Guide to the Charles W. Willson Collection, 1940-1942

Finding aid prepared by Caitlin Tetreau and Jennifer Cox.

Collection number:     BLC-CR27
Title:     Charles W. Willson Collection, 1940-1942
Dates:     1940-1942, bulk 1940-1941
Extent:     .25 linear feet 63 letters

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains 30 letters, postcards and documents about and from U.S Navy member Charles C. Willson (created 1940-1942) while he served aboard the U.S.S. Lexington in Division S. Willson says he “seas the world through the porthole” of his ship. In his earliest letters he talks about how the U.S. should get involved in the war and his work at a butcher shop. Willson informs his parents that while he is docked in San Francisco, a British cruiser named the HMS Liverpool comes into port. The British cruiser is on its way to Frisco, NY and then will head across the sea. Willson was briefly stationed at Pearl Harbor in November and early December 1941, mentioning in a letter of December 4th that they have a Japanese war scare and how he hopes nothing happens. " The Japs", Hitler and Russia are mentioned in a few letters. In one particular letter, Willson states he believes Hitler is just waiting to take down Russia and that he doesn’t believe the U.S. has anything to fear from Japan. Accompanying the collection are a salute pamphlet, two U.S. Navy training sheets, newspaper clippings, U.S.S. Lexington newspapers, and a U.S.S. Lexington postcard showing the ship.


Arranged roughly chronologically.

Related Material

Randall J. Cushing Collection

Collection Contents


001        October 12-October 24, 1940
002        October 22-December 17,1940; undated
003        January 3-January 30, 1941
004        February 4-March 25, 1941
005        April 9, 1941-June, 1941
006        Mother's Day Telegram, c.a. 1941
007        July 19-September 15, 1941
008        November 6-December23, 1941
009        December 25-January 26, 1942
010        April 14-April 25, 1942
011        July 19, 1942
012        Memorabilia U.S.S. Lexington