FAMILY HISTORY

Karen LaBat

I have letters my father wrote to his parents during World War II. He served in the Cannon Company, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.

Because of wartime censorship there were limits on what my father could write about. The letters have an upbeat tone to keep his parents’ spirits optimistic.  

He did not speak much about his wartime experiences and it was not until I did my own historical research on the unit he was attached to that I began to understand what he must have experienced.  

I have organized the letters into 6 chapters:

  1. Introduction & family background
  2. Training camps
  3. North Africa
  4. Sicily & Anzio Beachhead
  5. France
  6. Furlough and  return to Germany/Austria (Berchtesgaden)

Each chapter includes his letters along with commentary from historians and official documents relevant to that chapter.

The attachment to this email includes the cover page for my Dad's WWII letters, an excerpt from the chapter about North Africa and a reference list I used for additional background. Several references are specific to the 3rd Division. But, some are general references. The Atkinson books follows my father's "path" through the war----so I was fortunate in finding so much detail in those books. I used online search functions of the UMN library to access several sources---since retirees can find and download many items free.

Two other references that might be of use to those searching for United State Military Records

National Archives   -  https://www.archives.gov/research/military/veterans/aad.html

Veteran’s Administration -  https://www.va.gov/records/get-military-service-records/

Much of this site is designed for people looking for their own records. If searching for a deceased relative, scroll down to the bottom third of the page.


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The election of UMRA officers and new board members for 2024–25 will be conducted via an online poll from May 13 to 19, with the results to be announced at our annual meeting on May 21. Look for the ballot in your email inbox on May 13. Diane Young has been nominated to be president-elect.

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