Tommy Sharp and Anne Louise McMurtry correspondence

Abstract

The Tommy Sharp and Anne Louise McMurtry correspondence (dated 1940-1946; 3.6 cubic feet; 8 boxes) comprises hundreds of almost daily World War II letters and enclosures written and sent by Anne Louise McMurtry and Tommy Sharp during Tommy's service in the United States Air Corps in World War II.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Tommy Sharp and Anne Louise McMurtry correspondence
Creator
Sharp, Tommy, 1920-1973
Extent
3.6 Cubic Feet
Subjects
United States -- History -- World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- Social aspects -- United States
Soldiers -- Correspondence.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically.
Finding Aid Author
Natalie Bishop
Preferred Citation
2017ms003: [identification of item], Tommy Sharp and Anne Louise McMurtry correspondence, 1940-1946, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Tommy Sharp was born on April 10, 1920 to Edith Sharp (1894-1928) and Ira Sharp (1892-1973). Anne Louise McMurtry was born on March 4, 1919 to Alice Reynolds McMurtry (1897-1995) and John Fulton McMurtry (1892-1951). They were both originally from Jessamine County, Kentucky. Tommy Sharp and Anne Louise McMurtry graduated from Jessamine County High School in 1937 and both attended the University of Kentucky for their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Anne Louise McMurtry received her B.A. and M.A. in English and worked as a school librarian and English teacher at a public school in Lebanon, Kentucky. Anne Louise was also a noted historian, amateur genealogist, and an active member of the D.A.R.
Tommy Sharp interrupted his undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at the University of Kentucky to self-enlist in the United States Air Corps on September 11, 1940. He trained to become an airplane electrician at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois, and served as a Technical Sergeant in the 236th Army Air Force Base Unit, and the 91st Bombardment Group, AF Station 121 in Bassingbourn, England from 1942-1945. battles and campaigns he participated in during World War II include Rhineland, Central Europe (England), Ardennes, and Air Offensive Europe. After receiving an honorable discharge, Tommy returned home to Nicholasville, Kentucky to marry Anne Louise McMurtry on July 8, 1945 at St. Luke Catholic Church, where Anne Louise was an active member and organist. Tommy and Anne Louise Sharp had one child: Mary Beth (b. 1960).
After the war, Tommy completed his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1954. He got a job at Western Electric and worked on the Distance Early Warning (DEW) Line System in North Pole, Alaska between 1955-1957. Tommy went back to the University of Kentucky to earn his master's degree in electrical engineering, where he worked as a Research Associate for Wenner-Gren Research Lab at the University of Kentucky from 1959 until his death on July 9, 1973. Anne Louise Sharp died on February 16, 2013 in her hometown of Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Scope and Content
The Tommy Sharp and Anne Louise McMurtry correspondence (dated 1940-1946; 3.6 cubic feet; 8 boxes) comprises hundreds of almost daily World War II letters and enclosures written and sent by Anne Louise McMurtry and Tommy Sharp during Tommy's service in the United States Air Corps in World War II. In addition, Anne Louise McMurtry received letters and enclosures from Jane Redding of the U.S. Army Recruiting Office in New Jersey; Captain J.M. Miller, friend; Charles Martin, fellow serviceman in the Army Air Force, and friend of Tommy's; Sergeant Robert Teater, friend and high school classmate. Alice McMurtry, Anne Louise's mother, received letters and enclosures from her son, Joseph McMurtry (1922-2012), a veteran of the U.S. Army. Joseph McMurtry served in the Asiatic Pacific Theater during World War II. He was in the first wave at Okinawa which resulted in his receipt of 2 Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Alice McMurtry also received letters from her son-in-law, Tommy Sharp, and Sgt. William Traynor of the U.S. Army, friend of Joseph McMurtry's.
The letters span from 1940-1946, cataloging Tommy's initial enlistment into the Army Air Force at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois, his training, and deployments to Central Europe, specifically England. Letter topics concentrate on Nicholasville, Kentucky, and the goings-on of family and friends in and around that area. The primary creators of the letters also expressed affection for one another, and discussed the importance of writing letters throughout Tommy's deployment. Letters concerning military life are generally restricted to training, schooling, duties, camp life, tourism in England, and prospects about the end of the war. They are otherwise generally limited in documenting Tommy's military activities. Tommy's assigned military units are noted in the return addresses (when present) on the envelopes. Enclosed in many of the letters are newspaper clippings, photographs, greeting cards, and other miscellaneous personal artifacts that belonged to, and were exchanged between the creators. The collection overall provides a social history of domestic life during World War II, the history of letter writing in World War II, and also captures military history as it pertains to the U.S. Army Air Force, specifically the 91st Bombardment Group, AF Station 121 in Bassingbourn, England from 1942-1945.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to reserachers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1940 November-December

