Guide to the Russell Craig Von Oesen Papers1923, 1944-1945MG 1596

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Access Points

Administrative Information

Container List

Birth Certificate, Letters, and Press Release

Guide to the Russell Craig Von Oesen Papers1923, 1944-1945MG 1596Inventory prepared by Shawn Ryan Rosa.

Guide to the Russell Craig Von Oesen Papers
1923, 1944-1945

MG 1596



The New Jersey Historical Society
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Contact: NJHS Library
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© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Shawn Ryan Rosa.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. October 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Russell Craig Von Oesen
Title: Papers of Russell Craig Von Oesen
Dates1923, 1944-1945
Abstract: Consists of the World War II correspondence between Russell Craig Von Oesen, members of the United States Navy, family and friends, a birth certificate and press release.
Quantity: 1.3 linear feet (13 folders)
Collection Number: MG 1596

Biographical Note

Russell Craig Von Oesen was born on June 27, 1923, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Von Oesen served as Pharmacist 3rd Mate in the United Stated Navy during World War II.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the World War II correspondence between Russell Craig Von Oesen, members of the United States Navy, family and friends. The bulk of the letters are written by Von Oesen to his wife, Cathie. These letters almost always concern Von Oesen's desire to be reunited with his new bride. Other individuals addressed by Von Oesen, include his parents and several military acquaintances. Two noteworthy letters deal with the Japanese surrender and the return of Von Oesen's unit to the United States. Also included in the collection is what appears to be a typed press release announcing that Von Oesen has been court-martialed for "going AWOL" and traveling to Florida to be with his new bride. The press release further announces that he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, and that both his wife and his mother were hospitalized due to a mental illness sustained from the trauma of his ordeal. There is no evidence in the collection, however, to support the authenticity of this press release. Not one of the one hundred fifty letters addressed to his wife after this date mention the court-martial, his punishment, or any mental distress that she may be suffering. Additionally, it is clear from these letters that Von Oesen was on active duty from June-December 1945, writing from a number of Naval ships and ports. It is likely that the press release was meant to tease Von Oesen about his homesickness and his overwhelming desire to be reunited with his wife, which he mentions in every letter home. Finally, the collection contains two letters sent to Von Oesen by Emory University in reference to his application to the University's School of Medicine.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Von Oesen, Russell Craig.
Von Oesen family.
Subject Organizations:
Emory University.
Subject Topics:
United States. Navy--Military life.
World War, 1939-1945.
Subject Places:
Newark (N.J.)
Document Types:
Birth Certificates.
Letters (Correspondence).
Subject Occupations
Soldiers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1596, Russell Craig Von Oesen Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the New Jersey Historical Society in June 2002.

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Container List

 

Birth Certificate, Letters, and Press Release

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Birth Certificate1923 June 27
12Incoming letters: several acquaintances writing Von Oesen, asking about his well being and reporting on their activities.1944 Jan. 20-1945 Aug. 17
13Incoming letters: Mollie explaining that she is not interested in marrying him.1944 Mar.-June
14Letter: United States Navy addressed to Lt. Commander W.P. Briggs, requesting that Von Oesen be retained in his current position as assistant to the officer in charge of Night Vision1944 Nov. 23
15Incoming letters: Cathie writing to her fiancée, describing events at her home in Florida. 1944 Nov.-Dec.
16Correspondence: Russell Craig Von Oesen and his parents-in-law. Von Oesen reporting to his new parents-in-law about his current location and well-being; his mother-in-law reporting back keeping him informed about what is happening at home, specifically news about his wife.1945 Feb.-Dec.
17Correspondence: Russell Craig Von Oesen and Arthur S. reporting on their activities and on the activities of their families.1945 Mar.-Oct.
18Incoming letters: mother reporting family news, especially about his siblings and father. 1945 Mar.-Sept
19Press Release: reporting the court-martial and conviction of Von Oesen for "going AWOL." Stating that Von Oesen will be discharged from the U.S. Navy, with an explanation of "Bad Conduct," upon completion of his prison sentence. Also stating that Von Oesen's wife and mother have both been hospitalized due to mental illnesses brought on by Von Oesen's court-martial. There is no evidence to support the authenticity of this document, and it is clear from his letters that Von Oesen remained on active duty in the months following the date of the press release.1945 Mar. 26

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