Phyllis Okoniewski collection  1941-1945 (bulk 1942-1945)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of approximately 200 letters that Phyllis Okoniewski of Buffalo, New York, wrote and received during World War II, 4 manuscript writings, and 6 newspaper clippings..

The Correspondence series consists of Phyllis Okoniewski's incoming and outgoing letters. From February 1941-August 1943, Okoniewski received over 40 letters from members of the United States Army, United States Army Air Forces, and United States Navy. They wrote about aspects of military life at bases such as Camp McClellan, Alabama; Camp Croft, South Carolina; Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida; Camp Pickett, Virginia; Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina; Sampson Naval Training Station, New Jersey; Camp Gordon, Georgia; and South Kelly Field, Texas. The servicemen discussed their classes, possible assignments, daily routine, and leisure activities. Okoniewski occasionally composed drafts of letters to these soldiers, in which she discussed her life in Buffalo, New York. The bulk of the series (over 150 items) is comprised of Okoniewski's letters to her future husband, Richard Szymczak, between September 1943 and May 1945. She commented on news from home, activities with members of the Okoniewski and Szymczak families, her senior prom, and her love for Szymczak.

The Writings series (4 items) contains 2 drafts of an explicit poem about Adam and Eve, a recipe for "love cake," a parody of Longfellow's poem "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," and a typed joke about married women.

Five of the six Newspaper clippings relate to the Buffalo Bisons hockey team during the war. One of these lists war casualties from western New York on the reverse side. The sixth clipping is an image of members of the 95th Signal Company, 3rd Division, United States Army, surrounding a cow.

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