Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Content Description
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
    Title: Sidney Dashevsky Second World War correspondence
    Creator: Dashevsky, Sidney, Shipfitter First Class, 1918-1998
    source: Dashevsky, Chuck
    Identifier/Call Number: 2017.507.w.r
    Physical Description: .15 Linear Feet (1 folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1943 January 10 - 1946 January 18
    Abstract: This collection contains correspondence from SF 1/C Sidney Dashevsky, USN to his fiancee Emily Van Gelder during the Second World War. Dashevsky was was deployed for almost the entire time he knew her during this correspondence, from 1943 to 1946.
    Language of Material: English .
    Container: WWII 21
    Container: 5-6
    Container: 1-2

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Chuck Dashevsky.


    This collection is arranged chronologically.

    Biographical / Historical

    Shipfitter First Class Sidney Dashevsky, United States Navy (4/15/1918 - 4/22/1998) was born in New York but lived in Colchester, Connecticut until his enlistment in the Navy on November 18, 1941. Presumably while on leave, he met Emily Van Gelder and her roommate Erna and began writing them, especially Emily after having mistaken her at a party before the correspondence began, in January 1943. Their correspondence continued while he was deployed on the USS North Carolina and they began a relationship sometime in early 1944, denoted by his suddenly calling her "honey" and signing his letters "all my love." SF Dashevsky's brother Abraham was stationed with him for a short time but was then transferred to the USS Harding.
    SF Dashevsky then got a station in Norfolk, Virginia for a short time and he and Emily were able to see each other briefly before he left for welding school in Houston, Texas and then deployed on the USS Melvin R. Nawman in March 1944 shortly after its commissioning. He earned Shipfitter First Class in September 1944.
    The USS Nawman saw action throughout the Pacific Theater of the war, as denoted in an included itinerary from its commissioning in May 1944 up until January 1945, deploying periodically from Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Islands to aid the Pacific Fleet in rescues and battles. The ship also participated in the invasion of Okinawa, during which it shot down Japanese planes, according to SF Dashevsky.
    At some point during his deployment Sidney and Emily were engaged, though it is unclear from the letters, and she even gave him a ring, which he almost destroys in a tool in the shop on board his ship. Dashevsky returned in early 1946 and the two married. They lived in San Diego, California until Emily passed in 1993 and Sidney passed away in 1998 at the age of 80.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title / description; Box "n" / Folder "n"], John Smith Second World War correspondence (2018.068.w.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA. For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Content Description

    This collection contains 110 correspondence from SF 1/C Sidney Dashevsky, USN to his fiancee Emily Van Gelder during the Second World War. Included is one letter from Emily to Sidney dated March 18, 1943. The correspondence covers a period during which SF Dashevsky was almost constantly deployed, on two separate ships, from shortly after they met and through their courtship until he returned in early 1946. Also included are some cartoon clippings and a photograph of two shipmates, as well as an itinerary, two request letters, and a made up form from Emily.
    Of note is an itinerary for the USS Melvin R. Nawman, on which he was stationed for the bulk of his service, which describes the dates and activities of the ship from its commissioning until January 1945 after the censors had allowed certain activities revealed in the Pacific Theater.
    The request letters include one from his commanding officer requesting promotion. It is unclear if he received an advance in rank as the collection ends shortly thereafter. The other request was from SF Dashevsky for shore duty in the Third Naval District (New York City), which is also recommended by his commanding officer.
    After the censorship eases, some letters reveal activities such as saving sailors on sunken ships and May 11 describing the siege of Okinawa and shooting down Japanese planes.

    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.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
    World War (1939-1945)
    World War (1939-1945) -- Caricatures and Cartoons
    World War (1939-1945) -- China
    World War (1939-1945) -- Equipment and supplies
    World War (1939-1945) -- Homefront
    World War (1939-1945) -- Military operations, Naval -- American
    World War (1939-1945) -- Pacific Area
    World War (1939-1945) -- Pacific campaign -- Guam
    World War (1939-1945) -- Pacific islands
    World War (1939-1945) -- Philippines.
    World War (1939-1945) -- Philippines -- Mindanao Island.
    United States. -- Navy
    Okinawa Island (Japan) -- History, Military.
    World War (1939-1945) -- Japan
    Dashevsky, Chuck