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ROBERT C. LEWIS (Ak. Hist. Soc. Col.). World War II Papers and Photographs; n.d., 1941-1943, 1951. .45 cu. ft.

Robert C. Lewis was born in Linden, Indiana, in 1916. He grew up in Longview, Washington, and graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1935. Lewis enlisted in the U.S. Army in Tacoma, Washington, in 1941. He came to Seward, Alaska, aboard the U.S.S. U.S. Grant in June 1941 with his army unit, Battery E, 205th Coast Artillery (antiaircraft) Battalion. Lewis served at Fort Raymond, the U.S. Army base in Seward. His battalion was redesignated the 420th Coast Artillery (antiaircraft) Battalion in April of 1942. It later left Fort Raymond sometime in 1943-1944. After the war Lewis worked for many years in the construction field for Morris-Knudson. He later returned to Longview, Washington, and worked as a homebuilder and fine finish carpenter. Robert C. Lewis died in a car crash in 1989.

The collection consists of papers and photographs from Robert Lewis' service in the U.S. Army at Fort Raymond, Seward, Alaska during World War II. The papers include: two issues of the Fort Raymond post newspaper, the Daily Polaris; a certificate of completion and text from a University of Alaska extension course in mining; notes on combat intelligence; plans for a trestlebent bridge; a National Park Service booklet on Mount McKinley National Park; and an Alaska Defense Command booklet about the Mt. McKinley U.S. Army Recreation Camp. The photographs include those of Robert Lewis and Battery E, Fort Raymond and its facilities and troops, and scenery and recreational activities on the Kenai Peninsula and along the Alaska Railroad. Of particular interest are photographs of the tent camp at Fort Raymond next to the Jesse Lee Home; the devastating fire on 4th Avenue in Seward on the night of November 23, 1941; and a railroad trip to Mount McKinley National Park and Fairbanks. Other localities depicted in the photographs include Cooper's Landing, Moose Pass, Russian River Rendezvous, Hope, the Divide Ski Area, and "Alaska Nellie" Lawing's trophy house and room in Lawing. The photographs also include a group of images of Adak Island and the army base there taken in 1951.

The collection was presented to the Alaska Historical Society by Cory Graff in 1998.

JAS (11/1999)

Box/Folder list:

Box 1

Series 1. Papers; n.d., 1941-1943. .2 cu. ft.
Daily Polaris (Fort Raymond post newspaper, 2 issues); May 11, Aug. 28, 1942.
2. Determinative Mineralogy for the Alaskan Prospector; by Albert S. Wilkerson, University
of Alaska Publication; 1941 (56 pp.).
3. Robert C. Lewis' certificate of completion for a five week course in geology, mineralogy,
and mining at Fort Raymond, from the University of Alaska, School of Mines, Department of Mining Extension; Apr. and May, 1942.
4. Notes on combat intelligence; n.d. (7 pp.).
5. Plan for standard H15 trestlebent bridge (with handwritten notes); n.d. (1 p.).
6. Mount McKinley National Park - Alaska; U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park
Service (b&w, photo-illustrated booklet with map); 1942 (16 pp., 2 copies).
7. Mt. McKinley U.S. Army Recreation Camp, Alaska; Headquarters, Alaska Defense
Command (photo-illustrated booklet); July 30, 1943 (32 pp.).

Box 2 (Album)

