Jeanette Alexander papers (1931-1945, bulk 1942-1945)

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

Summary Information

Title: Jeanette Alexander papers
Creator: Alexander, Jeanette
Inclusive dates: 1931-1945
Bulk dates: 1942-1945
Extent: 66 items
The Jeanette Alexander papers consist primarily of incoming correspondence from several friends and family members, including correspondence from her son, Earl Alexander, Jr., and his girlfriend Dolores regarding his service in the United States Army Air Forces.
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

1998. M-3460.2.

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

Jeanette Alexander Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Born in the early 1920s, Earl Alexander Jr. grew up in Elberon, New Jersey, and entered Rutgers University in the fall of 1942. After learning of the expansion of conscription to include men aged 18-19, Alexander decided to enlist in the Army Air Forces. Though his first application was late, he successfully became a pilot in May 1943. During his wartime service, Alexander served with the 52nd Wing of the IX Troop Carrier Command in Europe, and likely participated in the March 1945 invasion of Germany. He returned to the United States in December 1945, and intended to marry his girlfriend Dolores, a University of Virginia student.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Jeanette Alexander papers consist primarily of incoming correspondence, from several friends and family members, including correspondence from her son, Earl Alexander,Jr., and his girlfriend Dolores, regarding his service in the United States Army Air Forces. Much of the material within the collection was composed by Earl (19 letters and two telegrams) and Dolores (21 letters), with other contributors including his parents, Earl Alexander, Sr., and Jeanette Alexander, as well as several family members and friends. The earliest items in the collection are three report cards of Earl Alexander, Jr.'s academic progress for second (1931-1932), third (1932-1933), and fifth (1934-1935) grades and a manual answering frequently asked questions for a driving exam. Several other early letters written to the younger Earl Alexander relate his parents' experiences traveling in Florida in February 1938. The letter of February 22, [1938], in which they mentioned their intention to travel to Havana, Cuba, includes several pages of stationary illustrating leisure pursuits in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The remainder, and bulk, of the collection dates to the Second World War, and opens with Earl, Jr.'s correspondence from his year at Rutgers University; he described scenes from his collegiate life and discussed the likelihood of conscription, as well as its effect on his future. Following a May 7, 1943, telegram ordering him to appear for a military mental exam, the collection focuses on his military service, related primarily through the communications of his girlfriend Dolores. Dolores, then a student at Mary Washington College at the University of Virginia, frequently wrote to Jeanette Alexander, providing updates on her life in Fredericksburg and news from Earl, and commenting on the effect of soldiers' absences on those remaining at home. Earl also composed several letters to his parents, the majority of which date from his time in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he awaited his final orders. Six letters from Ella Garza, whose husband Rudolf served with Earl, round out the collection, which concludes with a December 4, 1945, telegram from Earl reporting his expectation of an imminent return home.

Subject Terms

  • Draft--United States.
  • Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia.
  • Rutgers University.
  • United States. Army Air Forces. Air Force, 9th.
  • United States--History--1933-1945.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Germany.
  • Alexander, Earl, Jr.
  • Alexander, Earl, Sr.
  • Garza, Ella.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Report cards.
  • Telegrams.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   6, World War II Small Collections Folder   4-10
Jeanette Alexander papers,  1931-1945 [series]