Aaron R. Gould Letters, 1940-1944

Overview of the Collection

Aaron R. Gould, d.1944
Aaron R. Gould Letters
1940-1944 (inclusive)
0.5 cubic feet
Collection Number
MG332 (collection)
Twenty three letters written by Private Gould, a Nez Perce Indian, to his father, Owen J. Gould, regarding army life during World War II. Also a printed broadside, Nez Perce County Honor Roll (1945).
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Aaron R. Gould was a Nez Perce Indian from Lapwai, Idaho. From his induction into the army in 1940 until April of 1944 he was attached to Company M, 4th Infantry; during this time he was stationed at Ft. Wright, Spokane, Washington, and from 1941-March 1944 at Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska. When he was transferred to Camp Carson, Colorado, he was part of A.T. Company "Timberwolves", 414 Infantry. As a soldier in the European theater he was in the anti-tank field artillery. He was killed in action on December 9, 1944.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This record group consists of 23 letters, some typed, others handwritten, which Private Gould sent to his father, Owen J. Gould, in which he mentions family and friends, military camp activities, and his own feelings about the war. It is evident from reading the letters that some of them are missing.

In the first letter he says "I'm beginning to realize a lot of things since I came into this man's army. I guess a person goes through a lot of things in life." The sixth letter dated December l, 1941, he answers his father's question of why he wanted to enlist. He gives several reasons: he wanted to beat the draft; he hated the environment in Lapwai--not enough social life; jobs were scarce; the gang had joined and he wanted to go along; he wanted to do his part for the USA; then says the main reason was that his father had been in the army in the previous war.

In July 1944 he was granted a furlough and returned to Lapwai for a few days. In his letter of July 20 he mentions his visit and how hard it was to leave his fiancee. He also writes of the trouble he had with bus transportation getting back to Colorado, stating he got back late, but no one had said anything to him about it yet.

One of his last letters, dated November 23, 1944, was written on Thanksgiving, and he mentions his unit had procured a goose and potatoes for dinner, but the goose was so tough he fractured his jaw and one of the other men ruined his upper false teeth.

There are two other items in this collection, a letter from the Army effects bureau sending Aaron's property to his father, and a printed broadside Nez Perce County Honor Roll, World War II, which lists Gould along with other county residents who died in the war.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The letters were arranged chronologically and placed in two folders. An asterisk (*) following the entry in the following list indicates a typed letter.

Acquisition Information

The letters of Private Aaron R. Gould, a Nez Perce Indian, were purchased from rare book dealer Charles Apfelbaum of Valley Stream, New York, in January 1993.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Correspondence , 1940-1944Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Ft. Wright, Spokane, Washington
1940 November 7
Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska*
1941 January 24
Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska*
1941 April 4
Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska
1941 July 9
Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska*
1941 October 19
Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska
1941 December 1
APO Seattle
1942 May 6
APO Seattle
1942 July 12
APO Seattle (Anchorage, Alaska pencilled on back of envelope
1942 August 13
APO Seattle*
1942 December 1914
APO Seattle
1943 March 10
Camp Carson, Colorado
1944 April 4
Camp Carson, Colorado
1944 June 15
Camp Carson, Colorado
1944 June 26
Camp Carson, Colorado
1944 July 20
Camp Carson, Colorado
1944 August 5
APO New York
1944 August 18
Somewhere in France
1944 October 7
Somewhere in Holland
1944 November 1
Somewhere in Holland
1944 November 2
Somewhere in Germany (Moresenet, pencilled on back of envelope)
1944 November 23
Somewhere in Germany
1944 November 28
Somewhere in Germany
1944 November 30

Series II. Other Items , 1945Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Letter from Army Effects Bureau
1945 April 19
Broadside: Nez Perce County Honor Roll, World War II

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Nez Percé Indians -- Personal narratives
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Alaska
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American

Personal Names

  • Gould, Owen J.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Gould, Aaron R., d. 1944--Archives.