Carl F. Eichenlaub papers  1944-1955
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains letters related to Carl F. Eichenlaub, a native of East Syracuse, New York, who served in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. He wrote 9 letters to his future wife, Rosamonde U. Snook ("Rose"), between September 23, 1944, and November 22, 1945, while stationed in the Philippine Islands. He described his experiences with the service company of the 716th Tank Battalion as well as the local scenery, weather, and insects. Though soldiers were banned from interacting with the native population, Carl also discussed local customs and the Pidgin English used in conversations (September 23, 1944). Additionally, he responded to news from home and mentioned his leisure activities, which included viewing movies and listening to music. In one letter, he provided a list of some of his favorite songs (May 16, 1945), and in another he drew a diagram of the constellation Orion, though he could not see much of the night sky (November 22, 1945). On October 3, 1945, he wrote about a ceremony honoring numerous soldiers with the Purple Heart, though he disparaged those who he felt had not truly deserved the award.

Between July 28, 1945, and November 27, 1955, Carl and Rose Eichenlaub received 27 letters from Filipinos that Carl had met; his acquaintances initially addressed their letters solely to him, but included Rose after 1950. A number of male and female correspondents, many of whom knew each other, discussed postwar life in the Philippines. Sisters Marcelina and Marina Bambalan, as well as Aurora Ocampo, all students in the Pangasinan province on the island of Luzon, wrote of their educational experiences and social lives, including some reminiscences of encounters with Eichenlaub and other American soldiers. In addition to commenting on postwar rebuilding, destruction, and other effects of the war, they asked Eichenlaub to purchase books or other items. Ricardo V. Ferrando, who lived in the Mintal area of Davao City on the island of Mindanao, focused primarily on reconstruction efforts, labor, and politics in his letters. Other early correspondents included Louis Awatin, who worked for the Everett Steamship Corporation.

Siblings Susan, Alvaro, and Dolores Penoria wrote the majority of the later letters, along with Susan's coworker, Enriqueta de Papillore. These letters, sent from the Misamis Oriental province on the island of Camiguin, concern the economic and daily living conditions in the decade following the war. Susan discussed various aspects of her teaching career and commented on several problems that residents of the Philippine Islands faced throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, including economic hardship and her skepticism regarding the government. Other letters contain information about the destruction caused by eruptions of Mt. Hibok-Hibok on September 1, 1948; on December 4, 1951; and in March 1952. Throughout the decade, Carl and Rose Eichenlaub sent books, cloth, and other items to their Filipino friends, including some material for a dress diagrammed in Susan Penoria's letter of June 26, 1950.

Several letters include photographs, often portraying the authors in formal dress or with their families. One photograph depicts several children killed by the eruption of Mt. Hibok-Hibok on December 4, 1951.

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