The AHC's Military History collections document the service of Wyomingites in the military, the service of soldiers in Wyoming, and the American military on the Western frontier. The AHC also has some significant Entertainment Industry and Journalism collections related to 20th Century military conflicts.
Some of our prominent Military History holdings are detailed below. Additional holdings can be located by searching our online inventories (select University of Wyoming as the institution), or by viewing Frequent Searches for Military History Collections in the UW Catalog.
Husband E. Kimmel was a career officer in the U.S. Navy. He attained the rank of rear admiral in 1938 and then admiral February 1, 1941, assuming command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and combined U.S. Fleet in Pearl Harbor. He was a senior officer at the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, and was held responsible for lack of preparedness. Kimmel was finally able to defend himself through the publication of his book, "Admiral Kimmel's Story" after documents held secret during World War II were made available for his research.
Fletcher was a career naval officer who participated in the American occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico, and served aboard several ships in Europe during WWI. While stationed on the U.S.S. Sacramento, he was involved in suppression of the Colorum insurrection in the Philippines in 1924. Fletcher was commander of the U.S.S. New Mexico from 1936-1941 and was commander of Cruiser Division Six at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941. In 1942 he commanded American naval forces at the Battle of the Coral Sea and was senior task force commander at the Battle of Midway.
Richard Tregaskis was a war correspondent and author. He covered both the Pacific and European theaters of World War II and was badly wounded in Italy. His wartime experiences were chronicled in "Guadalcanal Diary" (1943) and "Invasion Diary" (1944). The bulk of his career was spent reporting on events in Asia and Oceania. Tregaskis covered nine wars, including the Chinese Civil War, Korea, and Vietnam.
Barnes taught economics, sociology and history at various colleges and universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Smith, Amherst, Temple, Colorado, and the New School for Social Research from 1918-1955. A noted revisionist historian, Barnes questioned conventional views of orthodox religion and the origins of World War I, and opposed the entry of the United States into World War II. He wrote numerous books and articles, lectured widely, and corresponded with numerous individuals in his various fields of interest.
The collection contains two diaries kept by Clarke from October to November 1867, and from May to July 1868, while he was traveling as paymaster to Forts Phil Kearny, Fetterman, and Reno in present-day Wyoming and Fort C.F. Smith in present-day Montana. Clarke drew sketches of the forts and surrounding areas in his diaries, and in the back of the 1867 diary he transcribed personal anecdotes and myths and history of the Sioux and other Plains tribes told to him by Nicholas Janis, guide for the party.
Thaddeus H. Capron was a United States Infantry officer during the Civil War and the subsequent Indian Wars. He served under General Crook at the Battle of the Rosebud (June, 1876). The collection includes diaries and letters of Thaddeus Capron and reminiscences of his wife, Cynthia. Photographs and drawings are also included.
Clay Blair, Jr. was a well-known author and journalist. He volunteered for submarine service in World War II and was decorated with the Submarine Combat Insignia and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal with three battle stars. He was a prominent military historian. Among his many books on military history are A General's Life (Omar N. Bradley), Return from the River Kwai, Ridgway's Paratroopers, Silent Victory, Macarthur, The Forgotten War (Korea), and Hitler's U-Boat War (Vols. I and II). He also wrote three novels and a biography, The Search for JFK.
Adler was a self-taught harmonica player who gained worldwide recognition as the musician who brought the instrument to the ‘serious music’ stage. During World War II, he went on USO tours with the dancer Paul Draper. He performed in Germany in 1947 and 1949, in Korea in 1951, and in Israel in 1967 and 1973.
Jack Benny (1894-1974) was an American vaudeville, radio, television and film actor. Born Benjamin Kubelsky in Waukegan, Illinois, Benny first honed his talents as a comedian on the vaudeville stage, then found that his style was uniquely adapted to the new medium of radio, where he became a national celebrity with his Jack Benny Show (1943-1958). His wife, Mary Livingstone often starred on the Jack Benny Show. Benny took his show to television and continued to appear in his own show, in specials, and in guest appearances until his death in 1974.