Scope and Contents
154 letters, 2 postcards, and a photograph, 1945–1946. The letters are from Cyril Buzek to his parents and sisters in Lane City, Texas. Buzek came to Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia, in January 1945 for basic training in the Navy. After short stints in Norfolk and Newport News, he was sent to Panama in July 1945, where he was posted at various sites. The nearly continuous stream of letters ended in late December 1945, but there were two additional ones from Panama written in May 1946, shortly before he was expecting to be discharged.
There are 71 letters from Camp Peary, January 23 – June 7, 1945; 8 letters from Norfolk, Virginia, June 9 – June 22, 1945; 4 letters from Newport News, Virginia, June 25 – July 4, 1945; 2 letters from New York City, July 7 and 8, 1945; and 69 letters from Panama, July 20, 1945 – May 30, 1946. Buzek wrote to his family frequently, sometimes more than once on the same day.
Language of Materials
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Cyril Buzek was born on July 5, 1922, in Ellinger, Fayette County, Texas. His parents were Joe and Celia Shimek Buzek. Celia’s parents were born in Czechoslovakia. Cyril had younger sisters Judith and Leona, also called Babs. His family lived on a farm near Lane City, Texas.
Cyril enlisted in the U. S. Navy on January 18, 1945, and attended boot camp at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia. He was shipped out to Panama in July 1945, where he was stationed at various sites until his discharge in July 1946. He trained as a tinsmith in Panama and eventually attained the rank of Metal Smith Third Class.
Back in Texas, Cyril worked as a laborer in the carpentry business. He married Averill Hoffman, and they had three children in the mid-1950s, Averill, Cyril, and Joe George. Cyril Sr. suffered a coronary occlusion and died on October 19, 1958, at his home near Wharton, Texas. His family had an official military marker placed at his gravesite in the Wharton City Cemetery.
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