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Wilbur Kenneth Bragg Collection

(Manuscript Collection #1100)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Wilbur Kenneth Bragg Collection
Creator: Bragg, Kenneth Wilbur
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Collection (1942-1946, 1957, 1989), including photographic prints, a scrapbook, a manuscript, and a recreational map of the U. S.
Extent: 1.6 Cubic feet, 1.6 cubic feet 2 archival boxes, Collection (1942-1946, 1957, 1989), including photographic prints, a scrapbook, a manuscript, and a recreational map of the U. S.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

August 21, 2007 12 items, 0.60 cubic feet; Collection (1942-1957) pertaining to the World War II service of Sgt. Wilbur Kenneth Bragg, a photographer, in the 942nd Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion, 8th U. S. Air Force, from November 1942 to March 1946, in England, Scotland & Wales, France, Germany, and Switzerland, including manuscripts, photographic prints, scrapbook material & printed materials, that illustrate both civilian and military life during and after World War II in Europe; also a recreational map of the United States. Donor: Mrs. Jane Bragg

October 3, 2007 (addition 1) 13 items, 0.60 cubic feet; Collection (1945) of World War II photographic prints and a pamphlet collected by Sgt. Wilbur Kenneth Bragg, a photographer, who served in the 942nd Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion, 8th U. S. Air Force, in London, England, Laon & Paris, France, and Kassell, Germany. Donor: Mrs. Jane Bragg

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Wilbur Kenneth Bragg Collection (#1100), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Jane Bragg

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Mark Custer, December 31, 2007

