Skip to main content

Edward Manley and Jean Worthington letters

 Collection
Identifier: RHC-116
In the collection are 226 letters and envelopes: 60 were written by Jean Worthington and sent to Edward Manley from 15 February 1945 to 1 July 1945; 159 were written by Edward Manley and sent to Jean Worthington while on duty with the U.S. Army from 15 February 1945 to 27 June 1946; and seven from other people with some relationship to the two, 1943-1945. A few letters are without envelopes; a few envelopes lack letters.

The content of Jean's letters describes everyday life of a teenage schoolgirl living in Cleveland, Ohio, with her parents during the war, including frequent mentions of friends, popular songs, movies, pets, and cooking, and visits to Edward's family, and her love for Edward. Edward's letters to Jean mostly concentrate on sentiments of love and the hope of marriage after the war. He also describes experiences and duties as he undergoes training with a variety of weapons and ordnance, his singing with a USO show, requests for transfer to the U.S. Army Air Corps, his volunteering for parachute infantry training, and descriptions of Nagoya during the American occupation of Japan. Both correspondents mention the anniversary of their first meeting (27 August 1943), and often use the word "Someday" in quotation marks which seems to refer to the then-popular song "Someday You'll Want Me to Want You." There is constant good-natured joking from both about the 28 children they will have once they are married.

Both Jean and Edward sent numerous photographs of themselves to each other, but all were removed probably upon receipt and do not survive with the collection. They also made a number of voice recordings, but likewise are missing from the collection.

As serious and devoted Jean and Edward seem from their letters, something went seriously wrong with the relationship sometime after March 1946. The last letter in the collection from Edward (27 June 1946) no longer speaks of love or marriage but instead is rather formal and signed merely "Ned."

Other correspondents in the collection (Folder 17) include: Private William ("Shorty") Irvine (1922-1998) of Cleveland; he seems to have been Jean's boyfriend just before she met Edward in late July 1943. Lois Marie Jackson (1929-1970) of Cleveland; she wrote two letters to Edward in March 1944 about hearing him sing on the radio.

Dates

  • 1943 - 1946
  • Majority of material found in 1945

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights

For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.

Extent

0.85 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Biographical Notes

Jean ("Jeannie") Allaine Worthington was born on 1 November 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents were Archibald ("Archie") Augusta Worthington (1896-1979), a tool worker, and Lena L. Fritchell (1904-1985); she had one younger sister, Shirley C. Worthington (1934-2012). In 1945 and 1946 she was living with her parents at 14247 Superior Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

She met Edward Manley on 27 August 1943 in Cleveland when she was 14 and he was 16, but it does not seem likely they attended the same school. During 1945 she was attending high school and had a job after school. There is no evidence that they subsequently married; in Cleveland in 1971 or 1972 she married John Krasnicki, Sr. (1906-1986), who was twenty-two years her senior. She died on 8 September 1994 in Garfield Heights and is buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.

Edward ("Ned") Arthur Manley was born on 25 December 1926 in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. His parents were Patrick Sanfield Manley (1895-1952), advertising manager for a Cleveland newspaper and Leonarda Gallagher Manley (1896-1970); he had five siblings: Edith Manley McNamara (1928-1958), John Vincent (1930-1988), Narda Patricia Daly (1931-2007), Alicia Ann Gramuglia (1932-2006), and Patrick A. (1934-2011). The family emigrated from Canada to the United States in the 1930s and by 1940 were living in Cleveland.

Edward Manley enlisted in the U.S. Army as Private on 15 February 1945 in Cleveland; that same day he entrained for the Army Reception Center at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. In late February he had been assigned to Company B, 30th Battalion, 3rd Regiment at the Infantry Replacement Training Center at Fort McClellan, Alabama. A request to be transferred to the Army Air Corps was turned down. After a twelve-day furlough, Edward was transferred in late July to Company B-1-1, Army Ground Forces Replacement Depot No. 3 at Fort Riley, Kansas for a few days before being passed on to 3rd Platoon, Company M, 4th Regiment, Army Ground Forces Replacement Depot No. 2 at Fort Ord, California. In early August he was placed in 1st Platoon, Casual Company 12 in preparation for shipping out to Japan for occupation duties. By 13 September he was in Luzon in the Philippines as part of the 666 Replacement Company, A.P.O. 291, shortly to be assigned to Battery B, 8th Field Artillery Battalion, A.P.O. 25. Edward arrived in Japan in early October and was assigned to an antitank Company in the 27th Infantry Regiment. By the end of June 1946 he was still in Japan, but he repeats a rumor that they would be coming back the United States in October 1946.

Manley was discharged in October 1946 and returned to California to find that Jean was engaged to be married to a man named "Shorty." Manley lost contact with Jean shortly thereafter. By 1952 he had moved to Los Angeles, California and at some point married Antoinette T. Manley (born 1940). They had one son, Darren Anthony Manley (born 1984). Edward applied for naturalization on 17 May 1945 in Anniston, Alabama while he was stationed at Fort McClellan, and became a U.S. citizen on 19 May 1945.

Custodial History

Before purchased in an online auction in February 2017, this collection allegedly was part of the holdings of the World War History & Art Museum in Alliance, Ohio, before the museum was disbanded in 2014. It is probable that this collection came from the estate of Jean Worthington Krasnicki following her death in 1994. The letters written by Jean to Edward were evidently returned to Jean for safe keeping when Edward returned to Cleveland on furlough in July 1945.
Title
Edward Manley and Jean Worthington letters, 1943-1946 (1945 bulk)
Status
completed
Author
Robert Beasecker
Date
2017
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections & University Archives Repository

Contact:
Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States
616-331-8726