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George H. Williams, Jr. Collection

 Collection
Identifier: F006-64

Scope and Content

This collection contains combat reports, squadron records and histories, army reports, documents, victory and casualty listings, photographs, slides, microfilm, bibliographies, articles, magazine issues, organizational documents, membership information, moving images, audio tapes, microfilm, long play records, aircraft prints, and other materials that were created and/or collected by George H. Williams, Jr. during his lifetime. The George H. Williams, Jr. Collection is housed in sixty-six manuscript boxes and twenty-four boxes of various sizes totaling 51.54 linear ft.

The collection arrived in fair condition. At first, the collection was processed with only a few folders in a manuscript box causing the materials to bend and slouch. Access was limited, since there was only a rudimentary container list available. Because of these circumstances, the entire collection was reprocessed. Original order could not be determined and arrangement was imposed by the processing archivist. The curator identified ten series with the first series being the Entente Allied Powers Series, which is further organized in four subseries: 1. France, 2. Italy, 3. The United Kingdom and Dominions (Includes Australia and Canada), and 4. The United States of America.

Subseries 1. houses combat reports, squadron records and histories, army reports, photographs and summaries of French Aviation in World War I.

Subseries 2. includes documents, squadron histories, casualty and victory lists, discussions of Italian aviation and the Italian front in World War I.

Subseries 3. consists of squadron histories, victory lists, photographs, and discussions of the aviation activities of the United Kingdom and its Dominions in World War I.

Subseries 4. contains squadron histories, victory lists, photographs, and discussions of the aviation activities of the United States of America in World War I.

The second series is the Central Powers Series, which is further organized in two subseries: Subseries 1. Austro-Hungary/Central Powers on the Italian Front and 2. Germany.

Subseries 1. includes documents, bibliographies, and histories of Austro-Hungarian aviation in World War I.

Subseries 2. contains documents, squadron histories, victory and casualty lists, photographs, and histories of German aviation in World War I.

The third series is the Biographies Series, which includes biographies, articles, diaries, photographs, and personal materials of World War I pilots.

The fourth series is the Magazines, Journals, and Organizations Series, which consists of articles, magazine issues, organizational documents, membership information, and other information pertaining to various World War I historian organizations and magazines. It includes information about the League of World War I Aviation Historians, its magazine Over the Front, as well asCross and Cockade and Cross and Cockade International.

The fifth series is the George Williams History Class-UTD, which includes notes, slides, and information used by George Williams in teaching a class on World War I aviation at the University of Texas at Dallas in 1979.

The sixth series is the World War I Aviation Topics, which contains information about various World War I aviation topics including observation balloons, Texas airfields, training bases, aircraft blueprints, model making, and research projects.

The seventh series is the George Williams Correspondence, which consists of correspondence between George Williams and various aviation figures, scholars, authors, and writers.

The eighth series is the World War I Multimedia, which is further organized in three subseries: 1. Audio Tapes, 2. Video Tapes, and 3. Microfilm.

Subseries 1. contains audio tapes, both cassette and reel-to-reel, of interviews with various World War I personalities.

Subseries 2. includes VHS video tapes of documentaries and theatrical films related to World War I and aviation.

Subseries 3. contains microfilm of RAF and French Air Force World War I documents. It also contains a copy of The Gorrell History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service. For Rolls 1-58; Duplicates, see separate guide for a complete listing and instructions on using the Gorrell History microfilm.

The ninth series is the Photographs Series, which is further organized in three subseries: 1. The Entente Powers, 2. The Central Powers, and 3. Other Aviation Photographs.

Subseries 1. contains photographs of French, Italian, British, Australian, Canadian, and American aviators and aircraft.

Subseries 2. consist of photographs of Austro-Hungarian and German aviators and aircraft.

Subseries 3. includes images of early aviation, bombers, World War I aircraft, observation balloons and Lighter-than-Air aircraft, the Lafayette Escadrille, various pilots and other individuals, Sanke cards, and photograph listings.

