The Postmaster general of the United States, Fred Shuppe, sent out a notice August 30, 1943, to postmasters throughout the country. The notice mentioned that the country needed to raise $15 billion to aid the war effort and that $5 billion of that would need to come from individuals. To this effort every man, woman, and child would need to buy an extra bond in September. This was followed by other letters particularly addressing the local postmaster to urge his employees to enroll 100%. The first meeting of a committee formed to implement the drive was September 17, 1943. Postal workers had already started to canvas their routes to sell war bonds and stamps. By September 16 postmen had raised $8700. September 18 the Spiggot Falls Hayshakers (musical group) played at a rally on the steps of the Lawrence Post Office while the postal workers worked the crowd selling bonds. Appearances were made at the Breen School and the Polish National Church. Bedsides the Postal Workers, the Ayer Mill, Cardillo chapter Italian-American World War Vets of the US, the YMHA, St. Francis Church, and the Polish-American unit helped raise money. At the Block Party and Bond Drive September 21 Victor Mature, on leave from the Coast Guard appeared. Admission was 25c in an area on Common Street west of Broadway. Music was provided by Roland Russell’s Ramblers. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Miss Rita Conroy. Nine vaudeville acts were offered by two local nightclubs. A group of French soldiers also entertained the crowd.
George Wright Garside, son of George and Beatrice Garside, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts June 15, 1921. He attended St. Patrick’s Grammar School and Lawrence High School. He had one sister, Margaret, who was already married to James Mahoney when George went to war. George served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in North Adams, Massachusetts in the 1930s. He enlisted with his two friends, Andrew W. Vanasse and Raymond J. Duckett, in August 8, 1940 in Boston. Friends and relatives thought of the friends as the “Three Musketeers.” They were always together. Garside served as a corporal in Battery I, 11th Coast Artillery. Raymond J. Duckett died in Corregidor Dec. 29, 1941, being the first Lawrence combat death in World War II, his mother, Alice being the first Gold Star Mother. Andrew William Vanasse died at the Cabanatuan Prison Camp in the Philippines July 13, 1942. Garside was taken prisoner May 7, 1942 and stayed a POW first in the Philippines and then in the Nippon Camp in Japan. He returned to the United States, a sergeant, in October of 1945. After he returned from the war he worked as a masonry contractor in the Lawrence area. He married Edna Kelleher and had two children: Robert and Eileen. He died 3 Jan 1990.
In August 2020 Robert Garside, George’s son, gave the Library two scrapbooks, photographs, and a variety of ephemera relating to his father’s military service. These two photographs were among the material. The first one is shortly after induction and two others in the photograph may be his best buddies, Andrew W. Vanasse and Raymond J. Duckett. The second one was either taken as a POW or shortly after release.
There are about 600 items included in this collection. The vast majority of the posters are printed on thick paper. There were 3 Red Cross stiffened cardboard cut outs with stands attached on the back to hold them up. One series of movie posters were in a book form. The range in size was from the oversize of 4 x 5 feet to a few very small ones 9 x 12 inches. The posters were opened up and foldered. Most were put back into the map case. A few oversize posters were sandwiched between two pieces of foam board and placed on top the map cases. A number of smaller ones were foldered and placed in two newspaper boxes. The years covered are from 1917 to the 1990s. The vast majority of the posters are from World War I and II.
Many of the posters from the first and second world wars were made from original lithographs that were signed by the artist. When artist information was available it was included in the contents list.
One of the artists is Joseph Christian Leyendecker. Born in Germany in 1874, he lived in the United States from 1883. He studied art in Chicago and Paris and became famous for his illustrations on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. He created a number of lithographs for the United States Fuel Administration and the Third Liberty Loan that would become widely distributed posters during the First World War. Mr. Leyendecker died in 1951.
James Montgomery Flagg was born in Westchester County, NY in 1877. He was considered a child prodigy and was illustrating magazines at the age of 12. He would later study art in New York and Paris. He is responsible for the most famous war poster of all time. It pictured Uncle Sam saying “I want you for the U.S. Army”. He died in 1960.
