Cage 724

Walter Chuslo

World War II Correspondence, 1944-1948

Acquisition and Processing Information

This collection was purchased from dealer Charles Apfelbaum in 2008 (MS2008-11). It was processed in 2008 by Cheryl Gunselman, Manuscripts Librarian.

Extent / Quantity Information

Number of containers: 7

Linear feet of shelf space: 3.3

Biography / Organizational History

Very little biographical information is available for Walter W. Chuslo and his wife, Mildred (Midge) Skalsky Chuslo. The following details have been gleaned from the letters in this collection.

Walter and Mildred were both born in 1917. They met in Ohio in 1944 when Walter was visiting his family home on a furlough from duty in the U.S. Army. They were married in Washington State on January 15, 1947.

Walter Chuslo served in the Army from 1941, when he was drafted, until at least February 1948, when this correspondence ends. All of his duty stations were in the United States and Alaska; for at least part of his service he served with Battery B of the 243rd AAA Searchlight Battalion. During the period covered by this correspondence, he moved to several different stations: Seattle, WA; Camp Howze, TX; Fort Sill, OK; Camp White, OR; Camp Stoneman, CA; Fort Lewis, WA; Fort Belvoir, VA; and Fort Glenn, AK (Umnak). His work, described in his letters, varied widely and included building construction, heavy equipment operation, painting and building maintenance, teaching and training new recruits, and barbering.

Collection Description

This collection consists almost entirely of Walter Chuslo's letters to his girlfriend (later his wife), Mildred (Midge) Skalsky. There are also a few letters from others, including some from Walter's family to Midge and/or Walter, and one from Midge to Walter. The collection also includes a small number of unidentified photographs (negatives), and one printed pamphlet.

Most of Walter Chuslo's letters to Mildred are love letters, showing the development of their long-distance relationship, challenges and obstacles to their plans to marry, and his hopes and plans for their future together. He discusses problems in both of their families, daily life in the Army, his illnesses and injuries, his disappointment at delayed or canceled furloughs, unwelcome extensions of his Army service, and, most of all, his longing to settle down and begin his life with Mildred. He occasionally refers to events related to the war, and to economic and social conditions, but in general these letters are personal.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged in a single chronological sequence. Undated correspondence, photographs and one pamphlet are located at the end of the sequence.

Subjects

Chuslo, Walter W. -- Archives
Chuslo, Mildred Skalsky -- Archives
United States -- Army -- Field Artillery
Soldiers -- United States -- Archives
World War -- 1939-1945 -- United States

Access

This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright restrictions apply.

Preferred Citation

The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
Walter Chuslo World War II Correspondence, 1944-1948
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA

Languages

These materials are in English.

Container List:

Box Folder Description
    1944
1 1 April (Seattle, WA.)
  2 May (Seattle and Yakima, WA, where Chuslo received commando training. Mentions a trip to the Grand Coulee Dam.)
  3 June (Seattle and Yakima.)
  4-5 July (Seattle. Refers to the bombing of Japan.)
  6 August (Seattle.)
  7 September (Seattle.)
  8 October (Unidentified locations: "unknown country," "desert," "land unknown.")
  9 November (Moses Lake, WA.)
  10-11 December (Seattle.)
    1945
  12-13 January (Seattle.)
2 14 February (Seattle, and in transit to Camp Howze, TX.)
  15-16 March (Camp Howze.)
  17 April (Camp Howze and Fort Sill, OK.)
  18 May (Fort Sill.)
  19 June (Fort Sill.)
  20 July (Fort Sill.)
  21-23 August (Fort Sill. Mentions peace after atomic bombs dropped on Japan.)
3 24-25 September (Fort Sill. Sent a diamond engagement ring to Mildred.)
  26-28 October (Fort Sill.)
  29-30 November (Fort Sill and Seattle.)
  31 December (Seattle.)
    1946
  32 January (Seattle. Chuslo was promoted to Master Sergeant. He reports being injured in a plane crash, stranded in the mountains of Idaho.)
  33 February (Seattle. Chuslo reports an earthquake.)
  34 March (Seattle; Camp White, OR; Camp Stoneman, CA.)
4 35 April (Camp Stoneman; Fort Lewis, WA.)
  36 May (Fort Lewis; Washington, D.C.; Fort Belvoir, VA.)
  37 June (Fort Belvoir; in transit to Ohio for a visit home.)
  38-39 July (Fort Belvoir; in transit to Tacoma, WA; Fort Lewis, WA.)
  40-41 August (Fort Lewis. Reports a visit to the Grand Coulee Dam.)
  42 September (Fort Lewis. Reports that he is recuperating in the base hospital after a nervous breakdown.)
  43 October (Fort Lewis. Reports more health problems--eye trouble.)
  44-45 November (Fort Lewis.)
  46 December (Fort Lewis. Reports a strange incident where he was kidnapped, robbed, and held hostage; he received a letter from Mildred breaking off their relationship.)
    1947
  47 January-February (Fort Lewis. This folder includes letters from family members congratulating Walter and Mildred on their marriage.)
5 48 March (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  49-51 April (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK. Includes letter to Mildred from Mr. and Mrs. John Chuslo.)
  52-53 May (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  54-55 June (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  56-57 July (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  58 August (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
6 59 August (continued)
  60-61 September (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  62-63 October (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  64 November (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
  65-66 December (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
    1948
  67-68 January (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK.)
7 69 February (Fort Glenn, Umnak, AK. Walter reports his preparations to leave Alaska and return to the U.S.)
  70 Greeting cards, circa 1940s
  71 Pamphlet: Alaska View Book, circa 1940s
  72 Photographs (negatives), unidentified, circa 1940s
  73 Processing notes