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Archives Branch: Personal Papers Collections

A guide to the papers of individual Marines held by the Archives Branch.

Balcer - Boyd

Julian BalcerJulian H. Balcer Collection (COLL/5044)

Physical Characteristics: 1 standard legal size document box; 0.5 linear feet

Span Dates: 1941-1969; bulk 1941-1946

Scope and Content: The materials in this collection relate to Julian Balcer’s Marine Corps career, including items from his time as a POW following his capture with the 4th Marines at Fort Mills on Corregidor in May 1942. The collection also includes materials related to Balcer’s prewar and postwar Marine Corps service in Shanghai and Korea, including service records, ephemera, and photographs. Though the collection contains very little information dealing with Balcer’s imprisonment in Manchuria, these few items offer a fascinating glimpse of the grim realities faced by POWs held by the Japanese. Of particular interest are letters written by Balcer to his aunt and his sister. Though these letters lack specific information about the circumstances of his incarceration, they attest to the desperation of his situation. Each brief letter (prisoners of war were limited to 150 words) is contained in a handmade envelope, sewn together with thread. Another interesting document contained in the collection is a reminiscence of one of Balcer’s fellow Marines which describes the harsh conditions endured by members of the 4th Marines while interned in Philippine prison camps. This document, written by Lieutenant James Shimel, parallels the experiences of his fellow POWs. A no-frills accounting of the duration of the confinement of the POWs captured at Corregidor, Shimel’s narrative outlines the starvation, disease, unsanitary conditions, and mistreatment the POWs suffered at the hands of their captors.

Robert O. BareRobert O. Bare Collection (COLL/150)

Physical Characteristics: 7 standard legal size document boxes; 1 oversize box, 1 oversized folder; 3.84 linear feet.

Span dates: 1898-1974

Scope and content: The papers of Robert Osborne Bare consist of materials related to his career with the United States Marine Corps beginning with his enrollment as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy in 1920 through his retirement as a Lieutenant General in 1957.  Included in this collection are official and unofficial documents acquired by Lieutenant General Robert Osborne Bare over the course of his military career. Of particular note are Series 4 and Series 7. The diaries in Series 4 contain detailed notes and descriptions General Robert O. Bare, 1956 Papers of Robert Osborne Bare Page 5 about Bare’s experiences and actions while serving with the 1st Marine Division in the European Theatre of Operations, (D-Day) World War II and the Korean War. Series 7 contains 1,333 black/white and color photographs of Marines serving in Cuba, China, and the Philippines in the mid to late 1920’s. The second large set of photographs are of Marines engaged in combat during World War II and the Korean War. The collection is arranged by subject headings and chronologically within each series. Subject headings were imposed by the processor. Series in this collection include: Marine Corps Orders & Memoranda, Correspondence/Memorandums, Commendations, Personal Notes/Diaries, Newspaper Articles, Biographies, Ephemera, Photographs, and Slides.

 

George Barnett Collection (COLL/1635)

Physical Characteristics: 9 standard legal size document boxes; 3 oversize folders; 3.75 linear feet

Span Dates: 1800-1959

Scope and Content: The papers of George Barnett consist of materials related to his career with the United States Marine Corps beginning with his appointment as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy in 1877 and through his retirement as a Major General in 1923. The dates of the collection range from 1800-1959. Included in this collection are official and unofficial documents acquired by Major General George Barnett over the course of his military career. Of particular note are Series 1 and Series 5. The correspondence in Series 1 relates to his activities as Commandant, particularly the inquiry of Marine Corps activities in Haiti and correspondence addressed to Barnett’s wife, Leila Montague Barnett for special requests and favors on the part of active-duty Marines. Series 5 contains memoirs for George Barnett and Leila Montague Barnett. Original copies of “Soldier and Sailor Too”, containing Barnett’s annotations and edits, are maintained separately for preservation purposes. Other items of interest in this series include photographs and newspaper articles regarding Barnett’s appointments as Commandant. The collection is arranged by subject headings and chronologically within each series. Subject headings were imposed by the processor. Series in this collection include: Correspondence, George Barnett’s Personal Notes, Honors & Awards, Ephemera, Memoirs, Newspaper Articles, and Photographs.

Harold BoortzHarrold S. Bortz, Sr. Collection (COLL/4933)

Physical Characteristics: 3 standard legal size document boxes; 1.5 linear feet

Span Dates: 1943-1963

Scope and Content: The Harrold Stanley Bortz Collection documents Bortz’s life from 1941 to 1969 (bulk 1943-1946) with an emphasis on his life as a Marine aerial photographer. The collection consists of personal papers, photographs, negatives, and ephemera. Among the materials included in the personal papers are mustering out payments, notices of service, clothing and equipment requisitions, and appointments. The majority of the collection is comprised of Boortz’s photographs, which document his time at Camp Elrod, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides while serving in Marine Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron 154 (VMD-154) during World War II, as well as tours in Korea, Japan, Puerto Rico, and North Carolina. The collection also includes negatives, the vast majority of which do not correspond with the photographs. Series in the collection include personal papers and photographs. 

John R. BoydJohn R. Boyd Collection (COLL/2062)

Physical Characteristics: 36 standard legal size document boxes; 1 custom book box; 1 oversize box; 15 linear feet

Span Dates: 1927-1999

Scope and Content: The papers of John R. Boyd consist of materials related to his research and work with military theory and during the late 20th century. The dates of the collection range from 1927-1999. The collection is arranged in twelve subject series.

Those materials related to his research include extracts from publications with Boyd’s annotations, articles and newspaper clippings, and concept papers written by others.

The collection also contains a large series of different versions of briefings given by Boyd including Destruction and Creation, Patterns of Conflict, A Discourse on Winning and Losing, and Conceptual Spiral.

The Notes and Notebook series is composed of John Boyd's handwritten notes and drafts. Items that were together in an envelope were kept together. He frequently abbreviated terms. T-T-D scrawled across the top of a page indicates "things to do". "POC" is "Patterns of Conflict".

Smaller and more generalized series include course syllabi and seminars reflecting Boyd’s work developing course curricula in professional military education; technical material; correspondence; and yearbooks. A series of photographs and slides includes images of Boyd and his family.

Lastly, the collection contains books, the majority of which were heavily annotated by Boyd. The degree of importance Boyd placed on the information is witnessed by how heavily he marked the pages. Pages heavily underlined with stars across the top and bottom were of the greatest interest. Occasionally, comments appear in the margins.

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