Joseph E. Mirota – The WWII letters

Joseph Mirota was an avid letter writer during his three plus years in the 10th Special Services Company, U. S. Army during WWII. From his first day upon arriving at Fort Dix, New Jersey on August 24, 1942 through his final departure for home from San Francisco, California on December 26, 1945, Joseph wrote letters and postcards home to his family.

While he apparently kept up correspondences with other family members and friends, the majority of the letters he saved were written to his sister Mary Mirota, who was living at home with their parents during World War II. He asked her to keep these letters, and other memorabilia that were of interest to him, so that he could look at them again when he came home to New Jersey. Upon his return, Mary gave him the box of his letters and memorabilia.

In time, Mary died, then Joseph and finally his beloved wife Stefania. The house Joseph built was sold sometime after Stefania’s death to a woman whose family had built a house next door, also on what had been the Mirota family farm. Not only did no one left in our family seem to know these letters existed, the people who lived in the Mirota house for over 20 years never noticed the box either, until one day about 75 years after the letters had been returned to Joseph, the box was discovered. The family contacted a mutual friend to ask if she was in contact with anyone in the Mirota family who might be interested in the letters. Yvonne sure did! Thank you to Nancy and Yvonne for your help in returning these letters to our family. For privacy sake I will not mention your last names. Everyone on Mountain Road knows who you are anyway.

I did not attempt to track how much time I spent transcribing these letters. I also did not give in to the temptation to make corrections, make excuses, or re-write history. I made scans of the original documents, but they are quite difficult to read.

In all, I have transcribed and collated more than 300 pages of letters, postcards, photographs, newspapers, and memorabilia. As I transcribed the letters, I became curious about the men he served with during those years. Joseph had asked his friends at Camp Bliss, Texas. to provide him with their home addresses so that he could take a long trip to visit them all after the war. I don’t know if he ever took that trip. But I wanted to see if I could identify them and provide some details about who they were. Using those names and addresses, and knowing where they had served, I was able to identify most of them through searches on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. For some, I was just unable to find enough information to identify them. When possible, I have included their date of birth, parents names, service dates, spouse names and year of marriage, death date, and internment location. I have not added the names of their children for reasons of privacy. Additionally, I have done the same for family and friends of his from home. They were easier to identify since it was my family and home town too.

Special note before you access this file. It is for your personal use only. Please do not copy or share any part of this work with anyone, anywhere, at any time without my expressed written permission. This compiled work has been collated, transcribed, and edited by me. Any mistakes are purely my own.

Click on the link below to read the document, which is stored on Google Drive.

Please note, the table of contents is at the end of the document.

2 thoughts on “Joseph E. Mirota – The WWII letters

  1. Very interesting – Uncle Joe had many stories to tell and I’d like to share with my son Stephen who also lives down at the Jersey shore and can I share with my brother-in-law Paul who just turned 80 and still lives in Dunellen.  Best to your family.

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  2. Good to hear from you!! Please give my best regards to Paul and to Stephen.
    I’m still in awe that no one noticed the box until last year. And very glad they cared enough to make sure it was returned to the family. Yes, please do share this with Paul and Stephen. They just need the link to access the file.

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