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Saving World War Two Letters
Soldier's Letters, Love Letters and Other Memorabilia from the Second World War
It horrifies me to think of someone tossing out their grandfather's World War II letters or burning an old diary. My family treasures letters, journals and other memorabilia from the generations that preceded us. Unfortunately not all families feel that these are worth saving. Who cares about that old stuff, some might say.
More and more, people realize these creased and yellowed letters from World War II really are a precious record of a very historic time. Each letter provides a piece of the jigsaw puzzle; a tiny glimpse into one person's experience. The pieces form a larger picture of what the war was like and how it affected people's lives. (photo from our family album of my Uncle Ralph Martin)
I've collected a wide variety of books made from World War Two letters. Some are letters the soldiers sent home, others are from the homefront and some are love letters. Do you want to know how to preserve letters that you have or how to turn them into a book? I've included that information too.
Books of World War II Letters
Published Letters from World War II - Soldiers writing home
Take a look at these books available from Amazon. Since You Went Away, World War II Letters, Seeds of Hope and Taps for a Jim Crow Arm (letters from a black soldier) are the titles I'm recommending.
It Was an All Out Effort to Win the War
Published Letters from Women in World War II - From women in the military and on the homefront
Soldiers Without Guns Greeting Cards by ww2posters from Zazzle
Don't forget women's participation in the war years. These letters detail first-hand what it was like to be a WAC or in the Women's Land Army. You'll also see books of WWII letters from women on the homefront.
Women served in so many ways. They were nurses, office workers, factory workers and volunteers in selling war bonds, collecting scrap metal and contributed in many other ways.
Every Soldier Looked Forward to a Letter from His Girl
More Sweethearts from the 1940s
Mailing the Letter at the Local Post Office to a Loved One Overseas
Published Letters from World War II - Soldiers writing home
Sometimes letters kept love alive despite the long separation caused by the war. Enjoy these books of WWII love letters. By saving your ancestors love letters in a book, you preserve their memory for future generations.
A Jeep from World War II
Some Letters Were Handwritten and Some Typed
Letters of Love and War
In this collection of letters, you see both the homefront (from Helen's letters) and the battle areas from her husband's letters. He's an army surgeon and his letters come from North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. A great glimpse into the war years.
Museums with Collections of World War II Letters
Where You Can Go to See Letters or to Donate Ones You Have
- Museum of World War II, Natick, Massachusetts
The Museum of World War II, Inc., with 10,000 square feet of display area, is described as "a...private collection containing the most comprehensive display of original World War II artifacts on exhibit anywhere in the world". The museum is located a
World War II Letters Online
- WW2 Letters - Mail & Post from soldiers of the Second World War
Primary source and first person accounts of world war two in the form of mailed document sent to and from WWII military servicemen.
- WWII Letters, WW2 Letters and Photos
See the actual letters online and read it (transcribed for easier reading).
Turn Your Family's World War II Letters into a Book
I've Used Blurb for My Family History Books
- Self-Publishing with Blurb
What is Blurb? It's a wonderful discovery for an aspiring author. If a writer chooses to self-publish their content, there are a number of Print-On-Demand sites like Lulu.com or Create Space, but let's focus on Blurb.com here. I've used it a number..
- Self-Publish Family Memories
I've self-published two books of family stories and history using a print-on-demand publisher like Blurb.com. Maybe you've thought of putting your own life stories into a book or of publishing a family history book to honor your parents and...
- Saving Dad's Memories
Last year, I created a book about my father's life by collecting together essays written by my mom, my sister and myself. That sounds like a major project, but self-publishing a book is much easier these days. It also is much less expensive than it..
An Example of World War II Letters Published Using Blurb - Somewhere in France By Bernard P. Lyons/Mary Jo Meloy
This one teams up photos and letters from the second world war for a remarkable account. Don't miss it.
With Love, Jim - Letters from Jim Holzem during the War
More WWII Letters Published through Blurb - Letters Home 1940 to 1945 Written By Russell L. Eberlein
WWII Love Letters - The Chandler's WW2 Letters
More Letters Published with Blurb.com - All My Love, Bob
Store World War II Letters Safely
Proper Storage to Save the Old Letters
Taking care of old paper means don't store it in hot or cold places (attics or garages) or where it is exposed to dampness (basements). Displaying it presents problems, as sunlight can fade the old ink and make the paper brittle. Check out the rest of the tips in the link here on WWII Memories: How to Preserve Letters.
- WWII Memories: How To Preserve Letters
World War II era letters offer personal insights into the war from veterans and civilians alike. Unfortunately, old letters can easily be lost or destroyed, but History.com offers some tips for preserving historical letters for future generations:
Acid Free Storage Box for Old Letters - Keep the letters from deteriorating
A shoebox seems a convenient place to store old letters and photos. Unfortunately the fiber in the cardboard causes the vintage papers and photos to deteriorate.
Don't let this happen to your family heirlooms. Store them in archival quality containers.
World War II Letters Show up on eBay - Sometimes in a batch or just one or two
Get your bid in for some wonderful WWII memorabilia. Check here for more tips about collecting military letters from various wars.
Navy Letters of World War Two - Volume 1 - Eugene Schmidt to Maxine O'Connell
Flynn's Letter (WWII letters published with Blurb) - by Joseph A. Burke (preview the book)
Dear Folks, by Paul Stoloff
The World War II Memoirs of 1st. Lt. Marvin Stoloff
This book shows the handwritten letter as the background design on the page. That is overlaid with the text of the letter in printed form for easier reading.
WWII Letters from China
by Edmund M. Hayes for Marvin Bidwell Hayes
My uncle made flights over China during WWII. We have a great photo of him standing by his airplane. It has a Jayhawk graphic on the nose. I wonder if my cousins have letters that he sent during the war.
I should read this book to get some insight on Uncle Ralph's experience.
CHINA by Edmund M. Hayes for Marvin Bidwell Hayes | Make Your Own Book
Dear Gramp by Joshua B. Bell, Editor | Make Your Own Book
This is a collection of letters written by the editor's Grandfather to his Grandfather during World War II. The book contains typed copies of the letters, the original letters and envelopes, as well as several pictures.
five minute furlough; by Matthew E. Hardy | Make Your Own Book
Letters from the War: Gordon M. Sill in the Pacific, WWII by Michael R. Sill | Make Your Own Book
Warhawk - Newly Published - Letters from World War II
Letters From Artie by Terry Lyons | Make Your Own Book
YouTube - Another Way to Share Letters
Read your parents' or grandparents' letters from WWII for the camera and share on YouTube.
Save WWII Letters by Sharing Them on YouTube - A son reads his father's WWII Air Force letters
This is a great way to share the letters with family members and the whole world. I expect back in the 1940s when the family received the letters, they would sit around the living room or the kitchen table and read them aloud so everyone would get the news at once.
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