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Disbennett (Marion Thomas) Second World War Correspondence
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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

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
    Title: Marion T. Disbennett Second World War Correspondence
    creator: Disbennett, Marion Thomas
    Identifier/Call Number: 2017.014.w.r
    Physical Description: .5 Linear feet (7 folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1943-07-27-1945-05-13
    Abstract: This collection contains correspondence, photographs and biographical information from S/Sgt. Marion T. Disbennett during his service in the Army Air Forces during the Second World War.
    Physical Location: Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections, CAWL Archives
    Container: Disbennett Box 1

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of William Fanning in memory of Marion and Margaret Disbennett. Copyright transferred by Norma Hooper.


    This collection is arranged by material type, author and date. Series list: Series 1. Correspondence from Marion Disbennett to Margaret Disbennett 1943-07 - 1945-05 -- Series 2. Biographical material -- Series 3. Photographs

    Biographical / Historical

    Marion Disbennett was born in Bellflower, Illinois, but graduated from high school in Orange, CA in 1937. His family was living in Orange at the time of the letters in this collection. He retired from the U. S. Postal Service after serving in Orange for 23 years. His parents were William T. and Martha Disbennett of 330 East LaVeta St. in Orange. He had a sister, Ruth. Marion Disbennett enlisted in the Army Air Corps in March 1942 and was discharged in September 1945. -- He married Margaret Mills in St. Louis during his service training. After radio operator training in the United States, Disbennett served with the 40th Bombardment Group in India and China. Marion and Margaret had two sons, Donald T. Disbennett (1945 - 1996) and James M. Disbennett (1950 - 2012).
    Background/History of 40th Bombardment Group - http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/40th_Bombardment_Group.html, https://www.40thbombgroup.org/

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title, Box number, Folder number], Marion T. Disbennett Second World War correspondence (2017.014.w.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA.

    Content Description

    This collection contains correspondence between Army Air Corps S/Sgt Marion Thomas Disbennett and his wife Margaret Mills Disbennett during the Second World War and one letter from Mrs. Clifford (Aileen) Bell to Mrs. Marion Disbennett (Jan. 8, 1945). The collection also includes photographs of Marion and Margaret Disbennett and biographical information about them. -- Early letters describe life on base and radio operator training. He trained to be a radio operator on B-17s and B-29s. Later letters tell of overseas assignments in India and China. -- The last assignment of his enlistment was as an instructor at Scott Field, Illinois where he had received his training two years before. -- Disbennett's letters include information about daily life, food, entertainments, instruction and sharing news from his parents and sister in Orange, CA and of Margaret's school teaching in Indianola, Iowa. He shares his regrets of how the war ("this mess") is keeping them apart and how much he loves and misses her. He occassionally shares his thoughts about the war and his role in it -- "I dread to think of going across, but I came in this man's army to get this war finished and a guy can't do any fighting over here. I will sure be glad when this mess is over. It all seems so foolish and wrong."

    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. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
    World War, 1939-1945
    United States -- Army -- Air Forces
    United States -- Army -- Air Forces -- 40th Bombardment Group
    United States -- Army -- Air Forces -- Radio operator
    Orange (Calif.)
    Disbennett, Margaret