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Dewey Stewart to Almeda Stewart, 1944-1945

 File — Box: 2158.1, Folder: 1

Scope and Contents note

From the Collection: Almost all of this collection is personal correspondence between Dewey and Almeda Stewart, a husband and wife separated by his service in the Navy during World War Two. The couple had only been married eight months when he departed for the Pacific Islands. Therefore, much of the content of the letters is of a very personal nature- detailing the longing and loneliness of a young couple separated by war and the excitement of planning a happy future together. Dewey was away for just under one year yet he wrote her almost every day, sometimes twice a day.

Dewey makes several references that may be of special interest to historians. In a letter dated April 13, 1945, he expresses sadness over President Roosevelt’s death saying that the country had experienced the “loss of a great man-”describing him as “intensely patriotic.” In a letter dated August 7, 1945, a reference is made to a newsreel shown to servicemen about the “new bomb” that will bring the war “to a screeching halt.” In a letter dated August 11, 1945, Dewey says that he and his fellow servicemen received “unofficial news” from the Navy that Japan had surrendered. On August 14, 1945, he describes a huge celebration held on the base. *August 15, 1945 is the “official” date historically recorded for Japan’s surrender.*

Many of the letters had portions cut out by the war censor, which was officially lifted on September 4, 1945. Dewey’ subsequent letters are significantly more personal and provide more details about the Navy, what he is doing, and where he is.

Dewey writes on various service letterhead that may be of special interest including: U.S. Naval Air Station; USO; U.S. Navy; U.S. Naval Receiving Station; Airmail; and American Red Cross.

The collection also includes the last four letters Almeda wrote to Dewey before he came home. They discuss her happiness that the war is over and plans for their reunion. Additionally, there is one letter to Dewey Stewart from Roger H. Biddle, a Navy buddy who is stationed on the U.S.S. Moon near Okinawa. Letters from two of Almeda Stewart’s brothers (both enlisted in the Army) are enclosed- the first is from Melvin Wagner, who is stationed in Japan; the second is from Raymond Wagner, who is stationed in the Panama Canal Zone.

The collection contains several scenic “Pictorial Wonderland” postcards; telegraphs; pamphlets distributed by the U.S. Navy; several “Orders of Worship” for church services “at sea;” and various holiday cards from 1944-1945.


  • 1944 - 1945


From the Collection: 0.8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266