Swedes and Americans in World War II
Items from the Swenson Center’s Permanent collection
Exhibit on view October 1, 2019–February 15, 2020
Items from the Richard Holtman papers
MSS P:31 Richard Holtman papers, 1898-2018
Carl Holtman was born in 1918 in Döderhult, Kalmar, Sweden. He served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army during World War II, starting service on 5 June 1944 through 8 November 1945. He was injured after stepping on a mine outside the Swiss border and spent time at the Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He passed away in 1983.
Gladys Louise Anderson was born in 1917 in Andover, IL. Carl and Gladys were married on in 1939 and had their son Richard in 1942, who was just 2 years old when Carl went into the army. Gladys passed away in 2007 and is buried with Carl at the Rock Island National Cemetery. This archival collection contains World War II letters (1944-1945 and undated) from Carl to wife Gladys and son Richard while stationed in northern Italy. Some of the letters are written on American Red Cross letterhead, United States Army letterhead, and some are V-Mail. Some have been stamped by the Moline Post Office.
Somewhere in Italy
November 26, 1944
Dearest Mom + Dad
Well I hope you folks are alright. I am OK. We are now in Italy somewhere. It sure is hell over here. The poor boys that went thru here sure seen hell. You folks back in the states don’t know how good it is there. I wrote to Gladys today too. I suppose it worried you folks a lot because you never heard for a while. You can tell auntie + the rest that I am in Italy safe + sound. Well mom + dad if I come through this all rite I know that I’ll move down because I need some that is quiet. If you see any body find out what it would cost to have electricity put in. Have you heard if you still get the gravel road through or not? I suppose you got the crib done now. Have you finished the hog platform yet? I guess I better close now. You please write. It will be tough pretty soon the way it looks. Please pray mom for me.
God bless you folks. Tell every one hello.
Somewhere in Italy
December 19, 
Dearest Darling + Dickie Boy,
I hope this letter finds you alright. I am all right. I got two letters from you to-day also the pretty Christmas card you sent me darling. “tacka symka.” One on the letters were a Vmail. I also got a letter from Geo’s Anna. She thought I was in France. It sure cheers a fella up when he gets a letter. I haven’t got any of the boxes yet. Just so you send me snuff + I’ll get along. You can send some candy with it. Darling you don’t know how nerve wracking it is. I bought quite a few cartons of cigarettes on the boat. I got them for .50 a carton. But I am smoking 2 packages a day. So if I get the snuff and maybe I will cut down on cigs a little. Darling if you send me a roll of snuff once in a while send it airmail and it will get here quicker. Darling you don’t know how much I miss you. If + when I come home I will never let you out of my sight. I bet Dickie will be a big boy when I see him again. I think of you both all the time. I am going to send you a couple of trinkets that you can have as souvenirs. I am sending them as quick as I can or I mean the first chance I get.
How is our little white face heifer? I wrote to you to tell mom if she wanted to give her to Dean + Margaret she could because I was only joking when I said she was mine. I suppose they have moved down to Ophiem now. How are Verne + Evelyn? I hope the day comes when we can move down home. Like I said in another letter I won’t complain again when it is muddy on the farm. If you get what I mean. You eat, sleep + wash in it + you don’t complain. Angelo, I see him once in a while but Brady, I don’t know what became of him. Meyers hasn’t heard from his wife yet. I guess she must be fairly good. I guess I better close now. May God bless + keep you two dearest darlings in all the world. Give Dickie a big hug + kiss for me. Goodnite my sweetest little red head. Take good care of Shussie. With
Oceans of love + kisses to you from Daddy.
April 20, 
Dearest Darling + Dickie Boy,
I hope this finds my darlings O.K. I am as good as can be expected. I wrote to you that I was wounded, but if you get this first tell all the folks because I don’t feel like writing too much. I got hit in both legs + my foot but darling please don’t worry I will be all right. God knows it could of been worse. There were four of us that got hit at the same time. I got the letter where you wrote the amount in the bank. You are really doing swell honey. I also had a letter from Frances R. but I will ans. it as soon as possible. I received the Purple Heart all ready. I think I will send it home. Please tell the folks + your momie but please tell them not to worry. I will be O.K. Don’t worry either darling I’ll be O.K. Well darling I guess I better quit now. May God bless you + keep you both. Oceans of love + kisses.
Forever your Daddy
Items from the Sune Lundberg collection
MSS P:309 Sune Lundberg papers, 1944-1990
Sune Ingvar Lundberg was born in Stockholm in 1927. He came to the U.S. in 1947 after having worked for the US Army Air Transport Command in Sweden.
He worked for several furniture and design companies in both Sweden and the U.S. Lundberg's hobbies and special interests included WWII airplanes, especially the P-151 Mustangs, in Sweden referred to as "Gul Kalle."
The archival collection documents American internees in Sweden during WWII. Over 100 planes crashed or were forced to land in Sweden during the war. Also during the war, American pilots delivered P-51 Mustangs to Stockholm. In 1990, Lundberg arranged a reunion for these pilots. His research includes personal accounts and correspondence with American pilots in Sweden, newspaper clippings, and copies official documents.
The American--Swedish News exchange
The American-Swedish News Exchange was established by the Sweden-America Foundation in Stockholm in 1921 and opened its office in New York City in 1922. The agency’s main purpose was to increase and broaden the general knowledge about Sweden and to provide the American press with news on cultural, economic, and political developments in Sweden.
“News from Sweden,” New York, Swedish Information Service, Swedish Consulate General 1942-1946
Vertical File: Sweden and World War II
MSS P:31 Richard C. Holtman papers
MSS P:309 Sune Lundberg papers
MSS P:308 Allan Kastrup collection