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Demas Lindley Sears Papers - MS 734

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory


The D.L. Sears papers consist of correspondence, reports, photographs, maps, and printed material relating to service during World War II in the Pacific and covering period from 1938 to 1945.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Frances S. Eliot of Ann Arbor, MI, on Jan. 23, 1997. No restrictions now exist on the use of this collection, and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The collection was processed by Jason Wesco and a register was prepared in February 1997 by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical Sketch

Demas Lindley Sears, born Feb. 6, 1894 in Bucyrus, Ohio, was the son of Rufus Victor Sears and Sallie Jane Harris Sears. Demas was a 1916 graduate of Ohio State University, and he served during World War I until 1920, attaining the rank of Captain. After the war he practiced law in Bucyrus with his father's firm Sears & Sears. During this time he married Lura Belle Sears. Moving to Toledo around 1924, he served for 4 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Toledo and then was associated with the law firm of Doyle, Lewis & Warner for more than 50 years, retiring in 1980.

During the Second World War, Demas served as an intelligence officer and Assistant Chief of Staff (G-2) with the 37th Infantry, having held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the Ohio National Guard prior to the war. Receiving citations for the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal, his service record included coordinating intelligence activities during operations in the Pacific on the Solomon Islands, Bougainville and on Luzon in the Philippines. He was cited for making numerous aerial flights over enemy territory, flying reconnaissance, fire control, heavy bombing and leaflet drop missions totaling approximately 106 hours.

After retirement, Demas was involved with the management of family-owned farms and with local veteran, church, and civic organizations. He died on January 13, 1988 at the age of 93.

Scope and Content

The D.L. Sears Papers is an outstanding collection of material relating to World War II in the Pacific and the service of an individual involved in mid-level intelligence activities. Consisting of correspondence, reports, photographs, maps, and printed material, the bulk of the information spans the period from just before the War, related to Sears' National Guard service, through to the end of hostilities in 1945.

The correspondence in this collection is a significant file from 1942 through 1945, consisting of the carbons of Sears' outgoing correspondence. Unfortunately, many of the recipients are unidentified except by first name, but a few who are known include Milo Warner and Melvin Lewis, Sears' law partners in Toledo, and John Bricker, Governor of Ohio. This series of letters, thanks to the fact that they are typed and very detailed, give an excellent personal view of the war, from comments on military operations to descriptions of a Bob Hope U.S.O. show. Since Sears was middle-level intelligence, his narratives contain a number of references to upper echelon brass.

Concentrating on operations in the Pacific Theater late in the war, one of the most significant series in this collection is the Reports, both daily and periodic, to G-2 regarding intelligence activities. The includes public relations type reports, which would have been cleared by intelligence prior to release to the civilian news media.

Another significant series, Literary Productions, includes translated diaries captured from the Japanese, interrogation reports which were analyzed for intelligence data by G-2, and Sears' own personal journals of his activities.

As would be expected in regard to Sears' position and service, there are a great number of both maps and photographs in the collection. The maps pertain primarily to the Pacific Islands on which the 37th Division had operations, including Fiji, Bougainville, and Luzon. The photos, which show both military operations and conditions of natives living on the Islands, have limited identification.

The collection, in general, provides a solid representation of U.S. World War II activities on the part of a mid-level officer, with superior detail, including supporting material such as maps and photos.

Series Description


Sears personal correspondence to various friends, politicians, etc. and letter from Jackson, describing pictures of Fiji and ceremony honoring Gen. Beightler

Official letters, primarily form letters of appreciation


Jan-Sept 1945
Arranged chronologically
G-2 intelligence reports (periodic and daily) from the Pacific Theater

Press releases and confidential military reports relating to the Battles of Bougainville and Luzon and the participation of the 37th Infantry

Typed papers and reports of public relations nature, but without attribution, primarily dealing with specific actions


n.d., 1943-1944
Handwritten and typed diaries and journals, some probably by Sears, including a couple of translated Japanese pieces


Clippings and single newspapers about the War, the 37th Division, and Sears

Scrapbook of news articles, primarily from the Toledo Blade, concerning the War in the Pacific. Oversized, wrapped

Sears Family obituaries


World War II, Pacific War Theater of Operations, some maps stored separately, rolled in tube


Arranged chronologically
Commissions, appointments, and citations related to Sears' service in the National Guard and the 37th Infantry during World War II. Oversized items stored separately

1946, 1954
Programs related to recognition of the 37th Division in Toledo and at Camp Perry

Books and pamphlets related to the activities of the 37th Division or the Pacific area during World War II, including some in Japanese items


1938-1945, n.d.
Military group portraits (37th Div.), war operations, travel shots, reconnaissance photos, postwar reunions


