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James Leonard Sturgeon collection, 1900-1967 (majority within 1900-1920)

0.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, military documents, photographs, and other items related to James Leonard Sturgeon's service in the Royal Air Force in Canada during World War I. The collection also contains family photographs from 1900-1933.

This collection (0.25 linear feet) is made up of correspondence, military documents, photographs, and other items related to James Leonard Sturgeon's service in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force during World War I. The collection also contains family photographs from 1900-1933.

The Correspondence series contains 15 letters and letter fragments that Sturgeon wrote to his family between March 1918 and November 1918. Sturgeon, who signed his letters "Leonard," wrote 2 letters while traveling from California to Canada in the spring of 1918. He wrote the remaining letters while serving in the Royal Flying Corps (later the Royal Air Force) in Long Branch and Deseronto, Ontario, describing his experiences during training flights and airmen's duties. Several letters from late 1918 pertain to his stay at a base hospital and to the influenza epidemic, which led to a complete quarantine of his unit. In November 1918, he was stationed at Camp Rathbun, where he considered the possibility of remaining in the air force after the war. An undated letter written from Vancouver, British Columbia, mentions a physical examination at the Royal Flying Headquarters and wounded soldiers who had returned home.

The Military Papers series (8 items) concerns James L. Sturgeon's military service. These include a base pass, Sturgeon's official service record, a discharge certificate, and 2 items about his honorary appointment as second lieutenant. The series also includes King George V's address to Royal Air Force members on Armistice Day. Two newspaper clippings relate to James L. Sturgeon's military service, including his spinal meningitis infection, and one concerns pioneers in Manitoba in 1881 and 1882. The final item is a membership card for The Aero Club of Canada.

The Photographs series contains over 160 photographs related to James Leonard Sturgeon's military service and to the Sturgeon family from 1900-1933. One group of photographs, including all of the military material, is housed in the Graphics division. The earliest photographs represent members of the Sturgeon family, including James Leonard Sturgeon and his siblings, as well as a festival that took place in Riverside, California, in 1900. Items pertaining to Sturgeon's military service in 1918 include photographs of Sturgeon, members of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force, crashed military airplanes, Long Branch Camp, and Camp Rathbun. Later photographs and undated items show Sturgeon among fellow Stanford University students, scenery from vacations in the western United States, and the Sturgeon family. One photograph is printed on a small metal plate.

The Soldiers and Sailors Book of Worship is the following volume: For Soldiers and Sailors: An Abridgement of the Book of Common Worship[,] Published for the National Service Commission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (1917).


John Ellis Edwards Air Force and family photograph albums, [1940s]-1973

4 volumes

This collection is made up of 4 albums containing photographs related to the United States Army Air Corps and United States Air Force during World War II and the Korean War, including items showing the Tuskegee Airmen, and family photographs related to an African American family. Some materials, including several manuscript and ephemera items, indicate that the albums may have belonged to John Ellis Edwards, a native of Steubenville, Ohio.

This collection is made up of 4 albums (220 total pages) containing photographs related to the United States Army Air Corps and United States Air Force during World War II and the Korean War, including items showing the Tuskegee Airmen, and family photographs related to an African American family. Additional items, including manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and ephemera, are laid into each volume. One of the albums has embossed illustrations of three military planes and a military aviation badge on its front cover, along with the printed title "Tuskegee Army Flying School." Some of the materials indicate that the albums may have belonged to John Ellis Edwards, a native of Steubenville, Ohio.

The earliest materials pertain to the military service of African-American servicemen during World War II, including formal portraits of pilots and other members of the United States Army Air Corps who trained at the Tuskegee Institute and pictures of military aircraft. Other items concern United States Air Force operations during the Korean War, including numerous photographs of African-American and white servicemen attending dinners with one another and with local women; several images show a live performance by Les Brown & His Band of Renown and female singers. Many of these images also feature military aircraft and radio equipment, and some are scenic views of the Philippines and Okinawa. The albums also include photographs of civilian airplanes and aerial views of unidentified lands. A small number of the military photographs are official images licensed by the United States Army and Air Force.