The tenth series is the Oversize Materials Series, which contains oversized items including long play records, large newspapers, aircraft prints, and other items too big to fit in other parts of the collection.

Dates

  • 1903 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1914 - 1981

Language of Materials

Collection is in English, German, and French.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

George H. Williams, Jr. was born in Frost, Texas on April 7, 1915. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Waco, Texas where he attended Sanger Avenue Jr. High and Waco High School, graduating in 1933. From 1934 to 1939, he attended Baylor University where he graduated with a BA in Business. From 1939 to 1941. he worked for Hodell and Company, a Houston, Texas area mortgage firm.

In 1941, George Williams enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, where he attended Officer Candidate School and radio and signals training at Harvard University. Upon completion of training, he was assigned as a Signal Officer to the 94th Signal Battalion, based at Camp Crowder, Missouri in 1942. His unit was sent to Europe and played a part in General Patton’s relief of American forces trapped at Bastogne, during The Battle of the Bulge, in 1944. His unit remained in Europe repairing communication wires and telephone lines in Germany and France until late 1945. After returning to the United States at the end of the War, he remained active in the Army Reserve until the 1950s.

Back in Dallas from the war, George Williams took a job as an executive with the mortgage division of Equitable Life Insurance Corporation. He also continued his interest in researching and collecting information about World War I aviation. He was involved with both the League of World War I Aviation Historians, and its journal, Over the Front, as well as Cross and Cockade and several other aviation societies.

He also worked with the History of Aviation Collection at The University of Texas at Dallas, helping it acquire the World War I collection of A. E. Ferko, as well as numerous other World War I collections. He taught a World War I history class at UTD in the late 1970s, and in 1988, he organized a World War I aviation seminar at the History of Aviation Collection (HAC) that brought together 125 aviation scholars, as well as the only three surviving American Aces of World War I. Williams continued to volunteer his time and efforts at the History of Aviation Collection well into his 80s. He also donated his own extensive collection of World War I documents and photographs to HAC.

George Williams married his wife Ginny (Geneva) on May 27, 1933. They had three children; Holly (born 1944), Kay (born 1949), and Scott (born 1955). George H. Williams, Jr. passed away on June 15, 2006 at the age of 91.

Sources

Source
Simnacher, Joe. 2006. “George H. Williams, Jr. – Ex-insurance exec, 91 helped UTD build aviation Collection.” "The Dallas Morning News", June 15.
Source
Caspari, Mary, "George Williams Oral History Interview, 1999," Holding file, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Extent

51.54 Linear Feet (Sixty-six manuscript boxes, one half-size manuscript box, one record center box, seven video storage boxes (8.5x17.5x5), one photo print box (5.5x7.5x12), one photo album box (18x13x5), twelve microfilm boxes (4x4x11), and one non-standard box (11.5x17.5x4).)

Abstract

George H. Williams, Jr. had a deep interest in researching and collecting information about World War I aviation. He was involved with both the League of World War I Aviation Historians, and its journal, Over the Front, as well as Cross and Cockade and several other aviation societies.

For many years, Williams worked with the History of Aviation Collection (HAC) at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). He also taught a World War I history class at UTD in the late 1970s, and in 1988 he organized a World War I aviation seminar at HAC. Williams continued to volunteer his time and efforts at the Special Collections Department well into his 80s.

Series Description

The George H. Williams, Jr. Collection is arranged into ten series:

Series I. Entente (Allied) Powers 14.5 linear ft. (twenty-nine manuscript boxes), 1912-2000.

Arranged in four subseries: 1. France, 2. Italy, 3. The United Kingdom and Dominions (Includes Australia and Canada), and 4. The United States of America.

Subseries 1. France 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1914-1975.

Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 2. Italy 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1915-1978.

Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 3. The United Kingdom and Dominions (Includes Australia and Canada) 11.0 linear ft. (twenty-two manuscript boxes), 1912-1999.

Arranged numerically by squadron number.

Subseries 4. The United States of America 2.5 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1912-2000.

Arranged numerically by squadron number.

Series II. Central Powers 4.5 linear ft. (nine manuscript boxes), 1914-1978.