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 January

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 February 1-17

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 February 18-28

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 March 1-11

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 March 14-31

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 April

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 May 1-16

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 May 17-31

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 June 1-13

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 June 13-30

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 July 2-12

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 July 13-31

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 August 1-17

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 August 18-31

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 September 1-15

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 September 15-30

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 October 2-17

  • Box 3, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 October 18-31

  • Box 3, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 November 1-13

  • Box 3, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 November 14-30

  • Box 3, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 December 1-15

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 December 16-30

  • Box 3, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 January

  • Box 3, folder 8
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 February

  • Box 4, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 March

  • Box 4, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 April

  • Box 4, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 May

  • Box 4, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 June 1-16

  • Box 4, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 June 17-30

  • Box 4, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 July 1-15

  • Box 4, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 July 16-27

  • Box 5, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 August

  • Box 5, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 September

  • Box 5, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 October-November

  • Box 5, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 December-1943 January

  • Box 5, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 February-April

  • Box 5, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 May-June

  • Box 5, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 July

  • Box 5, folder 8
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 August

  • Box 6, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 September-October

  • Box 6, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 October-November

  • Box 6, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 November-December

  • Box 6, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1943 December-1944 January

  • Box 6, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 January-February

  • Box 6, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 February-March

  • Box 6, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 April-May

  • Box 6, folder 8
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 May-June

  • Box 6, folder 9
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 June-July

  • Box 7, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 August

  • Box 7, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 September

  • Box 7, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 October

  • Box 7, folder 4
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 November

  • Box 7, folder 5
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 December

  • Box 7, folder 6
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1945 January-February

  • Box 7, folder 7
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1945 March-April

  • Box 8, folder 1
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1945 May-July

  • Box 8, folder 2
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1945 August-January

  • Box 8, folder 3
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Tommy Sharp letters to Anne Louise McMurtry, undated

  • Box 8, folder 4
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Joseph McMurtry ephemera, 1945 December 13

  • Box 8, folder 5
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Empty envelopes, 1941-1945

  • Box 8, folder 6
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Joseph McMurtry letter to Alice McMurtry, 1945 April 20

  • Box 8, folder 7
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Laura Jane Redding letter to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1945 January 23

  • Box 8, folder 8
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Captain J.M. Miller letter to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1944 December 10

  • Box 8, folder 9
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Sgt. William R. Traynor letter to Alice McMurtry, 1944 July 3

  • Box 8, folder 10
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Joseph McMurtry ephemera to unknown, 1945 December 13

  • Box 8, folder 11
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Sgt. Robert Teater letter to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1941 October 15

  • Box 8, folder 12
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Charles Martin letter to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1942 August 20

  • Box 8, folder 13
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Tommy Sharp letter to Alice McMurtry, 1942 December 18-1945 February 28

  • Box 8, folder 14
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Scottie letter to Anne Louise McMurtry, 1945 March 1

  • Box 8, folder 15
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Researchers are encouraged to request collections at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Questions? Contact us at https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.