Giving Thanks to Veterans at Thanksgiving!

We’re now wading deep into the holiday season! In light of Veteran’s Day last week and with Thanksgiving fast approaching, we think it’s the perfect time to show thanks. So, as a thank you to both our readers and veterans, we’re giving you something to get excited about: a collection highlight! Make the most of your holiday by looking through these resources related to military service throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. One way to give thanks it is to remember and understand the stories and events that veterans experience. By delving into these collections you’ll discover powerful insight into the stories of those touched by war: not just soldiers, but also nurses, doctors, mechanics, their family and friends. Since war touches everyone, you may even find a personal connection to yourself or someone you know. Give thanks to all those who came before you by exploring these heritage collections too. Some of our most extensive collections contain photographs and service listings from the world wars. You’ll find thousands of the documents and photographs left behind to tell those stories in the collections below. Taking the time to read and remember the lives and histories of our heritage is a great way to honor that heritage and show thanks to those that came before.

Utah State Historical Society World War Military Listings

Army nurses from Red Cross Files for World War 2
Here you’ll encounter listings containing the basic information of thousands of volunteers in various roles, their families, those who perished, and those safely discharged.

World War I Service Cards

Service Card of William R. Holt
This collection contains the service cards of men and women from Weber County that served during World War I. They include their home address, next of kin, the branch of service, entrance date, discharge date, and remarks such as where they served and if killed in action. Included in this collection are notable names such as Browning, Scowcroft, Bernard DeVoto, Lawrence Dee, and Edmond Littlefield.

World War I Edmond (Ted) Littlefield

An officer standing next to an ambulance during WWI

This collection contains a diary, personal letters and photos of Edmond Arthur Littlefield principally from his service in the American Field Service during World War I. Other items include pre and post WWI letters and photos.

World War I Photographs

Troops in the July 4th armistice parade
A collection of photographs of the Armistice Parade that took place in Ogden, Utah in 1919. They include photographs of the troops returning from war, various women’s groups like the American Red Cross, and school children. These photographs were donated by Richard Roberts.

WorldWar II POW Camp Correspondence, Newsletters, Oral History and Photographs

POWs with the nurse
A collection of photographs and oral history quotes that document the history of the Prisoner of War camp at Defense Depot Ogden that opened in 1943 and closed in 1946. The oral histories were conducted with widows of German and Italian POWs, former guards, and community members that worked with the POWs.

World War II Photographs by J. Malan Heslop

Cocoa for All! A soldier lights another’s cigarette across a table filled with cocoa mugs.
[John Hale, the Old Man of the Tennessee mountains, is shown a bazooka by Pfc. Alexander Hamilton. This photograph ran in the CUB, the official publication of the Army Division, February 25, 1944]
Containing more than 1,350 images scanned from negatives, original prints, and slides, J. Malan Heslop served in the U.S. Army and documented the final months of World War II in Austria, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Germany.

UO Veterans

Interview with Jack Heide discussing his experiences serving in the Army Reserves

The UO Veterans Oral History Project was established in 2012 with the aim of documenting the military experiences of men and women associated with the University of Oregon and the wider Oregon community. The project understands military experience broadly to include not just combat but all aspects of military service.

The UO Veterans Oral History Project rests on interviews with both veterans and active duty service men and women. Interviews are conducted and transcribed by University of Oregon students enrolled in a class designed to support the project. The interviews are permanently housed in the archive at the University of Oregon Libraries.

Utah State Historical Society World War I Service Questionnaires (New to MWDL!)

World War I service questionnaires | Fred R Davidson
This series contains military service questionnaires and photographs of Utah’s World War I veterans compiled by the Utah State Historical Society shortly after the war. The forms were sent to veterans or their families to complete and return.

The survey was the result of a request by Utah Governor Bamberger to the State Council of Defense that a War History of the State be compiled. By 1920 when the Council had disbanded, the project was continued by the Utah State Historical Society who hired Dr. Andrew L. Neff to write the history. By 1926 the production of an all encompassing work proved overwhelming, and it was learned that the federal government was compiling similar information to be filed with the state adjutant general. Therefore the project was abandoned as infeasible and a duplication of effort.

 Utah National Guard 145th Field Artillery Scrapbook (New to MWDL!)

A terse memorandum informing a Captain that his troop would be parading through Salt Lake City on the 6th.
This series contains a scrapbook of the 145th Field Artillery of Utah explaining how President Wilson tried to persuade the nation into joining the war, how Utah’s National Guard was mobilized, and the names of the Utah soldiers. The scrapbook was created by the Statistical Section of the Regiment.
The scrapbook has excerpts from: President Wilson’s Address to Congress, ‘The War Message and Facts Behind it’, and the President’s Flag Day Address. It also contains appointments and general orders made by President Wilson reorganizing Utah’s 145th. It has the names of the soldiers who were ordered or drafted into the service, enlistments, promotions, transfers, and rosters.

UO Archives Photographs

The University Archives Photograph Collection contains modern and vintage photographic prints related to the University of Oregon. The photographs depict a variety of buildings, historic scenes, events, students, faculty and staff, and scenes of campus life. Additionally, photos of World War II-era events on campus and soldiers are also featured.

Utah State Historical Society WorldWar I Records Dead Roster

This series is an effort to preserve a history of the World War I war record of Utah. The task originally was begun by the State Council of Defense, part of the National Council of Defense created on August 29, 1916 by act of Congress. The State Councils were to assist the federal government in recruiting for the National Guard and armed forces, promoting agricultural and industrial production for the war effort, fundraising, and planning patriotic activities. The Council also responded to a request by Governor Bamberger to compile a War History of the state. With the end of the war, the State Council was dissolved, and the war history aspect was assumed by the Utah State Historical Society. Most of the series consists of rosters of one form or another, including the Dead Roster featured here.

Salt Lake Tribune Negative Collection

This collection contains over 171,000 images from the 1930s to the 1960s. It is unique in origin as it includes images taken by dozens of different photographers sent out by the newspaper to get the perfect shot, something newsworthy. This results in many “live action” images taken of everyday activities and includes photos of war-related parades and local servicemen.

UO Stock Photos

A wonderful resource for stock images of people, places, and happenings around the University of Oregon campus, this collection also contains a series of photos of a 2007 Iraq War Flag Memorial.

As always, we’re thankful for all our partners who have contributed these collections: Brigham Young University, Utah Department of Heritage & Arts, Oregon Digital, Utah State Archives, and Weber State University! 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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