Series 2. Photographs; n.d., 1941-1943, 1951 (347 b&w prints; 2 b&w negatives,
120mm). .25 cu. ft.
Soldiers of Battery E, 205th Coast Artillery after setting up antiaircraft guns; n.d. (1 b&w
print, 8 X 10 inch).
2. Panorama of Seward in winter; n.d. (6 b&w prints pieced together, 2.5 x 11.5 inch).
3. Larger prints; n.d., 1941 (8 b&w prints: 7-3.5 X 6 inch, 1-4.25 X 5.5 inch).
  1. "Battery ‘E' Gear Jammers and Grease Monkeys Inc." Group photo of soldiers in front of club tent; n.d.
  2. "Indian Witch Garden"; n.d.
  3. "Army Camp, Seward, Alaska." Fort Raymond tent camp in front of Jesse Lee
Home; 1941.
  4. "U.S.S. U.S. Grant, Seward, Alaska." Army transport ship coming into Seward
Harbor; 1941.
  5. "Midnight in June, Seward, Alaska." Street scene of 4th Avenue from below Arcade
Building; ca. 1941.
  6. Moose cow and calf; n.d.
  7. "Doyle, Lewis, Van Horn, Perry." Four soldiers in coveralls on beach; n.d.
  8. Portrait of soldier in battle dress uniform; n.d.
4. Photo post cards; n.d. (3 b&w prints, 3.5 x 5.5 inch).
  1. "F.E. Co. Gold Dredge near Fairbanks"; n.d.
  2. "Two of a Kind." Native boys on beach; n.d.
  3. "Portrait of native woman in fur coat; Arzada's photo; n.d.
5. Medium size prints from numbered and unnumbered photo lots; n.d. (40 b&w prints).
  5: Nature scenes around Resurrection Bay; n.d. (5 prints, 2 X 4 inch).
  21: Men seated next to fireplace. Probably in NCO club; n.d. (1 print, 2 X 4 inch).
  44: Two soldiers with fishing rods and rifle, and lake scene through trees; n.d. (2 prints,2 X 4 inch).
  45: Light cruiser in Seward Harbor from beach; Seward train depot; and soldiers in coveralls; n.d. (6 prints, 2.75 X 3 inch).
  81 (handwritten): Native woman and girl in swimsuits sitting next to lake; n.d. (1 print, 3 X 4 inch).
  94 (handwritten): Soldiers on ski trip and relaxing in barracks; n.d. (7 prints, 3 X 4 inch).
  234 (handwritten): Four soldiers resting on ski trip; n.d. (1 print, 3 X 4.5 inch).