The remaining items are primarily informal family photographs taken in Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, and other unidentified locales between the 1950s and mid-1970s. Many show family members posing near a decorated Christmas tree, and others show automobiles and neighborhood streets. The latest photographs include color photographic prints and school photographs of children. Other non-military pictures include an autographed group portrait of Three B's and a Honey and photographic postcards with studio portraits.

Each of the albums contains several loose items such as additional photographs, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and ephemera. Most of the clippings pertain to military aviation during World War II and the Korean War, particularly regarding the Tuskegee Airmen. Other printed items are invitations and graduation programs related to the Tuskegee Institute, a church program from Griffiss Air Force Base, colored illustrations of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Bell P-39 Airacobra aircraft, a military memorandum about radio codes, and a sheet with several reproductions of United States Army and Air Force insignia. The collection includes three letters written by John Ellis Edwards, including a V-mail letter to his father.


Robert Preston correspondence, 1942-1945 (majority within 1942-1943)

0.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of Robert Preston's letters to his parents about his service in the United States Navy during World War II. Preston repaired aircraft and supervised metal shops at the Norfolk Air Station and on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

This collection (87 items) contains 83 letters, 1 postcard, and 1 telegram that Robert Preston sent to his mother and stepfather, Eva and Frank Lakewitz of Baltimore, Maryland, from March 5, 1942-April 20, 1943, while serving in the United States Navy, as well as 1 letter from his wife Dotty (April 24, 1942). The final item is a photographic greeting card with an informal portrait of a man and woman (January 10, 1945).

Robert Preston wrote about his arrival at Norfolk, Virginia; his work repairing airplanes and supervising metal shops at Norfolk Air Station and Chincoteague Island, Virginia; and other aspects of his daily life. He sometimes mentioned his wife and their young daughter Mary Jane. In his letter of September 5, 1942, he noted that some money had been stolen out of his wallet, and, on September 19, 1942, he reported that the culprit had been dishonorably discharged and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Preston occasionally flew in military aircraft. He described fatal crashes in his letters of November 15, 1942; February 21, 1943; and April 4, 1943.

Preston wrote 2 early letters on stationery with printed paintings of navy vessels and aircraft and sent his mother an illustrated Mother's Day telegram from Western Union (undated). Some of his letters and envelopes have cartoonish drawings of sailors or other men (December 29, 1942, et al.). He drew a diagram of part of a car (October 22, 1942) and a picture of an airplane instrument he built (October 26, 1942).


Weston Marshack collection, 1942-1946 (majority within 1942-1944)

0.75 linear feet

The Weston Marshack papers contain correspondence, news articles, and photographs pertaining to Herbert Weston Marshack ("Weston"), who served in the 179th Infantry in North Africa and Italy during World War II, and Robert C. Marshack, who was an observation pilot in the European Theater. The majority of the collection is made up of Weston Marshack's letters to his parents; it also includes correspondence to Marshack from acquaintances and family members in the United States.

The Weston Marshack collection (0.75 linear feet) contains correspondence and other items pertaining to the military service of Herbert Weston Marshack ("Weston") and Robert C. Marshack ("Bob") during World War II.

The Correspondence series (216 items) contains letters that Weston Marshack wrote to his family from February 1942-July 1944, as well as letters that family members and acquaintances wrote to Marshack during the war. Weston Marshack reported his experiences at Camp Croft, South Carolina, and in North Africa and Italy. He discussed his training and adaptation to military life, noted serving at Anzio, Italy, commented on the progress of the war, and described the scenery overseas, particularly in Sicily. His last letters concern medical issues and hospitalization. His correspondence includes picture postcards of buildings in Syracuse, New York; Richmond, Virginia; and Daytona Beach, Florida; as well as telegrams and V-mail letters. He sometimes included enclosures such as a newspaper clipping regarding the battle for Java (March 29, 1942) and a certificate attesting to the completion of his training at Camp Croft (July 6, 1942).

