Student finds letter from World War II soldier sent to TCU student


In 1944, a soldier in World War II wrote a letter to his wife, a TCU student. Sixty eight years later, a graduate student found the soldier's letter inside a book of poetry. 

Lynda Davis, a PhD candidate for American Literature, said she found the letter while organizing books from the English Department she had taken home this summer that had been left behind by professors and students. 

"I was cleaning and dusting, so I opened one and I found a letter dated 1944." Davis said. “I opened it up, and I realized that it was from a man to his wife, who was a student at TCU during World War II." 

Davis found the letter inside a book titled “The Chief American Poets”, which includes a collection of poetry from 1905. No others letters have been found to Davis’s knowledge.

The letter was addressed to Ginny Crandall, from her husband Vaughn Crandall. He served in the Army during World War II. 

Davis said the letter focused on Vaughn’s excitement for his Browning Automatic Rifle and his memories of the weekends he spent with Ginny.

Immediately after finding the letter, Davis said she became curious about the Crandall family. After doing extensive research, she was able to reach one of the couple's grandsons, John Crandall. 

"The grandson gave me the address to his parents, and in the meantime, his mom emailed me, and we started an email conversation," Davis said.

Davis also found Ginny Crandall’s obituary, which said that the couple did a lot of work with sociology and child development. 

The family received the letter and was delighted to have found a piece of their past, Davis said.

"It’s a nice little look to see what happened to a student who graduated in the 1940s and what she did with her life after she left TCU," she said.