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Painting, Navy ship behind sailboat
Operational Archives Branch
Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060


Papers of the
LeBaron Family
1939-1978



Biographical Note

Walter and Pearle LeBaron of Waterbury, Vermont were the parents of six children: Kathleen, Theodore, William, John, Allan, and Marilyn. Each of their sons enlisted in the Navy, served in World War II, and returned to civilian life after the war.

Walter Roy LeBaron was born on 8 August 1893 in Barre, Vermont. Prior to World War II, he was the superintendent of the Washington West District in Vermont. In November 1942, he joined the Seabees as a third class carpenter's mate. He served in Bermuda with the 49th Construction Battalion and the 94th Construction Battalion in Scotland. Walter LeBaron was discharged in August 1945.

Pearle MacLeay LeBaron was born on 11 October 1895 in Graniteville, Vermont. She was a housewife before the war started but then became a secretary once her husband Walter joined the Navy. Pearle maintained correspondence with family members and friends before, during, and after World War II.

Kathleen LeBaron was the oldest child of the family. She was born on 24 October 1919 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. In 1939, she was a junior at the University of Vermont. She then married Norm Strassburg on 10 May 1941 and had three children with him. Her husband was a boatswain's mate first class in the Coast Guard. He served from 1942 to 1945.

Theodore LeBaron was the second child of Walter and Pearle LeBaron. He was born on 25 December 1920 in Craftsbury, Vermont. Theodore was an Apprentice Seaman in the Navy before the war. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese and then flew with VP-22. While flying in the Pacific Ocean, Theodore was shot down near Australia on 19 February 1942. A ship picked him up, but then that ship was sunk and as a result, he was marooned on an island until VP-101 could save him. Afterwards, he returned to America and attended the V-12 program at Middlebury College in 1944. Theodore was discharged from the Navy in December 1945 as an Aviation Chief Ordnanceman.

William N. LeBaron was the third child of the family. He was born on 3 May 1922 in Craftsbury, Vermont. Prior to World War II, he went to college at the Vermont Agricultural School. He joined the Navy on 3 January 1942 and reported to USS Wichita on 9 February 1942, where he served until Wichita was decommissioned following the end of the World War II. During his time onboard, Wichita served with the Third and Fifth Fleets in North Africa, the Pacific Theater, and the Aleutian Islands. William also took part in the retrieval of Allied prisoners of war from Nagasaki in September 1945. After serving in the reserves, William was discharged from the Navy in December 1947 as a storekeeper first class. He earned eleven World War II battle stars.

John E. LeBaron was the fourth child of the family. He was born on 8 September 1923 in Hardwick, Vermont. In 1939, he was a junior at Waterbury High School. At the beginning of World War II, he joined the United States Naval Reserve. John was stationed on USS Holly and around the New England area from 1941 to 1942. He also served in the South Pacific, V-12 and NROTC, and the Philippines throughout 1943 to 1945. John was discharged at the end of 1945 as a gunner's mate second class.

Allan G. LeBaron was the fifth child of the family. He was born on 14 March 1926 in Hardwick, Vermont. Prior to the war, Allan was a freshman at Waterbury High School. He then joined the United States Naval Reserve on 17 March 1943 and served in Guam from 1944 to 1946. Allan was discharged from the Navy as a yeoman third class in April 1946.

Marilyn LeBaron was the youngest child of the family. She was born on 10 April 1928 in Cabot, Vermont. She was in sixth grade at the Waterbury Elementary School in 1939. During World War II, Marilyn finished high school and worked as a singer, dancer, and waitress.


Scope and Content Note

The LeBaron Family collection consists primarily of letters between family members before, during, and after World War II. These letters tell the story of the Navy enlisted man's experience during the war and also the story of his family. In addition to correspondence, the collection contains publications written by Allan and John LeBaron, memorabilia, news clippings, and photographs.

This collection is arranged in three series. Series I, Correspondence, consists of letters written to and from various members of the LeBaron family. It is arranged chronologically.

Series II, Publications, contains publications written by Allan or John LeBaron on their experiences during World War II. It is arranged alphabetically by title.

The final series, Miscellaneous, contains various photos, letters, newspaper articles, and documents pertinent to the LeBaron family. It is arranged alphabetically by subject matter.


Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the LeBaron Family Papers, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.


Subject Headings (LCSH)

United States. Navy--History--Sources
World War, 1939-1945.
Families of military personnel.


Extent

6.5 cubic feet


22 January 2003