WWII letters penned from battlefield show soldiers' ties to Penn State Altoona

Nearly 75 years after the end of World War II, correspondence from approximately 100 Penn State students and faculty members who served overseas has found a permanent home at the Robert E. Eiche Library at Penn State Altoona. The collection of 500 letters has been preserved by the library to offer students and researchers firsthand accounts of the everyday lived experiences of local soldiers during the war.

Altoona basketball team in 1947-48

The Penn State Altoona, then the Altoona Undergraduate Center, basketball team from 1947-48 included Jerry Conlon (holding ball), who was a prisoner of war in Germany and returned to school at the campus after the war. 

Charles Diehl

Charles Diehl, a Penn State Altoona instructor who returned to teach at the campus after WWII, pictured in 1942. He wrote to Robert Eiche during his time in the war, where he served as a private in the U.S. Army, took a 22-week course in radio training and qualified for officer training school. 

WWII letter from Altoona student

One of the roughly 500 letters written to Robert Eiche, the first campus director of Penn State Altoona, by a Penn State Altoona student-turned-service member during World War II.