FINDING AID

AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES


Guide to the James S. Thomas Family Papers, RG 284

Listed by:  Catherine Conner
Date:  10/28/99


Date Span:  1939 - 1946

Size of Collection: ca. 250 letters

Biographical Sketch:  James Thomas left college in March of 1941 to enter the army as an aviation cadet.  By August 1945, he was a corporal in Squadron C in the 554th Army Air Force Unit.  Throughout his army career, James held various positions such as a truck driver, auto mechanic, airplane mechanic, and finally as an aerial engineer.  He lived on numerous U.S. bases such as Fort Warren, Wyoming; Santa Ana, California; Fort Stockton, Texas; Bakersfield, California; Fort Sumner, New Mexico; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Memphis, Tennessee.

Scope / Content:  Contains over 250 letters written by James and Anita Thomas to their parents, Allen and Anna Thomas of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, from the University of Wyoming (1939-1941) and from military bases (1941-1946).  Anita majored in English literature and worked for local radio stations.  In February 1942, James passed the Air Corps test, and entered the army as an aviation cadet in Squadron 44 of the U.S. Army Air Corps. His letters contain knowledgeable detail about how airplanes work, what he did during flight, and life on U.S. Army bases during World War II.


Box 1

1.      James to parents, September December 1939

2.      James and Anita to parents, 1939

3.      Letters to James from Jeanne Wilkins, 1939

4.      Letter to James, 1939

5.      James to parents, January 1940

6.      James to parents, February April, 1940

7.      James to parents, May 1940

8.      James to parents, June October, 1940

9.      Anita to parents, 1940

10.  James and Anita to parents, 1940

11.  James to parents, January February 1941

12.  James to parents, March April 1941

13.  Anita to parents, 1941

14.  James to parents, January March 1942

15.  James to parents, April 1942

16.  James to parents, May 1942

17.  James to parents, June 1942

18.  James to parents, July 1942

19.  James to parents, August 1942

20.  James to parents, September 1942

21.  James to parents, October 1942

22.  James to parents, November 1942

23.  James to parents, December 1942

24.  Anita to James, 1942

25.  Anita to parents, 1942

26.  James to parents, January 1943

27.  James to parents, February 1943

28.  James to parents, March 1943

29.  James to parents, April 1943

30.  James to parents, May 1943

Box 2

31.  James to parents, June 1943

32.  James to parents, July 1943

33.  James to parents, August 1943

34.  James to parents, September 1943

35.  James to parents, October 1943

36.  James to parents, November 1943

37.  James to parents, December 1943

38.  James to Anita, 1943

39.  Letters to James, 1943

40.  Anita to parents, 1943

41.  James to parents, January 1944

42.  James to parents and Anita, March 1944

43.  James to parents and Anita, April 1944

44.  James to parents and Anita, May 1944

45.  James to father, June 1944

46.  James to father and Anita, July 1944

47.  James to father and Anita, August 1944

48.  James to father, September 1944

49.  James to father and Anita, October 1944

50.  James to parents, November 1944

51.  James to father, December 1944

52.  James to Anita, 1944

53.  Letter to Allen Thomas from N.M. Turner, 1944

54.  James to father and Anita, January 1945

55.  James to father, February 1945

56.  James to father, March 1945

57.  James to father, April 1945

58.  James to father, June July 1945

59.  James to father, August 1945

60.  James to father, September 1945

61.  James to father, October 1945

62.  James to father, November 1945

63.  James to Anita, 1945

64.  James to father, 1946

65.  Letter to James from Corporal Calvin Speck, 1946

66.  James to parents, undated     


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