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Home > November 2014 > From the Collection: DiMarzo Letters
From the Collection: DiMarzo Letters
Seperator
Posted: 11/16/2014 12:21:19 PM

As our current temporary exhibition Objects in Conversation shows, looking at artifacts together helps us learn more about them. We are always making new connections between artifacts in our collections, such as one recent discovery in the letters of Donald Domenic DiMarzo, Intrepid’s Fire Marshal who was killed in a kamikaze attack on November 25, 1944.

In DiMarzo’s August 7, 1944 letter to his wife, he wrote, “In the ship’s paper the ‘Drippings from the Fire Plug’ is my column…”

 
DiMarzo Letter

Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of the DiMarzo Family in honor of Domenic DiMarzo.  A2009.39

We looked in the August 1944 issue of the ship’s newspaper, and there was indeed a column titled “Drippings from the Fire Plug.” The byline listed the author as “Smokey Joe,” so without DiMarzo’s letter we might never have realized who wrote the column. Following this August column, “Drippings from the Fire Plug” appeared in the September and October newspapers, before DiMarzo’s death in November.

DiMarzo Newspaper

Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

DiMarzo’s column often gives humorous advice. His October column is particularly interesting to look at alongside his letters, because it gives advice about writing home:

  1. Tell her how much you love her.
  2. Leave out the “Beefs”
  3. Remind her of all the happy moments you enjoyed together. (You can leave out some of the details, she’ll know what you mean.)
  4. Tell her how happy you are to have a part in fighting for a damn good cause. (Don’t snicker Bud, if you’re real honest with yourself you’ll admit that you’re very proud to be where you are.)
  5. Tell her things are breaking all right for you and never to worry about you.
  6. Tell her how very much you love her.
  7. Don’t insult all of her 4F acquaintances, one of them may be your father!

Donations of material from former crew members like DiMarzo add to our ability to interpret the history of Intrepid. If you would like to learn more about the donation process, please click here.

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