This collection pertains to William Ray Antis (1887-1943) of Detroit, Michigan, who served in the 484th Aero Squadron of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. The collection includes eight letters to his mother Jessie Antis Germond, two military documents, a scrapbook of postcards kept during his time in France, photographs, two printed maps, three books, and four cloth/embroidered/painted-cloth items (incl. sergeant's stripes and a handkerchief case). The materials also include items from 1961 related to Sergeant Antis' daughter Dorothy J. Antis and Gerald "Jerry" Dumas, including original artwork from a Beetle Bailey comic strip.
Antis wrote to his mother from San Antonio from December 1917 to January 1918; Aviation Branch, Virginia, in February 1918; and unspecified locations in France from May 1918 to December 1918. He wrote about his training in Texas, inoculation, carpentry, anticipation of leaving for the front, French farming and villages, expectation of getting a YMCA with a separate entertainment space, women's ability to wear service stripes corresponding to sons' and husbands' ranks, and more. He wrote several letters on printed "WITH THE COLORS" YMCA stationery. A final document is William R. Antis' selective service registration certificate, April 24, 1942, Detroit, Michigan.
One World War I era scrapbook contains largely souvenir picture photographs, with a number of greeting postcards, from Arcis-Sur-Aube, Vinets, Ramerupt, Lhuître, Mailly-le-Camp, Longeaux, Villers-Le-Sec, Ligny-en-Barrois, Bar-Le-Duc, Foug, Pagney-derrière-Barine, Bicqueley, Domgermain, Verdun, and Bezonvaux. The volume also includes several photographs and a French Woodrow Wilson postcard bearing a mounted silk portrait of the U.S. President.
The collection's newspaper clippings include recognition for Antis' service stripes and a published excerpt of one of his letters from France. It also includes two large, printed, detailed maps of France. A photographic portrait of William R. Antis is present.
A bundle of three items relate to Gerald "Jerry" Dumas during his visit to see his parents in Detroit in the spring of 1961. It includes a newspaper clipping and a manuscript letter from Jerry to Dorothy June Antis, accompanied by the original artwork for a 1960 Beetle Bailey comic strip.