Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Dalgas, Dale R. (1928-2001)
Dale R. Dalgas Papers Relating to the Korean War
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1950 October 30-1952 September 5
1.25 linear feet and 1 box
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-3


Consists of over 100 letters as well as diaries, military objects, and ephemera, dating from 1950 to 1952, of Corporal Dale R. Dalgas (1928-2001) during his time serving in the United States Army's 45th Infantry Medial Company during the Korean War.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Content Description

This collection consists primarily of letters as well as diaries, military objects, and ephemera, dating from October 30, 1950 to September 5, 1952, of Corporal Dale R. Dalgas (1928-2001), documenting his time serving with the United States Army's 45th Infantry Medial Company in Japan and Korea during the Korean War.

Dalgas's letters (most of which are accompanied by their original transmittal envelopes), mainly to his parents, Cerald and Ruphena Dalgas, in Corvallis, Oregon, offer a detailed account of his experiences serving as a mail distributor and barber with the company, and encompass the whole of his time in the war from training at Camp Polk, Louisiana, to his return home. A majority were written from various combat zones on or near the front lines in Korea as well as from Hokkaido, Japan.

There are also a few miscellaneous letters related to Dale's parents from around the same time period.

In addition to the letters, there are two diaries, which Dalgas seems to have employed more as notebooks rather than to record daily events. The content in these diaries is sparse.

It should be noted that Dalgas uses racist language.

Also included in the collection are three photographs, likely taken by Dalgas, that show a group of American G.I.s boarding a DC-3, a sign for the American Forces Korea Network broadcasting station, and a Korean market; artifacts from Dalgas' service time in the Army, including his dog tags; two medic buttons; two medic badges; 7th Infantry Regiment Unit Crest; United Nations Korea service ribbon; a United States Korea service ribbon; medic armband with a red cross; a large banner; a propaganda leaflet; and a commemorative wooden plaque of Dalgas's service. The large color banner was specially made for Dalgas (likely in Japan), with a caricature of him along with his name, rank, serial number, and unit along with a map of Japan and other decorative features. The four-page leaflet is a Christmas card-style propaganda piece from "The Korean People's Army - The Chinese People's Volunteers" addressed to American Soldiers, wishing for peace amongst the opposing forces.

Collection Creator Biography:


Dale R. Dalgas (1928-2001), from Oregon, enlisted in the United States Army in October 1950 at the age of twenty-two. He served as a coporal with Medical Company 179th RCT, 45th Infantry Division, in Japan and Korea from 1950 and 1952 during the Korean War.

Collection History


Purchased from William Reese Company in 2022 (AM 2023-064).


No materials were removed from the collection during 2022 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in December 2022. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in December 2022 using description supplied by the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Dale R. Dalgas Papers Relating to the Korean War; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-3