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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Content Description
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
    Title: Joseph Carey Second World War correspondence
    source: Lordi, Dianne née Scuderi
    Creator: Carey, Joseph, Corporal
    Identifier/Call Number: 2022.118.w.r
    Physical Description: .01 Linear Feet (1 folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1944 December 3 - 1945 September 14
    Abstract: This collection contains V-mail letters written by Cpl. Joseph Carey, USA to his pen pal, Dianne Scuderi during the Second World War. Also included are two handwritten letters, one accompanied by the original envelope and the other without.
    Language of Material: English .
    Container: WWII 89
    Container: 6
    Container: 1

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Dianne Scuderi Lordi


    This collection is arranged chronologically.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title / description; Box "n" / Folder "n"], Joseph Carey Second World War correspondence (2022.118.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 19 V-Mail letters and two handwritten letters written by Corporal Joseph Carey, United States Army to his pen pal Dianne Scuderi during the Second World War. Carey wrote to Dianne while serving with a field artillery battalion in Europe.
    The collection only contains correspondences written by Carey who occasionally alludes to the topics of interest from Dianne's letters. The letters include brief mentions of specific places he served during the European Theater of war such as France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. He also mentions two other pen pals named Shirley and Ruth throughout these correspondences. On one occasion he does mention one other person with whom he writes in which he reveals how both look forward to the day the war is over so they can forget all that they have done.
    The first letter is dated September 14, 1944, in which Carey urges Dianne to write more often to him even if he is unable to reply promptly, saying that he enjoys hearing from her. The second letter is dated December 24 1944. In it he expresses his regret for not being able to write to Dianne sooner, saying that "under the conditions as they were there was nothing [he] could do about it." He closes by once again urging Dianne to write back to him and wishes her a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    January 31, 1945, he is now writing from Holland where he is now residing inside a building instead of a tent. He also mentions that by now Dianne will have received two letters that he wrote while in France. Carey explains that he "can't tell [Dianne] much about any place where [he] [goes]. For that is a military secret."
    February 16, 1945, he is now writing from "somewhere in Germany" where he is residing indoors with heat but without running water unless it should rain. He asks Dianne to write to him soon.
    February 21, 1945, he responds to a question Dianne asked in a letter not in this collection inquiring about the local girls. He says that "I can't tell you much, if I talk to them in English what they say back to me is all Dutch." He closes the letter by stating that "this travelling around sure gets me down. Always further [sic] away from home. Time will only tell when I will get back."
    February 23, 1945, he writes about staying in a private house in Holland he shares with nine children. Of the children, he says "all they can say in English is gum, chocolate, and cigarettes. I ran out of everything quite a while ago."
    February 26, 1945, Carey opens by saying "it has been a long time since I have heard from you. But it is probably the same in your case." He goes on to share news that there are movies every night now saying, "the shows are quite old but it helps to pass the time."
    March 9, 1945, Carey jokes about wanting to switch places with Dianne so she could visit all of the countries he must go to while he goes back home. Carey congratulates Dianne on her successes as a cheer leader. He closes by mentioning that he has yet to hear back from Shirley. Carey does not explain how he knows Shirley but carries on in a way indicating that Dianne and Shirley know of each other. In what way remains unknown.
    May 15, 1945, Carey shares news that Shirley sent him two letters written on V-E day and proceeds to ask Dianne what she did that day. He also mentions that Ruth has written to him three times and that she is typewriting her letters to him so she can practice using a typewriter. He explains that Ruth would like to get into civil service. He also shares how nervous he is about where he will eventually end up "but it isn't too hard to figure our. Maybe the other war will end some time . . . . for I would not like to the idea of making the army a career." At the time of writing he vaguely mentions being in Germany but once again says that he can't go into greater detail.
    May 23, 1945, he thanks Dianne for the letter she wrote on V-E day responding that victory in Europe came as no surprise to him. He updates Dianne on Ruth's progress writing with a typewriter saying that she improving with every letter she sends him. He closes by summarizing the weather in Gottingen, Germany as "rather cold and damp for May."
