The PFC Thomas R. Jones, Sr. Correspondence is comprised of 152 letters written primarily from PFC Jones to his wife, Mary Mildred Jones from 1943 to 1945. A handful of letters were written by other individuals including two letters written from Mary Mildred to PFC Jones. Also included are 8 photographs of unidentified soldiers. The photos are in ill repair. Of particular note is a propaganda leaflet dropped by the Germans on the American troops that was meant to lower morale within the ranks (by detailing the affairs that soldiers' wives or girlfriends were having while they were overseas).
The letters focus upon the daily activities and emotions of PFC Jones as he progresses through basic training. The stateside letters often express his desire to come home and his hopes that the war would end soon. He continues to write almost daily after he is sent overseas and into battle. As most material was censored at that time, he primarily writes about the weather and food and inquires about his family. Nearly every letter expresses a desire for the war to end soon. He was wounded by shrapnel and hospitalized towards the end of the war (April 1945). After Germany surrenders, PFC Jones often speculates about the point system and whether he will ever get to come home or if he will be sent to the Pacific front. He finally arrives home in December of 1945.
Little is known about PFC Jones or his wife, Mary Mildred Jones as their obituary records have not been located. PFC Thomas R. Jones, Sr. began his military service in December of 1943. He began basic training at Fort McPherson, Georgia before moving on to training camps at Fort McClellan, Alabama, Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and Fort Meade, Maryland. He shipped out to Europe on the Argentine in July of 1944 to serve with the 3rd Armored Spearhead Division. He was wounded in battle shortly before the end of the war and received a Purple Heart. He returned to the States in December of 1945. His wife, Mary Mildred Jones, lived in Cleveland, Tennessee with their young son, T. Roy Jones.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga purchased the Thomas R. Jones correspondence and photographs collection from Charles Apfelbaum Books on 2000 March 30.