Rowe-Myers Family Added papers, 1919-1976 (bulk 1940-1946)

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Rowe-Myers Family

Title:  Added papers, 1919-1976 (bulk 1940-1946)

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Collections.

Size of Collection:  1 cu. ft. and 1 ovsz. folder

Location Number:  Mss./ A/R978b

Scope and Content Note

Papers of several members of the Rowe-Myers family of Louisville, Kentucky, especially documenting the family’s involvement in World War II. The three oldest sons in the family – Albert “Owen”, Herbert, and Charles Rowe – all served in the military during the war. In addition, the collection also includes correspondence of the youngest son, Robert H. Rowe, who joined the Marines after the war, and a daughter, Grace Wanda Rowe Myers. The collection documents the military service of young men, as well as domestic life in Louisville in the World War II era. The collection has been organized by the child, although some of their parents’ correspondence is also present within the collection.

Folders 1-13 contain Albert “Owen” Rowe’s papers, including correspondence, military papers, estate papers, and samples of his writing. Owen’s letters to and from his parents, 1939-1944, provide details about his military service in the Field Artillery, and later the Air Corps during World War II. Owen was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii during the bombing of Pearl Harbor (although he did not write about the attack). His correspondence touches on his desire to become a journalist upon completion of his service; his papers include several articles and samples of his writing, as well as correspondence with publishers. Owen was killed in action over Germany on July 7, 1944 after his plane was hit by antiaircraft fire. The collection contains official correspondence his mother received from the military, as well as from friends, regarding his MIA status and death.

Folders 14-20 contain Herbert Oren “Skeeks” Rowe’s papers, including correspondence and a war ration book. Herbert’s letters to and from his parents, 1937-1960, provide details about his World War II service and subsequent military career. Herbert initially attempted to become a pilot, but washed out of aeronautics school because he got airsick. He subsequently served in the 191st Tank Battalion, which was stationed in North Africa and Italy during 1943-1944. He was seriously wounded by machine gunfire in Italy on May 23rd, 1944. He recuperated for several months in military hospitals and then returned to military service. Following the end of the war, he was stationed in Saipan with the American Graves Registration Service, a group responsible for burial of Pacific War dead.

Folders 21-32 contain Charles Everett Rowe’s papers, including correspondence, military papers, drawings, and estate papers. Charles served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II from 1942-1944. His papers document his military training at Parris Island, South Carolina and subsequent service aboard the USS Alabama. Charles suffered a mental breakdown in 1944; his papers contain details about his illness, symptoms, and treatment at military hospitals. Charles remained in an institutionalized setting for the rest of his life.

Folders 33-35 contain Robert H. Rowe’s correspondence to his mother. Robert joined the U.S. Marine Corps and trained at Parris Island, South Carolina from September-November 1946. His letters provide details about the training regimen and daily routine for recruits going through boot camp.

Folders 36-41 contain the papers of Grace Wanda “Pat” Rowe Myers and her husband Jesse “Red” Myers. Correspondence includes letters written by Pat to her older brother Albert Owen; she also corresponded with her family while living in Long Beach, California during 1944-1945 where her husband was stationed during the war. A few items documenting Jesse Myers’ military service are also present.

Folder 42 contains letters written by Harold S. Sauter to Bessie Rowe while he was in the Navy during World War II. Sauter was a school friend of Charles Everett Rowe. His letters to his friend’s mother are flirtatious in nature.

Folder 43 contains Japanese currency notes.

Folder 44 is oversize and contains Albert Owen Rowe’s ROTC certificate, 1938.

Related Collections:
Albert Owen Rowe papers (Mss. A R878)
Rowe-Myers family papers (Mss. A R878a)
Rowe-Myers family photograph collection (009PC10)

Biographical Note

Hetsley Rowe and Bessie Katharine Acton Rowe had seven children: Eloise R., Grace Wanda, Albert “Owen”, Herbert “Skeeks” Oren, Charles Everett, Wilda, and Robert. The Rowes encouraged their sons to pursue military careers. Owen, Herbert, and Charles served in the military during World War II. Sgt. Owen served as a gunner on a B-17. Lt. Herbert commanded a tank in Italy. Pvt. Charles joined the Marines and served with a gun crew on the USS Alabama. Owen was killed when his plane was shot down over Germany on July 7, 1944. Herbert was seriously wounded on May 23, 1944 when his tank was hit by enemy fire. Charles saw action on the Alabama and suffered a nervous breakdown; he struggled with mental illness for the remainder of his life. The youngest son, Robert, also pursued military training, joining the Marines in 1946.

Daughter Grace Wanda “Pat” Rowe married Jesse “Red” Burge Myers of Louisville, Kentucky on June 22, 1942. Jesse enlisted into the Army Air Force during World War II. At the time of her marriage, Wanda worked as a secretary for the Girdler Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1944, she left Louisville to join Jesse at his base on Long Beach, California, where she worked briefly for the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. She returned to Louisville six months later when Jesse was shipped to Guam. Jesse was relieved from duty in 1946 and returned to Louisville, where he had worked at LG&E prior to the war.

