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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

  • 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 née Mesner, Florence
    Identifier/Call Number: 2016.134.w.rd
    Physical Description: 1 Linear Feet (1 carton)
    Date (inclusive): 1944 September 10 - 1946 December 26
    Abstract: This collection contains over 360 correspondence between T/Sgt. Walter Keeler, USAAF, and his wife, Florence, during the Second World War. Also included are several greeting cards from Walter to Florence.
    Language of Material: English .
    Container: WWII 22
    Container: 1-6
    Container: 1-6
    Container: WWII 23
    Container: 1-5
    Container: 7-11

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Sherry Treling-Kendall.


    This collection is arranged chronologically by material type:
    • Series 1, Correspondence from Walter Keeler
    • Series 2, Correspondence from Florence Keeler

    Biographical / Historical

    Technical Sergeant Walter Keeler, 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 Florence Mesner, while visiting 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 later married the first week of August, 1945.

    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.
    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 368 correspondence between Techinical Sergeant Walter Keeler, United States Army Air Force, and his wife Florence (neé Mesner) during the Second World War. Their correspondence occurs over the span of one year, 1945.
    Their courtship was swift and, apart from the usual troubles which arise from long-distance relationships, the couple endured additional difficulties, such as an unplanned pregnancy and Florence's decision to abort. Florence discusses her decision and describes her physical and emotional experiences in a series of letters from April 25 - May 11, 1945.
    Also included are several correspondence written to Florence from her brother, Johnnie, and one Sergeant William Y. Hecht.
    This collection is available online in Chapman University's Digital Commons: https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/wkeeler_collection/

    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

    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