Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William F. Henning letters

Abstract

The William F. Henning letters (dated 1943-1945; 0.08 cubic feet; 2 folders) comprises letters from William Henning to his parents that document his experiences serving in the Navy as a dentist during World War II.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William F. Henning letters
Date
1943-1945 (inclusive)
Creator
Henning, William F., 1916-1977
Extent
0.08 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Correspondence.
Military correspondence.
Military life.
Families.
Ocean travel
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japan
World War, 1939-1945 -- Australia
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American.
Dentists
Health
Friendship.
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
2009ms132.0609: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William F. Henning letters, 1943-1945, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William F. Henning (1916-1977) was born in Indiana to Ivan Henning (1880-1960) and Kittie Fay (1886-1977). William was a trained dentist, practicing in Auburn, Indiana, and served in the US Navy during World War II as a dentist for the sailors on board the ship he was assigned to. Henning married Doris Coyle (1917-1995) and together they had two daughters and one son. Henning passed away due to a heart attack that occurred unexpectedly while driving.
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 William F. Henning letters (dated 1943-1945; 0.08 cubic feet; 2 folders) comprises letters from William Henning to his parents that document his experiences serving in the Navy as a dentist during World War II. The letters span from Henning's entry into service through him receiving his orders to go home almost two years later. In the letters he discusses his health, what the weather is like where he is located, opportunities he had to go hunting on the islands his ship landed on, local flora and fauna, opinions on the natives of the islands they are on and the Japanese, and dental procedures he performed. He also discusses the ship having time off in Australia, the local weather there, hunting and befriending kangaroos, going out with friends, his lack of desire to be back on a ship, opinions about using atomic bombs on Japan, and his excitement at receiving his orders to go home.
The William F. Henning 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
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

William F. Henning to parents, 1943-1944

  • Box WH-57, folder 6
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William F. Henning to parents, 1945

  • Box WH-57, folder 7
To top

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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 Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

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.

Requests

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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.