Guide to the Frank Dow Merrill Papers, 1941-1948
Collection number: MC 109
Size: 3 boxes
About the Frank Dow Merrill (1903-1955)
Frank Dow Merrill was born on December 4, 1903. He enlisted in the Regular Army in 1922 and graduated from West Point in 1929. He obtained his B.S. degree in military engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1938, Merrill studied Japanese and Chinese while working as the assistant military attaché at the United States Embassy in Tokyo. By October 1941 he was promoted to major (temporarily) and assigned to Manila as General Douglas MacArthur’s intelligence officer. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Merrill was in Rangoon, Burma on a flying mission for MacArthur. He remained there to become Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell’s aid in the China-Burma-India Theater.
In the Spring of 1942 Merrill was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In July he was awarded the Order of the Purple Heart for his meritorious actions in Burma between March and May 1942. In October 1943 Merrill prepared a long-range penetration group of about 3000 U.S. infantrymen, for a hazardous mission in Burma. After intensive training in jungle warfare, Merrill’s Marauders (sometimes called Merrill’s Raiders), became the first American infantrymen to fight on the Asiatic mainland. Merrill’s Marauders, prepared by the Historical Division of the War Department, recounts the activities of this courageous group from February to May in 1944. In March 1944, after a 100-mile march, they surprised the enemy by blocking the only Japanese supply line in the Hukawng Valley.
In September of 1944, Merrill was promoted to major general. Towards the end of his active military career, he suffered from heart problems, as a result of which he was relieved of his command. In 1945 he served as General Stilwell’s Chief of Staff and later as commander of the Sixth Army at San Francisco.
After retirement from the Army, Merrill moved back to New Hampshire with his wife and two sons to become New Hampshire’s Highway Commissioner. He died December 12, 1955 of a heart attack after attending a meeting of the American Association of State Highway Officials in New Orleans, where he had just been elected president of that organization.
About the Frank Dow Merrill Collection
The Frank Dow Merrill collection primarily contains Merrill’s letters to his wife and two sons in North Woodstock N.H., while he was stationed in Burma between 1943 and 1948. There are gaps because of military activities and illnesses, but overall the correspondence is consistent. In these letters Merrill discusses in general terms his location and duties in Burma and tries to keep informed on situations at home. The remaining folders contain military operation summaries, Allied Commanders Despatches, military distribution lists, empty envelopes from Burma. These provide information on daily, weekly, and monthly activities of the Land, Sea, and Air Operation in South East Asia between June 1944 and May 1945 and discuss the preparations for the 1944 campaigns in South East Asia between August 1943 and May 1945.
Over 100 of Merrill’s maps of the East Indies, Asia, and Australia, dating from 1921 to 1950, were added to the collection in February, 2000 and are housed in the Government Information Map Room.
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], [Folder number], [Box number], Frank Dow Merrill Papers, 1941-1948, MC 109, Milne Special
Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.
Donation: Mrs. Lucy Merrill, November 19, 1990; maps transferred from University of New Hampshire Government Documents, February 2000 (Accession numbers: 920, 2000.8)
Series I: Correspondence (mostly to his wife in North Woodstock, N.H.)
|Box 1, Folder 1||March-May 1941|
|Box 1, Folder 2||June 1941|
|Box 1, Folder 3||July-August 1941|
|Box 1, Folder 4||September-November 1941|
|Box 1, Folder 5||February-April 1942|
|Box 1, Folder 6||June-July 1942|
|Box 1, Folder 7||August-September 1942|
|Box 1, Folder 8||October-December 1942|
|Box 1, Folder 9||1943|
|Box 1, Folder 10||January-June 1944|
|Box 1, Folder 11||July-September 23, 1944|
|Box 1, Folder 12||September 29-November 15, 1944|
|Box 1, Folder 13||November 17-November 26, 1944|
|Box 1, Folder 14||November 29-December 14, 1944|
|Box 1, Folder 15||December 16-December 25, 1944|
|Box 1, Folder 16||January 3-January 13, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 17||January 19-January 27, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 18||February 14-February 18, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 19||March 12-April 14, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 20||April 25-May 22, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 21||June 9-June 21, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 22||June 29-June 30, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 23||July 7-July 12, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 24||July 17-July 27, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 25||July 31-August 6, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 26||August 10-August 18, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 27||August 21-August 22, 1945|
|Box 1, Folder 28||August 23-August 30, 1945|
|Box 2, Folder 1||September 4-September 15, 1945|
|Box 2, Folder 2||September 16-October 4, 1945|
|Box 2, Folder 3||October 9-October 14, 1945|
|Box 2, Folder 4||July 1-July 3, 1947|
|Box 2, Folder 5||November 10-November 24, 1947|
|Box 2, Folder 6||December 1-Decemeber 20, 1947|
|Box 2, Folder 7||December 22-Decemeber 29, 1947|
|Box 2, Folder 8||January 1-April 1948|
|Box 2, Folder 9||April 8-May 18, 1948|
|Box 2, Folder 10||May 18-May 24, 1948|
|Box 2, Folder 11||Envelopes, 1 of 3|
|Box 2, Folder 12||Envelopes, 2 of 3|
|Box 2, Folder 13||Envelopes, 3 of 3|
|Box 2, Folder 13||March 25, 195?, Yaharo Hiromichi to Merrill, with translation|
Series II: Military Operations, Dispatches, and Distribution List
|Box 3, Folder 1||Land, Sea, and Air Operations (June 1944 - May 1945)|
|Box 3, Folder 2||Land, Sea, and Air Operations (June 1944 - October 1944)|
|Box 3, Folder 3||Land, Sea, and Air Operations (June 1944 - May 1945)|
|Box 3, Folder 4||Allied Commanders Dispatch (Part I)|
|Box 3, Folder 5||Allied Commanders Dispatch (Part II)|
|Box 3, Folder 6||Allied Commanders Dispatch (Part III)|
|Box 3, Folder 7||Draft Dispatch (January 1946, Apppendix A+B)7|
|Box 3, Folder 8||Drill Instruction|
|Box 3, Folder 9||Distribution List June 1946|
|Box 3, Folder 10||"Opperations in North Burma"|
Series III: Miscellaneous
|Box 3, Folder 11||Biographical Information|
|Box 3, Folder 12||Recollections of Lucy W. Merrill covering 1941-1952|