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Lavern E. Farmer World War II collection

Call Number: RH MS 1013


In this collection are 285 letters, cards, and telegrams written by U.S. Army Sergeant Lavern E. Farmer to his parents of Delphos, Kansas during Sergeant Farmer's medical training and subsequent World War II service at Army hospitals in England, France, and Belgium. Included are newsletters issued by Farmer's medical units as well as photographs, various Army communications, and souvenirs.


  • Creation: 1942 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Lavern E. Farmer

Lavern Edwin Farmer was born October 26, 1917 to Roy C. and Trella Farmer of Cloud County, Kansas, who later resided in Delphos (Ottawa County), Kansas. He was inducted into the U.S. Army at the rank of Private on May 18, 1942 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His initial training was with the 56th Medical Training Battalion at Camp Barkeley, Texas. In October 1942, he was assigned to the Army's 76th General Hospital--first at Camp White, Oregon, where he was appointed Technician Fifth Grade, and then at Vancouver, Washington from November 1942 to February 1944. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal in 1942 and to the rank of Sergeant in 1943. By 1944, he had been appointed Technician Third Grade.

On February 28, 1944, Sergeant Farmer was shipped overseas for active duty in World War II. He first served the Army's medical corps in England. He was sent to Omaha Beach in August 1944, and was afterward stationed in France and Belgium. From October 1944 to October 1945, Farmer served at the Army hospital camp at Liege, Belgium--some ten to fourteen miles from the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 to January 1945. He returned to the U.S. in November 1945 on the Liberty ship S.S. Smith.


1 Linear Feet (2 document cases + 1 folder, 1 oversize folder, 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Sergeant Lavern E. Farmer's letters, cards, and telegrams to his parents are arranged chronologically, most accompanied by postmarked envelopes. Many of his letters from overseas are clipped, due to censorship. As a result, his most definitive letters, militarily, are those of 1945--written at or near the war's end. Following Sergeant Farmer's outgoing letters is a comparatively small quantity of other letters received by his parents during World War II. In Box 2 are newsletters issued by Sergeant Farmer's Army units, as well as various official communications and several news clippings. Box 3 contains two engraved souvenir bracelets, an Army locket pin containing Farmer's photograph, and a Fitzsimons General Hospital (Denver, Colorado) souvenir pillow cover.

Several small photographic prints of Sergeant Farmer and his fellow soldiers are in one folder at RH MS-P 1013. Larger numbers of photograph negatives are at RH MS-P 1013 Negatives. An oversize panoramic group photograph of Sergeant Farmer's military unit is at RH MS-P 1013 (ff).

Physical Location

RH MS 1013

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1013

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1013 (ff)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Charles Apfelbaum, 2007

Guide to the Lavern E. Farmer World War II collection
Lavern E. Farmer World War II collection
Finding aid prepared by mh, 2007; revised by, cl 2010; Finding aid encoded by mh, 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Farmer, Lavern E, 1917-, World War II Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1013, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States