Small coins, and Japanese military occupation currency from the Pacific region


Box 1


  1. Correspondence - Sears to various friends, politicians, etc., 1942-1945
  2. Letter, from Jackson, describing pictures of Fiji and ceremony, 1943
  3. Official correspondence, letters of appreciation, 1945
  4. G-2 Periodic Reports (Intelligence Reports) Nos. 1-48, Jan-Feb 1945
  5. G-2 Periodic Reports (Intelligence Reports) Nos. 49-75, Feb-Mar 1945
  6. G-2 Periodic Reports (Intelligence Reports) Nos. 76-98, Mar-Apr 1945
  7. G-2 Periodic Reports (Intelligence Reports) Nos. 99-113, Apr-May 1945
  8. G-2 Periodic Reports (Intelligence Reports) Nos. 114-140, May-June 1945
  9. G-2 Periodic Reports (Intelligence Reports) Nos. 146-164, June 1945

Box 2


  1. Report After Action G-2 Daily Reports (Intelligence Reports) July-Sept 1945
  2. Battle of Bougainville, press releases and confidential reports Mar 1944
  3. Battle of Luzon, press releases and confidential reports Sept 1944
  4. Battle of Luzon, maps, Sept 1944
  5. Report After Action: Operations of the 37th Inf.: Luzon P.I. (M-1 Operation) 1944-1945
  6. 37th Infantry Division in World War II : press summary 1944-1945
  7. Battle of the Solomon Islands to Date (Paper) n.d.
  8. Article Describing the Japanese Surrender of the Philippines n.d.
  9. Report by Lieut. Isireli Korovulavula about a Plane Crash n.d.
  10. Paper Detailing the General Operations of a G-2 Section n.d.
  11. Ground Information Bulletin No. 16 1944

Box 3


  1. Notes for Address: Layman's Day, Court Street Methodist Church, Hattiesburg, Miss. 1941
  2. Interrogation Report of Kazuo Hiwatari, 1944
  3. American Forces in Fiji : G-2 Section Journal & Diary (Sears) 1940-1943
  4. Diary of Japanese Soldier (translation), 1942-1943
  5. Field Diary of Japanese 3d Co, 6th Ind Engr Regt. (transl.) July 1942
  6. Typed diary, From the Fiji Islands to Guadalcanal with the 37th Division (possibly Sears) Apr-July 1943
  7. Diary, handwritten (possibly Sears), Nov 1943-June 1944
  8. Typed diary entries, Bougainville Mission (possibly Sears), n.d.
  9. Notes on Solomon Island Rec (Sears' reconnaissance journal), August 23-29, 1944?
  10. Greater East Asia Joint Declaration (newsclipping), Nov 1943
  11. Loose newsclippings on the War, Sears, and 37th Div., 1943-1967
  12. Yank, the Army Weekly, 25 Feb 1944
  13. Sears obituary clippings and last words notice, 1987-1988
  14. National Geographic Map, South Pacific, 1944
  15. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - Palauig PT, 1944
  16. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - San Fernando PT, 1944
  17. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - Talim Island, 1944
  18. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - Pampanga Bay, 1944
  19. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - Cagayan River, 1944
  20. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - Chico River, 1945
  21. War Dept. topographic/vegetation map - Magat River, 1945
  22. War Dept. road map - North Philippines Islands, 1944
  23. War Dept. Street Map - Manila and vicinity (set of 4), 1945
  24. Colony of Fiji, 1938
  25. City of Manila (Spanish historic map - copy of 1671), n.d.

Box 4


  1. Solomon Island naval survey map, 1940
  2. Military map of Third Army maneuvers in Tex.-La., 1940
  3. Map of Approach Routes of major units - Bougainville Island, 1944
  4. Empress Augusta Bay - Bougainville Island, 1944
  5. Viti Levu and Adjacent Islands - Colony of Fiji, 1939
  6. Philippine Islands Sketch Map - Philippines Campaign, 1945
  7. Sketch map - Central Luzon, 1945
  8. Sketch map - North Luzon, 1945
  9. Enemy Assembly Areas and Routes of Approach - Cape Torakina Area, 1944
  10. Map of East Indies and Malay States, n.d.
  11. Pacific War Maps - Issued by Pure Oil Company, 1944
  12. International News Service World War Atlas, n.d.
  13. Certificates of Commission, National Guard and Army, 1938-1947
  14. Legion of Merit citation, with photo of Sears receiving it, 1944
  15. Air Medal citation with supporting certification, 1945
  16. Program, Welcome Home 37th Division, Toledo, Ohio, 1946
  17. Program, 37th Division Day, Camp Perry, Ohio, 1954
  18. Christmas Dinner Menu for 37th Div. Officers, 1942
  19. Menus from the S.S. President Coolidge (3), 1942
  20. Testimonial Banquet Honoring Maj. Gen. Robert Beightler, 1945
  21. Gen. Beightler's Report to the State of Ohio on the Activities, 1945?
  22. Japanese Defense of Cities as Exemplified by the Battle for Manila, 1945
  23. Fighting on Guadalcanal, 1943
  24. 37th Infantry Division in World War II, by Stanley A. Frankel, 1948
  25. History and Photographic Record of the First Cavalry, 1919

