Summary

This guide identifies collections that contain materials from the World War II era, including primary sources, secondary source research, and reminiscences of the war. Collections primarily contain correspondence and memorabilia from soldiers who served in the war, with highlights from those local to Southeast North Carolina, as well as from the African American perspective and those experiencing the war on the home front. Additional documents reflect international involvement from the European and/or Asian side of the conflict. A large selection of oral histories by those with first-hand accounts of the war are also featured, including the testimony of Holocaust survivors.

As the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and area training sites of every military branch, Wilmington was especially crucial in the war effort and was known as the "Defense Capital of the State." What is now the Port of Wilmington served as a major shipbuilding hub for liberty ships under the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, who built 243 cargo vessels. These distinctions allowed Wilmington to be named the first American World War II Heritage City in September 2020.

For information related to World War I, please refer to the Related Special Collections Subject Guides section.

NOT PUBLISHED

Manuscript Collections - General

These collections represent a broad scope of general materials related to the war--such as military documents, newspapers, publications, photographs, and memorabilia--not specific to an individual person or family's war experience.

MS 054 Pearl Harbor Photographs

This collection contains thirty-six official United States Navy photographs of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and two booklets, Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 and This is . . . Pearl Harbor, both of which give brief histories of the area and chronicles the events of December 7, 1941.

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MS 059 World War II Newspapers

This collection consists of two World War II newspapers: The Tribune, Manila, Philippines, Wednesday, December 9, 1942 (Year XVIII, Number 253) [12 pages] and the Cockatoo News Summary, 6th Infantry Division—The Philippines, Wednesday, May 9, 1945 (Volume 2, Number 116) [4 pages]. The Tribune was an English-language daily newspaper printed in the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1930 to 1945. This issue reports the War news with emphasis on Japan and its victory over the Americans. The Cockatoo News Summary reports the official announcement of Germany’s unconditional surrender.

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MS 071 U.S. Military Ships, Bases, and Operations Photographs and Plans

This collection contains photographs and plans that span thirty-one years of U.S. military history at sea. Of note in the collection are twenty-one photos of Japanese bombing and aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

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MS 119 Bissette World War II Collection

This group of World War II documents consists of five U.S. military duplicates: a U.S. military inspection report of Buchenwald Concentration Camp, liberated on 11 April 1945 by members of the Third Army under General George S. Patton; Special Communique No. 8 of the Supreme Headquarters, A.E.F. - an official notice of German Surrender 8 May 1945; a commendation letter from Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, A.E.F. to Colonel Martin A.

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MS 220 Colin D. Heaton Collection

This collection consists of photocopies of various “Top and Most Secret” military correspondences. Primary reference material covers military operations, statistics, and personal correspondences between Russian, allied, and Czechoslovakian armed forces. The researcher may find official German and Czechoslovakian records not translated to be of particular interests along with official accounts of various wartime assaults on enemy targets.

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MS 251 Marvin Powell Jones WWII Collection

This collection includes Confederate currency from Louisiana and two international newspapers from World War II.

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MS 308 Theis World War II Photographs

Contains United States Marine Corps photographs from World War II documenting United States involvement in the pacific. Primarily includes photographs of various Japanese cities in the aftermath of the atomic bombs, Marine Corp occupation of pacific islands, and the War Criminal Tribunal of the Far East.

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MS 316 John Gunn Sports Collection

The John Gunn Sports Collection primarily consists of media guides and game day programs collected by John Gunn for professional and college sports teams and military sports teams. Gunn's research and correspondence, as well as his personal collection of sports programs, statistics, information on teams and individual players, and photographs are also included.

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MS 325 Sherwin Lipman Football Memorabilia

This collection contains football memorabilia, World War II memorabilia, and veteran documents. Included are game day programs from Army football games Sherwin Lipman played during World War II, as well as game day programs from football games Lipman played in the American Association immediately after World War II. The programs are dated from 1945 to 1946. The football memorabilia series also includes newspaper clippings and articles written about games Lipman was a part of during his football career.

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MS 355 Dr. William Sutton WWII Publications Collection

This collection contains issues of "Yank Magazine" and the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper, which were published by the U.S. Military during World War II. These publications reported on the happenings of the war and focused on members of the armed forces overseas.

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Special Collections Vertical Files

The Special Collections vertical files are compiled by Special Collections staff on an ongoing basis and contain material such as articles, photographs, maps, emphemera, etc. of various persons, places, organizations, and topical subjects related to UNCW and Southeastern North Carolina history.

