America honors military veterans every year on November 11. The day was first observed as “Armistice Day” in 1919 by President Wilson, and in 1954 the federal holiday became known as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars. Manuscript and photograph collections of American military veterans can be found in DeGolyer Library, and below are two examples.

Blackie Sherrod in Navy uniform

 

 

BLACKIE SHERROD (1919-2016) was a renowned Dallas sportswriter who served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater. Sherrod wrote for Our Navy under the name “Black Sherrod” from 1944-1947. The magazine’s editor wrote to him early in his writing career “you’ve got a hell of a lot of ability for an amateur and you certainly ought to spend the rest of your free and waking moments developing your talents. In brief—I think you can write.”

 

 

 

 

Our Navy, Mid-October 1944 issue

 

 

Our Navy letter to Blackie Sherrod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Grady Proctor (1924-2003) served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Here is a letter written by William to his wife Jean in Colma, California describing his duties on board the USS Hank. Proctor writes that his day as Boatswain’s mate third class is filled with refueling and repairing boats. The letter is dated May 2, 1951, when the USS Hank was 65 miles from shore at the 39th parallel.

Proctor letter page 1 Proctor letter page 2Proctor letter page 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ship newsletters and daily agendas are also included in Proctor’s collection. For more correspondence between William and Jean from 1944-1951, visit the DeGolyer Library.

Please contact degolyer@smu.edu for questions about archival collections in DeGolyer Library.

 

Sources:

Blackie Sherrod papers, MSS 0109

William Grady Proctor and Jean Castillo Proctor correspondence and other material, A2002.0035

AA-CUL(DeGolyer)