MATTHEW M. RIGLEY, JR. (1905-1977). World War II Photograph Album; n.d., 1942-1945, 1948, 1957, 1969. .25 cu. ft.
Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. was born in Pennsylvania in 1905. He worked for the Mobile Oil Company in New Jersey for 33 before retiring in 1967. Rigley enlisting in the Reserve Corps of the U. S. Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on June 1, 1942. He trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as a member of the Field Artillery. He arrived at Fort Greely on Kodiak Island, Alaska, on September 25, 1942, where he was stationed for three years as a member of a utilities detachment. While in Alaska, Rigley achieved the rank of technical sergeant. After the war, he was as an officer of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Woodbury, New Jersey, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2117, and an election board officer. Matthew Rigley died in Westville, New Jersey, in 1977.
The collection consists of the contents of the World War II era photograph album of Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. The collection contains: the original album cover and front pages, including memory leaves (names, addresses and comments of fellow soldiers), army diary, and "Alaska's Flag" poem; papers mounted in, or kept with, the album; a xerographic copy of the original photograph album; 158 original black and white prints; 20 black and white photo post cards; 8 black and white tourist prints of Kodiak Island scenery; 10 Alaska tourist prints; and 11 post World War II black and white prints. The papers include: a three page letter with envelope from Matthew Rigley in Kodiak to Miss Betty Kuin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dated December 1, 1943; a Utilities Detachment menu for Christmas dinner, 1943, signed by fellow soldiers; an announcement for the wedding of Rose June Eavis and Joseph Byron Comly, Jr., held at St. Dominic's Rectory, Holmesburg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 1944; three poems; a cartoon; a Valentine's Day card; a cardboard stencil for a technical sergeant's insignia; and a February 24, 1969 newspaper article from the Daily Times of Woodbury, New Jersey, about Matthew Rigley and his work repairing and loaning wheelchairs and crutches for use by the needy. Subjects of the original photographs include: Matthew Rigley and fellow soldiers at Fort Greely; the Utilities Detachment furnace and refrigeration shops and other buildings and facilities at Fort Greely; the town and people of Kodiak; and Kodiak Island scenery. The photo post cards are of the following Alaska subjects: Kodiak; Kodiak Island; the S. S. Princess Rupert stranded on March 23, 1917 (Winter & Pond photo) and other steamships; Alaska Natives; dog teams; poems; and the Fairbanks Ice Carnival. The tourist prints of Kodiak Island scenery include images of Mission Lake, Mill Bay, St. Paul Harbor, and Island Lake (Helsel photographs, copyright 1941). The post war photographs include those of a Shriner's picnic and string band in Woodbury, New Jersey (Lu Lu Temple).
The collection was acquired by the archives in 2006.