Collection area: Military (page 3 of 11)

Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers

7 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 343
Image of Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.

The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.

  • Nurses--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • United States. Navy
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Davenport, Janina Smiertka
Types of material
  • Photographs

Dickinson, Walter Mason, 1856-1898

Walter Mason Dickinson Papers

1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 173
Image of Walter Mason Dickinson, ca.1880
Walter Mason Dickinson, ca.1880

Originally a member of the Massachusetts Agricultural College Class of 1876, Walter Mason Dickinson left after his junior year to enter the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During his military career, Dickinson saw service in the southwest and as a military instructor at MAC (1891-1896). As a Captain and Quartermaster in the 17th Infantry, he was called to active duty during the Spanish-American War and was killed in action at the Battle of El Caney. He was the first man associated with MAC to die in military service.

This small collection of photographs and letters centers on the death and family of Walter M. Dickinson, the first person associated with Massachusetts Agricultural College to die in combat. In addition to two of the last letters he wrote as he was heading off to war in Cuba, the collection contains three formal portraits of Dickinson at different points in his military career, images of his wife and family, and two images of the scene of his death at El Caney and one of his temporary grave.

Gift of Alex Kingsbury, Jan. 2016
  • Dickinson, Asa Williams--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Charles--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Marquis F. (Marquis Fayette), 1814-1901--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Marquis F. (Marquis Fayette), 1840-19215--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Martha E.--Photographs
  • Dickinson, Walter Mason, 1856-1898--Photographs
  • Dwellings--Massachusetts--Amherst--Photographs
  • El Caney (Cuba)--Photographs
  • Farms--Massachusetts--Amherst--Photographs
  • Soldiers' bodies, Disposition of--Cuba--Photographs
  • Soldiers--United States--Photographs
  • Spanish-American War, 1898
Types of material
  • Ambrotypes
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs

Dillon, Robert E.

Robert E. Dillon Papers

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 635
Image of Robert E. Dillon, 1943
Robert E. Dillon, 1943

A working class native of Ware, Mass., Robert E. Dillon was a student at Massachusetts State College when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. After his induction at Fort Devens, Mass., and training for the Quartermaster Corps in Virginia and California, Dillon was assigned to duty as a mechanic and driver with the First Service Command. Stationed at Rest Camps number 5 and 6 in Khanspur, India (now Pakistan), Dillon’s company maintained the trucks and other vehicles used to carry supplies over the Himalayas to Chinese Nationalist forces. After he left the service in February 1946, having earned promotion to T/5, Dillon concluded his studies at UMass Amherst on the GI Bill and earned a doctorate in Marketing from Ohio State. He taught at the University of Cincinnati for many years until his death in 1985.

The Dillon Papers consist of 178 letters written by Dillon to his family during his service in World War II, along with several written to him and an assortment of documents and ephemera. Beginning with basic training, the letters provide an essentially comprehensive account of Dillon’s military experience and interesting insight into a relatively quiet, but sparsely documented theater of war.

Gift of Edward O'Day, Sept. 2009
  • California--Description and travel
  • India--Description and travel
  • Pakistan--Description and travel
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Dillon, Robert E
Types of material
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Menus
  • Photographs

Ebert, Siegfried

Siegfried Ebert Papers

2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 576
Image of Ebert in his studio, ca.1965
Ebert in his studio, ca.1965

The graphic artist Siegfried Ebert had an important influence on the visual language of East German television and animated motion pictures. Born in Eibau on July 20, 1926, Ebert was drafted into the Luftwaffe in 1943, but shortly after going on active duty, he was severely wounded and taken prisoner by the English. After his release, Ebert shifted course in life, studying commercial art at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zittau and film at the Hochschule für bildende und angewandte Kunst in Wiessensee. He became one of the earliest artists to specialize in the new medium of television, working for Deutscher Fernsehfunk, doing graphic design and animation. A member of the Verband Bildender Künstler Deutschlands, he later worked on animated films for the DEFA studios. Suffering from ill health for the last several years of his life, Ebert suffered a heart attack in November 1985, and died at home shortly after his sixtieth birthday in 1986.

The Ebert Collection includes a small assortment of correspondence, awards, and biographical materials, along with examples of his graphic work for television and film. Among other unusual items in the collection are attractive handbills (small posters) for Progress and DEFA films, some original sketches, photographs and mockups of his artwork for television, and an assortment of personal and professional ephemera.

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser, 2007
Language(s): German
  • Germany, East--Social life and customs
  • Graphic artists--Germany, East
  • Motion pictures--Germany, East
  • Prisoners of War--Germany
  • Television--Germany, East
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Ebert, Siegfried
  • Thorndike, Andrew
Types of material
  • Animation drawings
  • Ephemera
  • Handbills
  • Photographs
  • Posters

Ellis, James, 1935-

James Ellis Civil War Patriotic Covers Collection

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 614
Image of Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis

During the earliest days of the Civil War, publishers began to issue large numbers of “patriotic covers,” cheaply produced but often colorfully-illustrated envelopes commemorating the personalities and events of the war. The topics were highly varied, ranging military and political figures, significant battles and other events, nostalgia for home, slavery, and southern versus northern character.

Collected by James Ellis, the Patriotic Cover Collection contains over 250 envelopes published during the Civil War, primarily in the northern states. All envelopes are unused and in relatively pristine condition.

  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Ellis, James, 1935-
Types of material
  • Envelopes

Emmons, Marcus A.

Marcus A. Emmons Papers

1 folder 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 034

A 21 year-old farmer from Hardwick, Mass., Marcus A. Emmons enlisted in the 21st Massachusetts Infantry in August 1861, and saw active service in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Having survived many of the great battles of the eastern theatre, Emmons was killed in action at Bethesda Church on June 2, 1864.

