Papers of a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946 and was stationed in Europe during 1945-1946 as a radio/teletype operator. The collection contains photocopies of three memoirs written by Blessing entitled "Coming of Age in the 1930s," "A Yank on the Homefront, 1943-1945," and "A Yank Abroad, 1945-1946" and the original correspondence, diaries, and typed transcripts from which the memoirs were principally derived. Also included are photographs (1971-1981) taken in Wisconsin depicting landscapes and a few contemporary commercial and historic buildings, primarily in Eagle River, St. Germain, and Watertown.
"Coming of Age in the 1930s" documents Blessing's teenage years in Milwaukee, and consists mainly of transcript diaries kept daily by Blessing from 1934 to 1940, containing descriptions of his daily activities and social life, and news stories which interested him (including the outbreak of World War II in 1939). "A Yank on the Homefront" consists of transcriptions of the letters Blessing wrote home from the various army training camps in which he was stationed. This memoir principally covers the social and recreational pursuits of stateside servicemen. "A Yank Abroad" continues in the same vein, describing the social life and surroundings of an American GI in Europe. It concludes with an autobiographical essay about Blessing's post-war experiences: his training and career in special education; his work at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; and information about his immediate family. All three memoirs are interspersed with photocopies of photographs.
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