This collection is made up of letters that Lieutenant Russell G. Schlagal wrote to his wife Margery while serving in the United States Army during World War II. Schlagal discussed his experiences in India and on the island of Tinian, and he often illustrated his letters with ink sketches and watercolor paintings.
Russell G. Schlagal regularly wrote letters home to Margery, who remained in Dayton, Ohio, during the war. He responded to news of family members and acquaintances, and shared his love for Margery. Most letters concern Schlagal's daily experiences with the 28th Air Service Group in India (December 1944-April 1945) and on the island of Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands (June 1945-March 1946). In India, he occasionally mentioned his encounters with local residents, and he described the wildlife, the scenery, and local customs. He frequently attended USO shows and movies. Schlagal later discussed his life on Tinian, where he remained until the spring of 1946. He continued to attend performances and films, and also participated in underwater sightseeing. After the end of the war, Schlagal wrote about the possibility and timing of his return home.
Schlagal illustrated some of his letters with ink sketches, ink drawings, and watercolor paintings. These depict buildings, objects, and scenery from India and Tinian. Occasionally, he used stationery with pre-printed scenes, and his letter of December 29, 1945, has a manuscript map of Tinian. On February 24, 1946, Schlagal composed a partially pictographic letter about his anticipated return home. He alternated words with pictures of animals, his wife, himself, and the island of Tinian.