MS 734 - Demas Lindley Sears Papers
|Title||MS 734 - Demas Lindley Sears Papers|
The D.L. Sears papers consist of correspondence, reports, photographs, maps, and printed material relating to service during World War II in the Pacific and covering period from 1938 to 1945.
The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Frances S. Eliot of Ann Arbor, MI, on Jan. 23, 1997. No restrictions now exist on the use of this collection, and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The collection was processed by Jason Wesco and a register was prepared in February 1997 by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts.
Demas Lindley Sears, born Feb. 6, 1894 in Bucyrus, Ohio, was the son of Rufus Victor Sears and Sallie Jane Harris Sears. Demas was a 1916 graduate of Ohio State University, and he served during World War I until 1920, attaining the rank of Captain. After the war he practiced law in Bucyrus with his father's firm Sears & Sears. During this time he married Lura Belle Sears. Moving to Toledo around 1924, he served for 4 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Toledo and then was associated with the law firm of Doyle, Lewis & Warner for more than 50 years, retiring in 1980.
During the Second World War, Demas served as an intelligence officer and Assistant Chief of Staff (G-2) with the 37th Infantry, having held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the Ohio National Guard prior to the war. Receiving citations for the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal, his service record included coordinating intelligence activities during operations in the Pacific on the Solomon Islands, Bougainville and on Luzon in the Philippines. He was cited for making numerous aerial flights over enemy territory, flying reconnaissance, fire control, heavy bombing and leaflet drop missions totaling approximately 106 hours.
After retirement, Demas was involved with the management of family-owned farms and with local veteran, church, and civic organizations. He died on January 13, 1988 at the age of 93.
|Scope and Content|
The D.L. Sears Papers is an outstanding collection of material relating to World War II in the Pacific and the service of an individual involved in mid-level intelligence activities. Consisting of correspondence, reports, photographs, maps, and printed material, the bulk of the information spans the period from just before the War, related to Sears' National Guard service, through to the end of hostilities in 1945.
The correspondence in this collection is a significant file from 1942 through 1945, consisting of the carbons of Sears' outgoing correspondence. Unfortunately, many of the recipients are unidentified except by first name, but a few who are known include Milo Warner and Melvin Lewis, Sears' law partners in Toledo, and John Bricker, Governor of Ohio. This series of letters, thanks to the fact that they are typed and very detailed, give an excellent personal view of the war, from comments on military operations to descriptions of a Bob Hope U.S.O. show. Since Sears was middle-level intelligence, his narratives contain a number of references to upper echelon brass.
Concentrating on operations in the Pacific Theater late in the war, one of the most significant series in this collection is the Reports, both daily and periodic, to G-2 regarding intelligence activities. The includes public relations type reports, which would have been cleared by intelligence prior to release to the civilian news media.
Another significant series, Literary Productions, includes translated diaries captured from the Japanese, interrogation reports which were analyzed for intelligence data by G-2, and Sears' own personal journals of his activities.
As would be expected in regard to Sears' position and service, there are a great number of both maps and photographs in the collection. The maps pertain primarily to the Pacific Islands on which the 37th Division had operations, including Fiji, Bougainville, and Luzon. The photos, which show both military operations and conditions of natives living on the Islands, have limited identification.
The collection, in general, provides a solid representation of U.S. World War II activities on the part of a mid-level officer, with superior detail, including supporting material such as maps and photos.
CORRESPONDENCE - PERSONAL
CORRESPONDENCE - MILITARY
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE REPORTS
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIAL
MAPS - WORLD WAR II
COINS AND CURRENCY
(Wrapped and Flat)