Hauck family papers

Collection 3401

( Bulk, 1941-1969 ) 1930-1999, bulk 1941-1969
(7.9 Linear feet ; 21 boxes, 3 flat files)

Summary Information

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Hauck family
Hauck, Darthe Charlton, 1918-2006.
Hauck, Joseph B., 1913-1982.
Hauck, Joseph B., 1943-1976.
Hauck family papers
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1941-1969
Date [inclusive]
1930-1999, bulk 1941-1969
7.9 Linear feet ; 21 boxes, 3 flat files
Finding aid prepared by Michael DiCamillo, Cary Hutto, Randi Kamine
The Hauck family consisted of Joseph B. Hauck Senior of Philadelphia; his wife, Darthe (Charlton) Hauck of Maple Shade, New Jersey; and their son, Joseph B. Hauck Junior. Joseph Sr. was drafted into the United States Army in March of 1941 and served in the European theater of the war from 1944 to 1945. Joseph Jr. also served in the United States Army following his participation in the ROTC program at Georgetown University. He was ordered to serve in Vietnam from November 1967 to October 1968. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, and ephemera mostly connected to Joseph Sr.’s and Joseph’s Jr.’s time in the United States Army. Joseph Sr.’s correspondence with Darthe from 1941 to 1945 mostly describes his daily activities, military camp life, and impressions of the war’s progress. The correspondence also includes the couple’s love letters. Joseph Jr.’s correspondence with his parents from 1962 to 1966 describes his experiences as a college student at Georgetown University. The letters he writes home between 1967 and 1968 focus on his experiences in the Vietnam War including experience of the Tet Offensive and air flights out of Biên Hòa Air Base. The collection’s photographs, records, and ephemera further illustrate both men’s experiences during their military careers.

Preferred citation

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Hauck family papers (Collection 3401), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Background note

Sometime shortly before 1938, Joseph B. Hauck of Philadelphia met Darthe Charlton of Maple Shade. Their courtship led to an engagement, and the two planned to marry in June 1941. However, in March 1941, Hauck was drafted into the army under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, and the wedding was postponed. Hauck was initially ordered to serve one year in the army. He started his military training in March 1941 at Ft. Meade in Maryland, but he was quickly transferred to Virginia’s Camp Lee. By June of that year, he was stationed in Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. The army prepared to release Hauck and other draftees in December 1941 in accordance with new legislation attached to the original draft bill, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II halted Hauck’s early release. Hauck’s term of service was extended through the conclusion of the war.

In September of 1942, Hauck was accepted into Air Forces Officer Candidate School in Miami Beach. Upon graduation he was sent to Kirtland Field (now Kirtland Air Force Base) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Darthe joined him in Albuquerque, and the couple was finally married on February 12th, 1943. Their son, Joseph B. Hauck Junior (AKA “Abe” and “Joe B.”), was born on December 23, 1943 while they continued to reside on base in Albuquerque. However, Hauck Sr. was ordered to Scott Field (now Scott Air Force Base) in Illinois to prepare for overseas deployment. Darthe and Joe Jr. chose not to accompany Joe Sr. at Scott Field, and they moved to Darthe’s parents’ home in Maple Shade, New Jersey.

Hauck’s overseas orders sent him first to England, then to France, and finally to Germany. While overseas he reached the rank of captain. According to his letters, he spent most of his time organizing basketball games and film screenings for soldiers. If he was involved in any battles, he did not discuss them in his letters. Hauck’s military service concluded at the end of 1945, and he returned to civilian life. He resumed working for Mutual Life of New York — the company that employed him before he was drafted into the army — and he and Darthe purchased a home at 117 Allens Lane in Philadelphia.

Joseph Hauck Jr. began attending Germantown Academy in 1958 and graduated in 1962. He was accepted to Georgetown University and enrolled in classes for the Fall 1962 term. He struggled with his classes during his time at Georgetown, but he excelled in his responsibilities as an ROTC cadet. He left Georgetown without graduating in 1966, and began fulfilling his obligations to the U.S. Army. He served stints at Annville, Pennsylvania; Ft. Benning, Georgia; and Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. In November 1967, he was sent to Vietnam and stationed near Biên Hòa Airbase. He notes in his letters that he enjoyed exclusive access to the air base which was otherwise off-limits to the soldiers stationed with him. His letters do not reveal the nature of the flights that he took out of Biên Hòa, but he indicates that he learned how to fly at Biên Hòa and that he flew frequently out of the airbase. His unit responded to the Tet Offensive in early 1968 and later the May Offensive that year. By August of 1968, Hauck Jr. was moved to Signal Hill where he was in command of a unit of men, but this position was short lived since Hauck Jr.’s deployment in Vietnam ended in October 1968.

Joseph Jr. died in 1976. His family suspected that his exposure to Agent Orange during his Vietnam deployment contributed to his death. Joseph Sr. died in 1982. Darthe Hauck passed away in 2006.

