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Guide to the Samet Family Papers, 1929-1955, bulk 1943-1945

Summary

The Samet family is a family of Lithuanian-Jewish descent that settled in North Carolina in the early part of the twentieth century. This collection mainly consists of the correspondence between Sydney Samet and his family in North Carolina while he was training at various United States Army airfields during World War II. Also included are letters sent to Sydney's mother and sister by the United States War Department and the family members of other soldiers from Sydney’s bomber crew after they were declared missing in August 1944. Topics represented in the collection include army life, Army Air Force training, and updates from family members and acquaintances.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11039
Title
Samet family papers
Date
1929-1955 and undated, bulk 1943-1945
Creator
Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina
Extent
1.8 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials are in English.

Collection Overview

The Samet family papers consist of the letters Sydney Samet sent his family while he was training in aviation and gunnery at various United States Army airfields during World War II. Also included are letters sent to Sydney by his mother Sophie Samet that were not delivered after he was declared missing in action (August 1944), as well as letters sent to Sophie and Sylvia Gray (Grablow) by the United States War Department and the family members of other missing soldiers from Sydney’s bomber crew. The correspondence includes commentary on army life, classes, and physical training as well as updates from family members and acquaintances. Additional materials include Samet’s World War II military service documents and medals, photographs, newspaper clippings, high school papers, and receipts.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

The correspondence appears first and is arranged chronologically. The remainder of the collection is arranged chronologically.

Using These Materials

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Access to Collection

Collection is open for research.

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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.

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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], Samet family papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1930, 1940-1942, and undated
(7 items)
Box 1
Folder 1
Correspondence, circa 1942 November-1943 June and undated
(27 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from Raleigh, NC, and Army Air Corps training centers in Miami Beach, FL, Wofford College/Spartanburg, SC, and Nashville, TN.

Box 1
Folder 2
Correspondence, 1943 July-September and undated
(18 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Nashville Army Air Center (Nashville, TN) and Santa Ana Army Air Base (Santa Ana, CA).

Box 1
Folder 3
Correspondence, 1943 October-November and undated
(19 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Santa Ana Army Air Base (Santa Ana, CA) and the Army Air Corps Gunnery School (Las Vegas, NV).

Box 1
Folder 4
Correspondence, 1943 December-1944 January and undated
(23 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Carlsbad Army Air Field (Carlsbad, NM).

Box 1
Folder 5
Correspondence, 1944 February-March and undated
(21 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Carlsbad Army Air Field (Carlsbad, NM).

Box 1
Folder 6
Correspondence, 1944 April and undated
(11 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Carlsbad Army Air Field (Carlsbad, NM).

Box 1
Folder 7
Correspondence, 1944 May and undated
(18 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Pueblo Army Air Field (Pueblo, CO). Also includes letters to Sydney from Sophie Samet and Ceva Krause.

Box 1
Folder 8
Correspondence, 1944 June and undated
(12 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Pueblo Army Air Field. Also includes letters to Sydney from Sophie Samet, Ceva Krause, and Morton Sherman.

Box 1
Folder 9
Correspondence, 1944 July and undated
(18 items)

Letters written to family by Sydney Samet from the Pueblo Army Air Field, the Lincoln Army Airfield (Lincoln, NE), and undisclosed locations in New England and Newfoundland. Letters to Sydney from Sophie Samet, Ceva Krause, and Clara Nessbaum.

Box 1
Folder 10
Correspondence, 1944 August
(26 items)

3 letters written to family by Sydney Samet from an undisclosed location in Italy. Letters to Sydney from Sophie Samet and Helen Markus.

Box 1
Folder 11
Correspondence, 1944 September
(19 items)

Letters sent to Sophie Samet and Sylvia (Samet) Grablow (Gray) by War Department officials and family members of Sydney Samet's fellow crew members.

Box 1
Folder 12
Correspondence, 1944 October- December
(17 items)

Letters sent to Sophie and Morris Samet and Sylvia (Samet) Grablow (Gray) by War Department officials and family members of Sydney Samet's fellow crew members. Also includes an undated (circa 1944) letter to family from Jerome Samet.

Box 1
Folder 13
Correspondence, 1945 February-March
(9 items)

Letters sent to Sophie and Morris Samet by War Department officials and family members of Sydney Samet's fellow crew members.

Box 2
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1945 May-July
(5 items)

Letters sent to Sophie Samet by War Department officials and family members of Sydney Samet's fellow crew members.

Box 2
Folder 2
Receipts and miscellanous, 1929-1930, 1949, undated
(8 items)
Box 2
Folder 3
Sydney Samet school papers, 1936-1942 and undated
(10 items)
Box 2
Folder 4
Photographs, circa 1943-1944 and undated
(7 items)

Photographs of Sydney Samet, an unidentified man (presumably Jerome Samet), and three unidentified women.

Box 2
Folder 5
Sydney Samet military service documents, 1943-1944
(19 items)

Power of attorney, graduation programs and certificate, last will and testament, receipts, and printed material.

Box 2
Folder 6
Sydney Samet military service documents (bound), 1944 April
Box 3
Sydney Samet military decorations and uniform pins, circa 1944-1945
(19 items)

Includes Samet's Purple Heart and Air Medal, his identification badge, officer insignia, and other uniform pins.

Box 4
Clippings, circa 1943-1945
(4 items)
Box 2
Folder 7
Jerome Samet, 1944
(2 items)

Douglas Army Air Field pilot school graduation program and War Department notification.

Box 2
Folder 8
Sylvia Gray (Grablow), 1917-1955
(4 items)

Includes wedding announcement and receipt for burial plot at Temple Emanuel, Greensboro, NC.

Box 2
Folder 9
 

Historical Note

The Samet family is a family of Lithuanian-Jewish descent that settled in Mount Airy (Surry County) and Greensboro (Guilford County), North Carolina, in the early part of the twentieth century. Morris Samet and Sophie I. (Vogel) Samet settled in Mount Airy in 1913, where they owned and operated the Samet Furniture Company. The couple had five children: Lester (1913-1982), Freeman (1915-1930), Sylvia (1917-1997), Jerome (1918-2004), and Sydney (1924-1944). Sylvia and her husband Joseph Gray (Grablowski/Grablow) founded the Carolina Sales Company in Greensboro in 1937.

Sydney Samet matriculated at North Carolina State University in 1942 but left to serve in the United States Army Air Force in early 1943. After several months of aviation and gunnery training, he was deployed to Italy as a bombardier in the 724th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomber Group in August 1944. Samet was declared missing in action after his plane was lost over Austria on August 23. In 1945, he was declared dead, non-battle, by the United States War Department. Jerome Samet was a civilian aviation instructor before enlisting in the Army Air Force Reserve in March 1944.

Related Material

Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina oral history collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Samet family papers are a gift of Sidney Gray. They were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as part of the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina Collection in June, 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by: Mary Mellon, July 2015

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2014.0138