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Special Home > Guide to the Frank Dow Merrill Papers, 1941-1948

Guide to the Frank Dow Merrill Papers, 1941-1948

Collection number: MC 109

Size: 3 boxes (1.00 cu.ft.)

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.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Frank Dow Merrill Papers, 1941-1948, MC 109, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donation: Mrs. Lucy Merrill, November 19, 1990; maps transferred from University of New Hampshire Government Documents, February 2000 (Accession numbers: 920, 2000.8)

Related Material

Maps (Located in Government Documents Map Room on Main Floor, ask the Reference Desk for assistance)

East Indies

Admiralty Islands (1943); Aitape (1943); Ambunti (1943, revised 1943); Aroe Eilanden (1941, reprinted 1944); Banda (1944); Bandjermasin (1941) reprinted in 1944); Batavia (1941, reprinted 1943); Blitar (1945); Boetoeng (1941, reprinted 1944); Ceram (1944); Daru (1943); Greluink Baai (1941, reprinted in 1944); Koepang, Timor (1941, reprinted in 1944); Makassar, Celebes (1941, reprinted 1944); Manado, Celebes (1941, reprinted 1944); Medan (1941, reprinted 1943); Midden Celebes (1941, reprinted 1944); Oost Borneo (1941, reprinted 1944); Padang (1941, reprinted 1943); Palembang (1941, reprinted 1943); Pontianak, Borneo (1941, reprinted 1944); Port Moresby (1943); Sarawak, Borneo (1941, reprinted 1944); Singaradja, Bali (1941, reprinted 1944); Soerabaja, Java (1941, reprinted 1944); Timor Sea (1941, reprinted 1944)

Asia

Andaman Islands (1944); Arakan (1942, reprinted in 1944); Bangkok, Siam (Krungthep) (1950); Bihar (1941, reprinted in 1944); Calcutta (1941, reprinted in 1944); Central Tibet (1948); Ch’ang-an (1946, reprinted 1947); Christmas Island (1946, reprinted 1947); Coburg Peninsula (1946, reprinted 1947); Dalat (1941, reprinted in 1944); Eastern Tibet (1949, reprinted 1950); Hanoi (1943); Hue (1944); Irrawaddy (1941, reprinted in 1943); Isthmus of Kra (1941, reprinted in 1944); Khong, Southeast Asia (1945); Kunming (Yunnan) (1942, reprinted in 1943); Kweilin (1944); Mandalay (1942, reprinted in 1943); Nicobar Islands (1941, reprinted in 1945); Qui Nhon (1943, reprinted 1944); Penang Island (1944); Rangoon, Southeast Asia (1945); Saigon (1942, reprinted in 1945); Singapore, (1951); Sources of Huang Ho (1949); T’ien-Shui (1946, reprinted in 1947); Trengganu (1941, reprinted in 1944 and 1945); Tsango (1945, reprinted in 1945); Yang-Ch’ii (1946, reprinted in 1947); Manila City, Luzon, Philippine Islands; Manila Northeast (1947); Manila Northwest (1947); Manila Southeast (1947); Manila Southwest (1947); Philippine Islands (1941); Southern Luzon

Eastern Asia

Canton, Ching (1941, r. in 1945); Cape Bolinao, Philippine Islands (1944); Changsha (1945); Chungking (1942, 1945 (1st AMS Edition ); Davao, Philippine Islands (1945); Fu-Chou (1945); Hainan, China (1942, r. in 1943); Hakodate, Japan (1941, r. in 1945); Hong Kong, China (1941 r. in 1945); Jehol (1942, 1945 (1st AMS Edition); Kogoshima, Japan (1942, r. in 1944); Kanazawa, Japan (1942, r. in 1944); Keijo, Japan (1942, r. in 1943); Lhasa (1944, 1945 (1st AMS Edition); Liaonga Bay, Philippine Islands (1943, r. in 1944); Nagasaki, Japan (1942, r. in 1944); Naha, Japan (1942, r. in 1944); Nan-Ching, China (1942, 1943 r. in 1944 (1st AMS Edition ); Nan-T’ung, China (1942, r. in 1945); Natoena, Netherlands Indies (1943, r. in 1944); Negros, Philippine Islands (1943, r. in 1942, revised in 1944); Nemuro, Japan (1942, 1943 revised in 1944 (1st AMS Edition); North Borneo (1941, r. in 1944); North Luzon, Philippine Islands (1943, r. in 1944); Ogasawara-Gunto, Japan (1942, r. in 1943, revisied in 1944); Osaka, Japan (1942, r. in 1943, revised in 1944); Palawan, Philippine Islands (1943, r. in 1944); Pei-P’ing (Peking), China (1944); Ryojun, Manchuria (1942, r. and revised in 1944); San Agustin, Philippine Islands (1943, r. in 1944); Scarborough, South China Sea (1944, revised in 1944); Sendai, Japan (1942, r. in 1943); Shang-Hai, China (1942, r. 1945); Shen-Yang (Mukden), China (1944); Taihoku, Formosa (1942, r. in 1945); Tainan, Formusa (1942, r. in 1945); Tokyo, Japan (1945); Tori-Shima, Japan (1942, r. in 1943, revised in 1944); Upper Mekong (1945); Vladmiro-Aleksandrovskoye, USSR (1944; Vladivostok, USSR (1944); Myitkyina and Putao Districts and Tribal Area: Burma; No. 92 F/S.W. 1st Edition in 1920, revised 1922; New Edition 1925, reprinted in 1942 with major corrections; No. 92 F. 1st Edition in 1920, reprinted 1942. 1928 edition; No. 92 G/NW 1st Edition 1924, reprinted 1942 with major corrections and reprinted 1943. 1924 Edition.

Australia

Cooktown (1942); Darwin (1942, r. in 1943); Roper River (1942, r. in 1943); Weymouth (1942); York Sound (1942, reprinted in 1943)

Miscellaneous

Anchorages in the Solomon Islands (1921); Russell Islands; Rendova Harbor; Viru Harbor; India and Burma (1943, reprinted 1944); Calcutta to Hong Kong (Copy ?); China to Singapore; Operations, Northern Combat area command Small and large (10/43-4/45); Thailand (?)

Collection Contents

Series I: Correspondence (mostly to his wife in North Woodstock, N.H.)

Box 1
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
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
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

One Response to “Guide to the Frank Dow Merrill Papers, 1941-1948”

  1. Old soldiers never die – Venice resident among oldest West Point grads « War Tales Says:

    [...] Col. Frank Dow Merrill was one of the most famous members of Stephenson’s West Point class of 1929. He lead “Merrill’s Marauders,” 3,000 volunteer commandos, behind Japanese lines during World War II. [...]