Harold S. Sauter was a neighbor to the Rowes when they lived on East Breckinridge Street in Louisville and attended school with Charles Rowe. Harold also joined the military during World War II and served on a gun crew with the US Navy.

Folder List

Box 1
Folder 1: Albert Owen Rowe correspondence, 1939-1940
Folder 2: Albert Owen Rowe correspondence, 1941
Folder 3: Albert Owen Rowe correspondence, 1942
Folder 4: Albert Owen Rowe correspondence, 1943
Folder 5: Albert Owen Rowe correspondence, January-June 1944
Folder 6: Correspondence re: Albert Owen Rowe’s MIA status and death, July- December 1944
Folder 7: Correspondence re: Albert Owen Rowe’s MIA status and death, 1945-1946, 1949
Folder 8: Albert Owen Rowe birth certificate, 1919
Folder 9: Albert Owen Rowe military papers, 1941-1944
Folder 10: Albert Owen Rowe estate papers, commemoration & posthumous awards, 1946-1951
Folder 11: Albert Owen Rowe writing and correspondence with publishers, 1938-1944
Folder 12: “Servicemen’s World War Map”, c. 1940s
Folder 13: Newspaper clippings re: Albert Owen Rowe’s military service, 1939-1945
Folder 14: Herbert O. Rowe correspondence, 1937-1942
Folder 15: Herbert O. Rowe correspondence, 1943
Folder 16: Herbert O. Rowe correspondence, 1944
Folder 17: Herbert O. Rowe correspondence, 1945-1960
Folder 18: Herbert O. Rowe correspondence, undated
Folder 19: Newspaper clippings re: Herbert O. Rowe’s military service, 1940
Folder 20: War ration book belonging to Herbert O. Rowe, 1943
Folder 21: Charles Everett Rowe correspondence, 1942
Folder 22: Charles Everett Rowe correspondence, 1943
Folder 23: Charles Everett Rowe correspondence, 1944
Folder 24: Charles Everett Rowe correspondence, 1945
Folder 25: Charles Everett Rowe correspondence, 1946
Folder 26: Charles Everett Rowe correspondence, 1947-1970, undated
Folder 27: Charles Everett Rowe school documents, 1935-1940
Folder 28: Charles Everett Rowe military papers, 1942-1945
Folder 29: Newspaper clippings re: Charles Everett Rowe’s military service, 1943-1945
Folder 30: Charles Everett Rowe drawings, c. 1940s
Folder 31: Charles Everett Rowe account book, 1945
Folder 32: Charles Everett Rowe death records and estate papers, 1976
Folder 33: Robert H. Rowe correspondence, September 1946
Folder 34: Robert H. Rowe correspondence, October 1946
Folder 35: Robert H. Rowe correspondence, November 1946
Folder 36: Grace Wanda “Pat” Rowe Myers correspondence, 1940-1942
Folder 37: Grace Wanda “Pat” Rowe Myers correspondence, 1943-1944
Folder 38: Grace Wanda “Pat” Rowe Myers correspondence, 1945, 1947
Folder 39: Jesse B. Myers military papers, 1944-1946
Folder 40: Pamphlet re: facilities and services, 6th Ferrying Group, Air Transport Command, Long Beach CA, c. 1940s
Folder 41: “Roger” newspaper, 6th Ferrying Group, Long Beach, CA, September 9, 1944
Folder 42: Harold S. Sauter correspondence to Bessie Rowe, 1943-1944
Folder 43: Japanese currency, c. 1940s

Folder 44: Albert Owen Rowe ROTC certificate, 1938

Subject Headings

African Americans – Music.
Alabama (Battleship : BB-60)
Asylums – Indiana.
Boardinghouses – Kentucky – Louisville.
Clothing and dress.
Fort Knox (Ky.)
Kentucky Derby.
Labor disputes.
Louisville (Ky.) – Economic conditions.
Louisville (Ky.) – Social life and customs.
Long Beach (Calif.)
Mental health.
Motion pictures.
Myers, Jesse, 1908-1981.
Myers, Grace Wanda Rowe, 1917-2006.
Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941.
Psychiatric hospitals.
Rowe, Albert Owen, 1919-1944.
Rowe, Bessie Katherine Acton, 1893-1997.
Rowe, Charles Everett, 1925-1976.
Rowe, Herbert Oren, 1922-1999.
Rowe, Hetsley, 1887-1944.
Rowe, Robert Hetsley, 1929-
Sauter, Harold S.
Teenagers – Employment.
United States. Army Air Forces. Air Transport Command. Ferrying Group, 6th.
United States. Army Air Forces. Bomb Squadron, 524th.
United States. Army. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
United States. Army. Tank Battalion, 191st.
United States. Army. Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.
United States. Marine Corps – Training.
Veterans Administration Hospital (Marion, Ind.)
War – Pictorial works.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 – Casualties.
World War, 1939-1945 – Economic aspects.
World War, 1939-1945 – Equipment and supplies.
World War, 1939-1945 – Maps.
World War, 1939-1945 – Missing in action.
World War, 1939-1945 – Recruiting, enlistment, etc.


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