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Digital Collections

World War II: Through the Eyes of the Cape Fear

World War II: Through the Eyes of the Cape Fear is a joint project between the University of North Carolina Wilmington's William M. Randall Library and the Cape Fear Museum. The website's creation was funded by the North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online) grant, awarded by the Library Development Section of the State Library of North Carolina.

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Montford Point Marines

This grant funded website contains artifacts, photographs and interview transcripts documenting the history of the Montford Point Marines, the U.S. Marine Corps’ first African American recruits. These marines received basic training at the segregated Montford Point Base adjacent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. This website also contains information about the documentary, Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom, which was created in part from the interviews conducted with Montford Point veterans.

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Frank R. Hutton Jr. Collection, 1942-1945

This collection contains over 500 items, including many letters and postcards, written by and to Corporal Frank R. Hutton, Jr. (1921 - 2009) during World War II. A native of Greensboro, N.C., Hutton served as a member of the U.S. Army Air Force, 547th Air Service Corp, 797th Air Material Squadron from 1942-45. He was married to Doris Elizabeth Coward Hutton (1926-2007). Special thanks goes to the Southport Historical Society for collaborating with Randall Library to make this collection available. 

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Chronicling America - The Wilmington Morning Star (1909-1990)

Information on accessing Wilmington newspaper, The Wilmington Morning Star which ran from 1909 to 1990.

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Chronicling America (ISSN 2475-2703) provides access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Dates of relevance are January 1, 1940 – December 31, 1947.

Manuscript Collections - On the Homefront

These collections represent the stateside experiences of those who served, took part in, or lived through the war in Southeastern North Carolina.

MS 017 Harmon C. Rorison Private Papers

These papers consist largely of letters, articles, and documents concerning the war record and civic activities of Harmon Chadbourn Rorison of Wilmington, NC. Rorison served in both world wars and the Russo-Polish War immediately following WWI. These papers reflect Rorison’s war experiences in letters home; copies of military general orders (U.S.

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MS 070 American Legion Scrapbooks

The American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 10 of Wilmington was charted September 13, 1919 by fifteen World War I veterans in accordance with US 41 Stat. 284. This collection contains three scrapbooks and several folders of ephemera pertaining to veterans and active military personnel from southeast North Carolina between 1942-1963. Items included in the scrapbooks are enlistment notices, obituaries, memorial lists, achievements attained, prisoner of war lists (POWs) and other patriotic articles and poems.

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MS 100 Dr. William Madison Randall Papers

This manuscript collection contains information related to Dr. William Madison Randall's family and career from 1899 to 1972. Included are documents, correspondence, publications, newspaper articles and clippings, photographs and ephemera related to Randall's childhood, military career, career at UNCW, interest in languages and other scholarly pursuits. The collection also includes a tool belt and his graduation robes.

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MS 121 Van Eeden Settlement

This manuscript contains information regarding Van Eeden. Much of the manuscript contains correspondence between Alvin Johnson and the settlers, revealing the working and social conditions of Van Eeden at that time. Also included are daily journal entries by Sarnia Marquand, Alvin Johnson's secretary, providing a view other than that of the settlers.

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MS 178 Oscar High Business Papers and Memorabilia

The collection contains business receipts, letters, and advertisements from three businesses operated by Oscar High of Whiteville, North Carolina, spanning more than forty years from 1916 thru the 1960s, with special emphasis on the period between 1920's through 1950's. The personal letters of Mr. High's Waccamaw cottage rental business are of particular interest, as this covers both the Great Depression and World War II years and demonstrates his highly regarded business ethics and eagerness to aid his clients.

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MS 179 Cornelius M. Dickinson Thomas Letters

The Cornelius M. Dickinson Thomas Letters include personal correspodence, post cards, greeting cards and photographs from Thomas' experience during WWII. The collection also includes various documents relating to James Forte, a 17th century settlement, and two paintings on canvas.

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MS 181 Hannah Soloman Block Collection

This collection consists of letters, cards, invitations, programs, news clippings and full length newspapers, magazines, postcards, notes, and a manuscript. Three albums of photos, political and pageant buttons, letters, and awards are included in these albums. Also included are WWII-era items such as Civil Defense ID cards, Red Cross membership materials, ration books for food and gasoline, V-mail, and information on USO dances.

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MS 194 Cameron Family Letters

This collection consists of photocopies of letters written by Bruce B. Cameron to his future wife, Meredith College student Lottie Fales, as well as later letters written by their son, Daniel D. Cameron, to his parents and sister during his service in WWII.

