WWII Newsletters From DeKalb County

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During Word War II, two communities in DeKalb produced monthly newsletters for their soldiers fighting overseas. These newsletters boosted morale but also provided valuable updates on those at war. 

By Marissa Howard

CHIPS, a collection of newsletters mailed to World War II Armed Forces Personnel from the Rock Chapel Area, March, 1943 – March, 1945.


DHC Blog: Newsletters WWII

Printed copy of CHIPS, source DHC Archives. 1st Issue, March 1943.

Mrs. Nelson Severinghous (Miss Jo), was a long-time Sunday School teacher at Rock Chapel. During WWII, Miss Jo was instrumental in having members of the Sunday School Class maintain correspondence with the 38 servicemen and one woman who were serving in the armed forces from the Rock Chapel area. The monthly newsletter was called CHIPS, as in Chips off the old Rock. The newsletter produced a total of 64 pages of cartoons, pictures, gossip, jokes, and the mundane small town news. In addition to the lighthearted news, updates were provided on the enlisted. In the last issue, a service record of each servicemember was included. The community lost two members in service, William Waldo Parrish and Mercer B Sorrow.

This unexpected find in the collection of the DeKalb History Center made me laugh at some of the jokes and I can only imagine the smile it would have brought those serving overseas.

DHC Blog: Newsletters

CHIPS, 1st Issue, March 1943.


DHC Blog: WWII Newsletters

CHIPS,1st Issue, March 1943

Some highlights from the newsletter:

On including photos in the issues: “Wire photos, because when we snap them, we say, Wire we taking this, anyhow?”

“Gladys Saine hears from Boyd Cody regularly. All that mail, and the new Sears catalog have practically broken down the Route 2 mail carrier.”

“Ford Goffrey was home a while back. He has acquired a coat of tan, some South American travel, about fifteen pounds, and a girl in Philadelphia.”

Clarkston Clarion, September, 1943 – November, 1944
“Devoted to Our Boys and Girls at Home and Abroad”

Clarkston Clarion, Vol 1. No. 2. October 1943.


DHC Blog: Newsletter Clarkston WWII

One of the constant features in the Clarkston Clarion were photos from home.
Vol 2 No. 2, September 1943.


DHC Blog: Newsletters WWII

Five members of the Rainey family enlisted.
Vol 1, No 9. May 1944


The Clarion lands on the desk of a reader in Bellevue, Bossier Parish, Louisiana.
Source, Bossier Banner October 28, 1943.

Similar to CHIPS, the Clarion was a monthly newsletter from Clarkston to the servicemen abroad. The intention was to furnish them news, pictures, and updates from the home front. Updates on each of the servicemen were included. By 1944 there were 250 men and women who served from Clarkston and four who had died. Of those who served, many were from the same family. All five sons of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Rainey enlisted. (include photo)

Some highlights from the newsletter:

Headline: Lieut. Buddy Crowe Meets Italian Count
”Second Lieut. Buddy Crowe writes of meeting an Italian count recently and having luncheon with him at his villa.”

Headline: Letters from Italy Tells of Using Bandages from DeKalb County
”Mother, you must be wrapping lots of bandages. We are getting them from the DeKalb County Surgical Dressing Unit.”- Sergeant Trippe Slade from Naples, Italy.

Headline: Electric Mixer Used to Mix Paint by Housewife When Labor is Scarce.

“I think it [The Clarion] is the best thing you people at home could do for us boys and girls, in and out of service….I want you to tell everyone back home that had anything to do with getting this paper started how thankful we are, and hope it will continue.” 3/C Carter T. Rawlins.


You can find both newsletters at the DeKalb History Center Archives.


(Feature Image)  U.S. soldiers reading books from a military library in their barracks in Northern Ireland February 24, 1942.AP


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