December 7, 2013

Papers of Carl Donald STANCIL

March 5, 1951
North of Wonju, South Korea
One of my (many) projects that have been on the list a long time involves letters written by my father during the 1940s and 1950s. Daddy was a prolific letter writer. Eudora Welty had nothing on daddy. 

I inherited a large series of letters my father wrote to his mother, siblings, and my mother in about a 15 year span. This collection is very important to me and one of my most treasured possessions. I donated the originals to the NC Archives because they are better equipped to preserve the letters and can make the material available to all researchers. 

It pleased me greatly this week to receive an email from an archivist at the NC Archives with the catalog description they are using for daddy's letters. The letters are part of the their Military Collection, Miscellaneous Papers. The description reads:
Carl D. Stancil Papers. Papers reflecting the service of M.Sgt. Carl Donald Stancil of Raleigh (Wake County) in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1947-1973, including personal correspondence with his parents and siblings while stationed at Parris Island, S.C., Camp Pendleton, California, Guam, Camp Lejeune, and Korea, 1947-1951; official correspondence and certificates, 1948-1987, including certificate of  retirement, 1973, and certificate of appreciation, 1987; photographs (includes portrait of his brother, Pvt. Jesse Roland Stancil, who was killed in action in France, October 21, 1944, and photograph of Platoon 75, 2nd Recruit Battalion, Parris Island, 1947); bulletin, Christmas service aboard the U.S.S. George Clymer, 1947; program, Christmas dinner, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 1948; issue of Guam News, March 16, 1948; and issue of The Cavalier (newsletter), April 9, 1951. Also includes postcard and letter to Carl Stancil from his brother, Seaman 2/c Eric R. Stancil, U.S. Navy, 1944, 1945.
I can't tell you how much it delights me to know that the story these letters tell is protected and available for many generations to come. The military archivist tells me this finding aid should be available on their web site within the next few months. I hope they will also digitize the papers so they too are available online. 

I envision daddy's great, great grandchildren reading these letters with awe and pride. My intention is to digitize and transcribe all these letters. I have a (very) loose outline for a book in my head around these letters and my father's service records. I'd find that fascinating...even if no one else did!  

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