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MS 195 USO Club, Jacksonville NC Collection

This collection specifically deals with nearly sixty years of operations with the United Service Organization (USO) in  Jacksonville, NC, including information on the post-WWII era segregated USO.  Materials on national and international USO operations from the WWII era to the 1980s are also among the collection. Material consists of numerous photographs, publications, newspapers, operations and budget reports, council meeting minutes, correspondence, newsletters, event press, ephemera, scrapbooks, and ledgers.

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MS 204 Wilbur D. Jones, Jr. Papers

This collection contains research material collected by author Wilbur D.  Jones, Jr. for his novels, including interviews, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, author notes, correspondence with publishers, and drafts of the manuscripts.

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MS 211 John Jay Burney, Jr. Personal Papers

This collection primarily contains papers, records, photos, speeches, and correspondence of John J. Burney, Jr. from his enlistment into the Army in 1943, directly from high school graduation, through the end of the 20th century.

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MS 214 Robert J. Cooke Collection

This collection consists of material collected by Robert J. Cooke from various presidential elections from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, primarily at the respective Democratic Conventions. Items include copies of speeches, pamphlets, publications, press badges, ads, biographies, and campaign material. Candidates of note include Governor George C. Wallace, President Jimmy Carter, and President Bill Clinton. A selection of Cooke's research on the Rorison family of Wilmington, North Carolina is also included.

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MS 255 Katherine Harriss Byers Collection

This collection contains newspaper and magazine articles covering local, national, and world events that were collected by the family of Katherine Harriss Byers. These items include weekly news magazines, Wilmington Shipyard bulletins of WWII, a Newport News & Dry Dock Year Book, a history of NC Shipyard 1941 - 1946, and a news article dated 1934 on President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.  Among the news items are pictures and articles on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Ernie Pyle on Normandy, and the commissioning Dec.

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MS 263 Rehder-Gerdes Family Papers

This collection contains materials relating to the Rehder family of Wilmington, North Carolina including family history and genealogy. Of note in the collection are letters between sisters Johanna Rehder and her sister, Katherine (Tat) Rehder while Katherine was a nurse in World War II.

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MS 293 The Camera Shop Records

This collection contains records from The Camera Shop, a business that operated at Front and Grace Street in Wilmington, N.C. for seventy-two years. Materials include personal, business, and supply correspondence, customer and supplier invoices, advertising correspondence and invoices, job applications, property paperwork, and mail solicitations from 1942-1957. Of note in this collection is correspondence between The Camera Shop and suppliers during World War II, at which time The Camera Shop was denied camera and film supplies because of wartime restrictions and regulations.

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MS 304 George Fokakis Memorabilia

This collection contains letters and WWII memorabilia from George Fokakis' military service and items of personal importance, including reunion books, badges, and maps. The dates of the letters span from 1943 to 1951, during WWII and the Korean War. The letters contain correspondence mainly between George and his family during his time of service in WWII. George wrote often to his siblings: sisters Katherine and Clara, and his brother Nick.

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MS 312 Virginia Harriss Holland World War II Memorabilia

This collection contains personal correspondence and ration paperwork from Lt. Commander David S. Harriss's service in the United States Navy from 1942-1945. The rations are for non-highway gasoline and include two gasoline ration coupons, a mileage rationing record, and a basic mileage ration coupon book. This collection also includes an Alcoholic Beverage Control Sales Permit made out to Elizabeth H. Harriss and a letter regarding a "change of duty" to David Harriss from the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

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MS 329 Eugene R. O’Leary World War II Memorabilia

This collection contains photographs, documents, field manuals, and other documents from Eugene O'Leary's service with the United States Army during WWII at Camp Davis.

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MS 350 Hicks Family Collection

Contains three documents related to Camp Davis, an antiaircraft artillery training facility built during World War II by the United States Army near Holly Ridge in Onslow County.

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MS 352 North Carolina Shipbuilding Company Collection

This collections contains materials related to the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, a shipyard in Wilmington, North Carolina that was created as part of the U.S. Government's Emergency Shipbuilding Program during World War II. Included in the collection is a typed manuscript documenting the history of the company, a photocopied map of the Maffit Village neighborhood, and 19 photographs and 2 printing plates illustrating the company's grounds, workers and shipbuilding activitives.

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Special Collections Vertical Files

The Special Collections vertical files are compiled by Special Collections staff on an ongoing basis and contain material such as articles, photographs, maps, emphemera, etc. of various persons, places, organizations, and topical subjects related to UNCW and Southeastern North Carolina history.

