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Guide to the DeWayne Lundgren Papers
  MS 393

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Corrinne A. Collett

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection is approximately 230 letters from DeWayne Lundgren to Bertha Doktor. There are a few letters from Bertha to DeWayne, copies of the Bush Weekly (a newsletter published at his station in Africa), humorous clippings from  The Stars and Stripes, greeting cards, telegrams, and a few miscellaneous artifacts. Letters describe in some detail Lundgren's induction at Camp Upton in Long Island Dec. 3, 1943, the daily life of basic training at Fort Edison (through January 3, 1944), and the training, camaraderie and routines at Fort Monmouth Eastern Signal Corps School (through mid-April, 1944). He writes extensively about his relationship with Bertha, the details of arranging times to spend with her, plus friends and relations in Bay Ridge.

In April 1944 he travels to Fort Mead in Maryland, then further south, and then to Africa. Several letters are missing from just before his journey to Africa and from his first weeks there. His overseas letters conform to censorship rules so there is less detail about his duties and routines. The letters reflect his interest in the news from home, Bertha's progress at nurse's training and attending movies and USO shows at the base. He descriptions of army life in Africa include servants and trips to the beach.

In February he arrives in England and he write about the weather, the return to menial duties, and assignments that do not use the skills he learned in Fort Monmouth. News from home, movies and radio continue to be a consistent subject in his letters, as is his dependence on local Red Cross canteens for American Servicemen.

Highlights include: a description of living conditions at Fort Edison December 1942 - January 1943 (Box 1, Folder 1); a letter from Africa describing how his bunkmates pooled together to fix their "houseboy's" bicycle for Christmas (December 25, 1943, Box 3 Folder 1); description of a wartime wedding in England, (October 12, 1944); a letter describing how many of his friends are getting letters from their girl friends breaking off relationships and how he feels about Bertha. Some of the humorous The Stars and Stripes clippings are annotated.


Letters, both from Lundgren and Doktor, are filed chronologically, first by postmark, followed by date on letter. Some dates on letters clearly are errors, especially at the beginning of month. Several postmarks are missing from the envelopes.