Erdix W. Capen began his service in the army in 1942 as a carpenter, then as as an assistant to a Chaplain as a clerk-typist. He served overseas in North Africa and Marseille, France. This lot contains Capen’s correspondence with his step mother Amy, a box with buttons from Marseille, patches, and Capen’s dog tags. Housed in manilla envelopes are a record of his birth, a record of service, a newspaper from Marseille (October 2, 1945), carbon copies of receipts, a list of necessary clothing, and a letter from U.S. Army Headquarters (October 4, 1945) expressing appreciation for the fortitude shown by the men, one of whom was Capen, who boarded the John Hopkins, which was believed to be a sinking ship. Also found amidst this memorabilia are eye glasses, two leather belts, a cap, bag, linen sac, and a plaque presented by the Town of Monson in gratitude of Erdix’s honorable service. There is also one photograph that is tightly rolled and housed in a cardboard cylinder, of the roster of men at Fort Devens in 1953.
There is also a box of approximately 110 letters all addressed to Amy Capen, of Monson, MA, who was his Step-Mother. The letters seem to be mostly from 1944 and 1945, and most seem to be when he was based in Marseilles, France, and worked in a Church. The majority are in envelopes, though there are a few without. Some are typed, some are handwritten and there are a few V-Mails. He talks of going to the opera and concerts in many of the letters, including Carmen, Pagliacci, The Juggler of Notre Dame, Boris Godunov, etc. He tells of meeting one of the Von Trapp family, visiting Paris, sleeping in an abandoned museum, the unrelenting cold and he seems to send money home quite a bit. All of the letters have inspection stamps on them, and he notes that he can’t tell her much in the letters, but he has seen quite a bit.
A fascinating collection.