Inventory of the R.P. Johnson World War II Collection, 1940 - 1965 Mss.Coll.004

Inventory of the R.P. Johnson World War II Collection, 1940 - 1965

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.
Elon University

© 2009 Elon University. All Rights Reserved.

Contact Information:

Belk Library Archives and Special Collections
Elon University
2550 Campus Box
Elon, North Carolina

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Elon University. Belk Library Archives and Special Collections
Creator: R.P. Johnson (Raymond Pough)
Title: R.P. Johnson World War II Collection, 1940 - 1965
Language of Material: Material in English
Location: The collection is located in Belk Library Archives Satellite Shelving at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.
Abstract: This collection primarily contains photographs, magazines, newspapers, postcards, and other forms of printed material associated with World War II. There are some photographs specifically of R.P. Johnson, but the remaining photographs are of unidentified people and places. Much of the information found in the magazines, newspapers, and postcards discuss news and events that took place both in the United States and abroad during World War II, primarily written for American soldiers.
Extent: 0.5 linear feet, 1 archival box

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

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Copyright Notice

The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], R.P. Johnson World War II Collection, Belk Library Archives and Special Collections, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA.

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Gift or Purchase Note

Gift. October 24, 2000. Please refer to the Correspondence Legal file for more information.

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Accession Information


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Processing Information

Processed by Katie Nash, December, 2005

Encoded by Katie Nash, April, 2009

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Biographical Note

There is little to nothing known about the biographical history of R.P. Johnson. From this collection, one can deduce that he was a military soldier during World War II and was stationed overseas. The only other biographical information known about R.P. Johnson was found in his obituary in the Greensboro News and Record. The obituary states, "BURLINGTON Mr. Raymond P. 'R.P.' Johnson of 3615 S. Mebane St., died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2001. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2001, at Andrews Memorial Baptist Church, with burial in Center United Methodist Church Cemetery".

Biographical Sources:
Greensboro News and Record. Greensboro, N.C.: Dec 24, 2001. pg. B.6.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection contains photographs and various forms of printed material that relate to the time R.P. Johnson served in the military during World War II, as well as general events that took place during 1940-1945, both in the United States and abroad. There is virtually no information within this manuscript collection that cohesively pieces together the biographical history of R.P. Johnson.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into two series, then chronologically within each series. The two series are 1) Photographs and 2) Printed Material. There are a number of photographs taken of R.P. Johnson either with friends, standing in front of a U.S. Army Air Force plane, or abroad (1:1). Moreover, many of the other photographs in this series are of buildings and various places in cities where World War II was fought, as well as a number of unidentified individuals, mostly military personnel (1:2, 1:3).

The printed material series contains magazines, newspapers, and postcards. Life magazine is the only magazine represented (2:1-2:3). Varieties of newspapers included are A.M., Stars and Stripes, Super Fort, and Yank. Most of these newspapers are written for American soldiers and discuss news and events taking place both in the United States and abroad (2:6-2:13). The postcards in this series offer unique images of various places where World War II was fought (2:14). Written on the backs of most of the postcards are messages that include: details about the specific places pictured, descriptions of other locations in reference to the pictured image, and brief notes written by R.P. Johnson revealing whether or not he had been to that particular area (2:4). The majority of the printed material items were published during 1945. There are a few documents and photographs that were possibly created prior to 1945.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into two series, then chronologically within each series. The series are: Photographs and Printed Material.