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Scope and content note

The collection spans from 1939 to 1974, but most of the material dates from 1941-1945 and 1962-1969. Three sets of correspondence make up the bulk of the collection. Series 1 contains the daily letter exchange between Joseph Hauck Sr. and Darthe (Charleton) Hauck during Joseph’s active service in the military. From March 1941 to late 1945, the couple regularly discussed their daily activities and frequently expressed their love and longing for one another. The letters also provide the couple’s reaction to the Pearl Harbor bombing, their impressions of World War II prior to the United States’ entry, and their efforts to marry despite the extended term of service Joseph received after the U.S. entered the war. Seemingly all of the letters Joseph wrote during this time period are in the collection, but only a limited number of Darthe’s letters survive. This correspondence will be of particular interest to researchers interested in the military careers of men drafted into the army as a result of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. Researchers interested in daily life on U.S. military bases in the U.S., England, France, and Germany during the World War II years will also benefit from the collection. Finally, researchers interested in women during the war years will find Darthe’s letters useful since they provide insight into the experiences of a young woman/wife/mother living in the greater Philadelphia region.

Series 2 contains the daily letter exchange between Joseph Hauck Jr. and Darthe (Charleton) Hauck that occurred while Joseph Jr. attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. from 1962 to 1966. Joseph Jr.’s letters provide insight into college campus life during the 1960s. In addition, the letters discuss major events of the time period such as Georgetown students’ participation in the Spring Riots of 1963 and the collapse of the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies. Darthe’s letters reveal her daily activities while living in Philadelphia, and they also provide insight into the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s (HSP) operations since Darthe was an employee at HSP at that time. Joseph Jr.’s letters seem to be complete, but only a small portion of Darthe’s letters are part of the collection. Researchers interested in life on college campuses during the early to middle 1960s may find this correspondence useful.

Series 3 contains the letters Joseph Hauck Jr. sent home while he was on active duty in Vietnam from November 1967 to October 1968. Joseph Jr.’s letters describe a number of major events that occurred during his deployment including the Tet Offensive and the May Offensive, and he provides some insight into his specific actions during these affairs. In addition to the military aspects of the war, the letters address social conditions within the United States Army. The letters discuss racial issues such as tensions between African-American and white soldiers, African-American protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and the leadership of Frederic Davison who commanded the 199th Infantry Brigade in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. Researchers interested in the daily life of Vietnam War soldiers will find ample material in this correspondence.

The collection is also rich with photographs. Most of the photographs in Series I depict Joseph Sr.’s friends and fellow soldiers that he met during his service time. The photographs in Series III include images of Joseph Jr.’s friends and acquaintances from his service in Vietnam. In addition, Joseph Jr. captured many landscape scenes depicting the effects that the war had on Vietnam. Among these images are scenes depicting the destruction that the Tet Offensive wreaked on the people and the environment.

Finally, the collection contains Joseph Sr.’s and Joseph Jr.’s military papers, personal papers, and other ephemera they collected during their respective times in the army. The collection does not contain Darthe’s personal or professional effects other than the letters found in the collection’s correspondence.

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Overview of arrangement

Series 1. World War II era

Subseries a. Correspondence, 1939-1945 (12 boxes)

Subseries b. Photographs, 1936-1945 (1 box)

Subseries c. Joseph B. Hauck Sr.’s military records and military paraphernalia, 1941-1956 (1 box)

Subseries d. Miscellaneous, 1930-circa 1940s, undated (1 box)

Series 2. Post-World War II era

Subseries a. Correspondence, 1954-1965, 1993, 1999 (2 boxes)

Subseries b. Family photographs, circa 1952-1974 (1 box)

Series 3. Vietnam era

Subseries a. Correspondence, circa 1960s-1974 (1 box)

Subseries b. Photographs, circa 1956-1969 (2 boxes)

Subseries c. Joseph B. Hauck Jr.’s personal and military records, 1950-1975 (1 box)

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2016.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107


The collection is open for research.


Gift of Lou Meehan, 2009.

Accession number 2009.026.

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Related Materials

Related materials

Herman Berger papers, 1946-1947 (Collection 3575)

Frank Gordon Bradley World War II correspondence (Collection 3548)

Henry J. P. Hobbs papers, 1937-1946 (Collection 1465)

Earl Leas correspondence, 1943-1945 (Collection 3417)

Edward Psulkowski letters, 1939-1968 (Collection 3123)

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs--20th century.


  • Biên Hòa (Vietnam).
  • Family life--New Jersey.
  • Family life--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Kirtland Air Force Base (N.M.).
  • Maple Shade (N.J.)--Social life and customs--20th century.
  • Personal Correspondence.
  • Scott Air Force Base (Ill.).
  • United States. Army.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives, American.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Photography.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Memorabilia.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • World War, 1939-1945.

