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CRA170 -- Carl Krueger Papers


1.75 Linear Feet
July 1984
Revised March 2000


Mrs. Jane E. Degan, daughter of Mr. Carl H. Krueger, donated the Carl Krueger Papers to the Calumet Regional Archives on May 14, 1984.

Property rights in the collection are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 1.75 linear feet.
Number of containers: 4 boxes.
Calumet Regional Archives Collection 170
Processed by: Stephen McShane
Date: July 1984

Scope and Content

A useful source of family history in the Calumet Region, the Carl Krueger Papers document the activities of several Krueger family members from 1938 to 1950. The collection contains three major series of family correspondence as well as a few letters from other relatives. Virtually all of the correspondence was addressed to Carl and Catherine Krueger, residents of Michigan City and Miller.

The correspondence of Tom Krueger (1940-1948) comprises a large number of letters written during the Second World War. In 1943, Tom Krueger enlisted in the U.S. Navy Seabees and wrote his parents often throughout his tour of duty. The letters detail Tom's experiences in boot camp, advance training, travel at sea, and his activities as a Construction Battalion worker. Although some of the letters are repetitive, most of this series offers insight into Tom's love of family, views of the war and his opponents, and his perception of the world changes caused by WW II; the letters reflect the growth of a young Garyite and his development into maturity. Also, the series contains references about Gary, such as Spratt's ice cream parlor, the Wells Street beach, and the South Shore railroad.

Next, John Krueger's correspondence (1938-1946) reveals the concerns and struggle of a local youth enrolled in the Indiana University School of Medicine. The series begins by illustrating John's academic life at Purdue University in West Lafayette. The major portion of the series, however, commences in 1943 as John describes his medical studies at I.U. in Indianapolis. Long hours, intensive study, frequent examinations, and financial struggle are detailed in these letters as John relates data on his courses and internships. Although the series contains little information about the Calumet Region, John's letters provide a description of medical training in the WW II period, particularly in the I.U. School of Medicine.

Helene Roames also kept in close contact with Catherine Krueger in Miller. The series of letters from Helene to her sister (1940, 1948-1950), detail Helene's role as a wife and mother during the U.S. occupation of Japan in the post-WW II period. Originating from Korea and Japan, Helene's correspondence traces her views of the effects of the war in the Far East and her impressions of several countries' domestic problems, cultures, and lifestyles during the rebuilding period. Her accounts include descriptions of her husband, Glen Roames, as chief of utilities for the Far East Command during the occupation. Also, the letters reflect her worries, problems, and frustrations in living abroad and raising two children. The letters do offer, however, a number of pleasant experiences enjoyed by the Roames' as they participated in Japan's remarkable industrial recovery program after 1945.

In addition to the three major series described above, the collection contains a few letters from Ruthie Taylor (later the wife of John Krueger) and Jane DeGan, the sister of Tom and John Krueger.

The Carl Krueger Papers provide not only valuable documentation of a local family's history, but also furnish information on local residents' views and impressions of significant events in world history. Researchers should note that the Calumet Regional Archives retains other WW II collections, including the All-Out Americans Collection (CRA 055), and the Gary Rotary Club Collection (CRA 076). Also, the Archives' Vertical File Manuscript Collection contains a report on the Region in WW II (Drawer Two, File 66).

Historical Sketch

Note: A partial history of the Krueger family is recorded in Box 5 of this collection. Box 5 contains drafts and other documents used in the production of Skinning Cats: The Wartime Letters of Tom Krueger, a publication highlighting the Tom Krueger series of the collection. The introduction to this volume may also be helpful for background information on the Krueger family.

Box File Description
1 1-12 Correspondence, Tom Krueger, (1940-1944)
2 1-21 Correspondence, Tom Krueger, (1944-1948), 1966
3 1-5 Correspondence, John Krueger, (1938-1946)
6 Correspondence, Ruthie Taylor, 1942-1943
7 Correspondence, Jane DeGan (Krueger), 1948
8-14 Correspondence, Helene Roames, 1940, 1948-1950
4 1 Correspondence, Various, (1944-1950)

Sound Recordings
Sound Recordings, Tom Krueger, (3), 1985; interview with Jane and Carl, (1), 1984 (located in CRA oral history collection)


Correspondence, Tom Krueger

18 -- At Boot camp; comments on war and being in service.
24 -- reference to Bortz's (the photographer?)
28 -- reference to Alice Bortz and a boy at H.M.
29 -- letter from Boots Eichhorn.
1 -- Tom predicts war's end by Dec. 1944
2 -- Tom promoted to s 2/c.
3 -- Concerned about the "girl back home."
13 -- Boot camp over; Tom goes into Advanced training and is not happy; comments on Italy and Germany in war.
15 -- Paragraph about the buses and the beach and the wonderful life at home. (very philosophical)
25 -- Tom is homesick during a mock beach landing
23 -- Tom leaves Virginia for Rhode Island
1 -- enthusiasm about a new USO hall; comments on officers.
12 -- reality of Navy life - Tom no longer enjoys war movies.
22 -- Tom describes his fellow seaman in the barracks.
31 -- reference to Gary Railways buses.
4 -- sympathy for the German soldier, but none for the Japanese.
30 -- reference to findings of Tom Harmon.
2 -- reference to a high school closing in Gary?
9 -- Tom begins his trip overseas--destination is classified.
25 -- Christmas at sea.
29 -- Descriptions of voyage and foreign lands.

23 -- reference to South Shore.
30 -- Example of censor's work during wartime
23 -- reference to John Jay (Roames?) and Wirt school.
23 -- newsletter from Tom's Seabee camp.
11 -- Tom asks about his senior picture at Wirt.
9 -- Some reaction about D-Day.
13 -- Some reaction about D-Day.
10 -- Tom's opinion of politics in wartime and the 1944 presidential election.
10 -- Reference to a girl at Horace Mann and Gordon's department store.
28 -- Tom talks about the boat parade on the lake.
4 -- Tom predicts V-J Day accurately.
8 -- Reference to Monon fishing hole.
6 -- Tom leaves New Guinea and is at sea.
8 -- Comment on Hitler at Germany.

1 -- Tom mentions his seeing his first "Jap" POW's.
6 -- letter from Tom's chaplain to Mrs. Krueger assuring that Tom is safe.
24 -- Tom comments on the potential conflict with Russia in future.
14 -- Tom mentions the "atomic bomb raid."
22 -- Many servicemen in Gary.
22 -- More about atomic bombs.
23 -- Mention of Gary College.
26 -- Philosophy on the dangers of atomic bombs and nuclear war.
14 -- Tom comments on Pearl Harbor and on Communism.
19 -- Comment on Tokyo Rose.
6 -- comment on Gary's Froebel Strike of 1945.
29/Nov. 1-- news about the Froebel Strike.
13 -- Tom arrives home.

Subject Tracings

  • Armed Forces
  • DeGan, Jane
  • Gary
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Indianapolis
  • Industry
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Krueger, Carl
  • Krueger, Catherine
  • Krueger, John
  • Krueger, Ruthie
  • Krueger, Tom
  • MacArthur, Douglas (Gen.)
  • Medicine
  • Miller
  • Philippines
  • Purdue University
  • Rhee, Sygman
  • Roames, Glen
  • Roames, Helene
  • South Shore Railroad
  • Spratt's Ice Cream Parlor
  • Tokyo
  • Wirt High School
  • World War II