Charles Buckles Falls was born in Indiana in 1874. His works include advertising; cover illustrations, murals, and a series of historical portraits for the New York State Office in Albany. His “Books Wanted” poster was created in twenty-four hours and was issued by the American Library Association. He died in 1960.
Howard Chandler Christy was born in 1873 in Morgan County, Ohio in 1873. He studied at the New York Academy of Design and the Art Students League. The Christy Girls appeared as an illustration in “The Soldier’s Dream” Scribner’s Magazine at the time of the Spanish-American War. His recruiting posters for the First World War utilized women as a dignified figure personifying country, liberty, or freedom. He died in 1952.
J. Allen St. John was born in Chicago in 1872 and studied in New York and Paris. His bloody handprint was a very effective agent of anti-German propaganda.
Filed under: P, World War II | Tagged: Charles Buckles Falls, Howard Chandler Christy, J. Allen St. John, James Montgomery Flagg, Joseph Christian Leyendecker, Lawrence MA, Lawrence Public Library Special Collections, Posters, Wolrd War I, World War II | Leave a Comment »
John P. Offer was born in 1920 to George and Offer of Lawrence (157 Haverhill Street). He attended Lawrence High School for two years then transferred to Tilton Academy where he graduated. He joined the US Navy in December 1941 during his second year at Northeastern University. He received his basic training at Newport, RI and transferred to hospital apprentice school in New York. Later he was sent to the Chelsea Naval Hospital where he was detailed to the Atlantic fleet transportation service. His ship and crew transferred to the Pacific theater and later to the Fourth Marines. Offer was a Pharmacist’s Mate, second class. He was killed July 29, 1944 in the South Pacific. He received the Bronze Star posthoumously.
The photograph to the left originally was displayed at the Old Building of the Lawrence Public Library.
The material in this collection centers around Raymond Louis Essick and documents his life and his family’s life from his first years of employment in the 1930s until his death in 1999. Much of the material focuses on his years in the military during World War II and his career with the US Postal Service.
The collection includes papers that cover his family life: buying his homes, legal papers referring to a number of relatives, rent books, baptismal records and passports of family members, rosters of the Merrimack Valley Massachusetts Mothers of twins, postcards from a variety of people, a picture of the original family home and other family photos. Almost everything else related to Mr. Essick: employment before the army, Diploma from The McIntosh School, a picture of a guitar/banjo group, Civil Service Exam, and artifacts like membership cards (American Legion, Knights of Columbus, social security, Library cards, and financial id). Everything else is divided into Essick’s service in the military and his years with the Postal Service. There is one letter about registering enemy aliens.
His army material includes and honorable discharge, material and artifacts about the 69th Division, enlistment record, application for officers candidate school, prayer books, physical examinations, dealing with the VA, artifacts (good conduct medal, dog tag, service bars, pin and badge from his division, and a St. Christopher’s medal), many photographs of Essick and his buddies, and a wonderful scrapbook that documents his days at Fort Devens, Mass.
The post office period of Essick’s life is represented by correspondence concerning Essick’s change of assignments, suggestions for improvement at the PO. There are flyers about social events, employee directories, printed material and one photograph from the Mass. Federation of Postal Clerks, retirement info, artifacts (tie clip, badge, and medal), two photographs of personnel employed in processing the Alien Registration Act of 1940, and stamp posters.
Raymond Louis Essick was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts July 4, 1915 the son of Edward and Louise (Jerzyk) Essick. Both parents were immigrants from Poland and Louise Essick was a founding member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lawrence. Edward changed his name from Jurzyk (or Jurszak) to Essick. Raymond was one of six children, the others being Frank, Mary Noble, Joseph, Amelia Leach, and Anna Johnson. He graduated from Lawrence High School with the class of 1933 and then the McIntosh Business School. Employment before the war included: the A & P, Acadia Mills, Pacific Mills, Arlington Mills, US Post Office (including a period when he was involved in the registration of aliens in 1940), Lawrence Lumber Company, and the US Dept. of Justice. He served as a staff sergeant during World War II with 69th Division Artillery Medical Detachment stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Medical Headquarter, New York City, and, later, was sent to Germany. He was honorably discharged October 26, 1945 back at Fort Devens. He worked for the United State Postal Service both in Lawrence and Methuen. He retired from the Postal Service in 1975. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Federal, State and Municipal Employees Association, and The Methuen American Legion. He was a treasurer for the Postal Workers’ Credit Union in Lawrence.