Box 5


  1. Sugar in Fiji, 1949
  2. Opening of the Angat Novaliches Water Supply System, 1940
  3. Band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force - Pacific Tour, 1944
  4. National Geographic - Return to Manila, Oct 1940
  5. New Minutiae Pocket Atlas of Nippon (Japan), n.d.
  6. Allied Geographical Section - Terrain Handbook, Manila City, 1944
  7. Allied Geographical Section - Handbook, Cagayon Valley, 1945
  8. The Colony of Fiji, 1874-1924, 1924
  9. A Yank's Eye View of Fiji, n.d.
  10. 6th Army News Pictorial (2 issues), [1945]
  11. American Legion Post 335 (Toledo) Newsletter with Letters Home from Sears (6 items) 1943-1944
  12. Speech (translated) by Capt. Masaharu Mushitani, regarding the death of 5 Japanese enlisted men during the attack on Corregidor
  13. Japanese printed materials, including a song book, magazine, propaganda book, and diary (?) n.d.

Box 6


  1. Official Army Register, Dec 1, 1918
  2. Miscellaneous photos, taken in the Pacific Theater, WW2 n.d., 1943
    • a) 2 5x7 photos of uniformed men
    • b) 3 3x5 photos, including 37th Div. Staff members
    • c) 2 8x10 photos of Gen. Beightler, one inscribed to Sears
  3. Miscellaneous photos, taken at Bougainville, Fiji, etc., 1941-1944, n.d.
    • a) 4 8x10 photos 37th Div. Hdq. Staff and Gen. Conelly
    • b) 7 5x7 photos scenes in Pacific, incl. Officers and color guard
    • c) 21 3x5 photos, Japanese dead & prisoners, mortars shooting
    • d) 10 3x5, various shots at Bougainville, some with ident.
    • e) 5 7x7 aerial reconnaissance photos, other landscape shots
    • f) 11 8x10 photos, 37th Div. Staff in Pacific (Bougainville?) with identification sheet and other unidentified shots
  4. 17 8x10 photos, Natives of Fiji, general shots, with soldiers, buildings, etc., n.d.
  5. 15 3x5 photos of natives and landscapes of Ellice Islands, n.d.
  6. 29 3x5 photos of Manila after Allied takeover, troops leaving for home, arriving (many with identification on verso), 1945
  7. 16 8x10 photos of natives and G.I.s (in envelope marked Guadalcanal), n.d.

Box 7


  1. 49 Aerial reconnaissance/surveillance photos, unidentified, n.d.
  2. 18 8x10 photos of tribal ceremony honoring the 37th Div., many with identifying labels on verso, n.d.
  3. 19 8x10 photos, most unidentified, Pacific area, n.d.
  4. 14 4x6 & 3x5 photos of soldiers and landscapes, n.d.
  5. 10 3x5 photos showing 37th Div. Intelligence reading maps, and with Japanese prisoners on Bougainville (with some identification) 1944
  6. 10 3x5 photos of rice farming and fish farms on Luzon in the Philippines n.d.
  7. 10 8x10 photos, Mbouhui village, with identifications on some n.d.
  8. 9 photos (various sizes) from folder labeled Pre-war pictures, Camp Perry, Camp Shelby n.d.
  9. 3 8x10 photos, postwar American Legion functions (Post 335) n.d.
  10. 10 miscellaneous photos, including group photo identified as Silver Wedding Guests, n.d.
  11. Postcards, Japanese scenes (14 items, some duplicates), n.d.
  12. Coins and currency, 1934-1940's

Oversized Material

(Wrapped and Flat)

  1. Scrapbook of news articles, primarily from the Toledo Blade, 1945
  2. Maps (rolled in tube)
    • Topographic maps of the Philippines and other Pacific Islands (approx. 40), circa 1930-1940
  3. Certificates (encapsulated)
    • Appointment, State of Ohio, of Sears as Major in the Ohio National Guard, 1938
    • Appointment, State of Ohio, of Sears as Lt. Col. In the Ohio National Guard, 1939
  4. Photographs (encapsulated and mounted)
    • Large group photo, Special Class, 1940-1941, probably Ft. Leavenworth, with identification sheets

Manuscripts by Subject | U.S. in Wartime