Second World War
  • combat ribbon signifying participation in the Korean War
Subject Terms

    • Cleveland (Ohio)
    • Football--United States.
    • Japan--Description and travel.
    • Korea--Description and travel.
    • Korean War, 1950-1953--Amphibious operations.
    • United States. Marine Corps. Marine Division, 1st.
    • United States. Marine Corps--Military life.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Marines--Medals, badges, decorations, etc.
    • United States. Marine Corps--Insignia.
    • Wochna, Charles.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   51, Small Collections  
    Charles Wochna letters [series]
    Folders   1-2  
     [1953] and  January 1, 1954