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No forgotten fronts

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No Forgotten Fronts: From Classrooms to Combat. World War II Letters written from students of SDSU to their beloved professor paint a picture of the universal story of struggle and sacrifice in the fight for democracy and the preservation of American values.

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No forgotten fronts

  1. 1. No Forgotten Fronts From Classrooms to Combat
  2. 2. Dr. Lauren Post When his students left for war, Dr. Post collected their addresses, excerpted their letters, and sent The Aztec News Letter all over the world.
  3. 3. Dr. Post was a veteran of World War I. In 1943, he sponsored a rope-twirling exhibition on the campus quad.
  4. 4. The Very First Issue Dr. Post called it a News Service Experiment
  5. 5. Dr. Post produced the News Letter each month throughout World War II. It kept students connected to one another, and to their campus. April 28, 1944 Dear Dr. Post, Sometimes, doc, the going gets pretty tough – even on a battlewagon – and you feel discouraged and disgusted. And somehow the word “Newsletter” flashes in your brain, and you pick out an old issue at random and start thinking of the other fellow – fellow Aztec. You think of the guy who used to drop by for you every morning and drive you out to State. It wasn’t much of a car, and we invariably had engine trouble, and I don’t recall ever making an 8 o’clock class on time. But you can’t help thinking of what a swell guy he was and how badly you felt when you learned that – that he had been killed in a bombing raid over Germany. You read about others who have been killed or wounded. And you read about others who have been away from the States a hell of a lot longer than you have. It’s then that you realize that things aren’t tough at all – that you’ve just been kidding yourself! Respectfully, Lt. (jg) RJ (Bob) Noel, USNR USS Mississippi c/o FPO San Francisco, California
  6. 6. “Where is my newsletter?” December 17, 1943 Dear “Doc” S.O.S. S.O.S. where is my newsletter? Please get one on the road right away. Doc, this rope-spinning is a rough, rough, racket! In the first place, the size of a B.O.Q. room is somewhat restricting, and it’s too damn cold to go outside and practice. I’ve been practicing faithfully since the rope and instruction book got here, but don’t seem to get very far. But you wait, someday I’ll come barreling into your office, take you down to the quad, and do a Texas Skip for you! Happy Landings 1st Lt. Lionel E. Chase
  7. 7. A Letter from Lionel Chase
  8. 8. Dr. Post was careful to observe strict censorship guidelines.
  9. 9. March 4, 1942 Somewhere on Oahu Dear Doc Post, You really missed something over here Doc. It was really something the seventh of December. I’ll tell you it was just the same as waiting for a kick off. Your old stomach was just as tight as it could be but when the first gun was fired, boom, it was gone and you were figuring (“figgering”) how to run one through tackle. I must admit it was something like our game in ’39 against Compton, but there will come a day and soon I hope. No kidding Doc I’m a changed man. I have been studying pretty hard since I’ve been in the Army and I have my math, as applied to Anti Air Craft Gunnery, down fairly well. Well Doc I hope you can see it to forgive me as I did “goof ” off something awful. Aloha Wally (Mac) McAnulty
  10. 10. Wally Mac McAnulty
  11. 11. Ernie McAnulty (Wally’s brother) was in a German POW camp for captured pilots. Dr. Post wrote to both brothers, and to their mother. June 7, 1943 Lt. McAnulty E. U.S.A.F. Gefangenennummer: 1123 Lager-Bezeichnung: M. - Stammlager Luft 3 [penciled in: Block 100 Prn. 6] Deutschland Dear Doc; This card is being written under a bit different circumstances than my last letter to you. I’m a Prisoner in Germany. I would appreciate it if you would let my friends know I’m O.K. and any letters will be gratefully received. Hoping to hear from you soon. Sincerely, E.M.
  12. 12. Ernie’s cell mate was another fellow Aztec, Griffith Williams. These records show that they shared Cell 18, in Block 125 at Stalag Luft III.
  13. 13. Initially, Griff Williams was thought to be missing. His friends were relieved to know that he had survived a plane crash.
  14. 14. Courtesy of Muzeum Obozow Jenieckich/POW Camps Museum, Zagan, Poland. Stalag Luft III POWs. Griffith Williams is in the back row, 7th from the left.
  15. 15. In 1941, the Aztec basketball team won the national title. Three members of that championship team were killed in World War II.
  16. 16. Milky Phelps, the team’s start forward, was one of the best-loved athletes on campus. After he lost his life in a training crash, the campus retired his jersey number. Faculty voted to award him his degree posthumously. July 5, 1943 Many names I have read have hurt very deeply. I can only say that they gave the full measure of devotion to God and country the same as all of us are willing to do. You at State can be proud of your sons and daughters, you taught us courage and truth, we will fight to keep you there to teach the ones that will come after us to be better equipped to run this world after this mess is over. You Dr. Post and men like you hold our future, and our children’s future in what you give them now. Make them men, strong men as you have made us, give them visions and thoughts of good government and how to run it, make them conscious of God and his divine Guidance. Make them HARD for theirs will be a hard row to hoe. Turn out men like Milky Phelps, you can do no better. Lt. Ray W. Fellows
