Thomas Becker Malone, Jr., World War II correspondence
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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
Thomas Becker Malone, Jr. (1919-1980) was an American serviceman in the U.S. Army, Office of the Post Quartermaster, Headquarters Command in the European theater of World War II. Malone was born on January 2, 1919, in Wilmington, Delaware, the youngest of the four children of Thomas Becker Malone and Eleanor C. Wycherly Malone. His father, Thomas Becker Malone, Sr., was a linotype operator for theEvening Journal and the Journal-Every Evening Wilmington newspapers.
Thomas Becker Malone, Jr. attended Salesianum Catholic School in Wilmington in the 1930s. In 1937, he was a freshman at the University of Delaware and was enrolled in engineering courses. Malone graduated from the university in 1941 with a degree in English literature.
In December of 1941, Malone was directed by the Selective Service Agency to report to the state armory at 10th and Dupont Streets in Wilmington for physical examination. He was briefly stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey in February of 1942, and by March was a private in the Sixth Regiment, 36th Battalion, 2nd Platoon, at Camp Croft in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he completed basic training. He was deployed to London, England, in the summer of 1942.
By 1943, Malone was stationed in London as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army, Office of the Post Quartermaster, Headquarters Command, Supply and Operations Division, Subsistence Section, Services of Supply, where he coordinated food supply chains for American soldiers in the European Theater. In March of 1943, Malone was granted authorization to attend Oxford University, where he took classes on English history and literature. In January of 1944, while in London, Malone suffered health issues related to appendicitis and had his appendix removed. He recovered by April of 1944 and resumed his position in the Office of the Post Quartermaster.
Malone was deployed to France in the late summer of 1944 as the Battle of Normandy was nearing its end. In September 1944, Malone was stationed in Paris, France, where he continued to coordinate food supply chains and was promoted to corporal. After Germany's surrender in May of 1945, Malone remained in Paris with the Office of the Post Quartermaster where he served in a variety of positions while awaiting orders to be sent home. He obtained a brief furlough to England in June of 1945 but remained stationed in Paris through October of 1945. It is unclear when Malone returned to the United States, but he was a civilian living in Wilmington, Delaware, by August of 1946.
Malone died in 1980.
Thomas Becker Malone, Jr (1919-1980) buried in Cathedral Cemetery located in Wilmington, DE | People Legacy. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://peoplelegacy.com/thomas_becker_malone__jr-7A5w6R Thomas Malone from Ward 12 Wilmington in 1940 Census District 4-123. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://www.archives.com/1940-census/thomas-malone-de-263035 Thomas B Malone Junior in the 1940 Census | Ancestry®. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/Delaware/Thomas-B-Malone_5t0w Thomas Becker Malone Jr. (1919-1980) - Find A Grave Memorial. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112855847/thomas-becker-malone Clipping from The Morning News - Newspapers.com. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://delawareonline.newspapers.com/clip/27865833/the-morning-news/ The News Journal from Wilmington, Delaware on November 12, 1942. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/161850346/ Obit 11-12-1942 - Newspapers.com. Accessed August 4, 2021. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/32557065/obit-11-12-1942/ Additional biographical information derived from collection.
This collection comprises handwritten and typed letters and V-mail exchanged by Thomas Becker Malone, Jr. and his family and friends in Delaware from 1942 to 1946. During this time, Malone trained at Camp Croft in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and served as a private and later corporal in the U.S. Army, Office of the Post Quartermaster, Headquarters Command in London, England, and Paris, France. The collection also contains Selective Service letters sent to Malone before he began his service in 1942 as well as two undated photographs of Malone.
Series I., Letters from Thomas Becker Malone, Jr., comprises handwritten and typed letters and V-mail from Malone to his family and friends, arranged chronologically. During the term of his enlistment, Malone wrote frequently to his mother, Eleanor C. Wycherly Malone, and his sisters, Eleanor "El" May Malone Springfield and Dorothy "Dot" V. Malone. Less frequent correspondents in the collection include Malone's father, Thomas Becker Malone, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Lieutenant James J. Springfield, among others.
