University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the Bessie Goethel papers, 1940-1946

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Goethel, Bessie G., 1906-2001.
Title: Goethel, Bessie papers,
Dates: 1940-1946
Creator Abstract: Bessie G. Goethel served as part of the Bexar County Red Cross Motor Corps during World War II and volunteered her dog, Fritizie, to the war effort.
Content Abstract: This collection consists of photographs, correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, printed material and ephemera documenting the World War II period.
Identification: MS 243
Extent: 2.25 linear feet (2 Boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Biographical Note

Bessie G. Goethel was married to Louis N. Goethel, an Officer in the United States Army. Along with her participation in the USO Women's Club, she also trained in motor mechanics in order to serve as part of the Volunteer Special Services Unit of the Bexar County Red Cross in the Motor Corps. The Red Cross Motor Corps made deliveries between San Antonio Army Hospitals, including Brooke Hospital and Fort Sam Houston.

In 1943 Dogs for Defense, Inc. issued a call for dogs to serve in the war effort. The Goethels volunteered their setter, Fritizie, who they had adopted as a puppy in 1939. Fritzie served as a sentry for approximately a year with the Army before receiving an Honorable Discharge and being returned to his previous owners. During his service, Fritzie received an injury to his tail that would not heal properly and required amputation. Fritzie passed away May 13, 1945.

From 1939-1946, the Goethels were stationed at Camp Barkeley, near Abilene, Texas, Fort Sill, near Lawton, Oklahoma, and Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of photographs, correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, printed material and ephemera.

Organization of Collection

The collection is arranged as follows:
Personal Materials
Printed Materials


Access Restrictions

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Usage Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Goethel, Bessie G., 1906-2001.
Goethel, Louis N., 1903-1980.
Dogs for Defense.
American National Red Cross.
Photography of dogs.
World War, 1939-1945.
Lawton (Okla.)
San Antonio (Tex.)
Abilene (Tex.)
Printed material.
Local Subjects

Related Materials

There are no known other archival collections created by Bessie G. Goethel papers at the date of accessioning.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Bessie Goethel papers, MS 243, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Received from Carl Lahser in July 2007 (Acc. 2007-081).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Nikki Lynn Thomas, Manuscripts Curator, February 2009.

Guide to the Collection

Personal Materials

The bulk of Personal Materials documents the life of Friztie, the Goethel's dog that was voluntary given to the United States Army to be used as a war dog during World War II. Also included are materials related to Bessie Goethel's motor mechanics and first aid training courses as well as a scrapbook documenting her activies on a variety of Army bases.
Box Folder
1 1 Fritzie's licenses,1941-1944
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2 Dogs for Defense, Inc. Certificate of Appreciation,March 24, 1944
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3 Fritzie's Honorable Discharge,March 25, 1944
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4 Return of Fritzie,March-April 1944
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5 Telegram of Fritzie's death,May 14, 1945
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16 Fritzie's biography,circa 1945
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OM1 Oversize: Scrapbook [Abilene, Lawton and San Antonio]1942-1946
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Oversize: Motor Mechanics and First Aid courses notebook, 1944
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Folder titles were provided from the photographs' captions. The first folder contains captions created by Bessie Goethel. Photocopies of captions have been filed with the appropriate photographs for ease of use. C-series was not part of the donation.
Photographs have been arranged as they were received by the donor.
Box Folder
1 6 A-series, September 7, 1939
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7 B-series,1940
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8 D-series,1942
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9 Photograph captions, undated
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10 E-series,June 15, 1943
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11 Western Union holiday window displays,1939-1940
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12 Bessie and Louis Goethel and family, 1940-1941
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13 Ethel and Jack Warner and Jim Harris in state park near Abilene,June 1943
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14 Graduated Motor Mechanics,May 8, 1944
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15 Fritzie and house, June 1944
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17 Buffalo, parade and Lawton house,1944
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18 Unidentified photographs,February 7, 1940 and undated
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Printed materials

Box Folder
1 19 Driving Guides,1938-1944
"Chemistry and Wheels",1938
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"We Drivers ",1941
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"United Motors War-time Service Handbook",1943
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"State of Texas Driving Handbook "(Issued by Camp Malbry, Austin) and Driver Training Exam, 1944
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"Automobile User's Guide with Wartime Suggestions", undated
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"Driver's Guide", undated
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20 "Helpful Hints in the Preparation of Telegrams and Cablegrams" by Western Union, undated
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21 "Painting is Fun", undated
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22 War dogs clippings,circa 1943-1945
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23 Assorted ephemera and clippings, undated
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