Hope College

Document Type



Gerald Van Dyke was born on February 12, 1919, and raised in Holland, Michigan. After graduating from Hope College in 1941, Van Dyke attended Syracuse University and received his masters in chemistry. He returned to Holland for a year to work as a chemist at Dow Chemical before receiving his commission in the Navy in June of 1944. Van Dyke married Isla Meppelink on June 30, 1944, and had one son. Upon completion of his training as a communications officer, Van Dyke was assigned to the U.S.S. Sangamon, on which he served until his death from shrapnel wounds in May of 1945. This collection consists of correspondence between Gerald and Isla Van Dyke, as well as bulletins, documents, and letters pertaining to his life and death. The documents have been ordered by author and subject, and each sub-grouping has been ordered chronologically. The first box contains biographical information, Isla’s letters to Gerald, and Gerald’s letters to Isla until April 1944. The remainder of his letters are grouped in the second box with sympathy cards received upon his death.


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