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Lt. William Ijams Landers Censored Hospital Letter, 1918

Lt. Willam Ijams Landers of the New York National Guard writes home in 1918 from a hospital in England to tell his family he is all right. Interestingly, any mention of the battle in which he was wounded is literally cut out of the paper letter by the War Department censors in the interest of national security.

Hello, I am Anne Armstrong, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum and I am here with the Minuteman Minute!  Security is always very important during wartime and here, we have a letter home written during World War One.  In 1918, Lt. William Ijams Landers was wounded on the front lines in France while serving in the 107th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division of the New York National Guard.  He was sent to England to recover.  In this letter home, however, we can see that mentions of where his injury took place are excised out of the text with a razor blade.  Censorship for national security was to be expected and quite literally surgical.  Landers survived his wounds but would return to France where he passed away in 1928.  I’m Anne Armstrong and that’s been the Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.