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Faculty Scholarship Collection

University Archives collection. Related to WWII, includes Wartime Wilmington: An Overview by Everard H. Smith, which was published in Lower Cape Fear Historical Society bulletin, 18(1), 1-7, (1999).

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Manuscript Collections - War Experiences

These collections represent the war experiences beyond Southeastern North Carolina of those who served in, were directly involved with, or lived through the events of the war in the rest of the United States and internationally.

MS 017 Harmon C. Rorison Private Papers

These papers consist largely of letters, articles, and documents concerning the war record and civic activities of Harmon Chadbourn Rorison of Wilmington, NC. Rorison served in both world wars and the Russo-Polish War immediately following WWI. These papers reflect Rorison’s war experiences in letters home; copies of military general orders (U.S.

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MS 051 McGuire Collection of Letters from Black Soldiers

This collection is comprised of 109 photocopies of letters from black soldiers during World War II. They were used in Dr. Phillip McGuire’s book, Taps for a Jim Crow Army, published in 1983.

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MS 096 Rabbi Thurman Collection

This collection contains oversized volumes of cantor's music in Hebrew, loose leaves of printed music, Yiddish posters, Hebrew choral manuscripts in parts Haggadah (Hebrew-English), an oral history with Trudi Rosenthal of the Holocaust, and Rabbi Thurman's last sermon.

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MS 100 Dr. William Madison Randall Papers

This manuscript collection contains information related to Dr. William Madison Randall's family and career from 1899 to 1972. Included are documents, correspondence, publications, newspaper articles and clippings, photographs and ephemera related to Randall's childhood, military career, career at UNCW, interest in languages and other scholarly pursuits. The collection also includes a tool belt and his graduation robes.

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MS 178 Oscar High Business Papers and Memorabilia

The collection contains business receipts, letters, and advertisements from three businesses operated by Oscar High of Whiteville, North Carolina, spanning more than forty years from 1916 thru the 1960s, with special emphasis on the period between 1920's through 1950's. The personal letters of Mr. High's Waccamaw cottage rental business are of particular interest, as this covers both the Great Depression and World War II years and demonstrates his highly regarded business ethics and eagerness to aid his clients.

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MS 179 Cornelius M. Dickinson Thomas Letters

The Cornelius M. Dickinson Thomas Letters include personal correspodence, post cards, greeting cards and photographs from Thomas' experience during WWII. The collection also includes various documents relating to James Forte, a 17th century settlement, and two paintings on canvas.

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MS 184 Dr. Ralph Werner Brauer Personal Papers

This collection of Brauer papers is organized in several series. The first series to be processed focuses on Brauer's early life, from birth through the late 1940s. In addition to documenting Brauers's early life, this series contain a large amount of material about pre-WWI Germany, with items dating from the early 1900s through 1920. It also includes documentation of the political situation in Germany during Hitler's ascent. Many rare, one-of-a-kind, ephemeral newspapers, leaflets, handouts, and other items are to be found in this series.

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MS 194 Cameron Family Letters

This collection consists of photocopies of letters written by Bruce B. Cameron to his future wife, Meredith College student Lottie Fales, as well as later letters written by their son, Daniel D. Cameron, to his parents and sister during his service in WWII.

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MS 204 Wilbur D. Jones, Jr. Papers

This collection contains research material collected by author Wilbur D.  Jones, Jr. for his novels, including interviews, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, author notes, correspondence with publishers, and drafts of the manuscripts.

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MS 214 Robert J. Cooke Collection

This collection consists of material collected by Robert J. Cooke from various presidential elections from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, primarily at the respective Democratic Conventions. Items include copies of speeches, pamphlets, publications, press badges, ads, biographies, and campaign material. Candidates of note include Governor George C. Wallace, President Jimmy Carter, and President Bill Clinton. A selection of Cooke's research on the Rorison family of Wilmington, North Carolina is also included.

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MS 225 The Lee W. Weaver Collection

This collection contains memorabilia from the European Front of World War II collected by Sgt. Weaver during his service overseas, including memorandums, Special Orders, certificates, photographs correspondence, and postcards.

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MS 237 Jane Brister World War II Memorabilia

This collection contains notes, photographs, and other memorabilia from a displaced German family post WWII (1945 and 1946).

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MS 263 Rehder-Gerdes Family Papers

This collection contains materials relating to the Rehder family of Wilmington, North Carolina including family history and genealogy. Of note in the collection are letters between sisters Johanna Rehder and her sister, Katherine (Tat) Rehder while Katherine was a nurse in World War II.

