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Keeler (Walter) Second World War Correspondence
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Content Description

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
    Title: Walter Keeler Second World War correspondence
    source: Treling-Kendall, Sherry
    creator: Keeler, Walter, 1914-?
    creator: Keeler, Florence (nee Mesner)
    Identifier/Call Number: 2016.134.w.r
    Physical Description: 1 Linear Feet (1 carton)
    Date (inclusive): 1944-1946
    Date (bulk): bulk
    Abstract: This collection contains over 360 correspondence between Technical Sergeant Walter Keeler, USAAF, and his wife, Florence, during the Second World War. Also included are several greeting cards from Walter to Florence.
    Physical Location: Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections, CAWL Archives


    This collection is arranged by author and date: Series 1: Correspondence from Walter Keeler - Series 2: Correspondence from Florence Keeler.

    Biographical / Historical

    Walter Keeler, a Technical Sergeant (T/SGT) in the United States Army Air Force, was born c. 1914. Walter and his first wife, Lola, lived in Waukegan Township, Lake County, Illinois, just north of Chicago. His sister, Helen, and her family resided in nearby Lake Forest.
    Walter's marriage to Lola ended and, in 1945, he met Helen Mesner, while visting California. At the time of their meeting, Walter was stationed in Tohopah, Nevada, but the two corresponded daily and, with several furloughs spent in Los Angeles, where Florence was living at the time, the two quickly formed an attachment and were married before the year was out.
    Their courtship was swift and, relatively, tumultuous. Apart from the usual troubles which arise from long-distance relationships, as well as fear and distrust stemming from prior experience--Florence had also been previously married--the couple were confronted with additional difficulties, namely, an unplanned pregnancy and Florence's decision to abort. Florence discusses her decision and describes her physical and emotional experiences in a moving series of letters postmarked April 25-May11, 1945.
    Walter and Florence were married the first week of August.

    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 Sherry Treling-Kendall.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title, Box number, Folder number], Walter Keeler Second World War correspondence (2016.134.w.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA.

    Content Description

    This collection contains 368 correspondence between Walter Keeler, a Technical Seargeant in the United States Army Air Force, and his wife, Florence (nee Mesner) during the Second World War. Their correspondence occurs over the span of one year: 1945.
    Also included are several correspondence written to Florence from her brother, Johnnie, and one SGT William Y. Hecht.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    World War, 1939-1945
    United States -- Army -- Air Forces
    Atomic bomb -- Japan
    Nagasaki-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945
    V-E Day (1945)
    Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
    Treling-Kendall, Sherry
    Keeler, Walter, 1914-?
    Keeler, Florence (nee Mesner)