Earl O. Ganzow Papers and Photographs,

Summary Information

Title: Earl O. Ganzow Papers and Photographs
Inclusive Dates: 1943-1945

  • Ganzow, Earl O.
Call Number: WVM Mss 1026

Quantity: 1.0 linear ft. (3 archives boxes) of papers and 0.2 linear ft. (1 archives box) of photographs.

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Veterans Museum (Map)

Papers and photographs of Earl O. Ganzow, a private with the 237th Combat Engineer Battalion during World War II who saw action at the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. The collection consists mostly of the letters Ganzow wrote to his wife, Marian, during his service from March 1943 through November 1945. Writing regularly, at times daily, he described his activities as well as his feelings. While in training at Camp Butner (North Carolina), he remarked upon the birth of his daughter and his reluctance to go overseas while also describing his work on the Tennessee Maneuvers repairing civilian property as part of a Fence Repair Company. Overseas, he touched briefly upon his role in the Normandy invasion as well as the fighting that led to the Battle of the Bulge. He described the destruction of European towns, his feeling that he was fighting for his family and the ability to go home to them, and growing stress due to constant enemy artillery attacks. After absent without leave from his unit for roughly one month, Ganzow's letters provided details of his punishment, being sent to the Loire (France) D.T.C. where he faced loss of pay, rationed stationery for letters home, and physical labor. After being released in the autumn of 1945, Ganzow remained in Europe through the end of November and wrote angrily about the delay and his hopes of starting a new life with his wife and daughter. Other papers include some religious (Catholic) materials, souvenirs from basic training, German propaganda cards portraying Adolf Hitler in a positive light, and a piece of Nazi propaganda, written in French, implying that the United States were merely a tool of the Jews. Photographs include shots of Ganzow and Marian, both individually and at their wedding. There are also pictures of bridges built and destroyed by his unit in Europe, and of his trip back to the United States at after the war.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.wvm-mss01026
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