As a devout Catholic, Malone frequently included in his letters descriptions of Catholic Masses he attended, both at Camp Croft and abroad in London and Paris. Malone also wrote frequently about classical music, theatre, film, and literature. Predominantly in his letters to his sisters, he often described the novels he was reading as well as the recent films and theatrical performances he had attended.
Malone's letters in this series begin in 1942 while he underwent basic training. The letters include descriptions of his fellow cadets, life in the barracks, and his day-to-day training exercises. Malone was deployed to London, England, in the summer of 1942. A few letters after November of 1942 describe his learning the news of his father's passing at home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Malone's letters from 1943 predominantly contain accounts of his social activities in London while on break or leave from his official duties, including descriptions of his friends and fellow servicemen as well as films and theatrical performances he had attended. In letters from March of 1943, Malone described his experiences of being granted authorization for, and later attending, classes in English history and literature at Oxford University. In January of 1944, Malone began to suffer health issues related to appendicitis and his letters through April of that year were written from a London hospital while he was in recovery.
In September 1944, Malone was stationed in Paris, France. Malone's letters from Paris largely describe his social activities in the newly-liberated city as well as his being awarded the rank of corporal. In April of 1945, Malone described being accidentally swept up in parades and celebrations related to French regiments receiving their colors from General Charles de Gaulle.
After Germany's surrender in May of 1945, Malone remained in Paris with the Office of the Post Quartermaster. Letters from this time contain Malone's musings about what type of work he would find once he was home, and also contain warnings to his sisters and mother to not become impatient, since he had no information about the timeline of his return. Letters in this series end in October 1945, and it is unclear when Malone returned to the United States.
Series II., Letters to Thomas Becker Malone, Jr., comprises Selective Services letters sent to Malone before he began his service in 1942 as well as V-mail sent to Malone by his mother and two sisters while he was abroad in London and Paris between 1943 and 1945. Letters in the series are arranged chronologically. The familial letters to Malone are predominantly written by his sisters Eleanor "El" May Malone Springfield and Dorothy "Dot" V. Malone, and contain descriptions of life on the homefront in Wilmington as well as the activities of friends and relatives, especially those enlisted in the service. Dorothy V. Malone's letters also contain brief descriptions of her work as a nurse's aide at Wilmington General Hospital. The series also contains one 1946 letter to Malone from his friend and fellow serviceman, Milt Birnbaum.
Series III., Other letters, comprises four letters sent between 1943 and 1946 by Malone family acquaintances and unknown individuals to Dorothy V. Malone, Eleanor "Nellie" C. Wycherly Malone, and Mrs. G. E. Brown of Brooklyn, New York, and Dr. H. E. Davis of Williamsburg, Virginia. The relationship between Brown, Davis, and the Malone family is not indicated in the letters, and the reason these letters were collected by the Malone family is unclear.
Series IV., Photographs, contains one undated black-and-white photograph of Thomas Becker Malone, Jr. receiving an unidentified award and one undated color photograph of Malone sitting at a desk, accompanied by a wartime clipping describing his armed service activities.
Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons (6 inches)
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Purchase, September 2019.
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- United States. Army. Quartermaster Corps
- Fort Dix (N.J.)
- Camp Croft (S.C. : Military camp)
- University of Delaware--Alumni and alumnae
- United States. Army. European Theater of Operations
- Soldiers--United States--Correspondence
- Soldiers--Family relationships--United States
- World War, 1939-1945
- World War, 1939-1945--United States
- World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Europe
- World War, 1939-1945--Women--United States
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2021 August 4
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec
One letter of note from Dorothy V. Malone, dated July 18, 1943, contains descriptions of the activities of Truxton Boyce (1919-2007), a University of Delaware alumnus and acquaintance of the Malones, then enlisted in the Army Air Force. Boyce later became a family genealogist and avocational historian in Delaware. See "Related Materials in this Repository" for more information regarding Boyce in University of Delaware Library, Special Collections.