Charles L. Dilks Papers

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Charles L. Dilks papers
Creator: Dilks, Charles L., 1914-1960
Call Number: D.311
Dates: 1942-1946
Physical Description: 5 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Artifacts
Collection Overview
Title: Charles L. Dilks papers
Creator: Dilks, Charles L., 1914-1960
Call Number: D.311
Dates: 1942-1946
Physical Description: 5 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Charles L. Dilks, was born in Crosswicks, NJ on March 14, 1914. At an early age, he worked as a mechanic, and developed handyman skills, which he used when he was drafted into the Army, September 5, 1942. Dilks was stationed and trained throughout the United States, including Fort Ontario New York and Camp Butner North Carolina, before his departure for the war in Europe January 10, 1945. Dilks spent the majority of World War II as a member of Company M of the 354th Infantry of the 89th Division. His unit was instrumental in securing parts of the Rhine River, advancing into German territory, and liberating Camp Ohrdruf. After the German surrender, Dilks served as part of the occupation, working in France and Austria with the 89th and 83rd Divisions. He returned home March 5, 1946 and was honorably discharged from the Army a few days later.

Scope and Content
This collection of over 400 letters written by Dilks to his fiancée Virginia Smith begin in September 1943. In his letters Dilks writes of his personal and professional activities and feelings throughout his military service. A significant portion of the letters consist of affectionate prose to Smith, as well as stories and feelings shared between the two, including their passion for cats. Dilks' letters also touch on religious issues, racial attitudes of the times and his personal feelings toward Europe and the Army. Accounts of combat are scattered throughout Dilks' letters as well as other more mundane military issues including problems with mail service, censorship of correspondence, and soldiers' extracurricular activities. Dilks served as an infantryman, and also as a technician and cook and in his letters he shares his feelings about these various duties. He also expresses the effect that warfare is having on his individual character and his thoughts about other issues and nationalities. Dilks' correspondence concludes in February of 1946. After returning home he married Virginia Smith on July 30, 1948; they were divorced seven years later. Dilks died February 15, 1960. Numerous photographs, postcards, telegrams, and greeting cards accompany Dilks' letters. Also included in the collection are artifacts such as his army cap, sewing kit, medals, patches and dog tags.

Subject(s):
Europe
World War (1939-1945)
Correspondence
Photographs
Postcards
Telegrams
Greeting cards
Dog tags (military tags)
Medals
Dilks, Charles L., 1914-1960
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the University of Rochester in August 2004 by Virginia Smith"s nephew, H. Bradford Smith.Access
The Charles L. Dilks papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Charles L. Dilks papers, D.311, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 1Correspondence, September 19-October 24, 1943
Box 1, Folder 2Correspondence, October 25, 1943-February 28, 1944
Box 1, Folder 3Correspondence, March 1-July 14, 1944
Box 1, Folder 4Correspondence, July 15-31, 1944
Box 1, Folder 5Correspondence, August 1-14, 1944
Box 1, Folder 6Correspondence, August 15-31, 1944
Box 1, Folder 7Correspondence, September 1-30, 1944
Box 1, Folder 8Correspondence, October 1-14, 1944
Box 1, Folder 9Correspondence, October 15-31, 1944
Box 1, Folder 10Correspondence, November 1-14, 1944
Box 1, Folder 11Correspondence, November 15-30, 1944
Box 1, Folder 12Correspondence, December 1-14, 1944
Box 1, Folder 13Correspondence, December 15-31, 1944
Box 2, Folder 1Correspondence, January 1-14, 1945
Box 2, Folder 2Correspondence, January 15-31, 1945
Box 2, Folder 3Correspondence, February 1-14, 1945
Box 2, Folder 4Correspondence, February 15-28, 1945
Box 2, Folder 5Correspondence, March 1-April 14, 1945
Box 2, Folder 6Correspondence, April 15-30, 1945
Box 2, Folder 7Correspondence, May 1-14, 1945
Box 2, Folder 8Correspondence, May 15-31, 1945
Box 2, Folder 9Correspondence, June 1-14, 1945
Box 2, Folder 10Correspondence, June 15-30, 1945
Box 2, Folder 11Correspondence, July 1-14, 1945
Box 2, Folder 12Correspondence, July 15-31, 1945
Box 3, Folder 1Correspondence, August 1-14, 1945
Box 3, Folder 2Correspondence, August 15-22, 1945
Box 3, Folder 3Correspondence, August 23-31, 1945
Box 3, Folder 4Correspondence, September 1-14, 1945
Box 3, Folder 5Correspondence, September 15-30, 1945
Box 3, Folder 6Correspondence, October 1-14, 1945
Box 3, Folder 7Correspondence, October 15-31, 1945
Box 3, Folder 8Correspondence, November 1-14, 1945
Box 3, Folder 9Correspondence, November 15-30, 1945
Box 4, Folder 1Correspondence, December 1-14, 1945
Box 4, Folder 2Correspondence, December 15-31, 1945
Box 4, Folder 3Correspondence, January 1-14, 1946
Box 4, Folder 4Correspondence, January 15-February 19, 1946
Box 4, Folder 5Telegrams
Box 4, Folder 6Envelopes, 1944
Box 4, Folder 7Envelopes, January-June 1946
Box 4, Folder 8Envelopes, July-September 1945
Box 4, Folder 9Envelopes, October 1945-February 1946
Series II: Artifacts
Box 4, Folder 10Military passes and other military related printed ephemera
Box 4, Folder 11Photographs of Charles Dilks, Virginia Smith and scenes in Europe
Box 4, Folder 12Postcards of European scenes
Box 4, Folder 13Greeting and holiday cards
Box 4, Folder 14Booklets: "A Camera Trip Through Camp Butner, North Carolina", "Rolling Ahead" (the story of the 89th Infantry Division)
Box 4, Folder 15Map: "Route of the 89th, France-Luxembourg-Germany"
Box 5, Object 1Army cap
Box 5, Object 2Uniform patches
White"A" on a blue field representing the Third Army
Blue star on a white cloud representing the Army Service Forces, Technical and Administrative Services
Green patch (3) representing the 89th Division, or the "Rolling W".
Black and gold patch representing the 83rd Division from Ohio. The gold lettering spells out OHIO
Gold anchor on a red field
Box 5, Object 3Dog tags and other medals
Box 5, Object 4Satchel distributed by the American Red Cross
Box 5, Object 5Sewing kit distributed by the American Red Cross


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