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"Believe me I sure would like to have a great big talk with you all for I’ve certainly got lots to tell." Last letter from Otto Leven, 9/27/1918

   Otto Ferdinand Leven
Image of Otto Ferdinand Leven
Otto Leven during World War I [ca. 1917]
War: World War, 1914-1918
Branch: Army
Unit: Company E, 90th Infantry Division
Service Location: Camp Travis, Texas; Camp Mills, Long Island, New York; England; France
Rank: Sergeant
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Otto Leven served in the army during World War I. He was of hearty German stock (his parents immigrated to America around 1886) and spent most of his twenty-three civilian years on his family's farms in Kay County and Newkirk, Oklahoma. Drafted in October 1917, he was assigned to the 90th Infantry Division and served in the 357th Regiment. Leven apparently wrote home copiously, his surviving letters projecting earnestness charm, and enthusiasm. Leven was mortally wounded while on patrol on September 29, 1918 and died two days later. His last letters home offer the reader an irony created by the contrast between Leven's generally cheery prose and the harshness of war. The irony is further defined by Leven's description of a dream he has where he envisions his mother and sister laying out his clothes.

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»Photo Album (3 photos)
 Official Documents
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 Personal Correspondence
»View List (22 items)
 Diaries
»Journal of Otto Leven
 Other Materials
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»World War I Remembered: Correspondence and Photographs
 Official Documents (3 items)
Otto Leven's death certificate [02/03/1919] Letter from the American Red Cross concerning Otto Leven's death in France [05/17/1919] Military orders shipping remains of Otto to Newkirk, Ok [04/26/1922]
  
 Personal Correspondence (22 items)
Letter from Camp Travis, TX [11/17/1917] Letter from Camp Travis, TX [11/29/1917] Letter from Camp Travis, TX [05/22/1918]
Letter probably from Camp Mills, NY [06/15/1918] Letter from Camp Mills, NY [06/16/1918] Letter postmarked Southampton, England [07/03/1918]
Letter signed as Cpl Otto Leven, from France [07/10/1918] Letter from France [07/21/1918] Letter from France [08/03/1918]
Letter from France [08/10/1918] Letter from France [08/10/1918] Letter from France [08/15/1918]
Letter from France [08/20/1918] Letter from France [08/27/1918] Letter from France [08/27/1918]
Letter from France [09/07/1918] Letter from France [09/23/1918] Last letter from Otto Leven, written from France [09/27/1918]
Letter from Captain Neighbors, Leven's commanding officer, to his parents [11/20/1918] Letter from Chaplain Magee to Otto Leven's parents [12/26/1918] Typed letter from Capt. Neighbors, Otto Leven's commanding officer [02/10/1919]
Typed letter from Captain Neighbors, Otto Leven's commanding officer [02/10/1919]  
  
 Other Materials (2 items)
Newkirk Doughboy "Uncle" Otto Leven Newspaper clipping reprinting Otto Leven's final letter of September 27, 1918 
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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