The letters and journals that comprise this collection document Emmons’ tragically brief experience in the Civil War. Both letters date from April 1864, while the 21st Massachusetts was stationed in Annapolis, Md., prior to the campaigns of that summer. One journal includes some miscellaneous pre-war accounts, a complete list of the Civil War volunteers from Hardwick and their regiments (some with notation of fate in service); a list of conscripts added to Co. K, 21st Mass., in 1863; a list of Civil War battles; military accounts; recruits added to the regiment in 1862, listing place of residence; and a roster of Co. K, 21st Mass. Infantry, with place of residence and fate in the service. The other journal begins as a spelling exercise book and includes diary entries for Mar.-Sept., 1862, discussing farm work.

  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Hardwick
  • Hardwick (Mass.)--History
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 21st (1861-1864)
  • Emmons, Marcus A.
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Diaries

Enola Gay Controvery

Enola Gay Controversy Collection

2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 615

On January 30, 1995, the National Air and Space Museum capitulated to popular and political pressure and scuttled an exhibit they had planned to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Early in 1993, curators began to develop plans for an exhibit that would center around the Enola Gay, the B-29 Stratofortress bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, but opposition from veterans’ groups rose almost immediately. By mid-summer, the Air Force Association and American Legion led opposition to the exhibit, fearing that it would not present a balanced view of the events and that it would focus exclusively on the “horrors of war” and an alleged “moral equivalence” between Japan and the United States. Although several attempts were made to rewrite the script of the exhibit, congressional and public pressure eventually led to the cancellation of the exhibit in January 1995 and to the resignation of the Director of the Museum, Martin Harwit, in May.

Collected by historian Waldo Heinrichs, the Enola Gay Controversy Collection contains the various versions of the scripts of the planned exhibition and copies of correspondence, memos, publications, and the three volumes of “Revisionism gone wrong: Analysis of the Enola Gay controversy” issued by the Air Force Association.

  • Atomic bomb--Moral and ethical aspects
  • Enola Gay (Bomber)--Exhibitions--Political aspects
  • National Air and Space Museum--Exhibitions--Political aspects
  • Heinrichs, Waldo

Eshbach, Charles E.

Charles E. and M. Sybil Hartley Eshbach Papers

14 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 886
Image of Charles Eshbach on pony, ca.1915
Charles Eshbach on pony, ca.1915

Charles Edgar Eshbach, Jr., a 1937 graduate of Massachusetts State College, and Maude Sybil Hartley met in late 1939, while she was a student at Simmons College and he was working for the New England Radio News Service, part of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. They soon began dating and in February 1941 were engaged. After graduating in 1942, Sybil lived at home in Rochester, Mass., and taught school. Charles was drafted and enlisted in the army December 30, 1942. Trained as a radio operator, he was assigned to the Army Air Force Technical Training Command’s 326th Signal Co. Wing. Charles and Sybil married in September of 1943, and by November, Charles was in England, part of the 67th Fighter Wing stationed at Walcot Hall in Lincolnshire. Although not in combat, Charles rose to the rank of Technical Sergeant. He returned to the U.S. in December 1945. He and Sybil moved to Weymouth and had four children. Charles was appointed professor of Agricultural Economics at UMass in 1959. The family moved to Amherst in 1964, as Charles’ department was transforming into the Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration Department. He taught at UMass until 1986, when he retired. He died in 1997. Sybil worked at the University store for thirty years and died in 2009.

Consisting chiefly of their letters to each other, the Eshbach Papers vividly document the courtship and early married life of Charles and Sybil, particularly during their long separation, against a wartime backdrop. The collection also contains diaries, photograph albums, loose photographs, histories and rosters from Charles’ army unit, and a variety of ephemera and memorabilia such as ration tickets, receipts, programs, and Charles’ army badges and dog tags.

Gift of Aimee E. Newell, Nov. 2015
  • 4-H clubs
  • England--Description and travel
  • Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)
  • United States. Agricultural Marketing Service
  • United States. Army Air Forces. Technical Training Command
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Eshbach, M. Sybil Hartley
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Ephemera
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs

Freeman, William H.

William H. Freeman Collection

2 vols., 1 letter 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 068
Image of William H. Freeman, ca.1940
William H. Freeman, ca.1940

Attached to the 20th Air Base Group in 1941, Athol-native Bill Freeman was a first-hand witness to the beginnings of the war in the Pacific. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1940, Freeman was stationed at Nichols Field in the Philippines when the Japanese invaded, and after taken as prisoner or war, he was forced on the Bataan Death March. Freeman died of malaria in Cabanatuan Prison Camp in July 1942.

The Freeman scrapbook and photograph album that Bill Freeman kept offer a visually-intensive perspective on the brief life of an American serviceman in the Second World War. Kept during and immediately after high school, the scrapbook includes notices of his musical performances and other activities; the extensive photograph album documents his service in the Army Air Corps from the start of deployment through his travels in Hawaii and Guam to the early months of his service in the Philippines. The collection also includes a letter written from the Philippines during the summer 1941.

  • Guam--Photographs
  • Hawaii--Photographs
  • Philippines--Photographs
  • United States. Army. Air Corps
  • World War, 1939-1945
Types of material
  • Photographs

German Military Personnel

German Military Personnel Photograph Collection

ca. 1930-1939
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 384

Photographs from the 1930s and 1940s featuring both major government officials such as Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler, and lower ranking officials such as regional party leaders. Photographs of German soldiers with their various weapons, some possibly fighting, are also depicted. Includes film stills from the Allied invasion of Normandy and German Communist refugees in the Soviet Union.

  • Germans--Photographs
  • Nazis--Photographs
  • World War, 1939-1945
Types of material
  • Photographs