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MS 266 Roger T. Krupp Collection

Network radio and TV announcer for more than 40 years, Krupp worked for all of "The Big Three," ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as a contract announcer for many weekly radio shows. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks Post Broadcasting System as manager of the station, and interrupted a regularly scheduled program one minute after receiving a news flash from Associated Press bulletin announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A man of many interests, Krupp showed talent as an artist, a gourmet cook, and creative woodworking.

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MS 274 David Buffkin WWII Memorabilia

This collection contains WWII memorabilia belonging to David Buffkin. Items include photographs, news clippings, personal letters, newsletters, and a ships log. Most material identifies a soldier named Joseph Alonzo Moore, Jr.

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MS 295 George Frank Kiker Collection

The Kiker collection contains photos of Frank Kiker, telegrams sent to his family notifying them of his injury, copy of his honorable discharge, his Purple Heart, and other medals he was awarded. The paper items were in a scrapbook and attached on both sides of the pages.

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MS 304 George Fokakis Memorabilia

This collection contains letters and WWII memorabilia from George Fokakis' military service and items of personal importance, including reunion books, badges, and maps. The dates of the letters span from 1943 to 1951, during WWII and the Korean War. The letters contain correspondence mainly between George and his family during his time of service in WWII. George wrote often to his siblings: sisters Katherine and Clara, and his brother Nick.

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MS 311 Frances Guthrie Collection

Personal collection of Ms. Frances Guthrie. Includes scrapbooks, photographs, and correspondence from time spent in Puerto Rico and Japan working for the United States Department of Defense in the 1940s and 1950s.

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MS 312 Virginia Harriss Holland World War II Memorabilia

This collection contains personal correspondence and ration paperwork from Lt. Commander David S. Harriss's service in the United States Navy from 1942-1945. The rations are for non-highway gasoline and include two gasoline ration coupons, a mileage rationing record, and a basic mileage ration coupon book. This collection also includes an Alcoholic Beverage Control Sales Permit made out to Elizabeth H. Harriss and a letter regarding a "change of duty" to David Harriss from the Bureau of Naval Personnel.

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MS 328 Dukes Family Papers

This collection contains WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War memorabilia belong to members of the Dukes family.

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MS 341 Patricia O'Meara Robbins and Carroll Robbins Jones Collection

This collection features the photography of Patricia O'Meara Robbins and the family research her daughter, Carroll Robbins Jones, compiled with her husband, Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., to write their book about Patricia's life and career--"She 'Shot' Her Way to Success: How China's Empress Dowager Ci Xi Launched a Photographer's Trailblazing Career," published in 2016.

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MS 363 Joseph C. Bostwick World War II Collection

This collection contains pamphlets, photos, maps, and correspondence from Joseph C. Bostwick's service with the 397th infantry regiment of the 100th division of the United States Army during World War II.

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Special Collections Vertical Files

The Special Collections vertical files are compiled by Special Collections staff on an ongoing basis and contain material such as articles, photographs, maps, emphemera, etc. of various persons, places, organizations, and topical subjects related to UNCW and Southeastern North Carolina history.

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Oral Histories

The below are a sampling of available oral histories from those with experiences related to World War II. To explore more interviews, please search the Oral History Collection.

Interview with Alvin J. Banker (Oral History)

Alvin Banker joined the U.S. Marine Corps on July 16, 1942. He attended boot camp at Montford Point, Camp LeJeune, N.C. Montford Point, which opened April 26, 1942, was a segregated training facility constructed to accommodate the first African American Marine Corps recruits. Banker was one these recruits. Banker was assigned to a Special Duty Platoon of the 51st Composite Defense Battalion. He remained at Montford Point as a cook and Mess Supervisor until September of 1946. He was then transferred to the 6th Colored Replacement Draft Marines and Deployed to the Marianna Islands.

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Interview with Charles M. Paty (Oral History)

Charles Paty, Jr., a Charlotte, North Carolina native, enlisted in the Navy at 17 immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific theater aboard the battleship North Carolina and subsequently in the occupational army of Japan. He was discharged and returned to North Carolina in 1945.

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Interview with Claude Kiger (Oral History)

Claude Kiger enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on December 8, 1941. He completed basic training at Paris Island, S.C., and advance training at Camp Geiger, N.C. (now Camp LeJeune). He was assigned to the 2nd Division, 2nd Battalion, and deployed to the Pacific Theater.

