Finding Aid for the Joseph F. Dever correspondence 2016.098.w.r

Lauren Menges
Center for American War Letters Archives
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange, CA 92866

Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Joseph F. Dever Second World War correspondence
Creator: Dever, Joseph F.
source: Brooker, Donald F.
Identifier/Call Number: 2016.098.w.r
Physical Description: .25 Linear feet (3 folders)
Date (inclusive): 1944 February - 1945 November 27
Abstract: This collections contains the correspondence and photographs of Pvt. Joseph F. Dever, USA during the Second World War.
Language of Material: English .
Container: WWII 13
Container: 5-7
Container: 1-3

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Donald F. Brooker.


This collection is arranged by material type and date.
  • Series 1: Correspondence from Joseph Dever
  • Series 2: Photographs

Biographical / Historical

Private Joseph Francis Dever, United States Army grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and joined the Army in February 1944 at the age of 19. He was part of the 33rd Armored Regiment, a combat unit of the 3rd Armored Division, also known as the "Spearhead Division." He trained at Fort Knox until serving overseas beginning in September, 1944. While in the service, he wrote letters home to his father, Joseph Francis Dever, Sr., his mother Mabelle, and his sister Kathryn. A record from Boston College shows he was awarded a degree on June 14, 1950 in Business Administration. He graduated magna cum laude.

Preferred Citation

[Item title, Box number, Folder number], Joseph F. Dever Second World War correspondence (2016.098.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 the correspondence and photographs of Pvt. Joseph F. Dever, USA during the Second World War. Pvt Dever wrote to his father, mother and sister Kathryn initially from Fort Knox, Kentucky while he was doing basic training and later from France, Germany, and Belgium. The photographs were taken in Europe during the war.

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)
World War (1939-1945) -- Germany
World War (1939-1945) -- Belgium
Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
World War (1939-1945) -- France
United States -- Department of Veterans Affairs
Basic training (Military education)
Brooker, Donald F.

box WWII 13, folder 5-6, folder 1-2

Series 1, Correspondence 1944 February - 1945 November 27

Scope and Contents

This series contains 60 corresondence written by Pvt. Joseph F. Dever, USA to his father, mother, and sister Kathyrn during the Second World War.
His earlier letters are written from Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he received his basic training in the medium tank division. His later letters are written from overseas. He served in France, Germany, and Belgium. He describes himself as a "first class housemaid" completing chores of bed-making, dish-washing, and floor-scrubbing. He was very fond of Life Savers and hot cocoa, as he makes repeated requests throughout his letters to his family to send him these items. He also indicates several times he is sending home foreign currency to his sister, who is collecting it. He shows interest and concern for his future in several letters in the spring of 1945 where he indicates a desire to attend Boston College.
Letters of note include the letter dated April 1, 1944, where he describes his eagerness to see action: "We have just started on our .30 caliber Browning machine gun 1919 model, the fastest, most accurate, and light machine gun in the war. I wouldn't mind being behind one of these babies in combat pouring lead into the bellies of the Japs or Germans."
Letter dated March 9, 1945, concerns about benefits for veterans: "I'm rather concerned about this goverment sponsored education for verterans after this war. I'd like very much to be able to enter Boston College and receive full benefits from the plan and like also to be able to make a stab at getting a well-rounded education. It has occurred to me that it would be nice for me to know a language, higher mathematics like algebra or geometry, and the English language better."
March 12, 1945: "At the same time I am mailing this letter, I'm also mailing one to the dean of Boston College. Briefly I said that I desired to enter their institution; that I would work hard to be a credit to any college kind enough to offer me its learning; gave them a brief outline of my education; and asked them to file the letter that I would come for an interview after the war."
Memo dated May 29, 1945 from Lieutanant General J. Lawton Collins by command of Brigadier General [Truman Everett] Boudinot. The letter provides the 3rd Armored Division with an update on the status of the war and their efforts.
box WWII 13, folder 7, folder 3

Series 2, Photographs 1944 - 1945

Scope and Contents

This series contains 29 photographs of Pvt. Joseph F. Dever, USA during the Second World War. The photographs were taken in Europe during the war and images depict soldiers, civilians, and ruins from the war.