WILLIAM H. FRANCIS. World War II Photograph Album; n.d., 1941-1942. .25 cu. ft.
William H. Francis was from Decatur, Tennessee. He graduated from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1939. Francis then taught and coached athletics at the high school in Savannah, Tennessee. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps and graduated from the armament school at Lowry Field in Denver, Colorado, in June 1941. He then trained at the Bendix Aviation Corporation in South Bend, Indiana, before receiving his commission as a second lieutenant at Tyndall Field, Florida in October 1941. Francis then served in Alaska in the 343rd Fighter Group at Elmendorf Field on Fort Richardson, and in the Aleutian Islands.
The collection consists of the World War II era photograph album of U. S. Army Air Corps officer William H. Francis. The collection contains: a xerographic copy of the original 41 page album; 104 original black and white prints; 22 black and white Alaska commercial tourist prints; 11 black and white negatives; a black and white post card portrait of Lawrence Welk autographed by him in Chicago (September 1941); Francis' armament school diploma from the U. S. Army Air Corps Technical School at Lowry Field (June 6, 1941); a humorous 343rd Fighter Group diploma for the School of Worn Out Aleutian Pilots (WOAP's), commanded by Lt. Colonel J. S. Chennault; a souvenir program for the dedication ceremony and barbecue for the Kashim Club at Elmendorf Field (February 12, 1942); tickets for a Kashim Club Kapers event; a small illustrated Japanese language booklet; a copy of a newspaper clipping concerning Francis' commission as an officer at Tyndall Field on October 13, 1941; an Eastern Airlines Silver Fleet baggage sticker; a magazine clipping concerning the burro mascot of the Texas Aviation School; and a clipping of an article by Lt. Colonel D. V. Gaffney of Ladd Field in Fairbanks with his photo portrait. Subjects of the photographs include: William Francis and fellow soldiers and airmen; six class photos of the Air Corps Technical School armament classes which graduated on June 6, 1941 (classes 8-41A and 1-41-A-F); aerial views; aircraft; skiing; state capitols and other buildings; and scenery. The negatives are primarily of a small girl and her mother.
The collection was acquired by the archives in 2006.