A recent eBay photo grouping purchase has landed me with a fantastic identified and easily researchable photo of an 11th Airborne paratrooper. An often looked-over paratrooper group, the 11th served in the PTO and has been sadly back-burnerned due to the popularity of the 101st and 82nd Divisions who fought in the ETO and who have inspired such works as Band of Brothers and other films, books and video games.
PFC. John M. Holland in Japan
This portrait photo was taken by M. Kimura in Yonezawa, Japan in late 1945. The sitter is John M. Holland, a Dallas, Texas WWII veteran who served with the 675th Glider Field Artillery in the Pacific Theater of Operation(PTO) during WWII. He was born on June 2nd, 1924 at 821 East Dallas Street in Dallas, TX. After the war he went on to play professional baseball for two years in the Texas Leagues until he injured his throwing arm in 1947. He next went to work in the Cotton Exchange Building in the cotton and textile industry.
And I was able to find an incredible account of his wartime experiences here: http://www.johnmorganholland.com/Military_John_M_Holland.html
I’m copying it here:
John writes of his Army record:
To see footage of the Los Banos POW camp on the day of it’s liberation please click the photo below:
And to hear an incredible interview with released POW’s from the camp click the photo below (they reference the paratroopers dropping in):
All of the information in this post has been acquired through the biographical website of John M. Holland:http://www.johnmorganholland.com/Military_John_M_Holland.html
Sometimes all it takes to properly identify a photo is a little bit of luck and a lot of patience! In this case, a collector-friend of mine recognized one of my studio postcard photos on a library history blog. Apparently, the photo was saved from a past eBay auction by an intrepid library historian and subsequently identified. I knew the photo depicted a WWI American Library Association worker posing in a German studio in 1919. What I didn’t know was her identity……..
Mary Josephine Booth in 1919
Mary Josephine Booth was born in Beloit, WI on May 24th, 1876 to John Robertson Booth of Fonde, NY. She earned degrees from Beloit College and the University of Illinois Library School.
Her wartime record is incredibly well documented on her 1919 passport application. She was issued US passport #71443 by the US Department of State on November 5th, 1917 and left for France 11 days later on the 16th. She arrived in Paris shortly thereafter and lived at 12 Rue d’Aguesseau in the heart of the city. Click here for a map showing her apartment location.
After the war she became a member of the Women’s Overseas Service League, the American Association of University Women and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Women’s Overseas Service League Logo
A library researcher pulled the image from the eBay auction and put together a nice piece on Miss Booth here: http://libraryhistorybuff.blogspot.com/2012/12/female-librarians-and-alas-library-war.html
I was able to find some additional images of Mary Josephine Booth using ancestry.com and the wonderful archive of public documents recently made searchable. See below for shots from her U.S. Passport applications.
1917 Passport Photo
1919 Passport Photo
1931 Eastern Illinois University Yearbook Photo
1941 Yearbook Photo
A group of WWI veterans gathered almost exactly 43 years ago to recall their days of battle and camaraderie in the trenches of France in 1918. Members of the 36th Division, 132nd Machine Gun Battalion met in Texas to tell stories, jokes, catch up with friends, and share their incredible journey with their family members. Veteran reunions for WWII soldiers still are held, but the annual flock of WWI veterans to conference centers and hotels has ceased to exist. Many of my favorite memories of the past decade have been from my attendance at WWII veteran reunions, and I suggest that anyone interested in a family members service try to attend a veteran get together.
This grouping of photos and ephemera comes from a recent eBay auction I was fortunate enough to win. I was mainly bidding for the interior studio portrait photo but was pleased with the associated photos as well. These men were with the 132nd Machine Gun Battalion of the 36th Division and pose with their 30 caliber machine gun in a wonderful outdoor casual snapshot.
Following the history of the first photo is quite interesting. It was sent from the front lines of France to a girlfriend back home. I’m assuming it was pinned up by her given the rust stained pin holes at the top of the photo. It was later glued into a scrapbook which was sadly broken into pieces and eventually sold on eBay to me, who will hopefully do it due justice with a internet post. Maybe someone will recognize a relative in the photo? We know that an O.B. Horton is located somewhere in the photo, and that the group is from Texas.