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Letters from Harold J. Dahl


Harold Dahl studied sculpture under Ulric Ellerhusen in 1940-1942, which led to his enlistment in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. He enlisted voluntarily because he wanted to participate in the defeat of Hitler. Dahl served three years in the United States and European theatre. He rose to the rank of sergeant, designing camouflage and carrying out deception tactics.

​After the war, Dahl worked on a large, difficult project with his former sculpture teacher which took several years to complete. As a young man, Dahl dreamed of becoming an architect, but instead became a fine arts appraiser and eventually owner of the Equitable Appraisal Company in New York City. He married Carolyn Hink in 1949, and they had three children. Dahl was involved with many civic organizations in his community, often as a founding member or as an officer of the club. He passed away in 1972.

Dahl wrote these letters to his mother Anna Maria (Petersen) Dahl and his sister Lucy Dahl during the war. Of the 255 letters in the collection, 52 are shown here. The images displayed with the letters are also from the Dahl collection unless otherwise noted. If you are interested in learning more about the Dahl collection, or quoting from these letters in your research, contact

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