Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
John T. and Betty McHale Correspondence, 1943-1952

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff, February 2007, and Marvin Brandwin and Meg Hixon, December 2012

Summary Information
Title: John T. and Betty McHale correspondence
Creator: McHale, John T., Jr., 1917-2001 and McHale, Betty Jane Henery, 1922-2008
Inclusive dates: 1943-1952
Bulk dates: 1943-1945
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Abstract:
This collection is made up of the incoming and outgoing World War II-era correspondence of John T. McHale, Jr., of Washington, D.C., and his wife, Betty Jane Henery of Zanesville, Ohio. John wrote to Betty while serving in the United States Army Air Forces, and the couple received letters from family members, servicemen, and Betty's female acquaintances.

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:

2005. M-4507.13.

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:

John T. and Betty McHale correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Receipts and Ephemera

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

John T. McHale, Jr., was born in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 1917, the son of John T. and Ellen B. McHale. He had three siblings: Richard, Mary, and Robert. In April 1943, he married Betty Jane Henery (March 18, 1922-August 30, 2008), the daughter of Ralph W. and Goldie Henery of Zanesville, Ohio. She had three siblings: Anne May, Helen Louise, and Jack. Before their marriage, Henery was a member of a musical group based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she lived in several states during the remainder of the war. McHale served with the United States Army Air Forces at Santa Ana Army Air Base (Santa Ana, California); Thunderbird Field (Glendale, Arizona); Pecos Army Air Base (Pecos, Texas); Fort Sumner, New Mexico; and Baer Field (Fort Wayne, Indiana). He was a pilot for the 7th Combat Cargo Squadron in the Pacific Theater in 1945 and returned to the United States around November 1945. John T. and Betty Henery McHale had one son, John T. McHale III (b. March 10, 1945), and lived in Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Virginia; and Sarasota, Florida. John T. McHale, Jr., died on March 13, 2001.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of the incoming and outgoing World War II-era correspondence of John T. McHale, Jr., of Washington, D.C., and his wife, Betty Jane Henery of Zanesville, Ohio. John wrote around 220 letters to Betty while serving in the United States Army Air Forces, and Betty wrote about 50 letters to John about her experiences while he was away. The couple also received letters from family members, servicemen, and Betty's female acquaintances.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of Correspondence , particularly the letters that John T. and Betty McHale exchanged during the war. Their letters document several aspects of their relationship, including the effects of lengthy periods of separation. In his early letters (April 1943-September 1943), John T. McHale commented on aspects of military life and training at various stations in the United States, and Betty initially wrote about her experiences in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was a member of an orchestra. From October 1944-October 1945, McHale wrote from Hawaii, New Guinea, and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), where he was a pilot with the 7th Combat Cargo Squadron, Fifth Air Force. He mentioned the "Tokyo Rose" radio broadcasts and frequent bombing raids by Japanese planes. In March 1945, his squadron celebrated the birth of his son. By the summer of 1945, McHale was stationed in the Philippines, where he noticed the destructive effects of the war on Manila, and he was later based in Okinawa and at the Yokota Army Airfield near Tokyo. In October 1945, he anticipated his return to the United States.

John T. and Betty McHale received letters from many correspondents during the war, particularly from their parents and from Betty's female friends from her time in Albuquerque. Marvel Goodman and others commented on their lives after their orchestra dispersed in 1943. Infrequent postwar letters from acquaintances are dated as late as 1948, and Andrew H. Henery sent a birth announcement for his son in 1952.

Receipts and Ephemera include greeting cards, a church program, birth announcements for John T. McHale III, receipts, a financial voucher, and a list of postwar addresses for a group of military officers.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Army spouses--United States.
    • Baer Field Airport (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
    • Fort Sumner (N.M.)
    • Japan--Description and travel.
    • Santa Ana Army Air Base (Calif.)
    • Soldiers--Alcohol use.
    • Thunderbird Field (Glendale, Ariz.)
    • United States. Army Air Forces. Combat Cargo Squadron, 7th.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Pacific Area.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Women--United States.
    • Zanesville (Ohio)
    Contributors:
    • Bailey, Mary.
    • Goodman, Marvel.
    • Henery, Goldie.
    • Henery, Ralph W.
    • McHale, Ellen B.
    • McHale, John T.
    • Zulfer, Peggy Weber.
    Genre Terms:
    • Birth announcements.
    • Christmas cards.
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Greeting cards.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Postcards.
    • Receipts (financial records)
    • Vouchers.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Correspondence [series]:
    Box   1 Folders   1-16
     April 18, 1943-November 20, 1943
    Box   2 Folders   1-16
     November 21, 1943-March 23, 1945
    Box   3 Folders   1-12
     March 26, 1945-August 11, 1952, and  Undated
     
    Receipts and Ephemera [series]:
    Box   3 Folder   13
     [May 1940]-March 10, 1945, and  Undated