RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As each page turns, as delicate as they are today, they tell the story of a strong foundation that kept us together as a country and as a state.
They are the newsletters from eighteen different military camps that existed in North Carolina during World War II.
Stored at the North Carolina Archives since the war, with a few exceptions, they’re the only copies known to survive.
“That sort of information is hard to find. People were doing so much. War bond drives, they were volunteering at the local Red Cross maybe they were serving at the USO club. These don’t exist in the National Archives, they were published by the military bases but, they’re not official military records to be kept for long term or retention so if we didn’t do this nobody would see them,” said archivist Matthew Peek.
He has spent the last two years making sure you can see them by digitizing every copy and every page then posting them online. It gives you a look at what was happening here on the homefront during the war.
You can read how the bases and camps tried to keep everything as normal as possible.
“Five of these issues about the football games,” said Peek.
You can also read about the more serious.
“These are the field artillery unit. They were segregated at Fort Bragg. We don’t have a lot of these newsletters,” Peek said as he carefully handled the pages.
There’s also an article about the first graduating class of female Marines at Camp Lejeune which was the main training camp for women.
It was a time Peek says that whether they served as a member of the military or a volunteer or worked in the factories that women found their voice. There are so many names and contributions known only because of these newsletters.
“They feature the development and independence of women and the photographs the stories I think that’s really the most important thing I’ve found,” Peek added.
Found so that what was forgotten won’t be any longer.
“These are unique pieces of history that we need for the public,” Peek said.
To see the collection just click on this link.
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