He married Joan Reardon. Twins, Raymond and Nancy, were born April 1, 1962 and Paula was born March 9, 1967. The family home was at 30-32 Chelmsford Street until it was damaged by fire at which point they moved to 1126 Essex Street, both homes in Lawrence. Essick died in 1999.
Filed under: E, World War II | Tagged: 1940, 69th Division Artillery, Alien Registration Act, Fort Devens, Lawrence MA, MA, Polish-Americans, Raymond Essick, US Postal Service, World War II | 5 Comments »
This flag was a gift to the Library from Ana Santos, Director of Adult Services at the Library. It was among possessions of the former owners of her home at 30 Canton Street. They had a son, Joseph A. Swift, a PFC in the infantry from 1942 to the end of the war. It was in a frame upon acceptance and was removed and slipped into a mylar sleeve. One can imagine that this framed flag was on display in front of 30 Canton Street during the war.
This flag measures 31 x 20 cm. It had originally been nailed into a frame. The tacks were removed and the flag is now in a mylar sleeve. The fabric appears to be silk with a white inner rectangle surrounded by a red border in four pieces. It is machine stitched together and hemmed with red thread. The five point blue star in the middle of the white rectangle is machine made and glued on. There are some holes, foxing, and fading.
Joseph Swift was born and educated in Lawrence, Massachusetts, February 28, 1916. He worked as a baker at Swift’s Bakery on South Broadway for his working life and served in the army during World War II as a baker. He died October 8, 1989.
A Service Flag in the United States is an official banner that family members of service members in harm’s way can display. The flag or banner is defined as a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member in active duty. A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member that died during service, without specifying cause of death. The deceased might have been killed in action, or died due to unrelated causes.
This collection consists of 17 black and white photographs. With one exception, (professional photo of Al) all the images are staged and candid snapshots.
Alphonse “Al” J. Napolitano was born October 4, 1923 to Frank and Lucy Napolitano in Lawrence, Mass. He graduated from Lawrence High School, class of 1941 and enlisted in the army in 1943. He married Susan Boragine November 9, 1942. He was employed at Grieco Brothers as a special order cutter for 30 years. He died May 28, 2004 in Seabrook, New Hampshire.
The library owns seventeen boxes of 5 x 10 inch index cards. Each card contains an entry for individual servicemen and women who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. As well as hand written name and address the card often contains newspaper clippings pasted on the card. Colored tabs on individual cards designate deceased (black), female, (yellow), or disabled, wounded or MIA (green). All the veterans contained in the boxes were Lawrence residents. Just recently ( Oct. 4, 2010) with the help of volunteers, Joyce Bodenrader and Bill Wolfendale, there is now an index of these cards. If you find a name of a relative contact the archivist (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of the card. There is also a photograph of the construction of the memorial on the Common dedicated to the veterans of the 2nd World War, Jean Kochman’s USO scrapbooks, photographs in the Essick family papers, Alphonse Napolitano photos, photographs and scrapbooks from George Garside, and a blue star flag.
World War II Veterans
The Lawrence World War II Honor Roll, shown here under construction, was dedicated to the servicemen of World War II. 9,400 men and women were placed up on all four sides of memorial July 4, 1944. It was made of wood and blew down in a hurricane in the 1950s. A more permanent memorial was built at the cost of $20,000 in 1947. The monument has a bonze figure of Columbia sheathing her sword. More than 300 Lawrence war dead were engraved on the monument.