57 microfilms (1449 theses)
This collection is made up of incoming letters to Hazel T. Ramsey from her boyfriend, later husband, William Beale Ramsey, during World War I; and her sons William B. Ramsey, Pierce Theodore "Ted" Ramsey, and John T. "Jack" Ramsey during and after World War II. Father and sons provided Hazel (in Philadelphia) with information about their everyday lives in military and air forces training, news of friends and fellow African American servicemen, their own experiences of racism and segregation, sporting events, courtship and relationships, promotions, and much more. The men's service took them from stateside training and teaching, including at Tuskegee Airfield, to overseas service in the Philippines and Japan. See the Hazel T. Ramsey Family Papers Notes for information on the contents of many letters in the collection.
The elder William Beale Ramsey wrote 27 letters from Camps Meade, Maryland; Dodge, Iowa; Pike, Arkansas; and Greene, North Carolina, between 1917 and 1918. Some of the themes of Ramsey's letters include drill, gymnastics, trench, and rifle training; meningitis and quarantine at Camp Meade, the treatment of African American soldiers and officers, and war news—particularly when Black solders were involved (such as the receipt of French War Crosses by two men in May 1918).
William Beale Ramsey the younger sent 14 letters home largely from Camp Ashby, California, and from the Philippine Islands between 1942 and 1946. Some of the themes of Ramsey's correspondence included his participation in basketball and track, races and other sporting competitions stateside and in the Philippines, visits with friends and family in California, girlfriends and near-marriages, a National Football League game in Wyoming, and the destruction of Manila.
John Townshend "Jack Ramsey" sent around 20 letters to his family, largely from Keesler Field, Mississippi; MacDill Field, Florida; the Philippines; and islands of Japan, between 1943 and 1946. Among the chief themes in his letters are training and marksmanship, promotion, race relations stateside and in Japan, interactions between Japanese work crews and black solders versus the work crews and white soldiers, speaking basic Kapampangan, and his eagerness to leave the service and return home.
Pierce Theodore "Ted" Ramsey sent 16 letters home to his parents from Keesler Field, Mississippi, and Tuskegee, Alabama, between 1944 and 1945. Ramsey wrote about the Air Corps Technical School at Keesler Field, and his time at Tuskegee Airfield, training and teaching, and aspects of flight work (bombardiers, pilots, navigators, etc.).
Hazel T. Ramsey received around 25 additional letters and ephemeral items from friends, family, and organizations, between 1918 and 1945. See the Hazel T. Ramsey Family Papers Notes for information on the contents of many letters in the collection.