Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Arthur Richard Roussin Correspondence, 1943-1946

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Marvin Brandwin and Meg Hixon, August 2012

Summary Information
Title: Arthur Richard Roussin correspondence
Creator: Roussin family
Inclusive dates: 1943-1946
Bulk dates: 1944-1946
Extent: 1 linear foot
Abstract:
This collection contains 212 letters, postcards, greeting cards, and telegrams that Second Lieutenant Arthur Richard Roussin ("Dick") of Durand, Michigan, sent to and received from his parents during his service in the United States Army, February 1944-August 1946. Roussin wrote about life at Fort Benning, Georgia; Camp Stewart, Georgia; and Camp Robinson, Arkansas, from February 1944-April 1945, and about his experiences traveling to and serving in Yokohama, Japan, from October 1945-August 1946. His parents shared personal and local news and discussed their store in Durand.

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:

Donated by D. N. Diedrich, 2008. M-4668.4.

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:

Arthur Richard Roussin correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

Arthur Richard Roussin ("Dick") was born on March 12, 1926, the son of Arthur J. Roussin and Myrtle J. Trevarthen (or Tevarthen) of Durand, Michigan. He had a younger brother, J. Gene, and his father was a manager and meat cutter at a grocery store in Durand. Roussin joined the United States Army shortly after his 18th birthday, and trained as part of the 3rd Student Training Regiment, 7th Company, at Fort Benning, Georgia; Camp Stewart, Georgia; and Camp Robinson, Arkansas, for much of 1944 and 1945. In October 1945, he embarked for Japan onboard the USS General George M. Randall , and he ran a post exchange (PX) store for soldiers stationed in Yokohama, Japan, until he returned to the United States around August or September 1946. After his discharge, Roussin studied music at the University of Michigan for two years, and around 1950 he moved to New York City, where he eventually became a vice president for the Remington Apparel Company. Arthur Richard Roussin died on July 11, 1993.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 212 letters, postcards, greeting cards, and telegrams that Second Lieutenant Arthur Richard Roussin ("Dick") of Durand, Michigan, and his parents exchanged during his service in the United States Army from February 1944-August 1946. Roussin wrote about life at Fort Benning, Georgia; Camp Stewart, Georgia; and Camp Robinson, Arkansas, from February 1944-April 1945, and about his experiences traveling to and serving in Yokohama, Japan, from October 1945-August 1946. His parents shared personal and local news and discussed their store in Durand. Roussin also received a few letters from other acquaintances.

The first letter, from Durand's high school, pertains to his academic affairs (May 21, 1943), and the remaining correspondence relates to his time in the military. The bulk of the collection falls within two time periods: February 19, 1944-April 25, 1945 (120 items), and October 12, 1945-January 31, 1946 (98 items); 6 additional items are dated February 4, 1946-August 24, 1946. Roussin wrote 122 letters to his parents, received 90 letters from his parents, and received 13 letters from other correspondents. Some envelopes contain multiple items or letters written over the course of several days, and some letters enclose newspaper clippings.

Roussin's earliest letters home concern training exercises at Fort Benning, Georgia; Camp Stewart, Georgia; and Camp Robinson, Arkansas, where he was stationed from February 1944-April 1945. He described specific tasks, such as his work with machine guns, and the everyday occurrences of camp life during infantry training. He sent his parents 3 picture postcards of sights in and near Camp Stewart, Georgia, in the summer of 1944, and commented regularly on his training experiences until mid-March 1945. Between March and April 1945, Roussin's parents wrote almost daily about their lives in Durand, Michigan. Their letters include updates on their son "Gene," war news, descriptions of social activities, and discussions about their store. On March 20, 1945, a friend sent Arthur R. Roussin a postcard depicting the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

The Roussins resumed their correspondence in October 1945, when Arthur, then a second lieutenant with "Infantry Company B, 4th Platoon" (his mail traveled through the 194th Quartermaster Detachment APO), anticipated his deployment to Japan. He mentioned his duties as his unit prepared to sail from California, and described his journey from the United States to Japan onboard the USS General George M. Randall . After his arrival in Tokyo on November 1, 1945, he traveled to the Naval Air Facility Atsugi and to Yokohama, where he was stationed until the following August. While in Yokohama, Roussin wrote to his parents about his daily activities, such as bookkeeping duties for a post exchange (PX) store, visits to Tokyo, and his social life. He sometimes reported on his drinking habits and explained the army's rationing system for alcohol, which divided drinks into several classes before distribution. During this period, he occasionally received letters from his mother and father, who continued to discuss their daily lives and local news, including the possibility of labor strikes. On December 29, 1945, Roussin mentioned a fire in the PX warehouse, and on February 4, 1946, reassured his parents that he had not been seriously injured in a recent car crash, though a friend had been killed. He also sent postcards of Mount Shasta (California) and of a Japanese building. His final communications are three telegrams from late August 1946, in which he shared his expectation of an imminent journey home.

Arthur Richard Roussin often wrote on decorated U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, American Red Cross, or personal stationery. One letter has a humorous printed illustration of a family of birds (June 15, 1944), and Roussin drew a picture of a cyclone in his letter of October 22, 1945.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Camp Joseph T. Robinson (Ark.)
    • Durand (Mich.)
    • Families of military personnel--United States.
    • Fort Benning (Ga.)
    • Fort Stewart (Ga.)
    • Japan--Description and travel.
    • Japan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952.
    • Military education.
    • Military exchanges.
    • Ocean travel.
    • Soldiers--Alcohol use--United States.
    • Stores, Retail.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States. Army--Supplies and stores.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    • Yokohama-shi (Japan)
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Birds--Caricatures and cartoons.
    • Fort Stewart (Ga.)
    • Hotels--Japan.
    • Mount Shasta (Calif.)
    • Supreme Court Building (Washington, D.C.)
    • United States. Army--Insignia.
    • United States. Navy--Insignia.
    Contributors:
    • Roussin, Arthur J.
    • Roussin, Arthur Richard (Dick), 1926-1993.
    • Roussin, Myrtle Trevarthen.
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Greeting cards.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Photographic postcards.
    • Picture postcards.
    • Telegrams.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Correspondence [series]:
    Box   1 Folders   1-10
      May 21, 1943;  February 19, 1944-October 18, 1945
    Box   2 Folders   1-8
      October 19, 1945-August 24, 1946
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    This collection arrived at the Clements Library with the Arthur Bruhus papers, but no connection between the two soldiers has been found.

    Bibliography

    "Arthur Richard Roussin." The Argus-Press (Owosso, Michigan) 14 July 1993. 2.