Finding Aid for the Forrest W. Lohnes Second World War correspondence 2022.228.w.r

Andrew Harman
Center for American War Letters Archives
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange, CA 92866

Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Forrest W. Lohnes Second World War correspondence
source: Lohnes, Harriet
Creator: Lohnes, Forrest W., Technician Fourth Grade, 1911-1998
Creator: Carlson, Ernest W., Lieutenant
Identifier/Call Number: 2022.228.w.r
Physical Description: 0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)
Date (inclusive): 1943 December 7 - 1945 June
Abstract: This collection contains 16 letters and V-Mail from T/4 Forrest W. Lohnes, USA to his brother Burton H. Lohnes during the Second World War. Also included is one letter to Burton from Lt. Ernest W. Carlson, USA.
Language of Material: English .

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Harriet Lohnes.


This collection is arranged chronologically.

Biographical / Historical

Technician Fourth Grade Forrest W. Lohnes, United States Army (8/22/1911 - 9/12/1998) was born in Connecticut. Forrest was married to Lillian Lohnes and they had a daughter named Karen shortly before he entered military service.
While serving, Forrest wrote to his brother Burton H. "Burt" Lohnes, Sr. (6/30/1913 - 12/21/1996) who had one son named Burton "Buddy" Lohnes, Jr. (b. 12/3/1942), mentioned in the correspondence. Burton did not serve in the military because he worked at Stanley Works in New Britain, Connecticut which included a hydroelectric plant important to the war effort.
One letter was written by Lieutenant Ernest W. "Ernie" Carlson, United States Army.

Preferred Citation

[Item title / description; Box "n" / Folder "n"], Forrest W. Lohnes Second World War correspondence (2022.228.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 16 letters and V-Mail from T/4 Forrest W. Lohnes, USA to his brother Burton H. Lohnes during the Second World War. Also included is one letter to Burton from Lt. Ernest W. Carlson, USA.
The first letter was written by Lt. Carlson on December 7, 1943 addressed to Burt, Dixie, Lillian, and families. He writes about New Britain, Connecticut and the nice people and how hard it will be to be apart at Christmas time, included Forrest, referred to as "Forrie," and a list of married women missing their husbands.
Forrest's first letter was written just after Christmas 1943 from Camp Ellis, Illinois as he worked as a private in the postal service there. He described the terrible conditions but good food and the postal work he does with his unit, as well as the thousands of German prisoners of war held there, describing them as "...young, intelligent looking, and seemed in good spirits."
The second letter was a V-Mail sent in March 1944 from England. He enjoys his camp and hopes to see Lt. Carlson who is not far off. Continuing to write through April and May, he asks how everyone is doing, appreciates letters, packages, and especially photographs, and is encouraged by Burton's deferment of military service. There is also a V-Mail birthday card for Burton dated simply 1944, on which Forrest's rank has demoted from technician fifth grade to fourth grade.
The V-Mail dated Independence Day July 4, 1944 was written from Normandy, France and he describes it as similar, but cooler, to Connecticut and most of the men enjoy it better than England. He goes on to say, "I have had some exciting experiences over here already, and will have quite a bit to tell about when I get home." The letter written four days later described the 4th as "noisy" and was "written on German paper. Several pads of it were included in some office supplies that wer brought into this area from Cherbourg." He continues,
"Some of the fellows have had the opportunity to wander around, and have brought in a number of German items of equipment as souvenirs. What I'm mostly interested in, of course, is a ticket home."
In the letter dated September 28, Lohnes suggests he has enough toiletries, "in view of this fact, and the obvious one that the war is nearly over, please don't send any more to me." Though his location is not divulged, he mentions many supper invitations by the civilians who were "exceedingly friendly to the troops," and dates his next letter of October 13 "Vrijdag," which is Dutch for Friday. He mentions in that letter the conversion of money as part of his duties, dealing with American, English, French, Begian, German, and Dutch currencies.
October 30, 1944: "It's against the regulations to keep a diary over here, for obvious reasons. But a note goes into my little black book once in a while......"
December 11, 1944: "Things have been very quiet here for some time now. We may move in a few weeks. I won't mind. I'm getting sick of looking at these same four walls. I'd just as soon start looking at four walls of a different color!"
In his February 18, 1945 V-Mail Forrest discusses his support for "group medicine," and the benefits of health care for the country. The final two V-Mail are a father's day card and a birthday card, both dated 1945.

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 Postal Service.
Prisoner of war
Prisoners of war
World War (1939-1945) -- Prisoners and prisons
Lohnes, Harriet