#3 Introduction to the letters

Just two months after receiving news that her husband had been killed in battle, Marcelle Prudell Swanson attended Radcliffe College at the Navy Supply Corps Training School studying to be a supply officer — in Disbursing — from May 1945 to September 1945. As part of the war effort, from January 1943, women were trained as Navy Supply Corps officers at Harvard University and Radcliffe College.

The Navy War Adjustment course at Harvard Business School started in Feburary 1944 and went to September 1945 in 4 month courses taught by Harvard Biz School Faculty; 50 officers were enrolled at a time for 4 month terms. The US Govt essentially took over the campus for the war effort during this time. This is probably what Daddy was doing there when he met her – although he said he was on Temporary Duty at Brooklyn Naval Shipyard and stayed at Hamilton Hall at Harvard the day he met Marcelle.

All Marcelle’s letters to Harry between May 1945 and August 1945 were sent to an address at McCulloch hall at Harvard, (with the exception of one sent to 519 Wilton Road where he probably went for some sort of personal holiday, off duty). Lt. H.J. Hicks, SC, USN NSCS Harvard McColloch- D-21 Soldiers Field, Boston 63, Mass

Here she is, holding Harry Jr.s hat outside McColloch Hall.

In September of 1945, Marcelle moved to the Navy Tech Training Center at 87th and Anthony Avenue in Chicago, where she worked. Her file number was 17433 and her name of course, was Marcelle P. Swanson. On January 1, 1946, she is recorded as having the rank of Ensign, which she held since Nov. 28, 1944. The initials SC(W) appear in the column next to her name under “NA Class or NR classif” I think the W stands for WAVE .. “Collateral duties” were listed as Asst. OFF. S.S. Aud. Brd; WO

On the 6th of November 1945 still at the 87th and Anthony Ave offices, she applied to resign under provisions of paragraphs 6 and ll of reference (a) ??? (I don’t have these documents). She says here that she entered active duty in the Navy as an officer candidate on 26th of September 1944 (this is while Carl Robert was still alive; he died January of 1945) and served as an officer candidate for a period of two months and served as an officer for a period of eleven months.

In her own words: “This resignation is submitted because of the urgent dependency upon me of my mother, Mrs. Joseph A. Prudell, who presently resides at Wood, Wisconsin. In March of 1944, my mother, who is 60 years of age, suffered a stroke, which resulted in paralysis of her right side. Within 3 or 4 months after she suffered this stroke, she had apparently recovered substantially, and because of her apparent recover, I applied for a commission in the Naval Reserve, and was called to active duty in September of 1944. Approx 2 weeks ago, my mother suffered a relapse, and at present time is suffering from a hemiplegia involving her right arms and leg, and according to our family physician is at the present time in such physical condition that she cannot take care of herself, as appears form enclosure (2). “(I don’t have this either!) “In view of the fact that my father works, my mother is left alone during the entire day and because there is no on there to help her, she has been endeavoring to take care of herself. I have been informed by our doctor that unless my mother has someone to take care of her, her illness will become more serious, and possibly fatal. There is no one in our family who can render any assistance in this situation, and it has been impossible to employ competent help. I am certain that if I am released from the service that I can adequately care for my mother for the reason that I took care of her during her previous illness in 1944. We have been informed by the doctor that my mother’s illness is of a permanent nature as appears from encl. (2) .” HERE ARE SOME NUMBERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE DOCUMENT: END — 1 20134/P19/00(RLF:16) SERIAL 4144 The letter is addressed to SecNav Via: (1) CNaTEchTra. (2) Chief of Naval Personnel. 1. Forwarded, recommending approval. A contact relief will be requird R.L Fuller Not sure if this was the only reason Marcelle was requesting resignation approval, as she and Harry Jr. were planning to marry in January, and they discussed their lives together – Marcelle wanted to marry Harry Jr. and be a stay-at-home wife. More on this later.

Check out NEXT OF KIN, the story of Marcelle and the death of her husband, Carl Robert Swanson in January, 1945 – and how years later, I finally visited his grave in France, and came home with a photo of his final resting place.

www.smashwords.com/books/view/48968 After you read the story, read POST SCRIPT to Next of Kin here, under the Non Fiction drop down menu, with details from letters and official records of the marriage of Carl Robert Swanson and Marcelle Alice Prudell.

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