Finding Aid for the Jack P. Bell Second World War Correspondence 2014.160.w.r

John Carlo Encarnacion
Center for American War Letters Archives
11/24/2014
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange, CA 92866
speccoll@chapman.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Jack P. Bell Second World War Correspondence
source: Christian, Shari Bell
Identifier/Call Number: 2014.160.w.r
Physical Description: 3 Linear Feet (6 document boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1936-1946
Abstract: This collection contains 600 correspondence between Jack P. Bell and Evabel Bell during World War Two. Jack P. Bell was a private with the 78th Signal Company, 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army, drafted in late 1942 and discharged March 1946. Also in the collection are V-mail, postcards, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, and other documents. There is also one letter written by Jack's sister and another letter with an unknown author.
Physical Location: Leatherby Libraries
Container: J. Bell 1
Container: 1-4
Container: J. Bell 2
Container: 5-7
Container: J. Bell 3
Container: 8-11
Container: J. Bell 4
Container: 12-14
Container: J. Bell 5
Container: 15-18
Container: J. Bell 6
Container: 19-25

Arrangement

The Jack P. Bell World War Two correspondence collection is arranged by author, in chronological order.
Series 1, Correspondence from Evabel Bell (1936 - 1946)
Series 2, Correspondence from Jack P. Bell (1943 - 1946)
Series 3, Correspondence from Jack P. Bell's sister (1945)
Series 4, Documents (1941-1946)
Series 5, "Little Things" book
Series 6, Photographs

Biographical / Historical

Jack P. Bell was a private with 78th Signal Company, 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army, drafted in late 1942 and discharged March 1946. He was born on September 13, 1918 and died on July 4, 2005.

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.

Preferred Citation

[Item title], Jack P. Bell World War Two correspondence (2014.160.w.r), Center for American War Letters, Chapman University, CA.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Shari Bell Christian

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 600 correspondence between Jack P. Bell and Evabel Bell during World War Two. Also in the collection are V-mail, postcards, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, an engraved lead strip, and other documents. There is also one letter written by Jack's sister and another letter by an unknown author.
Jack P. Bell was a private with 78th Signal Company, 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army drafted in late 1942 and discharged March 1946. The majority of this collection contains correspondence between Jack P. Bell and Evabel Bell. Before they married on March 1, 1941, Evabel's maiden name was Golechen. Most of their correspondence consisted of topics dealing with the homefront such as friends and family, their love for each other, jobs and employment. Jack often described his daily activities while in training.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Ardennes, Battle of the, 1944-1945
World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany
World War, 1939-1945 -- Homefront
Christian, Shari Bell
Bell, Jack P.
Jack P. Bell's sister
Bell, Evabel

document-box J. Bell 1, folder 1-4, document-box J. Bell 2, folder 5-7, document-box J. Bell 3, folder 8-9

Series 1, Correspondence from Evabel Bell 1936-1946

Physical Description: 1 Linear Feet(9 folders)

Scope and Contents

This series contains the correspondence of Evabel Bell to Jack P. Bell. The folders contain her letters to Bell from 1936 to 1946. The subjects of the correspondence include general family news, the homefront, work, and Evabel Bell's daily activities. In their letters they often referred to one another as "fink."
In an undated letter, Evabel includes a newspaper clipping of a story about her. The story was about a farewell party in honor of Evabel for moving to Cleveland, Ohio the next week.
In another undated letter, Evabel writes to her sister, Isabel, about her feelings for Bell and how she's never liked a boy this much before.
Of interest is another letter, postmarked August 21, 1937, about Evabel's views on their relationship before they married and Bell was drafted. She was concerned about their different religious backgrounds; Evabel being Jewish and Bell being non-Jewish. An engraved lead strip reading "You are always in my heart Jack darling" was included with one of Evabel's letters dated June 15, 1943.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1914-1918 -- Homefront
Bell, Jack P.
Bell, Evabel
document-box J. Bell 3, folder 10-11, document-box J. Bell 4, folder 12-14, document-box J. Bell 5, folder 15-18, document-box J. Bell 6, folder 19-21

Series 2, Correspondence from Jack P. Bell 1943-1946

Physical Description: 1.1 Linear Feet(12 folders)

Scope and Contents

This series contains the correspondence of Jack P. Bell to Evabel Bell. The folders contain his letters to Evabel Bell from 1943 to 1946. The couple referred to any of their short letters as a "Shorty Bell." The subjects in the correspondence include general family news, the homefront, work, and Evabel Bell's daily activities, as well as training camp, daily routines and duties, and traveling to different cities and countries. Near the end of the war and afterward, Bell wrote from England, and Hofgeismar and Lich, two towns in Hesse, Germany.
Of interest is a letter dated March 30, 1943, is a form letter which soldiers can sign their name and send home, but Bell instead wrote on the other side of the letter and sent it home himself.
Bell often inquired about the condition of the car and the gasoline rationing back home.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1939-1945 -- Homefront
Bell, Jack P.
Bell, Evabel
document-box J. Bell 6, folder 22

Series 3, Correspondence from Jack P. Bell's sister

Physical Description: 0.025 Linear Feet(1 folder)

Scope and Contents

This series contains 1 correspondence of Bell's sister to Bell. The sister's name is unknown. The subject of the letter involves the homefront: daily activities, friends, and family.
In the letter, the sister mentioned reading about Bell's division, the 78th Division, in the newspaper and about how they might be going home soon. The sister tells Bell that she and a friend, Betty, saw a stageplay called "Angel Street." She wrote about an old neighbor named Bill Jones who was in the Navy for the past 2 years and was promoted to a lieutenant.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1939-1945 -- Homefront
Bell, Jack P.
document-box J. Bell 6, folder 23

Series 4, Documents 1941-1946

Physical Description: 0.04 Linear Feet(1 folder)

Scope and Contents

This series contains Bell's documents: a birth certificate, marriage license, and honorable discharge papers.
document-box J. Bell 6, folder 24

Series 5, "Little Things" book 1946

Physical Description: 0.04 Linear Feet(1 folder)

Scope and Contents

This series contains a bound book called "Little Things" which was was put together by men in the 78th Signal Company at the conclusion of the war. The book recalls how the 78th Signal Company was put together in late 1942 and chronicles their training, their trip to England, the Battle of the Bulge, and entering Germany and remaining there until they sailed home in early 1946.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany
Ardennes, Battle of the, 1944-1945
document-box J. Bell 6, folder 25

Series 6, Photographs 1941-1944

Physical Description: 0.025 Linear Feet(1 folder)

Scope and Contents

This series contains two photographs, one of Jack and Evabel Bell when they married on March 1, 1941, and the second photo of Jack Bell meeting with his brother, Charlie Bell while on leave in London, England.
The photograph of Jack and Evabel is an original and the one of Jack and Charlie is a reproduction of a photograph. Both came with photocopies.