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"It is cold out of doors but here inside this old French Garrison, with electric lights and sometimes running water, the fire is hot and I am brewing a cup of java and munching RC [Red Cross] doughnuts." (Letter to sister-in-law, November 30, 1944)

   John O'Reilly
Image of John O'Reilly
John O'Reilly at Thionville France, probably 1945 [detail]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Headquarters, 3rd Army, XX Corps (Ghost Corps)
Service Location: California; England; Normandy, Avaranches, Coutances, Le Mans, Chartres, Vitre, Laval, Paris, Caen, Verdun, Cherbourg, Fontainebleau, Metz, France; Bastogne, Luxembourg; Ardennes, Belgium; Rhineland; Starnberg, Munchen, Germany; Ried, Austria; European Theater
Rank: Technician Three
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Serving with XX Corps of Patton’s Third Army in the European Theater, Technician Three John O’Reilly sent a handful of typed letters home to his family. Written in a breezy tone, they convey the author’s genial personality, despite ongoing struggles with the illness then known as yellow jaundice (actually hepatitis). Continued poor health followed his service in the European Theater, when he returned home with a case of tuberculosis. The other batch of letters in his collection--sent by the Veterans Administration--reveal his fight to have his condition declared a service-related disability and to obtain military benefits; as well, they narrate his ongoing medical treatment, and his eventual death in December 1950.

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»“Please Write Often”: Wartime Correspondence
 Official Documents (17 items)
Life Insurance Certificate Copy of Discharge Papers Letter from Veterans Administration with 2 cards [December 28, 1946]
Letter from Veterans Administration [March 26, 1947] Letter from Veterans Administration [September 11, 1947] Letter from Veterans Administration [January 21, 1948]
Letter from Disabled American Veterans [January 24, 1948] Letter from Veterans Administration [February 9, 1948] Letter from Veterans Administration [August 27, 1948]
Letter from Veterans Administration [March 10, 1949] Letter from Veterans Administration [January 20, 1950] Letter from Veterans Administration [January 2, 1951]
Postcard from Veterans Administration [January 1951] Letter from Veterans Administration [January 22, 1951] Postcard from Veterans Administration [February 1951]
Letter from Veterans Administration [February 19, 1951] Letter from Veterans Administration [May 31, 1951] 
  
 Personal Correspondence (11 items)
Letter, "Somewhere in New Guinea" Letter to brother Patrick with envelope [November 18, 1944] Letter to sister-in-law [November 20, 1944]
Letter to "People" [November 21, 1944] Letter to sister-in-law [November 30, 1944] Letter to "People" [March 7, 1945]
Letter to mother [April 4, 1945] Letter to mother with envelope [August 13, 1945] Letter to mother with envelope [April 16, 1945]
Letter to mother with envelope [August 19, 1945] Letter to sister-in-law [September 26, 1945] 
  
 Other Materials (10 items)
Biography of John (Jack) O'Reilly by his brother Daniel Partick O'Reilly Receipts Letter from Evergreen Cemetery [October 27, 1950]
John O'Reilly's dog tag Artifact: Nazi arm band Artifact: Nazi Luftwaffe insignia
Arm patch of the XX corps. Arm patch of the 4th armored division Map depicting insignia of the Third Army
Joke form letter to be filled out by sailor and sent home  
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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