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Caroline Force World War II Collection

Identifier: M489

Scope and Contents

Both handwritten letters are from Mrs. Force’s son Roland Steele during his time in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In his letter from August 20, 1943, Steele discusses being shipped out soon to an unknown location, his guess was somewhere near Australia. He expressed concern that he would not live to return home. He mentioned “Nate” who was Private First Class Nathan H. Sanford, his uncle, Mrs. Force’s brother, asking if he was already home since he was in the Army. PFC Sanford was killed in action near Marboue, France, on August 15, 1944.

In his letter from May 24, 1945, on which he wrote 1944, he discusses family letters and issues. He mentions “Nate” saying how much he misses him and that he still prays that he is alive. He tells her that the past three years have been hell and things are getting worse.

In addition, the collection contains an un-cancelled check for six cents from Hattiesburg Savings and Loan to Mrs. Force on September 19, 1961, a 1965 Christmas card to Mrs. Force from Annie Collier, a business card for a hotel called “The Central” on West Pine Street, and three unidentified black and white photographs.


  • 1943-1965

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Caroline Force (1903-1979) and her husband, W.J. Force (1867-1959), were residents of Hattiesburg for a number of years. Mrs. Force’s son, Roland E. Steele (1925-1966), served as Ship's Serviceman First Class in the United States Navy during World War II aboard the USS Salt Lake City. Mrs. Force’s brother, Nathan H. Sanford (1912-1944) served as Private First Class assigned to Company B, 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division as a MOS 745 (rifleman) in the United States Army during World War II.

Steele boarded the USS Salt Lake City on September 30, 1943, which was just after the Battle of the Aleutian Islands. He served during many pivotal battles that helped the American Forces push the Japanese out to the Philippines. Some of those are the Gilbert Islands operation, the Marshall Islands operation, the attack at Wake Island, the second Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Volcano Islands operation, the invasion of Iwo Jima and finally Okinawa. Landing day, “L-Day”, at Okinawa was Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. The battle continued until June 22, 1945. The USS Salt Lake City left the Okinawa battle on May 29, 1945, for repairs. While they were on the way back to the Aleutians, Japan surrendered so they were ordered to Ominato on norther Honshu to help occupy the Japanese naval base. The USS Salt Lake City was then used to perform “Magic Carpet” rides taking US troops from the Philippines back home to the United States.

Caroline Force and Roland Steele are interred at Hillcrest Cemetery in Petal, Mississippi. W.J. Force is interred at Oaklawn Cemetery in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Nathan Sanford is interred at Runnelstown First Baptist Church Cemetery in Runnelstown, Mississippi.


8 Items

Language of Materials



An assortment of items Caroline Force collected including two letters written by her son, Roland Steele, who served with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, three unidentified photographs, a 1965 Christmas card, an un-cancelled check, and a business card for a Hattiesburg, Mississippi, hotel called ‘The Central’.


The materials in the collection did not receive significant arrangement. It’s arranged by handwritten letters, check, Christmas card, business card, and photographs.


Given by James A. Riley.

Related Materials

M275, Claude E. Fike World War II Diary

M278, Pat H. Bullock World War II Papers

M281, Chester W. Hill World War II Memoirs

M353, USS Biloxi Collection

M480, Eugene V. Cameron / USS Biloxi Collection

M494, Emma Lou Roberts Papers

M545, Carl H. Sundell World War II Memoir


-World War II in the Pacific, 2016

-Find a Grave

-Content of Collection

-Case file

Caroline Force World War II Collection
Collection processed and finding aid written by Mary Dugan and Cindy Lawler, July 2016.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001