Finding Aid for the Mary G. Fitzgerald Second World War and Korean War correspondence colleciton 2015.113.w.r

Andrea Paquin
Center for American War Letters Archives
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange, CA 92866

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Mary G. Fitzgerald Second World War and Korean War Correspondence
source: St. Clair, Rae Ann
Identifier/Call Number: 2015.113.w.r
Physical Description: .833 Linear Feet (2 document-boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1914-11-1957-07-18
Date (bulk): bulk
Abstract: This collection contains correspondence written to Mary G. Fitzgerald from various senders during the Second World War. Also included are photographs, a baby book, and various periodicals.
Physical Location: Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections, CAWL Archives
Container: Fitzgerald 1
Container: Fitzgerald 2


This collection is arranged by type and date: Series 1 - Correspondence to Mary G. Fitzgerald; Series 2 - Periodicals; Series 3 - Photographs; Series 4 - Newspaper clippings; Series 5 - Ephemera; Series 6 - Baby book.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Rae Ann St. Clair (rec'd. October 2015).

Preferred Citation

[Item title, Box number, Folder number], Mary G. Fitzgerald Second World War correspondence (2015.133.w.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA.

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence written to Mary Gain Fitzgerald from several of her former students during both World War Two and the Korean War.
Mary was an English teacher at Heatly High School in Green Island, NY. As one of her former pupils states: ". . . the guys on the ship here can't get over me writing to my school teacher. I guess they never had a teach like you . . ." (Carlie G. Whitaker, letter dated 13 March, 1952). Mrs. Fitzgerald--occasionally referred to a "Fitzy"--seems to have made quite an impression on several of her students, keeping in touch with them after they had joined the service.
Most of the letters include the tidbits from the soldiers' day-to-day lives (training, leave, work, etc.) and questions about the folks back home. In one letter, however, a former student, Francis X. Howle, Jr., reflects on an essey he was required to write for Mrs. Fitzgerald's class: "I remember once you had us write an essay on 'Americanism,' now after actual experience, I know just what we were trying to bring out in that essay" (letter dated 7 June, 1944). He goes on to describe the environment of comradery and support he witnessed in a locker room after a boxing match put on by and for the servicemen: "In the room were the men who only a few minites [sic] before were throwing hooks, jabs and uppercuts at each other . . . each one was advising the of [sic] his shortcomings, giving him some ring advice and every soldier present was telling his former opponent what a great guy he was and what a swell fight he put up . . . At that moment, I wished the whole world could be looking in and listening . . . That, lady, is good sportsmanship. And more than that, its Americanism."
Also included in this collection are several periodicals, newspapter clippings, and photographs as well as a baby book belonging to John F. Gain, Jr., Mary's brother.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- Homefront
Korean War, 1950-1953.
Correspondence -- Korean War -- 1950-1953
Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
St. Clair, Rae Ann
Fitzgerald, Mary Gain, 1909 - ?

document-box Fitzgerald 1, document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 1-3

Series 1. Correspondence to Mary G. Fitzgerald 1942-1957

document-box Fitzgerald 1, folder 1-18

Sub-series 1. Second World War correspondence 1942-06-25-1952-04-22

document-box Fitzgerald 1, folder 19-26, document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 1-2

Sub-series 2. Korean War correspondence 1951-02-10-1957-07-18

document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 4-7

Series 2. Periodicals 1942-1956

document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 8

Series 3. Photographs

document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 9

Series 4. Newspaper clippings 1942-1952

document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 10

Series 5. Ephemera

document-box Fitzgerald 2, folder 11

Series 6. Baby book 1914