Menu

Guide to the Leon S. Adler Papers, 1943-1993

Summary

Collection comprises letters, military service and medical records, two photograph albums, and printed items maintained by Leon S. Adler, along with a scrapbook maintained stateside by Roslyn "Posy" Adler between 1943 and 1945 to record Leon's naval service, from his training and teaching at Ft. Schuyler, N.Y., to his service as part of the fleet which occupied Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, following the war. Includes two printed items, a copy of the book U.S.S. Biloxi published around 1945, and a CRAM'S WAR ATLAS, dating between 1941-1945, along with a U.S. Service flag from World War II.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11056
Title
Leon S. Adler papers
Date
1943-1993
Creator
Adler, Leon S. (Leon Sidney), 1912-1990
Extent
5.5 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection comprises letters, military service and medical records, two photograph albums, and printed items maintained by Leon S. Adler, along with a scrapbook maintained stateside by Roslyn "Posy" Adler between 1943 and 1945 to record Leon's naval service, from his training and teaching at Ft. Schuyler, N.Y., to his service as part of the fleet which occupied Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, following the war. Includes two printed items, a copy of the book U.S.S. Biloxi published around 1945, and a CRAM'S WAR ATLAS, dating between 1941-1945, along with a U.S. Service flag from World War II.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Leon S. Adler Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Nagasaki: City of the Dead photograph album, 1945, 1990
(1 item)

One photograph album is entitled "Nagasaki: City of the Dead" in a calligraphic hand, and focuses on Adler's tour of the city one month after the United States dropped the atomic bomb, 1945 September 18-24. On 20 pages, there are 61 black-and-white 3x5-inch photographs of his tour, documenting the destruction, buildings still standing, medical treatment areas, returned prisoners of war ("ramps"), and conditions for residents remaining. Includes an hand-written introduction, and all photographs are fully captioned in ink. The album also contains a map of Nagasaki and a undated certificate of recognition signed by President George H. W. Bush following Adler's death in 1990 (mentioned in the records file, likely added much later).

Box 1
U.S.S. Biloxi, L.S Adler photograph album, 1945
(1 item)

A second photograph album has a leather cover stamped with the U.S.S. Biloxi banner and Adler's name. This album (133 pages, 351 black-and-white photographs and snapshots, sizes from 2.5x4-inches to 8x10-inches) comprehensively documents life aboard the ship, during leisure and training periods, along with their assignments in Okinawa, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima. Some photographs duplicate those in the Nagasaki photograph album. Most photographs are accompanied by typed captions.

Box 2
Letters, 1945 September 5-24

There are three loose letters Adler composed to his parents between 5 and 24 Sept. 1945. Topics include the end of his tour of duty and the ship's assignments in Nagasaki.

Box 3
Folder 1
Leon S. Adler's military service record, 1944-1993
(55 items)

Adler's military service record; some items may have been pulled into the Posy Adler scrapbook.

Box 3
Folder 2
Leon S. Adler's Veteran's Administration medical file, 1983-1992 and undated
(34 items)

Leon S. Adler's Veteran's Administration medical file. Adler developed cancers at the end of his life that were potentially related to his exposure at the atomic bombing sites in Japan in 1945.

Box 3
Folder 3
Posy Adler scrapbook, 1943-1945
(3 boxes)

The scrapbook maintained by Posy Adler (1943-1945) contains naval service forms, letters, informational documents, certificates, and newsletters and publications, along with a few family letters and letters from business connections regarding Leon's commission, greeting cards and postcards, mementos and newspaper clippings, and twenty two black-and-white photographs. However, the primary focus of the scrapbook was to hold Leon's telegrams and over 183 letters he wrote to Posy during his service. Leon wrote weekly, sometimes daily, and the letters provide a complete description of his service, including training, leisure activities, excursions, homesickness, and other experiences. They often also touch on Adler Company business matters, and his pride in his wife's operation of the store during his absence. Once Leon joined the crew of the Biloxi, his letters focused on life aboard ship, his duties, description of ports, family matters, then the end of the war, the dropping of the atomic bombs, and his preparations to leave the navy.

Box 5
Box 6
Box 7
Navy graduation photograph, undated, probably 1944
(1 item)

Black-and-white photograph (13 x 10.75-inches) of the Fort Schuyler, N.Y., 29th Indoctrination Class. Men are in dress uniform. Photograph is signed by the men pictured.

Box 4
Folder 1
U.S.S. BILOXI book, undated, probably published 1946
(1 item)
Box 3
Folder 4
CRAM'S WAR ATLAS, undated
(1 item)
Box 4
Folder 2
U.S. Service Flag, World War II, undated
(1 item)
Box 4
Folder 3
 

Historical Note

Leon S. Adler was the son of Marcus Mordechai Valentine Adler and Jeanette B Sternberger and was born in Lebanon, Ind., in 1912. He married Roslyn Woolf, known to the family as "Posy," in 1937; the couple had two children. He was a successful manager of retail clothing stores. Adler became a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserves during World War II, eventually serving as a Communications and Public Information officer from Feb. 1945-Dec. 1945 aboard the U.S.S. Biloxi. He was among the first U.S. occupation forces that arrived in Hiroshima and Nagasaki following the dropping of the atomic bombs, and his photographic and written documentation was uncensored.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Leon S. Adler Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, September 2015

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2014-0202