    July 12, 1945, Carey writes from Cernikov, Czechoslovakia and cites this move as the likely reason for why he has not received Dianne's letter as of late. He mentions that the Suttons have not written to him recently as well. He closes by saying that there is not much to do besides idle, which is fine by him.
    July 22, 1945, Carey says "I am in a small town called Cernikov, Czechoslovakia. But sometime this week we are moving to Germany. We will be somewhere below Munich." He further speculates about rumors that he will have to remain in Germany until January.
    July 30, 1945, he writes from Degerndorf, Germany where he learns of its reputation as "a ritzy resort." He closes by marveling at the local German women's ability to speak with him in English.
    August 1, 1945, he writes from Degerndorf, Germany as he continues to grow anxious about not receiving word from the Suttons in a month at time of writing. He closes by briefly expressing the beauty of the Alps as he considers taking "the tour in Switzerland." At this point, his military rank is recorded as Sgt.
    August 9, 1945, Carey writes from Degerndorf, Germany. He states that he spent three days in a rest camp saying that the first day the weather was sunny but the next two days saw downpour. During the second day he participated in a tour of a castle he states "King Ludwig II spent $30,000,000 on fourteen rooms" out of forty before he passed away.
    August 11, 1945, he writes from Degerndorf, Germany opening by saying "of course the big news now is whether Japan quits or not." He shares his hopes that Japan does surrender so he and anyone else interested in resuming civilian lives can lay down their guns. He also asks Dianne if she would like to continue their correspondence once he returns to the United States. He closes the letter by expressing how much he enjoys Dianne's letters.
    August 17, 1945, Carey opens with a weather report stating that it is raining. He closes by saying that "the war is over except for the signing of surrender terms. The only way that I know it will be over for me is when they hand me my discharge papers."
    August 23, 1945, he opens by day dreaming of being back home listening to the radio but quickly whisps away those thought by acknowledging the likelihood that if he was back home "they would probably ship us to the Pacific for occupation." He updates Dianne about Shirley, who was let go from job because she took off for a week. He closes with thoughts about the current job market assuring himself that he could always work at his mother's chicken farm.
    August 26, 1945, Carey writes how he and his fellow service members long and dream of home, wishing to return immediately. Those that were slated to ship off to the Pacific yearn to go via the USA, saying that "all we wanted at that time was a little happiness before a lot of sorrow again."
    Carey goes on to recall how on V-E day while occupying Göttingen, Germany soldiers would laugh at the Germans exclaiming the death of Hitler but "they told us that it wasn't them that liked Hitler it was just the Nazies [sic]." Carey wonders "if Hitler was fighting by himself."
    He then writes about the penalties discouraging USA soldiers against interacting with German girls but admits "that it didn't mean that one had to be caught." He also openly shares some details about correspondences he maintained with relatives and neighborhood friends.
    Carey mentions that a neighborhood friend was also serving sharing they spoke "about what we did during the war and after that it will be best to forget all about the horrors that occurred during the war."
    He also shares that:
    "there will be times when you wake up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat wondering where the next shell is going to hit. Or who it is going to get next. But then time is a wonderful healer and even this dread in time will pass smoothly away."
    Carey expresses his thoughts about the celebrations going on back home, noting that to him the war is not over until he receives his discharge papers and is on a boat bound for USA. For now he says, "we will enjoy listening to what our people and friends are doing on that day that ends the war."
    He closes by apologizing that his letter could not strike a happier tone saying that he "will do better when I see how long it will be before it is my turn to get out of the army."
    August 30, 1945, Carey writes about his mother, sister, and brother who is in the 541st Parachute Infantry somewhere in the Pacific. He mentions that his father had passed away when he was six-years old admitting that he "kind of [envies] anybody whose father is still living." Carey updates Dianne on Shirley who was able to secure a job as an inspector at a lab saying that "her jobs sure go to the extreme."
    He briefly mentions visiting what remains of Hitler's house the week prior to time of writing.
    September 14, 1945, In this letter Carey laments that he is unable to go back home. He concludes that he is one of the unlucky ones who must continue serving until he accrues enough points to get out. He closes by saying that once he settles down and finds a new address, he will send Dianne more letters.

    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

    Correspondence -- World War, 1939-1945
    World War (1939-1945)
    United States -- Army -- European Theater of Operations
    United States -- Army -- Pacific Theater of Operations
    Lordi, Dianne née Scuderi