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Lord Family World War II Correspondence

Identifier: M/A 0348

Description of Contents

The Lord Family World War II Correspondence collection contains letters and cards sent between Staff Sergeant Harry Holmes Lord, Jr. of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and his family in Minneapolis. The letters cover the time span from when Staff Sergeant Lord entered boot camp in May 1943 to when he completed his service in January 1946.

The collection contains two series.

Letters Home from Harry Holmes Lord, Jr.: Letters Home consists of the almost-daily handwritten letters Harry sent to his parents. It also includes letters Harry sent to his siblings, his twin, Edith (Grace Edith MacMath, nee Lord) and his younger brother Charles William Lord. The letters contain a large amount of detail regarding the everyday life of a Marine, including what he ate, how he trained, camp life, current events, his duties, his role in the service and his experience of several deadly training accidents. He also describes his acceptance into the Marine Air Corps division in June 1944, his assignment to Marine Bombing Squadron 612, and his time on Okinawa, Japan.

Letters to Harry Holmes Lord, Jr.: Letters to Harry includes carbon copies of the typed letters Harry's mother sent to him in reply. These letters cover personal family events as well as mention of national events and the effects of war, such as rationing. The folder dated October 1945 contains many letters that were returned to the family unopened. They include the original typed letter along with the carbon copy and copies of the news clippings included. The Miscellaneous folder in this series contains a "code sheet" devised by Harry to hint at where his location was. It also includes a telegram and two photocopied pictures.

The collection is organized chronologically, beginning in May 1943.


  • Creation: 1943 - 1946



The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


Staff Sergeant Harry Holmes Lord, Jr. of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on February 17, 1924, to Harry Holmes Lord, Sr. (1896-1955) and Grace Edith Lord, nee McMullen (1899-1980). He was stationed at Naval Air Station North Island in California and then in the South Pacific during World War II. Before his posting, he trained at several bases in the United States, including the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Norman, Oklahoma, the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, formerly known as New River. He made the Marine Air Corps division in June 1944 and was assigned to a bomber unit.

His parents, Harry Sr. and Grace Lord, lived at 5112 Russell Ave. S, Minneapolis during the war. Harry Sr. worked in the home furnishings business. He was a sales manager for Robertson Factories, Inc., located in St. Paul. Harry Jr. went into the same business when he returned from active service. Mrs. Lord, "Gracie" to her friends and family, was active in social and civic groups in Minneapolis. She and her husband often socialized and entertained business associates at their home. According to her family, Gracie "excelled in the domestic arts" and was "the supreme homemaker."

The Lords had three children. Harry Jr., his twin sister (Grace) Edith (1924-2011), and a younger son named Charles William (1926-1989). Harry Jr. attended Central High School in Minneapolis. He was active in the school newspaper The Centralian, the theater program, the Current Affairs Club and several other clubs and committees. He registered for the draft in June of 1942.

Upon returning from the war, Harry Jr. married Bonnie Jean Turner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Turner. They were married on November 27, 1948, at St. Lawrence Church in Minneapolis.

Harry Holmes Lord Jr. passed away in October 1991 and is laid to rest in Greensboro, North Carolina.


2.52 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

This collection was donated by Patricia Jarden in September 2016 as accession 2017.11.

The collection was given in the memory of Staff Sergeant Harry Holmes Lord Jr., USMC and Mr. and Mrs. (Grace Edith McMullen) Harry Holmes Lord Sr., by their children and grandchildren.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Michele Hagen from February to April 2019.

Lord Family World War II Correspondence
Michele Hagen
March 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.