Arranged in two subseries: Subseries 1. Austro-Hungary/Central Powers on the Italian Front and 2. Germany.

Subseries 1. Austro-Hungary/Central Powers on the Italian Front 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1916-1978.

Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 2. Germany 4.0 linear ft. (eight manuscript boxes), 1914-1961.

Arranged numerically by Jagdstaffel (Jasta) number.

Series III. Biographies 2.5 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1917-1992.

Arranged alphabetically by subject’s country, then alphabetically by last name.

Series IV. Magazines, Journals, and Organizations 1.5 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes), 1918-1988.

Arranged alphabetically by magazine or organization title.

Series V. George Williams World War I History Class 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1979.

Arranged topically.

Series VI. World War I Aviation Topics 1.5 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes), 1916-1993.

Arranged topically.

Series VII. George Williams Correspondence 1.5 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes), 1972-1976.

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent’s last name.

Series VIII. World War I Multimedia 9.5 linear ft. (one record center box, eighth video storage boxes, and twelve microfilm boxes), 1915-1993.

Arranged into three subseries: 1. Audio Tapes, 2. Video Tapes, and 3. Microfilm.

Subseries 1. Audio Tapes 4.5 linear ft. (one record center box and three video storage boxes), 1915-1991.

Arranged in original order.

Subseries 2. Video Tapes 2.5 linear ft. (five video storage boxes), 1930-1993.

Arranged in original order.

Subseries 3. Microfilm 2.5 linear ft. (twelve microfilm boxes), 1915-1991.

Arranged numerically.

Series IX. Photographs 6.5 linear ft. (thirteen manuscript boxes), 1903-1992.

Arranged in three subseries: 1. The Entente Powers, 2. The Central Powers, and 3. Other Aviation Photographs.

Subseries 1. The Entente Powers 4.0 linear ft. (eight manuscript boxes), 1915-1919.

Arranged numerically by squadron number.

Subseries 2. The Central Powers 1.5 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes), 1917-1918.

Arranged numerically by Jagdstaffel (Jasta) number.

Subseries 3. Other Aviation Photographs 1.0 linear ft. (two manuscript boxes), 1903-1919.

Arranged topically.

Series X. Oversize Materials 1.1 linear ft. (one manuscript box and one non-standard box), 1914-1988.

Arranged by size.

Custodial History

Originally, the History of Aviation Collection (HAC) was established at The University of Texas at Austin. With the establishment of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in September 1969, HAC was moved to UTD.

Provenance Statement

The George H. Williams, Jr. Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by George H. Williams, Jr. in numerous accessions from 1964 through 2008.

Existence and Location of Copies

The Gorrell History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, due to the specialized nature of finding information in these microfilms, has a separate guide with instruction on how to use the films. Please consult it for more detailed information on these microfilms.

Additional Sources

The History of Aviation Collection holds several other aviation document and photograph collections dedicated to World War I in its holdings, such as the A. E. Ferko Collection, the James L. Kerr, III. Collection, Kenneth Reid van der Spuy Collection, Ralph E. Spake Collection, and the Russell Manning Collection. It also maintains numerous books and journals about World War I aviation, like Over the Front, Cross and Cockade, and Cross and Cockade Great Britain/International.

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and catalogued to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine stacks.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 4GHW-1-1-PB1

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

GHW = George H. Williams, Jr. Collection

1 = Box Number

1 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

B = Black and White

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.

Note to the Researcher

All photographs and slides have been sleeved in polypropylene sleeves.

Material Removed List

Duplicate materials have been de-accessioned.
Title
Guide to the George H. Williams, Jr. Collection, 1915-2006
Status
Completed
Author
Thomas Allen, Ph.D.
Date
2009-09-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2014-12-08. Second revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2020-07-29.

Revision Statements

  • 2014-12-08: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2020-07-29: 2nd revision was an update of the finding aid format and adding more subject terms by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

Contact:
3020 Waterview Pkwy
SP2
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-2570
972-883-4590 (Fax)