  17. 17. Dr. Post promised that no Aztec would be forgotten. He displayed pictures of students in service, with gold stars next to the names of those who had been killed.
  18. 18. A page from the campus yearbook, Del Sudoeste
  19. 19. Aztec stickers were one of the most-requested items, and especially prized by pilots. They put their mascot on the canopy of their planes.
  20. 20. March 10, 1944 Still Italy Dear Doc: I’m in the hospital with what is known in the parlance as “exhaustion” which covers a multitude of sins. My sin was to get caught in the center of a concentration of “screaming mimi’s” & get my marbles scattered all over the [word blacked out]. To top it off it took me 3 days to collect them. While my top was off I sure had me one hell of a time telling officers & noncoms off & even tried to pick a fight with a 6 foot Ranger. Wish I could have been there to enjoy it. Pvt. James R. (Jim) Hurley, Jr. Dr. Post received letters from hundreds of people, and he made sure information got to where it was needed.
  21. 21. March 24, 1944 Italy Dear Dr. Post: At my earliest opportunity I shall look up Pvt. James R. Hurley, Co. I., 15th Infantry, APO #3. Thanks for letting me know about him. With every good wish to you and all the Aztecs I am Very sincerely yours Delmar L. Dyreson Regimental Chaplain 7th Infantry Dr. Post asked another Aztec, an army chaplain stationed nearby, to visit Jim.
  22. 22. April 15, 1944 Dear Dr. Post: Thank you so much for your interest in James, Jr., and for asking the Chaplain of the 7th Infantry to look him up, and for letting us know about it. It was kind of you indeed, especially when you have so many Aztecs to remember, who are now serving their country. I do hope that the 7th is billeted near the 15th so that the Chaplain Dyreson can easily find James. The latter is having a rather difficult time of it, and to think that somebody was interested in him, and one who was capable of giving him spiritual consolation besides, will, I’m sure, give his morale a big uplift. Thanking you again for your courtesy, I am Sincerely yours, J.R. Hurley, M.D. 9298 Lemon Avenue La Mesa, California A letter from a grateful father.
  23. 23. September 22, 1944 I only hope that after the war we get the proper credit for what we have done. Jim Hurley Jim, there are no forgotten fronts – not as long as there are Aztecs on them, and we have them on all of the fronts. Dr. Lauren C. Post, Editor The Aztec News Letter No. 38, May 1, 1945
  24. 24. Jim Hurley, Associated Student Body Treasurer
  25. 25. February 10, 1944 Hi Doc: Yes, Sir!, we are now on the boat, destination unknown. You’ve heard how tough the paratroops are. How rugged in physical endeavor, but what you don’t know is how these same men felt as we boarded the ship & left the soil of U.S.A. From the “Staten Island Ferry” to the boat, was something to witness. First we joked and kidded as we passed familiar signs along the harbor like “Maxwell House Coffee,” “Bethlehem Steel,” Colgate Soap & Perfume” & then that thing that stopped the crowd, the “Statue of Liberty.” Tough guys had tears in their eyes, many stood gazing open-mouth, many a heart was in one’s mouth, with a feeling of emptiness in one’s pit of the stomach. The Statue of Liberty was beautiful & as she disappeared, Long Island came into view, then Brooklyn, & what memories & laughs we all had. Then as some giant hand pushing us way out, land seemed far off, New York skyline seemed to diminish. When that disappeared & possibilities of seeing land of U.S. was gone, we just leaned back & silence was a bliss as we all thought of what we left behind & what we are fighting for. Always “Little Geronimo” Pvt. Herman Addleson Describing a last view of the United States.
  26. 26. Eulogy for a classmate. September 28, 1944 Dear Dr. Post – I received the issue of the Aztec News Letter with a mixture of feelings – some reminiscent, some a longing for the good old days at State. Unfortunately, during my college life, I had to work 8 hours a day as well as attend school and I didn’t have a chance to enter into the campus life and campus friendships as much as I really desired. However, there was one little fellow we all knew, Herman Addleson who was killed on D-day, and this fellow was my friend. I can remember lying on the grass discussing our ideals and hopes, and so I believe I can qualify to say to all our fellow Staters that the price of this victory is written in memories of men like that – not just flesh and blood, but the dreams and aspirations of men who will live forever in our memories. May their memories and ideals reflect in the way we live and in our accomplishments. Hope to see you again before too long. William C. Boyd
  27. 27. The Aztec News Letter, No. 35, February 1, 1945 Lt. W.P. (Pat) Wyatt, USMCR, wrote from the Southwest Pacific: “I can’t see how those jokers can send home letters saying where they are. I can’t even tell you whether I lux my undies. All I can say is that I am on a rock in the Southwest Pacific. My plane, The Nervous Wreck, is holding out as well as any dive bomber can, and I am rapidly finding myself in the same category.”
  28. 28. Pat Wyatt is in the bottom row, fourth photo.
  29. 29. One of Pat’s illustrated letters.
  30. 30. Dr. Post wanted to make sure the men remembered their campus.
  31. 31. The tactic worked like a charm!
  32. 32. Dr. Post’s reunion with Wally McAnulty.
  33. 33. Assorted Letters Dr. Post received thousands of letters throughout World War II.
  34. 34. The World War II Servicemen’s Correspondence Collection, 1941-1946. Courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives, SDSU.

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