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    Description

    "You cannot know how sadly I write these lines."

    Dwight Eisenhower Archive, including a compassionate autograph letter signed notifying the parents of his aide-de-camp that their son, Lieutenant Craig D. Campbell, is missing. Also with an inscribed signed photo and related letters, all concerning General Eisenhower's aide.

    (1) Autograph Letter Signed "Dwight D. Eisenhower". Two pages, 6" x 8", April 12 [1943], on "Allied Force Headquarters/ Office of the Commander-in-Chief" letterhead. This sympathetic letter, both candid and hopeful, is written to Lt. Campbell's parents, notifying them that their son is missing. It reads, "Your son Craig has been missing in action for some days. I've had the best possible searches made of the areas in which he was last seen, but he, and the company of infantry that he was accompanying, has not been found. My personal belief is that he is a prisoner of war, but this is only conjecture. You cannot know how sadly I write these lines. Craig was not only my personal A. D. C., but my favorite young man in these forces. Sometime in late March he and I paid a visit to the front. Because he'd never had an opportunity really to live with soldiers under campaign conditions, I left him with a reserve division, just to get that experience. He was keen to do it, and we agreed he was to stay there three to four weeks. Later that division went in the front line and Craig went along. During an advance he and the company he was with became separated from the remainder of the battalion, and that's all we know of the circumstances. Needless to say I will forward to you by radio any news I may get of him. In the meantime, I hope that you will not become too despondent, because I believe there is a definite chance that he is a prisoner." Lieutenant Craig D. Campbell (1915-2001) began serving as Brigadier General Eisenhower's aide in 1941. He accompanied the general on trips, arranged for transportation and accommodations, and managed appointments and routine correspondence. In June 1943, Campbell was taken prisoner by the Nazis. For twenty-two months he was imprisoned at Oflag 64, the German P.O.W. camp at Szubin, Poland. During that time he desperately tried to keep his close association with Eisenhower secret, but finally, after eighteen months, he was discovered. During the next four months, though, Nazi Germany crumbled and Oflag 64 was abandoned, leaving the P.O.W.s in the care of the liberating Russians. After Campbell resigned from the military at the end of World War II, he and the future president continued to correspond. Fine.

    (2) Inscribed Photo Signed, 6.5" x 9", n.d. [ca. 1943], n.p. Black and white photo showing General Eisenhower in military uniform standing before a U.S. flag, inscribed, "To Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Campbell,/ parents of my A. D. C. Lt. Craig Campbell./ Dwight D. Eisenhower". Fine.

    (3) Postal Telegram, June 11, 1943: "Confirmation now received through the International Red Cross that your son First Lieutenant Craig D. Campbell is a prisoner of war of the German Government." In original transmittal envelope. Fine.

    (4) Colonel Thomas D. Drake Autograph Letter Signed to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell offering them "an idea on the life Craig leads" at Oflag 64. Included are "two mimeographs" which described life at Oflag 64. Both, which include several typed pages signed by Col. Drake and dated November 24, 1944, Washington, D.C., contain fascinating information on life in the prison camp. Fine.

    (5) Mamie Eisenhower Autograph Letter Signed, two pages, June 22, 1943, Washington, D.C., to "Lt. Campbell" in response to a letter Campbell had sent her. In part: "I, too am sorry we have not met but I know you are helping a lot to keep 'My darling' in good feather. Needless to say we 'gals' at home miss you all and will be mighty glad when all this war is over." In original transmittal envelope; fine.

    (6) Two Western Union telegrams: One from Mrs. Eisenhower, April 4, 1945, to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell following Lt. Campbell's release from P.O.W. camp: "Friends saw Craig at Army Headquarters in Italy April 2 and report him in excellent health and spirits"; the other from Colonel Ernest Lee, March 28, 1945, stating, "All of Craig's coworkers and friends join in your happiness at the news of his release." Both with separation along some folds; near very good.

    (7) Mamie Eisenhower Autograph Letter Signed, one page, April 25, 1945, Washington, D.C., to Mrs. Campbell, concerning Craig's arrival in the Capital City: "This A.M. I hear he passed thru Washington . . . I know you are a happy mama to-day." In original transmittal envelope. Fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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