Marshack received letters about life on the home front, and occasionally received letters from his brother Robert ("Bob"), who was also in the U.S. military. A letter of support from a man at St. George's Rectory contains an enclosed booklet entitled Forward Day by Day (September 24, 1942). Among the collection's final items are letters from Bob Marshack to his sister Marion about life in France and Germany following the war.

The Printed Items series (6 items) contains 3 articles about World War II and soldiers (January 1943; April 3, 1945; and May 28, 1945) and Army Talk 146, a publication about the Red Cross and its relationship with the United States Army (October 26, 1946). The series also includes a stamped identification card concerning Weston Marshack's unemployment benefits around December 1941, and a postcard ordering Marshack to report to a doctor for a physical examination (December 10, 1941).

The Photographs series contains 19 black-and-white photographs pertaining to Robert C. Marshack's service in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The pictures show groups of soldiers in uniform and military observation aircraft. Robert C. Marshack appears in at least 2 of the images, including one in which he and other lieutenants received awards for their work piloting observation planes. One labeled photograph was taken at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in 1949.


William M. Muth collection, 1938-1946 (majority within 1939, 1942-1943)

46 items

The William M. Muth collection contains diaries, photographs, and documents concerning Muth's experiences in Germany and the Netherlands in 1939 and his United States Navy service in the Pacific from 1942-1943.

The William M. Muth collection contains 2 diaries, 40 photographs, 2 envelopes of photographic negatives, and 4 documents concerning Muth's experiences in Germany and the Netherlands in 1939 and his United States Navy service in the Pacific from 1942-1943.

William M. Muth wrote 2 Diaries. The first (5" x 8") pertains to his life and travels in Europe from January 1, 1939-November 7, 1939, with daily entries covering January 1-February 5, March 19-May 14, and August 13-November 7. Muth described his life in Munich, Freiburg, and Heidelberg, Germany, and his visits to Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Italy. He wrote about his daily activities and social life and occasionally commented on anti-Semitism and increasing international tension. Muth reacted negatively to an anti-Semitic lecture and other propaganda (January 25, 1939), though he admired Adolf Hitler's oratory skills (January 30, 1939). By late August, the United States Consulate recommended that American citizens leave Germany, and Muth discussed his efforts to leave while noting reports of Polish armament and German militarization. On August 26, he traveled to Amsterdam. His entries from the first week of September reflect his efforts to return to the United States amidst the outbreak of war after Germany's invasion of Poland. He reacted negatively to perceived British exceptionalism and to Great Britain's declaration of war. After a brief return to Germany to gather belongings, Muth sailed for Baltimore on the SS Black Falkon on October 25. He arrived around November 7, the date of his final entry.

Muth's second diary (3" x 5") contains brief daily entries about his experiences on the USS Curtiss from January 6, 1942-August 2, 1943. He was stationed in Hawaii, New Caledonia, and Australia, and traveled to ports such as Pearl Harbor, Palmyra Atoll, Nouméa, Sydney, Perth, and Adelaide. In addition to noting his activities, such as flights and games of tennis, he occasionally commented on his wife and marriage.

The Photographs and Negatives series is made up of 38 snapshots and 2 larger photographs of United States sailors, soldiers, military buildings, and aircraft, taken between 1941 and 1944. Several portraits and one of the large group photographs are labeled. One picture shows a mock medal, the "Distinguished Skragging Cross." Many of the photographs were taken in Perth, Australia. The 2 envelopes of photographic negatives primarily depict uniformed military personnel.

Cablegrams and Ephemera include 2 cablegrams that William M. Muth sent to his wife and father on November 30, 1943, with his request that they stop sending mail. The series also has Muth's photographic identification card from the International Student Club in Munich, Germany (1938/1939), and his naval aviator certificate (September 1941), which is housed in a leather wallet. The final item is a certificate of gratitude for Muth's World War II service (July 15, 1946).