Scrapbook from a World War II Navy Veteran's Career
[Sampson, New York]: 1943-1946. Hardcover. Folio. 37 c.m. x 30.5 c.m. or 15" by 12". Scrapbook. Each pastedown and 23 leaves have text or documents from the scrapbook's compiler. Red leatherette boards with gold lettering on the front board, bound with a tied string on the spine. The scrapbook is largely focused on the World War Two naval service of Howard Rorabaugh. Rorabaugh was a petty officer and served as an instructor at several naval training facilities during the war. The scrapbook includes Howard Rorabaugh's draft letter, his Recruit Identification Card, his discharge notice, and a great deal more. The scrapbook is a record of the Rorabaugh's marriage, and of Howard's induction into the Navy, his training, and his discharge. It also captures a deeply personal perspective on the Second World War. The scrapbook demonstrates how Howard's service impacted his family, and how they tried to carry on as normal throughout the war. The ephemera in the scrapbook ranges from 2 c.m. by 5.5 c.m. to normal 8.5" by 11" pieces of paper. The Rorabaughs used excerpts of newspapers published during the Second World War, along with Easter, Christmas, get well cards, black and white photographs, letters between the Rorabaughs, letters granting leave from the Navy, a memorial card from Howard's fathers funeral, and more to document their lives between 1943 and 1946. The photographs range in size from 9 c.m. x 6.5 c.m. to 21 c.m. x 25.5 c.m. The largest photograph is dated September 23, 1944, and is the photograph of a graduating class of men (Company 566) who completed their training at Sampson Naval Training Station in New York, presumably a group of recruits who received instruction from Rorabaugh. There are a few warm inscriptions on the reverse (to Rorabaugh) from members of the class. The Rorabaugh's also saved a few programs from religious services given by Naval Chaplains. The scrapbook includes a cigarette ration card for Howard with a few holes still unpunched. The letters and greeting cards exchanged between husband and wife are very loving, and frequent, showing a real depth of warmth and care between the two. There is a Christmas greeting card the couple would have sent to their friends with Edna and Howard pictured on the card, Howard in his official uniform. On the rear pastedown Howard has enclosed a report, War News Summary 76 from the War Orientation Office dated January 15th, 1945. The report details Hitler's admission that Germany has run out of manpower for its army, and describes U.S. officials' fears of a guerilla resistance led by Nazi individuals long after the war is over. The report also includes an opinion from officials in Moscow that "the Nazi's last hour has come". The report also contains speculation of an invasion of the Philippines by U.S. forces, and other news from the Pacific theatre. Rorabaugh has included a muster sheet with the home addresses of everyone in his company (all 122 men) enclosed with it. He has annotated the sheet with a note at the top, "the following did not abandon ship" along with dashes next to several names. Rorabaugh also preserved a cigarette taken from a Japanese soldier killed in action sent to him by a friend. The scrapbook is replete with oddities and historically important documents from the war. A thoroughly moving record of Rorabaugh's naval service, and of the Second World War as it impacted the people of the United States. Very Good. Item #000011249
Minor rubbing to the edges, pages are toned and somewhat brittle, a previous owner cut away a portion of a photograph near the end, perhaps from a falling out.