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Interview with Clayton Whitley (Oral History)

Clayton Whitley is a native of Williamston, North Carolina. He was drafted into the US Army in 1940 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He attended boot camp at Fort McClellan and was assigned to the 26th Infantry Division of the Massachusetts National Guard. Whitley was stationed at the Aerial Training and Observation Command at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. From 1942 to 1945 he served as General George Patton's personal driver in North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium and Czechoslovakia.

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Interview with Cliff Morris (Oral HIstory)

Cliff Morris enlisted in the 252nd artillery in Wilmington, NC in 1940. He completed basic training at Fort Screven, Georgia, after which he served in Trinidad with the Army Coast Artillery for 18 months. After the start of the Second World War, Morris applied for entrance into the Army Air Corps, and completed pilot training in Nashville, Tennessee before going overseas with the 15th Air Force.

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Interview with Clyde Hilbourne (Oral History)

Clyde Hilbourne of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, enlisted in the Navy during World War II, graduating in 1944 from quartermaster school as a seaman first class. He went aboard the North Carolina at the end of 1944, working in navigation, and served in the Pacific. He was present at the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After the war, the ship returned to New York and Hilbourne returned to his family in Columbus County, where he worked as a saw filer in various mills, ending up at the Riegelwood plant, now National Paper.

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Interview with Fred Day (Oral History)

Fred Day joined the U.S. Army in 1944. He completed basic training at Fort Bragg in Fayettville, N.C. He served with the 9th Army Division in England and France and was a member of the occupation force in Germany after World War II.

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Interview with John Stocks (Oral History)

John Stocks of Columbus County, North Carolina, enlisted in the Army in 1940 at the age of 20. He was deployed in August of 1942 and sent to Scotland aboard the Argentina. From Scotland he went to Algeria, serving there and throughought Africa, then Italy, as a private first class. He was discharged immediately after the German surrender and returned to North Carolina in May of 1945.

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Interview with Joseph R. Reaves (Oral History)

2001 interview with Joseph R. Reaves, a lifelong Wilmington resident and trainee in the state's first Reserve Officers' Training Program (ROTC) at New Hanover High School. Reaves served in the US Navy from 1942-1946 and later during the Korean War.

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Interview with Joseph Walker (Oral History)

Corporal Joseph B. Walker, born in Richmond, Virginia, grew up in Durham, North Carolina. He joined the Corps in 1943, was assigned to the 51st Defense Battalion, and saw duty in the occupied islands of the Pacific. Trained as an electrician in the Corps, he returned to Durham after the war and worked for forty-three years in that trade. Retired, he resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Interview with Margaret Rogers (Oral History)

Margaret Rogers grew up in Wilmington, N.C. She was in first grade at Williston Primary School when the war ended in 1944. In this Interview Rogers describes wartime Wilmington from a child's perspective. She relates her impressions of the POW camp located across the street from her school. She speaks of ration tickets, and blackouts and Liberty ships standing in the Cape Fear River.

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Interview with Martha Clayton (Oral History)

Martha Jenkins Clayton was born on October 30, 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia. She entered the WAVE branch of the military in 1943. She was stationed in Washington D.C. as a telegrapher.

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Interview with Ruth McSwain (Oral History)

Ruth McSwain was 16 years old when the United States entered World War II. She was a student at Women's College in Greensboro, N.C. In this interview, McSwain describes how the war shaped her life and her community. She also recounts some of the war experiences of her late husband, Clyde McSwain, who was a fighter pilot in Europe during World War II.

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Interview with Samuel D. Bissette (Oral History)

Sam Bissette joined the US Army Air Corps in October 1942 in Wilmington, North Carolina. He attended boot camp at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. His assignment involved S2 intelligence and administrative duties at Shaw Field with the 455th Basic Training Flying Squadron. Bissette saw action in Cherbourg and Lorient, France in and around Southampton, England.

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Interview with Stanley Rehder (Oral History)

Stanley Rehder was called into WWII because of his involvement in ROTC in high school and at NCSU. He was called up in March 1943 and completed his basic training at Camp Walters, Texas. Afterward he returned to NCSU with ASTP for six more months of college classes. He shipped to Liverpool around Christmas in 1944. He recounts how a torpedo struck and sunk his ship on Christmas day 1944, drowning almost every man in his Company.

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Interview with William Vann (Oral History)

Sergeant Major William Vann, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, joined the Corps in 1949. He served for more than thirty years, seeing duty in both Korea and Vietnam. Retired, he resides in San Diego, California.

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Contact Librarian

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Special Collections Librarian
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