Dorothy Andrew letters (1944-1945)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, November 2011
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Dorothy Andrew letters
Creator: Andrew, Dorothy
Inclusive dates: 1944-1945
Extent: 16 items
The Dorothy Andrew letters consist of 16 letters addressed to her by five of her nephews during their military service in the European and Pacific theaters during the last year of the Second World War.
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:

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1997. M-3359.3.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


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

Dorothy Andrew Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Dorothy Andrew of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was the sister of John Clarence Andrew.

Several of her nephews served in the United States armed forces during World War II:
  • Jim R. Andrew
  • Richard K. [Feulsbower?], 517th Maintenance Unit, United States Army Air Force
  • Dale K. Smith, 321st infantry regiment, United States Army
  • Staff sergeant Francis Earl Smith, 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion, United States Army
  • Staff sergeant Robert A. Smith, United States Army Air Force

The men served in the European and Pacific theaters during the war; Jim R. Andrew spent early 1945 at Tilton General Hospital at Fort Dix, New Jersey, recuperating from an ankle wound.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Dorothy Andrew letters consist of 16 letters addressed to her by five of her nephews during their military service in the Second World War. Her nephew Francis Earl Smith, a frequent correspondent, reported on his life in Belgium and England in 1944 and 1945. His letters reflect an interest in local currency; when he was in Belgium, he enclosed two local coins in a letter; one was Belgian money and the other was German invasion money (January 12, 1944). In the same letter, he remarked that even though he saw only a "fraction of what is happening," he found no glory in war. In England during the June 1944 "invasion of Hitler's Fortress [Europe]" (June 9, 1944), he expressed his hopes for a quick end to the war and, later, told her of his life in Germany in the early days of the occupation (August 14, 1945). He shared his fear of the atomic bomb following the conclusion of the war in the Pacific: "That new bomb makes one realize how quickly this world could be destroyed. Let's hope they put it to good use instead of destructive power for another war." (Germany, August 14, 1945)

Dorothy's other nephews related similar aspects of military life, including a dislike of the tedium of the army. Richard frequently complained of the swamps near the air base in Alexandria, Virginia, and Dale K. Smith mentioned the weather in the central Pacific. Several of the letters referred to another relation, Dewey; Dale encouraged him to stay out of the army, but Robert (Bob) wanted to know, "what the hell are you waiting for?" (March 23, 1945). Bob described his impression of Indians' opinions of America in his December 1944 letter, written from "somewhere in India," and in a later letter enclosed Chinese money and Japanese invasion money as souvenirs (March 23, 1945).

Subject Terms

  • United States. Army Air Forces.
  • United States. Army--Military life.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Europe.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Area.
  • Andrew, Jim R.
  • Smith, Dale K.
  • Smith, Francis Earl.
  • Smith, Robert A.
Genre Terms:
  • Coins (currency)
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Paper money.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   9, World War II Small Collections  
Dorothy Andrew letters [series]
Folder   9  
  January 12, 1944-August 3, 1944
Folder   10  
  December 28, 1944-November 27, 1945