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Arnold Busch papers

Identifier: 02-07.0102

Scope and Contents

This collection includes letters written to Arnold Busch, a basketball coach for Calvary Methodist Church in Lakewood, Ohio, by the students he previously coached. Whether drafted or enlisted, many of the men kept up a correspondence with Busch throughout the war years. This collection also includes Calvary Church newsletters and pamphlets, pamphlets regarding persons registered for service, ration books and other rationing documents, and letters returned to Busch because their recipients were MIA, deceased, or relocated. Also included are photographs of Calvary Church activities on the Homefront, the basketball team, and the Calvary Church’s V-J Day service as well as a copy of an article in which the photograph was featured.

The letters included in this collection discuss subjects such as classes, training, camp life, and local towns wherever they are posted. Some letters contain some sexually explicit material.


  • Created: 1934-1946
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1943-1946
  • Other: Date acquired: 08/06/2007


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast works from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience must be requested and granted in writing by the director of the Institute. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Institute on World War II as the owner of the physical items and the copyright holder. Possession of a copy of an item does not constitute permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast it. The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience reserves the right to refuse permission to individuals and publishers who have not complied with its policies. Permission fees must be paid before images are provided. Please contact the director of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience for current publication and duplication rates.

Biographical or Historical Information

Arnold Busch was born January 23, 1915. He coached three youth basketball teams for Calvary Methodist Church in Lakewood, Ohio. Throughout the war and after, Busch kept in touch with the men he had coached. Some letters were returned to Busch, and he kept track of the men he had coached who were killed in action or went missing.

One of the men who was killed in action was PFC Eugene Oesterle. Oesterle was born March 4, 1925, and he received most of his training at Camp Blanding and Camp Robinson. Oesterle was an infantryman with the 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was sent overseas in June of 1944 and was first stationed in Italy. He then moved through France, Belgium, and Germany. His last letter to Busch was sent from Alsace-Lorraine on February 13, 1945. On March 24, the 30th Infantry Regiment crossed the Rhine River. On March 27, Oesterle was killed in action after being struck in the right arm and leg by German shell fragments.

Busch also wrote to and received letters from Corporal John Sprosty who served with the 61st Squadron, 39th Bomb Group. Sprosty served as a tail gunner on B-29 #44-69895, which had taken off from Tinian on a bombing mission. During their flight, they were rammed by a Japanese kamikaze pilot and crashed somewhere at sea. Sprosty was declared missing on April 28, 1945. Some of the crew was sighted in rafts, but due to poor weather, they could not be rescued. By the time the weather had cleared, they had disappeared. Sprosty was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Busch passed away on November 9, 2002.


2.00 boxes

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Karen Maddox

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

Link to Eugene Oesterle's grave record: [url=][/url] Link to John C. Sprosty's grave record: [url=][/url]

Arnold Busch papers
Zoe Hume
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Institute on WWII and the Human Experience Repository