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Online Catalog Headings

These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

Johnson, R.P. (Raymond Pough)
World War, 1939-1945

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Related Material

There are no related materials to this collection at this time.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Photographs. 1940-1945.
3 Folders. circa 40 Items.
This is the smallest series and it is divided up into three different categories that include: 1) R.P. Johnson, 2) miscellaneous and unidentified individuals, and 3) miscellaneous and unidentified places (1:1-1:3). Many of the photographs taken of R.P. Johnson show him in his military uniform standing in front of a U.S. Army Air Force plane. Other photographs of R.P. Johnson picture him with other military personnel, standing in front of a military tent, and abroad (1:1).
In addition to photographs including R.P. Johnson, most of the people pictured appear to be military personnel. There are a few pictures of German soldiers that are in their military uniform (1:2). One photograph in particular was taken in Liege, Belgium during a V-Day celebration. On the back of the photograph someone (possibly R.P. Johnson) wrote the following statement “celebration and ceremony on V-Day, in Liege-front of palace-been there many times-US Red Cross ? on same block.” (1:2, the question mark means that the word that came next in the sentence was unable to be determined).
The remaining photographs taken of various unidentified places portray the unique architecture in France, Germany, and Belgium (1:3). Also, there are photographs taken of military bases overseas (1:3). Of particular interest is a photograph showing a bridge in Liege, Belgium, somewhat near a U.S. Hospital, that was bombed by the Germans. The picture captured a few people climbing up the rubble, and it shows to scale how large the bridge is compared to the people (1:3).
Folder 1. Johnson, R.P.
* Marseinne, France
Folder 2. Miscellaneous. Individuals.
* Krauts-Germans
* Kadena Airfield-B-29 Base
* Okinawa, Japan
* Nuremburg Germans
* Calas, France
* V-Day Ceremony
* Liege, Belgium
Folder 3. Miscellaneous. Places.
* Spire of St. Gaul's Cathedral
* Theater Royal-Liege, Belgium
* Statue of Gretry-Liege, Belgium
* Muse River
* Okinawa, Japan
* U.S. Hospital-Liege, Belgium
2. Printed Material. Inclusive: 1940-1965. Bulk: 1940-1945.
14 Folders. circa 40 Items.
The printed material series is the largest and it is primarily made up of magazines, newspapers, and postcards. Life magazine is the only magazine in the collection (2:1-2:3). There is one complete version of Life, dated October 15, 1965 (2:3). The remaining articles taken from Life magazine include information pertaining to the death and cremation of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, as well as the aftermath and destruction World War II had on Germany (2:1, 2:2).
Furthermore, a variety of miscellaneous articles focus on the relation of American soldiers and World War II, and the effects war had on the American men physically, mentally, and emotionally (2:4, 2:5). Of particular interest is a brief article and photograph of an American soldier after he had spent months as a Prisoner of War in Wehrmacht (German prison). The soldier’s appearance in the photograph is striking, in which he appears to be severely malnourished. (2:4). Other articles discuss the role President Harry Truman and members of his cabinet played during World War II (2:4).
The newspapers provide the majority of the information within the printed material series. One newspaper in particular titled A.M. (daily publication of the U.S.S. Admiral H.T. Mayo), provided various U.S. and international news for American soldiers during World War II (2:6, 2:7). An interesting piece of historical information can be found in the August 15, 1945 issue of the A.M. newspaper in which the headline reads, “Japanese Surrender” in bold red letters (2:7). Moreover, the first paragraph of the article says, “THE WAR IS OVER!!! Take time out to pinch yourselves…Take plenty of time…you have the rest of your lives. The details? Who in hell cares? The main thing is….the war is over. We knew it would had to..but the end comes as no anti-climax.” (2:7).
Another newspaper, Stars and Stripes, offered news to American soldiers during World War II, primarily reporting on events in the United States (2:8-2:10).
A newspaper that offered news to American soldiers of the events going on in Japan was titled Yank, South Japan (2:12-2:13). There is an article discussing the suicide attempt of Hideki Tojo (General in the Imperial Japanese Army, political right-wing thinker and the 40th Prime Minister of Japan during much of World War II, from October 18, 1941 to July 22, 1944, ). The article discusses the events surrounding the suicide attempt and also contains graphic photographs of the aftermath of the event (2:12).
Many of the postcards in this series are in color and portray the architectural diversity in the cities and countries abroad. Some of the postcards have messages on the back that mainly offer information about where the scenes on the front of the postcards are located. Moreover, R.P. Johnson wrote notes on the back of the postcards regarding the location on the front and whether or not he had been there. The notes that Johnson wrote provide a glimpse into some non-combat events during his service in World War II (2:14).
Folder 1. Magazine. Life. Undated (circa 1940s).
* Trench where Hitler may have been cremated
* Garden of Reichs chancellery
* Hitler, Adolf
* Braun, Eva
Folder 2. Magazine. Life. July 1945.
* Entrance to Famed Unter Den Linden
* Stalin, Joseph
* Reichstag
* Gestapo headquarters
* Adlon Hotel
Folder 3. Magazine. Life. October 15, 1965.
Folder 4. Miscellaneous. Undated (circa 1940s).
* Florea, John
* Wehrmacht (German prison)
* Truman, Harry
* Byrnes, James F.
* Stimson, Henry L.
* Forrestal, James W.
* Braun, Eva
* Goebbels, Paul Joseph
* Knauth, Percy
* Hitler, Adolf
* Emperor Hirohito
* Koo, Dr. Wellington
Folder 5. Miscellaneous. 1945.
* Okinawa, Japan
Folder 6. Newspaper. A.M. July 1945.
* Mayo, H.T. -U.S.S. Admiral
Folder 7. Newspaper. A.M. August 1945.
* Japanese Surrender
* World War II-Over!
* MacArthur, General Douglas
Folder 8. Newspaper. Stars and Stripes. Undated (circa 1940s).
* Okinawa, Japan
Folder 9. Newspaper. Stars and Stripes. April 1945.
* Roosevelt, Franklin D.
* Truman, Harry
* Churchill, Winston
Folder 10. Newspaper. Stars and Stripes. May 1945.
Folder 11. Newspaper. Super Fort. 1945.
Folder 12. Newspaper. Yank. Undated (circa 1940s).
* Tokyo Rose
* Kennedy, Daun
* McKinley, Ray
*Tojo, Hideki
Folder 13. Newspaper. Yank. 1945.
Folder 14. Postcards.
* La Place Castellane et la Fontaine Cantini
* St. Vincent de Paul
* Liege, Belgium
* Le Monument del Cour
* La Cathedrale et le Fort-Saint-Jean
* Theatre Royal
* Monte-Carlo
* University of Liege-Belgium