Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gilbert Rapp letters

Abstract

The Gilbert Rapp letters (dated 1941-1942; 0.01 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprise four letters sent from Rapp to his girlfriend Dorothy that document his introduction into becoming a pilot in the Navy during World War II and their long-distance relationship.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gilbert Rapp letters
Creator
Rapp, Gilbert
Extent
0.01 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Love-letters
Man-woman relationships -- United States -- 20th century
Long-distance relationships.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American.
Air pilots.
Air pilots, Military
Military education
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0630: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gilbert Rapp letters, 1941-1942, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Gilbert A. Rapp (1917-1945) was born in Morton, Illinois to Samuel Rapp (1888-1976) and Martha Frintz (1891-1976). In 1940, he graduated from Bradley College in Peoria, Illinois and in September of the same year he enlisted in the Naval Reserve. In March 1941, he received a Midshipman appointment and in June he was promoted to Ensign. By 1942, Rapp had earned his wings, becoming a Naval Aviator. In 1943, he was deployed to England and became a bomber pilot in a B-24 Bombing Squadron. On March 31, 1944, Rapp was lost in action while piloting a B-24 over the Bay of Biscay in France while on a submarine patrol. He was officially declared dead on April 1, 1945 by the War Department. Over the course of his brief military career, Rapp attained the rank of Lieutenant (Junior Grade), and was awarded a Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, and WWII Victory Medal. Rapp is included among the names listed on the Tablets of the Missing in the Cambridge American Cemetery in England.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The Gilbert Rapp letters (dated 1941-1942; 0.01 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprise four letters sent from Rapp to his girlfriend Dorothy that document his introduction into becoming a pilot in the Navy during World War II and their long-distance relationship. In the letters, Rapp writes about being tested on his ability to check a plane to be safe for flight, learning how to fly and land various planes, being involved in small crashes, his desire to be able to see his girlfriend, and his subsequent sadness over their breakup in 1942.
The Gilbert Rapp letters collection is part of the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Gilbert Rapp to Dorothy Reed, 1941-1942

  • Box WH-62, folder 26
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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.