The letter below was written to Representative Francis E. Walter, a member of Congress who represented Pennsylvania's 15th District, which included Marvin's hometown of Lehighton. Marvin wrote this letter 6 days before he was killed in action and by the time it reached Rep. Walter, Marvin was officially listed Missing in Action. The original, handwritten copy of this letter is believed to have been destroyed when Rep. Walter's records were transferred to Lehigh University upon his death, along with other records deemed sensitive in nature. The images below show the transcribed letter as contained in Marvin's Official Military Personnel File. Rep. Walter communicated back and forth with the Marine Corps in a series of letters, ending with the Marine Corps carefully skirting Marvin's allegations while making an effort not to disparage him. 

Korea

Dec. 21, 1952

 

My Dear Sir:

    I’m taking the time out which I have so little of to spare to write you this letter hoping there will be something you can do to cure certain things here for me. I’m from Lehighton Penna., and I’m sure you have heard of the place if you have never been there.

    The reason I’m writing this letter to you, I have hoped you can do something to combat with a lot of these un-necessary things I and the other fellows must go through each day and night.

    First thing we have to put in too many long hours and we don’t get enough sleep to keep us awake at night. I and the rest have been on the go for at least 20 hours a day. We go out on patrols at night and then when we come back we have to stand watch the rest of the night.

    By the way it gets awful cold outside at night, although we have warm clothing. It is also very hard to get stockings, it was necessary for me to write home for stockings twice already, but I see these Korean men have to do work around here wearing almost better clothing than we have. When we try to survey something

we can’t get it or they don’t have it, but they can give it to the Koreans.

    We are up on line at the present time, our Company that is, but while we were in reserve we couldn’t even go back and get seconds on food, but they could give it to the Koreans. Are they better than we Americans? Isn’t it enough that we are fighting their war?

    I’m not saying we should let them starve but at least they can give us enough to eat first.

    Sir, if I don’t get out of this Company, soon, I’m liable to crack up or something. I’ve been in Korea five months now and maybe have no complaints coming. I took 60 MM Mortar training at Pendleton California, why can’t I get in there if I’m qualified for the job. The new drafts that come over here get jobs they aren’t even capable of doing, and so older men have to stay in front line duty.

    Why can’t we be changed around and let the new men have a chance at the front lines also? I think I done my share already on the front lines. I have been in one major battle already which was Bunker Hill, you probably heard about it a few months back.

    I haven’t been wounded as yet, thanks to the good Lord above. I would ever be grateful and so would my mother who is all alone and worries about me very much, if you could help me just a little. 

    I hope you will excuse my writing as my hands are very cold and my grammar very bad. Closing with best wishes for a Merry Christmas and successful and happier New Year. 

 

Sincerely Yours, 

Marvin E. Nothstein

© 2019 Susan Nothstein Grim and Kevin Grim