Hauck family papers
Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Sometime shortly before 1938, Joseph B. Hauck of Philadelphia met Darthe Charlton of Maple Shade. Their courtship led to an engagement, and the two planned to marry in June 1941. However, in March 1941, Hauck was drafted into the army under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, and the wedding was postponed. Hauck was initially ordered to serve one year in the army. He started his military training in March 1941 at Ft. Meade in Maryland, but he was quickly transferred to Virginia’s Camp Lee. By June of that year, he was stationed in Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. The army prepared to release Hauck and other draftees in December 1941 in accordance with new legislation attached to the original draft bill, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II halted Hauck’s early release. Hauck’s term of service was extended through the conclusion of the war.
In September of 1942, Hauck was accepted into Air Forces Officer Candidate School in Miami Beach. Upon graduation he was sent to Kirtland Field (now Kirtland Air Force Base) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Darthe joined him in Albuquerque, and the couple was finally married on February 12th, 1943. Their son, Joseph B. Hauck Junior (AKA “Abe” and “Joe B.”), was born on December 23, 1943 while they continued to reside on base in Albuquerque. However, Hauck Sr. was ordered to Scott Field (now Scott Air Force Base) in Illinois to prepare for overseas deployment. Darthe and Joe Jr. chose not to accompany Joe Sr. at Scott Field, and they moved to Darthe’s parents’ home in Maple Shade, New Jersey.
Hauck’s overseas orders sent him first to England, then to France, and finally to Germany. While overseas he reached the rank of captain. According to his letters, he spent most of his time organizing basketball games and film screenings for soldiers. If he was involved in any battles, he did not discuss them in his letters. Hauck’s military service concluded at the end of 1945, and he returned to civilian life. He resumed working for Mutual Life of New York — the company that employed him before he was drafted into the army — and he and Darthe purchased a home at 117 Allens Lane in Philadelphia.
Joseph Hauck Jr. began attending Germantown Academy in 1958 and graduated in 1962. He was accepted to Georgetown University and enrolled in classes for the Fall 1962 term. He struggled with his classes during his time at Georgetown, but he excelled in his responsibilities as an ROTC cadet. He left Georgetown without graduating in 1966, and began fulfilling his obligations to the U.S. Army. He served stints at Annville, Pennsylvania; Ft. Benning, Georgia; and Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. In November 1967, he was sent to Vietnam and stationed near Biên Hòa Airbase. He notes in his letters that he enjoyed exclusive access to the air base which was otherwise off-limits to the soldiers stationed with him. His letters do not reveal the nature of the flights that he took out of Biên Hòa, but he indicates that he learned how to fly at Biên Hòa and that he flew frequently out of the airbase. His unit responded to the Tet Offensive in early 1968 and later the May Offensive that year. By August of 1968, Hauck Jr. was moved to Signal Hill where he was in command of a unit of men, but this position was short lived since Hauck Jr.’s deployment in Vietnam ended in October 1968.
Joseph Jr. died in 1976. His family suspected that his exposure to Agent Orange during his Vietnam deployment contributed to his death. Joseph Sr. died in 1982. Darthe Hauck passed away in 2006.
The collection spans from 1939 to 1974, but most of the material dates from 1941-1945 and 1962-1969. Three sets of correspondence make up the bulk of the collection. Series 1 contains the daily letter exchange between Joseph Hauck Sr. and Darthe (Charleton) Hauck during Joseph’s active service in the military. From March 1941 to late 1945, the couple regularly discussed their daily activities and frequently expressed their love and longing for one another. The letters also provide the couple’s reaction to the Pearl Harbor bombing, their impressions of World War II prior to the United States’ entry, and their efforts to marry despite the extended term of service Joseph received after the U.S. entered the war. Seemingly all of the letters Joseph wrote during this time period are in the collection, but only a limited number of Darthe’s letters survive. This correspondence will be of particular interest to researchers interested in the military careers of men drafted into the army as a result of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. Researchers interested in daily life on U.S. military bases in the U.S., England, France, and Germany during the World War II years will also benefit from the collection. Finally, researchers interested in women during the war years will find Darthe’s letters useful since they provide insight into the experiences of a young woman/wife/mother living in the greater Philadelphia region.
Series 2 contains the daily letter exchange between Joseph Hauck Jr. and Darthe (Charleton) Hauck that occurred while Joseph Jr. attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. from 1962 to 1966. Joseph Jr.’s letters provide insight into college campus life during the 1960s. In addition, the letters discuss major events of the time period such as Georgetown students’ participation in the Spring Riots of 1963 and the collapse of the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies. Darthe’s letters reveal her daily activities while living in Philadelphia, and they also provide insight into the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s (HSP) operations since Darthe was an employee at HSP at that time. Joseph Jr.’s letters seem to be complete, but only a small portion of Darthe’s letters are part of the collection. Researchers interested in life on college campuses during the early to middle 1960s may find this correspondence useful.
Series 3 contains the letters Joseph Hauck Jr. sent home while he was on active duty in Vietnam from November 1967 to October 1968. Joseph Jr.’s letters describe a number of major events that occurred during his deployment including the Tet Offensive and the May Offensive, and he provides some insight into his specific actions during these affairs. In addition to the military aspects of the war, the letters address social conditions within the United States Army. The letters discuss racial issues such as tensions between African-American and white soldiers, African-American protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and the leadership of Frederic Davison who commanded the 199th Infantry Brigade in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. Researchers interested in the daily life of Vietnam War soldiers will find ample material in this correspondence.
The collection is also rich with photographs. Most of the photographs in Series I depict Joseph Sr.’s friends and fellow soldiers that he met during his service time. The photographs in Series III include images of Joseph Jr.’s friends and acquaintances from his service in Vietnam. In addition, Joseph Jr. captured many landscape scenes depicting the effects that the war had on Vietnam. Among these images are scenes depicting the destruction that the Tet Offensive wreaked on the people and the environment.
Finally, the collection contains Joseph Sr.’s and Joseph Jr.’s military papers, personal papers, and other ephemera they collected during their respective times in the army. The collection does not contain Darthe’s personal or professional effects other than the letters found in the collection’s correspondence.
Series 1. World War II era
Subseries a. Correspondence, 1939-1945 (12 boxes)
Subseries b. Photographs, 1936-1945 (1 box)
Subseries c. Joseph B. Hauck Sr.’s military records and military paraphernalia, 1941-1956 (1 box)
Subseries d. Miscellaneous, 1930-circa 1940s, undated (1 box)
Series 2. Post-World War II era
Subseries a. Correspondence, 1954-1965, 1993, 1999 (2 boxes)
Subseries b. Family photographs, circa 1952-1974 (1 box)
Series 3. Vietnam era
Subseries a. Correspondence, circa 1960s-1974 (1 box)
Subseries b. Photographs, circa 1956-1969 (2 boxes)
Subseries c. Joseph B. Hauck Jr.’s personal and military records, 1950-1975 (1 box)
Gift of Lou Meehan, 2009.
Accession number 2009.026.
- Biên Hòa (Vietnam)
- Family life--New Jersey
- Family life--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Kirtland Air Force Base (N.M.)
- Maple Shade (N.J.)--Social life and customs--20th century
- Personal Correspondence
- Scott Air Force Base (Ill.)
- United States. Army
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives, American
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Photography
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
- World War, 1939-1945--Memorabilia
- World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
- World War, 1939-1945
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Michael DiCamillo, Cary Hutto, Randi Kamine
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2016.
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
Flat file 1 contains large group photos of military servicepeople, and Moorestown High School (Moorestown, New Jersey), Class of 1936