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1.  World War II era 

 Subseries a.  Correspondence 

Box Folder

Postcard to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. 1939 

1 1

Letters to Darthe Hauck August 1939-July 1941 

1 2-6

Letters to Darthe Hauck August 1941-February 1942 

2 1-7

Letters to Darthe Hauck January-May 1942 

3 1-4

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. April 1942 

3 5

Letters to Darthe Hauck June-December 1942 

4 1-5

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. May-December 1942 

4 6

Letters to Darthe Hauck January-February 1943 

5 1

Letters to Hauck friends and family March-December 1943 

5 2

Letters to Darthe Hauck October-December 1943 

5 3-4

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. 1943 

5 5

Letters to Darthe Hauck January-May 1944 

5 6-9

Letters to Darthe Hauck May 1944 

6 1

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. March-May 1944 

6 2

Letters to Darthe Hauck June 1944 

6 3-4

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. June 1944 

6 5

Letters to Darthe Hauck July 1944 

6 6-7

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. July 1944 

7 1

Letters to Darthe Hauck August 1944 

7 2-3

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. August 1944 

7 4

Letters to Darthe Hauck September 1944 

7 5

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. September 1944 

7 6

Letters to Darthe Hauck October 1944 

    Box Folder
Text (00016037)   8 1
    Box Folder
Text (00016036)   7 7

Box Folder

Letters to Darthe Hauck November 1944 

8 2-3

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. October-November 1944 

8 4

Letters to Darthe Hauck December 1944 

8 5-6

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. December 1944 

9 1

Letters to Darthe Hauck January-February 1945 

9 2-4

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. January-February 1945 

9 5

Letters to Darthe Hauck March 1945 

9 6

Letters to Darthe Hauck March-April 1945 

10 1-2

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. March-April 1945 

10 3

Letters to Darthe Hauck May 1945 

10 4-5

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. May 1945 

10 6

Letters to Darthe Hauck June 1945 

    Box Folder
Text (00016039)   10 7
    Box Folder
Text (00016040)   11 1

Box Folder

Letters to Darthe Hauck July-September 1945 

11 2-5

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. June-October 1945 

11 6

Miscellaneous correspondence 1944-1945 

11 7

Unidentified correspondence and empty envelopes undated 

11 8

Greeting cards circa 1941-1945, undated 

12 1-3

 Subseries b. Photographs 1936-1945 

Folder information

Flat file 1 contains large group photos of military servicepeople, and Moorestown High School (Moorestown, New Jersey), Class of 1936

Flat file 1

 Subseries c.  Joseph B. Hauck Sr.’s military records and military paraphernalia 

Box Folder

Military leave passes, ration cards, patches May-December 1941 

13 1

Notecards, medical corps, promotions June-December 1941 

13 2

Newspaper clippings June-September 1944 

13 3

Insurance benefits, power of attorney, will February 1944 

13 4

Special orders, Air Force reserve orders, miscellaneous January 1945-October 1956 

13 5

 Subseries d. Miscellaneous 


Darthe B. Hauck educational certificates 1930, 1931, 1932 

Flat file 2
Box Folder

Postcards circa 1940s 

14 1

Travel souvenirs circa 1940s 

14 2

Travel souvenirs, business cards, artifacts circa 1940s 

14 3

Assorted documents, receipts, bills circa 1940s 

14 4

Ink drawing of Joseph B. Hauck Sr. undated 

14 5

"Welcome Home" sign undated 

Flat file 3
Box Folder

Negatives circa 1940s 

14 6

Disbound scrapbook 1941-1942, undated 

14 7

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 Series 2.  Post-World War II era 

 Subseries a.  Correspondence 

Box Folder

Letters to Darthe Hauck 1954-1964 

15 1

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Sr. 1954-1957 

15 2-6

Letters from Joseph B. Hauck Jr. 1954-1960, 1962-1966 

    Box Folder
Text (00016045)   16 1-5
    Box Folder
Text (00016044)   15 7-8

Box Folder

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Jr. April 1962-October 1965 

16 6

Empty envelopes 1964-1965 

16 7

Darthe Hauck papers 1993, 1999 

16 8

 Subseries b.  Family photographs circa 1952-1974 


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 Series 3.  Vietnam era 

 Subseries a. Correspondence 

Box Folder

Letters from Joseph B. Hauck Jr. November 1966-October 1967 

17 1

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Jr. August 1967-September 1967 

17 2

Letters from Joseph B. Hauck Jr. November 1967-February 1968 

17 3

Letters from Joseph B. Hauck Jr. March-May 1968 

17 4

Letters from Joseph B. Hauck Jr. June 1968-June 1969 

17 5

Letters to Joseph B. Hauck Jr. October 1968-June 1974 

17 6

Empty envelopes 1967-1968 

17 7

film negatives circa 1960s 

17 8

 Subseries b.  Photographs circa 1956-1969 


 Subseries c.  Joseph B. Hauck Jr.’s personal and military records 

Box Folder

Elementary school report cards, Germantown Academy, greeting cards, college acceptance 1950-1972 

18 1

Services records, leave applications, orders September 1964-September 1974 

18 2

Maps, military training, prayer book, military pay certificate, personal memo book April 1966-May 1973 

18 3

Army reserve June 1966-August 1973 

18 4

Responsibility for damages, mortar November 1968 

18 5

Promotion to captain, medical records, school text January 1972-June 1973 

18 6

Discharge papers for military personnel, National Guard February 1974 

18 7

Miscellaneous - after Vietnam September 1969-March 1975 

18 8

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