Artifact of the Month
Letter to Henry Gresham from Ollie Gresham
Donated by Henry Gresham
On the evening of December 7, 1941, after learning of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Fayetteville resident Ollie Gresham wrote this letter to her son, Henry, who was stationed with the U. S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
In the letter Ollie describes listening to the radio and hearing not only about Japan declaring war on the United States, but also that all leaves had been canceled. She also asked Henry to send her a "map of the foreign countries." The burden of worry upon Ollie Gresham's shoulders is clear.
Henry Gresham enlisted with the Army on January 6, 1941, served twenty months, and then reenlisted the next day. During his time in the service Gresham served as an artillery officer with the 79th Division in the European Theater. Ollie Gresham lived to see her son return home safely from World War II. She died in 1948.
After the war, Henry Gresham graduated from the Department of Defense Special (Nuclear) Weapons School and participated in the 1957 "Diablo" atom bomb test in Nevada. He also served in Korea.
Gresham retired with the rank of major on January 31, 1961. He then lived and worked in Fayetteville as owner of Fayark Bookbindery. He also worked at First National Bank of Fayetteville. Henry Gresham died in 2007.