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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: James H. Churda Second World War correspondence
    source: Brown née Pavlik, Mary Lou
    Creator: Churda, James H., Corporal, 1900-1981
    Identifier/Call Number: 2020.025.w.r
    Physical Description: 0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1943 February 28 - July 19
    Abstract: This collection contains three letters from and one photograph of Cpl. James H. Churda, USAAF to his niece Mary Lou Pavlik during the Second World War.
    Language of Material: English .
    Container: WWII 154
    Container: 8
    Container: 1

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mary Lou Brown neé Pavlik.


    This collection is arranged by material type and chronology.

    Biographical / Historical

    Corporal James H. "Jimmie" Churda, United States Army Air Force (1/26/1901 - 8/23/1981) was born in Ames, Nebraska to Charles and Mary Churda and had one sister, Helen. Helen had two daughters named Mary Lou (b. 1937 or 1938) and Joan to whom "Uncle Jimmie" wrote during the Second World War. According to the donor, James served during the First World War. He was not old enough so his mother signed for him when he enlisted on June 10, 1918 and served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France for nine months, serving with Battery E 67th Artillery C.A.C.; discharged March 20, 1919 at Camp Dodge, Iowa.
    Churda married Mary Dorothy Tangney in Casper, Wyoming on October 16, 1926. They divorced February 19, 1932 in Casper and did not have any children.
    He later worked at Blue Line Taxi Co. in Nebraska and was inducted back into the Army in Casper on August 24, 1942. He served at Olmstead Field in Middleton, Pennsylvania with the 22nd Communications Squadron as a radio operator, later detached from the 135th Army Airways Communications System Squadron at Granier Field, New Hampshire, and was released from service on November 18, 1944 as a sergeant. According to the donor he served in Quebec, and possibly Alaska or Greenland.
    Churda worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and as a night driver for the Owl Taxi Company in Casper. He lived in a veteran's home in Hot Springs, South Dakota where he was a member of American Legion Post 71 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1977, he moved to a veterans home in Grand Island, NE where he passed away in 1981. He is interred at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title / description; Box "n" / Folder "n"], James H. Churda Second World War correspondence (2020.025.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 three letters from and one photograph of Cpl. James H. Churda, USAAF to his niece Mary Lou Pavlik during the Second World War. The photograph is a copy and shows "Uncle Jimmie" in uniform holding his nieces Mary Lou and Joan on November 11, 1943.
    Churda's correspondence mentions B-17 Flying Fortresses and P-51 Mustangs. He told Mary Lou that he would like to show her these planes someday, saying, "I"d show you what the Air Force has in store for Hitler and his pals."
    Added October 27, 2021: one biography page of James Churda, one copy of Churda's enlisted record, one copy of Churda's honorable discharge certificate, and one copy of a clipping about Churda as a night taxi driver in September 1952.

    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.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    World War (1939-1945)
    Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
    United States -- Army -- Air Forces -- Radio operator
    United States -- Army -- Air Forces
    Airplanes, Military -- Maintenance and repair
    Brown née Pavlik, Mary Lou