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Rybarczyk / Fisher Letters

Manuscript Collection No.190

Overview | Biography | Scope and Content | Container List


Creator: Raymond Rybarczyk

Title: Rybarczyk / Fisher Letters

Date: August 5, 1943 - February 28, 1946 + assorted letters from 1951 - 1961

Abstract: The collection contains letters written by Raymond Rybarczyk to his girlfriend, then wife, Loretta Chester during, and just after, World War II. He was part of the Air Force, and his training began in 1943 and took place in a variety of locations in Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas. He was sent to Italy in April 1945, where he was involved in fighting the end of the war and the subsequent occupation. After being sent home in July 1945 he was eventually honorably discharged. Raymond enrolled in Ohio University in Athens, OH in February 1946. He continued to write to Loretta until she came to live with him in March 1946.

There are also a series of letters from Loretta's friends and family from 1943 - 1946, and a few letters from 1951 and 1961. Most of these letters are from her brother Joseph, who was in the Army during the war.

Quantity: 1.5 cu. ft.

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Raymond Edward Rybarczyk was born on August 27, 1919 in Lorain, OH to Mr. and Mrs. Victor Rybarczyk. He attended high school in Lorain and graduated in 1936. He attended Cleveland College from 1937-38, where he took accounting classes.

Rybarczyk enrolled in the Air Force in 1943, and was sent to Keesler Field in Mississippi at the Air Corps Technical School in Flight Class 92. At Keesler Field, which is on the Gulf Coast, Rybarczyk received general Army training, including working with a new type of carbine rifle. He also worked as a cook's helper and in the supply room. On September 12, 1943, Rybarczyk was sent with 106 other men in Class 4949 to Toledo, OH for further training. He was sent with men from Indiana, Ohio, and Oklahoma. There, he was part of the 27th College Training Detachment at the University of Toledo. At the University of Toledo, Rybarczyk took academic classes, including Mathematics, History, Geography, English, and Physics. He also was involved in continued military training, such as working with a flight simulator and A-20 bombers.

In December 1943 Rybarczyk traveled to San Antonio, TX for more specialized Air Force training at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center. In San Antonio he took physical and mental examinations to determine his career as bombardier, pilot, or navigator. Due to problems connected with his left arm, he qualified for bombardier. In February 1994, he traveled to Ellington Field, TX, where he was part of the Grays 5B-44 in the Bombardier Wing. There he took more classes, including Physics, Theory of Bombing, Aircraft Identification, Naval Identification, Mathematics, and Air Code. Meanwhile, Loretta traveled to Los Angeles, CA with her mother to work in an aircraft factory as a riveter.

After his training ended April 1944, Rybarczyk remained in Texas waiting to be shipped out. In May he moved to Laredo, TX for ground school work and further flight training in B-26s, B-24s, and A-18s. After a seven week course in which he earned his first "pair of wings," he was sent to Big Spring, TX for Advanced Training in a 20 week course in the 2509th. In Big Spring he began to drop real bombs in the desert.

In November he traveled to the Columbia Combat Crew Depot in Columbia, SC to await his assignment abroad. He would remain there until April 1945, during which time he lived with Loretta. They married during in November. In April he was sent to New York City, where from he was sent to South Italy. There, he traveled through Naples, Pompeii, and Caserta to North Italy, where he fought as a bombardier. After the fighting ended in early May, he went back to school for more ground and flight training. During this time, Rybarczyk had much free time, and often took trips around Italy with other soldiers. He and his fellow soldiers only had a little trouble with the remaining Italian soldiers who attacked the US Army.

In July 1945 he was sent back to the United States to Goldsboro, NC. He did not have enough "points" be discharged from the army, and had to wait until November 1945 before he was a civilian again. In February 1946 he traveled to Athens, OH to enroll in Ohio University. There, he lived with other GIs in the Men's' Gymnasium awaiting his housing assignment in the newly constructed living quarters. During this time he also began taking classes. Loretta joined him in March 1946, when they were assigned their housing. Rybarczyk graduated in June 1948 with a degree in accounting. Sometime in 1947, they changed their last name to Fisher. After graduation, the Fishers moved to Michigan.

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The collection contains letters to Loretta Fisher. The bulk of the letters are a series written by her boyfriend, then husband, Raymond E. Rybarczyk/Fisher during his time away in the Air Force during and just after World War II. These letters relate his training as a bombardier in Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas; his time spent fighting in Italy, and his arrival in Athens, OH for college classes. There are also letters from her friends and family, including her brother Joseph, who is also in the Army during the war. There are a few letters from friends from the 1951 and 1961.

Organization of the Collection
    These records are organized into the following series:
  • Series 1: Letters from Raymond Rybarczyk/Fisher to Loretta Chester (Rybarczyk/Fisher)
  • Series 2: Letters from Loretta's brother Joseph
  • Series 3: Letters from Loretta's mother
  • Series 4: Letters from Loretta's friends

Related Materials

Cornelius Ryan Collection of World War II Papers, Ann Stringer Collection, Iris Carpenter Collection, John Wilhelm Papers, Walter Ervin Collection, George Hebenstreit Collection, Athens (OH) War Loan Scrapbooks, Marcius P. Garafalo Collection, United States Army Center on Military History, World War II News Maps.

Administrative Information

Restrictions: The collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio University Libraries.

Preferred Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection name, collection number, and the Ohio University Libraries, in all footnotes and bibliographical references.

Accession Number: 02-04

Provenance: The Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections purchased this collection in October 2002.

Property Rights: Ohio University

Copyrights: Ohio University owns the copyrights unless retained by other authors and artists.

Photo duplication: Ohio University will entertain requests to photocopy reasonable amounts of material from the collection for the convenience of individual researchers.

Processing: John Michael McKenna, 2003

Detailed description of the collection

Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below.

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    Series 1: Letters from Raymond Rybarczyk/Fisher to Loretta Chester (Rybarczyk/Fisher)
  • Box 1, Folder 1 - August 5, 1943 - September 6, 1943
  • Box 1, Folder 2 - September 7, 1943 - October 4, 1943
  • Box 1, Folder 3 - October 6, 1943 - November 5, 1943
  • Box 1, Folder 4 - November 8, 1943 - January 1, 1944
  • Box 1, Folder 5 - January 3, 1944 - January 25, 1944
  • Box 2, Folder 1 - January 26, 1944 - March 27, 1944
  • Box 2, Folder 2 - March 30, 1944 - June 20, 1944
  • Box 2, Folder 3 - June 26, 1944 - November 17, 1944
  • Box 2, Folder 4 - April 1, 1945 - May 10, 1945
  • Box 2, Folder 5 - May 28, 1945 - November 13, 1945
  • Box 3, Folder 1 - February 3, 1946 - February 26, 1946
    Series 2: Letters from Loretta's brother Joseph
  • Box 3, Folder 2 -
  • Box 3, Folder 3 -
  • Box 3, Folder 4 -
    Series 3: Letters from Loretta's mother
  • Box 3, Folder 5 - 1944 - 1950s
    Series 4: Letters from Loretta's friends
  • Box 3, Folder 6 - 1940s
  • Box 3, Folder 7 - 1950 - 1962

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