Correspondence and personal papers of Filomena (Lena) Inverso, of south Philadelphia, collected from 1943-1945, primarily consisting of letters received from her brothers Joe Juliano and Albert Juliano, during their service in the United States military during World War II.
Filomena Juliano, known as Lena, and her family were raised in south Philadelphia. She had at least four brothers: Bill, Joe, Albert, and Ernest. She married Charles Inverso and had four children, Philomena, Amelia, Diana, and Danny. The family lived at 925 Kimball Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the period covered by the papers in this collection.
Albert Juliano began serving in the United States Navy in October or November of 1943 at the age of eighteen. After basic training at the United States Naval Training Center in Sampson, New York, the U.S. Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island, and in Brooklyn, New York at the Bethlehem Steel Co., Albert served on USS Knox from the time of its commissioning in March 1944 until at least December 1945, the date of his last letter included in this collection.
Joe Juliano, older brother of Albert and younger brother of Lena, joined the U.S. Army in May 1943. He went through basic training at Camp Shelby, MS and served in North Africa, Italy, and Southern France with the 69th Infantry and, towards the end of the war, as a military police officer.
Ernest Juliano did not serve in the military, but lived at home with his mother, Erminia, while working at the Sun Shipbuilding Co. in Chester, Pennsylvania.
The Lena Inverso Papers consist primarily of correspondence in the form of letters, postcards, and V-Mail received from her younger brothers Joe and Albert written while they served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, respectively, between 1943 and 1945.
Albert Juliano wrote to his sister regularly during the time he spent in the Navy, often at a rate of two or three letters per week. His letters describe his experiences in the Navy, his impressions of various ports of call, and show concern with family affairs in Philadelphia, particularly with the safety and well being of his brother Joe, serving with the Army in Europe. They also offer insight into the maturation of young man away from home for the first time.
Joe Juliano wrote to his sister with varying frequency, sometimes multiple letters in a week, sometimes only once a month, commencing with the start of his basic training in the Army at Camp Shelby, MS. Juliano served with the 69th Infantry and fought in North Africa, at Anzio Beachhead, Rome, and in Southern France. His letters describe his experiences in training and at war, as well as his impressions of the various places where he served. A letter dated April 24, 1944 addresses a minor wound he sustained and his sister’s reaction to the news of his injury. Many of his letters express interest in family affairs at home in Philadelphia and the wish to return to be with his family and friends.
Also included in the collection are letters to Ernest Juliano from Albert and Joe. Letters from Albert were mostly written during his basic training and concern his experiences in training, furloughs and family matters. Letters from Joe describe combat experiences, thoughts on German soldiers, and U.S. domestic politics in a more direct, frank manner than in the letters he wrote to his sister, Lena.
The collection also includes letters received from Lena’s cousin Arimondo Savignano, an Italian soldier being held as a prisoner of war at Camp Myles Standish, MA, his friend and translator Antonio Martone, and her uncle Francestonio DeVico of Avellino, Italy. Letters written to Lena’s mother Erminia Juliano by her brother Francestonio DeVico describing the plight of his family in post-Fascist Italy are contained in the collection as well.
Other items included in this collection are various personal papers of Lena Inverso and her children Philomena and Amelia, and of her husband Charles Inverso, such as employment documents from a number of shipyards in Philadelphia and Chester, a few bills and receipts, and correspondence received between May 1943 and January 1945 from his brother William, who served in the United States Army.
- World War, 1939-1945 — Correspondence
- World War, 1939-1945 — Personal narratives, American
- Juliano, Earnest
- Juliano, Erminia
- Inverso, Charles
- Inverso, Philomena
- Inverso, Amelia
- United States. Army — Military life
- United States. Army. Infantry Division, 69th
- United States. Navy — Military life
- U.S.S. Knox.