Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Solinske-Walter Correspondence, 1942-1945

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, February 2013

Summary Information
Title: Solinske-Walter correspondence
Creator: Solinske, James, 1919-1997 and Solinske, Virginia Walter, 1923-1993
Inclusive dates: 1942-1945
Extent: 2.75 linear feet
Abstract:
The Solinske-Walter correspondence is primarily made up of letters that Sergeant James Solinske exchanged with his fiancée, Virginia Walter, while serving in England with the 52nd General Hospital during World War II.
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: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2003. M-4266.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

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:

Solinske-Walter Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Photographs
  • Series III: Scrapbook
  • Series IV: Field Manuals
  • Series V: Stamps and Miscellaneous

The Correspondence series is arranged chronologically.


Biography

James Solinske was born in 1919 and grew up in Syracuse, New York. He became engaged to Virginia Walter ("Ginny") (1923-1993) shortly before joining the United States Army in 1941. Solinske was a lieutenant with the 52nd General Hospital in Wolverly, England, and treated casualties from the D-Day invasions and the Battle of the Bulge. Walter remained in Syracuse, where she worked for the Crucible Steel Company of America. Solinske and Walter married after the war. James Solinske died in 1997.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Solinske-Walter correspondence is primarily made up of letters that Sergeant James Solinske exchanged with his fiancée, Virginia Walter ("Ginny"), while serving in England with the 52nd General Hospital during World War II.

The Correspondence series , which comprises the bulk of the collection, consists of the couple's almost-daily letters to one another throughout their wartime separation, which include V-mail letters and picture postcards of Syracuse, New York. Solinske and Walter primarily discussed their daily lives and plans for their forthcoming marriage, and occasionally commented on war news, particularly around the end of the war. One letter refers to the ethics of killing German prisoners of war (February 25, 1945). The series also has a postcard book from Alexandria, Louisiana, where Solinske was stationed during his training.

The Photographs series contains 4 unlabeled black and white photographs; 2 depict men in World War II-era military uniforms.

The Scrapbook contains war-era newspaper clippings, often with jokes or humorous cartoons, and greeting cards from James Solinske to Ginny Walter. Though the couple were not yet married, he often addressed her as his "wife."

The collection's 2 Field Manuals are entitled Military Courtesy and Discipline (June 15, 1942) and First Aid for Soldiers (April 7, 1943).

The final series contains approximately 100 cancelled World War II-era Stamps . Many of the cancellation stamps encourage readers to purchase war bonds.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Syracuse (N.Y.)
    • United States. Army. General Hospital, 52nd.
    • United States. Army--Military life--Caricatures and cartoons.
    • World War, 1939-1945--England.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Medical care.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Alexandria (La.)
    • Syracuse (N.Y.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Greeting cards.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Manuals (instructional materials)
    • Scrapbooks.
    • Photographs.
    • Picture postcards.
    • Postage stamps.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-18
     January 1942-October 1943 (156 items)
    Box   2 Folders   1-20
     November 1943-June 1944 (180 items)
    Box   3 Folders   1-18
     June 1944-November 1944 (201 items)
    Box   4 Folders   1-18
     November 1944-April 1945 (198 items)
    Box   5 Folders   1-7
     April 1945-July 1945 and  undated (66 items)
     
    Photographs [series]
    Box   5 Folders   8-11
    Photographs,  [World War II era] (4 items)
     
    Scrapbook [series]
    Box   5 Folder   12
    Scrapbook,  [1940s]
     
    Field Manuals [series]
    Box   5 Folder   13
     1942-1943 (2 items)
     
    Stamps and Miscellaneous [series]
    Box   5 Folder   14
    Stamps and miscellaneous,  [World War II era] (106 items)