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Susquehanna Life

'Snail Mail: Family Ties during WWII' at the Mazeppa Community Center

Oct 07, 2015 08:12PM ● By Kevin
Imagine if the only way you could communicate with a loved one stationed overseas was by mail. That’s exactly how Robert Blyler, his father Paul and his sister Margaret kept in touch when he was stationed in the South Pacific during WWII.  Decades later, their letters, sent between 1943 and 1946, were found stored in the attic in brown paper bags.

Robert Blyler, who grew up in Mazeppa, was an engine lathe operator before joining the Army. He served in the 36th Malaria Control Detachment as a Technician 5th Grade. During his service, he implemented sanitary measures used by the Army to control disease, including supervising cleaning out and spraying swamps with oil and DDT to kill malarial mosquitoes, and constructing sanitary drainage.  Blyler was awarded a Good Conduct Medal, Philippines Liberation Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal, a Bronze Star and a Victory Medal.  Upon his return to the states, Robert went to school on the GI Bill enrolling in the tool-making curriculum at Williamsport Technical Institute (now Pennsylvania College of Technology). After graduation, he was employed by the Lycoming Division of AVCO.

Excerpts from letters that clearly show the family’s love for one another, describe interesting tidbits about Robert’s experiences, and life on the local home front will be read by local residents and 45th Infantry Division World War II Reenactors from Central PA. This program, organized by the Union County Library and the Union County Historical Society, is free and open to the public.

Information courtesy of the 
Union County Historical Society - Lewisburg, PA.

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