News | June 5, 2023

Newly Discovered World War II Document Signed by FDR and Winston Churchill

The Raab Collection

The signed FDR and Churchill photograph

The Raab Collection has announced the discovery of an important document from World War II, a forgotten relic of a great mission connecting the victory against the Nazis to a little known US/UK exchange, never before seen by the public or offered for sale.

The document, valued at $100,000, has been unveiled during the firm’s Winston Churchill Week, a celebration of Churchill, victory, and sacrifice running through June 6, D-Day. Raab also unveiled Churchill’s original signed letter to the British people following the war’s end, valued at $200,000.

In 1943, the US and UK governments sponsored an important transatlantic worker mission to bolster industrial cooperation between the two nations, who had mobilized to supply the soldiers on the front lines. Four American union workers were chosen to visit English factories, and four Englishmen came to do likewise in the states. The US Government found the initiative of sufficient importance, both as an act of cooperation and of public relations to create a 30-minute wartime documentary to document these momentous events.

The UK delegates met with hundreds of US workers, as well as the President and First Lady, the Mayor of New York City, and others. John H. Jones, a British steel worker, union leader, and future MP who was a protagonist in the documentary, carried with him a photograph of his family, which he used to collect the autographs of those he met, thus creating a unique relic of the historic mission. The photo, signed by Churchill, FDR, and Eleanor Roosevelt, among others, was acquired from his heirs and has never before been offered for sale.

Upon Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945, letters poured in, congratulating Prime Minister Winston Churchill on winning the war. In his heartfelt reply later that month, Churchill says he is “deeply touched” and expresses his personal gratitude for “all the messages of good will which have reached me at this time.” While he sent a copy of this note to many people, the one offered at Raab is the typed, signed original from which the facsimiles were made. There is no other.

Other Raab highlights include a typed, signed letter from November 16, 1942, in which Churchill declares Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, an “unqualified success”, plus a five-page letter to Pierre Mendès-France from Churchill, pressuring the French leader to agree to Western European defense measures as the Cold War dawns.