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The collection is compromised mainly of letters written by Gerald Koster home to his family in West Toledo, Ohio. The letters follow Koster through training in Great Lakes, Illinois and into combat as well as giving a fairly complete portrait of life on board ship. While Koster’s letters to his parents focus on naval operations and descriptions of military life, those addressed to his younger sister, Phyllis, include more information and queries regarding friends, family, and neighbors on the home front. Koster is very careful about censoring; few of his letters have been edited. As the war continues, he becomes more critical of the Navy and the handling of the war in general. His last letters from Japan are particularly critical and illustrate the frustration Gerald felt after being in the Navy for three years.

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Collection Size

.27 cubic feet

Publication Date

February 2007


World War II, WWII, U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater, Occupation of Japan, War Correspondence


European History | History | History of the Pacific Islands | Military History | United States History

Document Type

Finding Aid

MS-084: Letters of Gerald Koster, World War II