Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

A Finding Aid to the

Samuel S. Aronson Papers

Manuscript Collection No. 625

1914-1948 1.2 Linear ft.


The SAMUEL S. ARONSON PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Mr. Richard Allen of Cincinnati, Ohio, in March, 1990.

All literary rights to materials authored by Samuel S. Aronson are held by his heirs. Literary rights to materials authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives.

 The SAMUEL S. ARONSON PAPERS are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


Samuel Schwartz Aronson was born August 15, 1921, the son of Arthur A. and Henrietta Aronson. He attended Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduating in 1938.

From 1938 to 1942 Aronson attended Oak Ridge Military Institute, preparatory school and junior college, in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. He graduated from the College in 1941 and completed a year of post-graduate work the following spring. During the summers he attended military (Reserve Officer Training) camps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and at Clemson College, South Carolina.

In late June, 1942, Aronson launched his career as an active reserve officer in the United States Army. He entered the service as a Lieutenant and began with two months of training at Fort Wheeler, Georgia. In August, 1941 he was assigned to duty at Fort Custer, near Battlecreek, Michigan. In November of the same year he was transferred to Camp Phillips, near Salina, Kansas, where he remained until March of 1943. From March until June, 1943, Aronson was posted at the Personnel Replacement Depot, Shenango, Pennsylvania.

In June of 1943 Aronson was reassigned to an infantry unit on active duty in North Africa. By August the unit had advanced to North Sicily and by October was in Italy. Aronson was wounded at Salerno, Italy, for which he received a Purple Heart. In September, 1944 he was sent home on a hospital ship. He convalesed at the Moore General Hospital in Swannanoa, North Carolina, from October, 1944, until being transferred to the Welch Convalescent Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida in January, 1945. He retired from the army in June of 1945.

 During his entire tour with the military Aronson corresponded often with his family, most often with his father, Arthur A. Aronson. In his letters, Samuel Aronson comments about living conditions in Italy for the local civilian population, as well as for himself and his peers, including economic situation, bouts with malaria and frostbite, both on the frontline and behind the lines. He also describes some of his combat experiences, but without specific details because of censorship. And he comments on the work he did clearing minefields, censoring letters, and commanding a battalion. His letters are very descriptive of daily life in the military during World War II.

 NOTE: Source material for this biography was taken from documents found in the Samuel S. Aronson Papers.


The SAMUEL S. ARONSON PAPERS describe the military career of Samuel S. Aronson as a infantry soldier in the United States Army during World War II. The collection consists primarily of correspondence between Lt. Aronson and his father, Arthur A. Aronson, and other family and friends. Also included in the collection are photographs from Lt. Aronson's military career, memorabilia from his years at a private military school and college in North Carolina, and miscellaneous materials pertaining to his family in North Carolina. The collection is divided into three series:

  • SERIES A. CORRESPONDENCE consists of 1 and 1/2 boxes (.6 ft.) containing correspondence between Samuel Aronson and his father, Arthur A. Aronson, and other family and friends, and letters from a girlfriend while he was at school in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. The bulk of material consists of letters from Lt. Samuel Aronson to his parents describing his life in the military and observations of conditions at army posts in the United States, North Africa, Sicily and Italy. The materials in Series A span the years 1941-1948, with the bulk dated 1942-1944.

     SERIES B. MILITARY RECORDS AND MISCELLANEOUS consists of 1/2 box (.2 ft.) containing an annual bulletin, class rosters, commencement programs, postcards, notes and a publicity brochure from Oak Ridge Military Institute, Oak Ridge, North Carolina and news articles describing war games held by the military (Reserve Officer Training) camp at Clemson College, South Carolina in 1941; news articles, military records and miscellaneous pertaining to Aronson's military career; Samuel Aronson's address book; and news articles and miscellaneous pertaining to Arthur A. Aronson. The materials in Series B span the years 1934-1948, with the bulk dated 1940-1944.

     SERIES C. PHOTOGRAPHS AND RECORDINGS consists of 1 box (.4 ft.) containing one "Voice Letter" on a "Voice-O-Graph" sound recording disc from "Sam and Arlene" to Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Aronson, December, 1946; two photo albums; and two envelopes containing negatives. One photo album contains a collection of photos depicting events, family members and friends, and baseball players during the period just prior to Samuel's birth. The dates noted in the album are 1914-1915, but may include photos from as early as 1900 and as late as 1920. A second photo album contains a photographic record dated, 1940-1944, illustrating Samuel Aronson's experiences in school, and in the military, as well as photos of his parents, grandmother and younger brother, Buddy. The negatives in the last folder were found contained in two separate envelopes. One envelope contains color negatives and no identification of dates or subject are given. The second envelope contains black and white negatives and the label indicates the envelope once contained photos processed in January of 1945 for Lt. S. Aronson. The materials in Series C span the years 1914-1946.


    Box  Folder    Contents
    1    1    From Elizabeth Maynor (a girlfriend), Ja-My, 1942
         2    To family (general), Je, 1942-S, 1942
         3    To family (general), O, 1942-D, 1942
         4    To family (general), 1943
         5    To family (general), Ja, 1944-My, 1944
    2    1    To family (general), Je, 1944-N, 1944
         2    V-mail to family (general), 1943
         3    V-mail to family (general), 1944
         4    From Arthur A. Aronson, Je, 1943-Je, 1945
         5    From Uncle Henry, n.d.
         6    Kallis, Fannie A., D, 1944 and S, 1948
         7    Miscellaneous correspondence, n.d.
         8    Oak Ridge Military Institute - School records and miscellaneous, 1939-1941     
         9    Military Records and misc., 1942-1948
         10   Miscellaneous, 1934-1944 and n.d.
         11   Arthur A. Aronson - Miscellaneous, 1940 and n.d.
    3    1    Voice letter recording disc from Sam and Arlene, DeTavel, Fla., to Mr. and Mrs.
              A. A. Aronson, Raleigh, N.C., D 28, 1946
         2    Family Photo album, Fayetteville, N.C., Orange, Tex., and Lake Raleigh, N.C.,
               1914-1915 and n.d.
         3    Personal photo album, 1940-1944
         4    Miscellaneous negatives (no corresponding prints in collection), 1945 and n.d.