This small collection includes 11 letters from Maurice Bailey, 6 photos from Stanley C. Jordan, and 18 photos of other African Americans serving in the armed forces during World War 2 in two theatres Naples and Marseille France.
The collection is of a black soldier from Chemung County, New York, named Maurice M Bailey (1906-?). There are 11 letters he wrote to his sister Beatrice Craig, who lives in Harlem. Enlisting at the age of approximately 36 on May 27, 1942, Maurice M Bailey was a Private in the Branch Immaterial or General Officers branch of the Selectees during World War II. At the time of enlistment, Maurice M Bailey was single, with dependents, stood 70 inches tall, weighed 179 pounds, and had an education level of 2 years of college. He landed in Oran in April 1943 as part of the 99th Quartermaster Company RHD and was a baker. Before the war, he was an electrician. His service number was 32344461. He refers to Mussolini as "their famous spaghetti boy Mussi". He describes his stay in Naples, where high-ranking fascists stayed. He describes being on guard duty in Oran during an axis air raid. He cares for his sister deeply, who is not well, and he talks about his plans when he gets back and the things he misses. Noteworthy is his generosity towards his sister, and when he sees how pricey everything is in Naples he prefers to give his money to her.
All the letters are from his service overseas during the war. His pay was only $5.30. He comments "Time heals all wounds. Even war.". He goes on "I must mention how a colored USO show here brought the house down when the girl from Brooklyn sang "Not now baby I'll tell you when". She really was a scream. Why even I fell for the jive and I am not a hip cat". These are just samples of what he has written. Interesting content on both war and reflections of his home by an African-American serving in North Africa, Italy, and France.
Also included are 6 photos from a black soldier named Stanley C Jordan (1921-?) who was a trombone player with the 1333 Eng. Regiment band in World war 2. The photos show Jordan participating in the victory day parade in Marseille France on May 9, 1945. Jordan enlisted when he was 21 on December 21, 1942. At the time of enlistment, he was single, with dependents, stood 70 inches tall, weighed 139 pounds, and had an education level of 4 years of high school. He came from Baltimore, Maryland. His service ID was 33390589.
Also included are 18 photos of African Americans serving in the armed forces during World War 2, in both theatres. Photos from Camp Ellis in Illinois, some photos have descriptions on the reverse.