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Robinson (Bernard L.) World War II correspondence
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access

  • Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Bernard L. Robinson World War II correspondence
    Creator: Robinson, Bernard L.
    Identifier/Call Number: M2141
    Physical Description: .63 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
    Language of Material: English
    Date (inclusive): 1939-1945
    Abstract: World War Two correspondence of Major General Bernard Linn Robinson, United States Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific Theater, of Spokane, Washington. Most letters are from B.L. "Bunny" Robinson to his wife, Alice, both during the war and that of occupied Japan in 1945.
    Language of Material: English.

    Biographical / Historical

    Bernard L. Robinson (1901-1994) graduated from the military academy in 1920, going on to attend Engineer School within the United States military. He married his second wife Alice Gunning (1901-1985) in 1939, after the death of his first wife, Lusinn Barahian (1898-1939) earlier in the year, and the two lived together in Hawaii for a short time before Robinson was assigned elsewhere. The two were living in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Robinson was on active duty during World War II, and had various engineering assignments in the Pacific Theater between 1939 and 1945, which took him to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, and New Guinea.

    Scope and Contents

    Materials consist primarily of letters from Robinson to his wife Alice during his years as an Engineer while on active duty in World War II, from 1939-1945. Also contains some correspondence to other recipients, including Robinson's mother and General Douglas MacArthur (in which Robinson thanks him for his recognition and Distinguished Service Medal), as well as telegrams, ephemera, and postmarked envelopes. Includes series of letters written while he was in occupied Japan just after the Japanese surrender in 1945. Robinson expresses the empathy he felt for the Japanese people after viewing the effects of American military power upon them. He visited Nagasaki in September 1945, just weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped. He describes the overwhelming destruction before him, which had a profound effect on him. He wrote his wife that he was fearful of the impending “age of atomic energy” as he termed it, and hoped that never again would a bomb be dropped on anyone.


    Arranged by material type, then chronologically.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased by Stanford University Libraries in 2016.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item] Bernard L. Robinson correspondence (M2141). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/spc/using-collections/permission-publish

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    World War, 1939-1945 -- Correspondence.
    Robinson, Bernard L.
    United States. Army. Corps of Engineers