Unnumbered prints; n.d. (12 prints, 3 X 4.75 inch):
-Fort Raymond tent camp in heavy snow with command car in foreground (1 print).
-Carlson House and Store in heavy snow (1 print).
-Winter scenes of railroad (2 prints).
-Sled dogs next to houses in dog lot (2 prints).
-Cabins and other buildings in heavy snow (5 prints).
-Winter scene of river (1 print).
6. Army base of quonset huts and nature scenes at Adak; July to Dec. 1951 (17 b&w prints: 15-3.5 X 5 inch, 2-3.5 X 3.5 inch).
7. Small prints from dated photo lots; 1941, 1942 (42 b&w prints, 2.5 X 3.5 inch).
  453: Men newly enlisted in army; ca. 1941 (4 prints).
  657: Men in uniform at training base, Battery E, 205th C.A.; ca. Apr. 1941 (4 prints).
  946: Men in uniform at training base, Battery E, 205th C.A.; Apr. 1941 (4 prints). People identified include: Sgt. Molohan, Sgt. Day, and Pvt. Martin A. Doyle.
  Photos processed by George Perry: Three soldiers at Palmer train depot; soldiers in small tent; soldier on river bank; sunset over town; lake view from shore; native children fishing from river bank; natives in parkas with large sled; piano and wall of "Alaska Nellie" Lawing's trophy room; soldiers next to cabin and in cabbage patch; and sled dog on top of dog house; Sep.- Oct. 1941 (13 prints).
  Night scenes of fire on 4th Avenue in Seward; Nov. 23, 1941 (10 prints).
  41: Cross-country ski trip near Seward; Dec. 1942 (7 prints).
8. Small prints from undated numbered photo lots; n.d. (188 b&w prints, 2.5 X 3.5 inch or smaller; 1 b&w negative, 120 size).
  2 (handwritten): Views around Seward; bayonet drills; and marching band practice (10 prints).
  2: Three men in parkas and snow shirts; and entrance and interior of log NCO Club, 420th C.A. (5 prints). Those identified include Tubbs, Burrup, Lewis, Jamison, and Christianson.
  5: Russian River Rendezvous log building; and dog pulling man in small sled (2 prints).
  6: Soldier with bearskin stretched on wooden frame; and soldiers constructing road (2 prints).
  11 (handwritten): Soldiers Jones and Heckman in front of tent; and Heckman climbing power pole (2 prints).
  18 (handwritten): Multiple exposure prints of soldier; and men skiing (5 prints).
  20 (handwritten): Winter scenes near railroad; soldiers in barracks (7 prints).
  23: Portrait of Miss Berry outside house doorway (1 print).
  27: Fort Raymond from Marathon Mountain; scenery around Seward area; men at foot of glacier; and model airplane (19 prints). People identified include: Lewis, Lovejoy, Mitchel, Elmer Ross, and Ed Vogel.
  31: Men skiing at Divide Ski Area, Chugach National Forest; and men in barracks (7 prints).
  32: Railroad trip to McKinley National Park: Eklutna, roadhouse, scenery, park buildings, USO building, and drydock facilities at Nenana (10 prints).
  33: Railroad trip to McKinley National Park and Fairbanks: Cantwell, Curry Hotel, park hotel (exterior and lounge), park post office, park sled dogs, Horseshoe Lake, and Fairbank scenes including Chena River, riverboat Nenana, and Alaska Railroad Engine No. 1 (22 prints). People identified include: Druffel and Lewis.
  40: Skis and poles and winter scenes (3 prints).
  44: Men building log building (2 prints).
  45: Lewis gold panning in stream; mountain scenery from forest (2 prints).
  51 (handwritten): Army base scenes of barracks, car, drum major, and band (3 prints).
  73: Portraits of soldiers; men near barracks (4 prints).
  74: Man in winter scene; man rolling out wire; and two men climbing power pole (5 prints).
  76: Fort Raymond tent camp below Jesse Lee Home; soldiers in lines and formations; Stan Lyons in front of supply tent; man in dress uniform; bridge over river at Cooper's Landing; "Alaska Nellie" Lawing's trophy room (10 prints).
  86: Man in chair near coat rack; man in bow of boat; men on deck of log cabin (4 prints).
  93: Group photo of six men from the Miss. Quartermasters unit (1 print).
  94: Tents at Fort Raymond in heavy snow (1 print)
  94 (handwritten): Fort Raymond tent camp from hillside; men constructing sunken wood frame structure (2 prints).
  96. Men in and around barracks (faded)(7 prints).
  98. Capt. Haines, C.O. of Battery E., 205th, C.A.; Fort Raymond tent camp; army band; training area; Hope Social Hall; sled dog lot; and men in work uniforms (10 prints).
  402: Moose Pass; "Alaska Nellie" Lawing's trophy cabin; scenery from road; soldiers at rest and in barracks at Fort Raymond (16 prints). People identified include: Sgt. Elmer Alter, Sgt. McCreary, Sgt. Amlong, Jerry Van Horn, Herb Singley, Roger Poe, Rothrock, and Lewis.
  A12: Soldiers in formation in front of barracks at Fort Raymond; and soldier climbing pole (2 prints).
  C7: Soldiers with helmets and rifles at rear of covered truck (1 print).
  C73: Man boating on Resurrection Bay; men in boat outside storage building (3 prints).
  D08: Men in front of Russian River Rendezvous building; Cooper's Landing Store; men on fishing trip; and parade and foot races on 4th Avenue in Seward (20 prints).
Original negative of 205th C.A. sign at tent camp, Fort Raymond (photo lot No. 98, 120 size).
9. Small prints from undated, unnumbered photo lots; n.d. (30 b&w prints, 2.5 X 3.5 inch; 1 b&w negative, 120 size).
Subjects include: mess hall interior; army band; various individual soldiers at Fort Raymond; an antiaircraft gun; and scenic views.
People identified include: "Alaska Nellie" Lawing, Stan Lyons, Robert Lewis, and
Pvt. Pain.
10. Small tourist photo prints from sets (numbered & unnumbered); n.d. (17 b&w prints, 2.5 X 3.5 inch).
  2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 20. Winter scenes.
  6. "Alaska Nellie's" trophy room.
  9. "‘The Loop' Alaska Ry. Mile 58."
  12 & 13. Glacier scenes.
  15. Street scene.
  16. Russian Orthodox church building.
  16. "Mt. McKinley (Alt. 20,300 ft.).
"Columbia Glacier, Alaska."