*This is a multi-part series discussing a stack of WWII letters from my wife’s ancestors. She went home in Spring 2015 and went through some old closets (knowing I’m a genealogy nerd) and brought back a treasure trove of things. Lots of great photos, some I’d never seen before!
Each “stack” was in it’s own separate zip-lock bag and one of these bags contained what we originally thought were “Papa’s” letters from World War II. However, when I got around to organizing them, I discovered that there are letters from at least 4 ancestors!
Newspaper highlighting 50 years of happy marriage between Marguerite Helen Leach and William Robert Loose in Terre Haute IndianaMost letters were addressed to “Mrs. William Loose” while some were varied, “Mr. & Mrs. William Loose” or “Mrs. Bill Loose” – basically all sent to one woman.
Marguerite Helen Leach Loose was born May 1st, 1907 in Indiana. Her parents were William Ijams Leach and Louise Katherine Zimmerman. You can see an entire family group sheet here.
Marguerite or “Marg” (which at times I thought was “Mary”) must have been somewhat of a family historian herself. She collected all of these letters and my wife said she was the one who put together the family history scrapbook. I feel honored to carry on her legacy.
Newspaper with Leach Brothers in WWIIShe had 3 brothers in World War II and they all wrote to their sister – sometimes even asking about one another. Her brothers, William, Richard and Charles – a.k.a. Bud, Dick and Charlie – were highlighted in the newspaper.
In addition to these 3 brothers, Marguerite’s son wrote to her. William Harry Loose is son of Marguerite and William Robert. He is the direct ancestor of my wife and is still alive today.
In addition to her brothers and son, Marguerite also got letters from friends in the war. Mainly a man named George K. Gates. A brief FamilySearch.org search confirms George was close to the family in Indiana. It is likely that Marguerite and George’s wife Alice were in contact.
Lastly there’s a mystery name – Bruce or Pvt R.B. Thrasher. There’s only one postcard from him in 1943 but I have no information on how he might be connected.
As this series continues, letters from the Leach brothers will dwindle. William Harry Loose has the abundance of letters and we’ll largely focus on his experiences.
So far it doesn’t seem we’ll get glorious stories of war. All of these letters appear to be from the U.S. and they were stationed throughout the country.
Do you know these characters? What experiences do you have exploring WWII veterans during their time in service?