  • Processed by A. Keeny April 2009


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Wilbur Kenneth Bragg was born in Kansas on September 27, 1922, and grew up in California. He enlisted in the 942nd Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion, 8th U.S. Air Force as a photographer on November 16, 1942. The job of this battalion included mapping, accessing, and photographing bomb damage, as well as acquiring military intelligence. Bragg next served in Bakersfield, California, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lebanon, Tennessee, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Then, on March 1, 1944 he was assigned to leave for Bristol, England. From March 1944 until February 1946, Bragg documented the war and civilian life in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany and Switzerland with his photography. He returned to the United States on March 6, 1946 and was discharged on March 13, 1946. In 1968 Bragg moved to Rocky Mount, North Carolina to set up a photography studio, and died on October 6, 2004.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The papers are divided into the series of Aerial Reconnaissance Photographic Prints, Scrapbooks, Oversized Materials, Photographic Prints and Printed Materials. The photographs in this collection taken by Wilbur Kenneth Bragg reflect both military and civilian life in Europe during and after World War II, from 1942 to 1946. The subjects of the photographs in the scrapbook include civilians, soldiers, pets, landscapes, historic structures, military camps, bombers, and bomb damage in England, Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Of particular interest are the photographs in the scrapbook showing bombing attacks in progress, bomb damage in England and Germany, the Glenn Miller Band and Dinah Shore at the 200th Mission celebration, the remains of Benito Mussolini and his mistress, and the VE Day celebrations at Connings. The collection also contains separate photographic prints of England, France, and Germany. Of particular interest are the aerial reconnaissance photographic prints of the Pinetree Camp in England. Printed materials within the collection include a 1945 pamphlet entitled Hitler Passed This Way: 170 Pictures from the London Times Evening News, that contains images illustrating the effects of the Blitzkrieg of 1940 on London; and a 1989 manuscript entitled History of the 942nd Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion April 4, 1944 – November 20, 1945, World War II, European Theatre of Operations, by Robert des Granges. The manuscript contains a note from the author to Bragg: “Will, To a very good army buddy and friend of many years. Hope you enjoy the book. Bob des.” Also present is a 1957 Rand McNally recreational map of the United States. This map features national parks, recreational areas, national forests, Indian reservations, wild life game refuges, highways, trails and state parks. See container list for further details.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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Series 1:
Aerial Reconnaissance Photographic Prints
  • Box 1#1100.1
    • Folder a#1100.1.a
      Aerial Reconnaissance Photographic Prints (ca. 1945) High Wycombe & Marlow, England. Black & White. 10" x 10" 5 items. 5 p. Note: Captioned "Compliments of 325th Recon. Wing." Includes views of Daw's House, High Wycombe, Pinetree Camp Work Area, & Medmanham House, Marlow, England.
    • Folder b#1100.1.b
      Aerial Reconnaissance Photographic Prints (7 May, 5 June 1945) Pinetree Camp, England & Unknown City with bomb damage, #0035, #0061, #0085, #0104. Black & White. 10" x 10" 4 items. 4 p. Note: Captioned: "D-US 7GR/LOC.4D(LIB) 7 May 45 F12"(305.0) 10.1500 22 SQ"; "D-US 7GR/LOC.33B(LIB) 5 June 45 F12"(305.0)"; & "1945 'Pinetree' 942nd Topo. Engr."
Series 2:
Scrapbooks
  • Box 1#1100.1 Icon to indicate that there are digitized materials available
    • Folder c#1100.1.c (1 item  digitized)
      Scrapbook (16 November 1942 - March 1946) of photographic prints, maps, clippings, printed materials and manuscript materials compiled by Sgt. Wilbur Kenneth Bragg, recording his service with the 942nd Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion, headquartered at Kew Billets, Kew, London, ca. March - April 1944, & Pinetree Camp, High Wycombe, England, ca. May 1944 - Sept. 1945; Eschwege, Bad Kissingen & Erlangen, Germany, September 1945 - February 1946, Le Havre, France, February 1946, including views of wartime London, daily life, bomb damage including "Buzz Bomb" (i.e. V-1 rocket bomb) in flight; Box Hill, South Downs, Dorking; also showing details of Kew Billets; Camp Pinetree (AAF Station 101) High Wycombe, showing tent area, members of his unit, pets, views of bombers en route to Arnhem, Netherlands; Winter 1944; Cartoons; working conditions; recreation, sport & dining facilities; The Abbey - 8th Air Force Headquarters; Gen. Doolittle's headquarters; Bill Conn boxing exhibition; Pinup pictures; B-24 returning from raid with smoking engine; Glenn Miller Band concert; RAF Mosquitoes at Watton; views of High Wycombe, including Red Cross Club, pubs, streets, canal, churches, old buildings; views of Stratford-On-Avon, including A. R. C., Shakespeare's birthplace, memorial theatre, hotel, Clopton Stone Bridge, Guild Chapel, Shottery Village, Anne Hathaway's home, Shakespeare's burial place; also views of Brighton, showing defenses, Canterbury, including enthronement of archbishop of Canterbury, April 1945; views of Marlow, near High Wycombe; Rougham Air Base, Bury St. Edmunds, including aerial views through gunner's sights; Glenn Miller Band & Dinah Shore at 200th Mission celebration; aerial views of bombing attacks in progress; fighter escorts; Jones family home, 176 Woodmanstern Rd; VE Day celebrations at Connings; Windsor Castle, Eton College, Warick Castle & village; Kingussie & Edinburgh, Scotland; North Wales; Chester; Eschwege, Kassel, Bad Kissingen & Erlangen, Germany showing local scenes & bomb damage, Christmas 1945; war crimes court, Nurnberg; remains of Benito Mussolini & mistress; Zermatt, Switzerland & French Alps. 754 photographs, etc. 1 item. 58 p.
Series 3:
Oversized Materials
Oversize Folder os1#1100.os1
Rand McNally Recreational Area Map of the United States (February 1957) © Rand McNally & Co. Printed Map. Scale: 1:4,000,000. 1"= 65 miles (approx.) 34.5" x 52" 1 item. 1 p.
Series 4:
Photographic Prints
  • Box 2#1100.2
    • Folder a#1100.2.a
      • Cathedral at Laon, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1 item. 1 p.  (item #1)
      • Cathedral at Rheims, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1 item. 1 p.  (item #2)
      • Arc de Triomphe [Arch of Triumph] Paris, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1 item. 1 p.  (item #3)
      • Gardens at Palais de Versailles [Palace of Versailles] Paris, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1 item. 1 p.  (item #4)
      • Palais de Chaillot [Palace of Chaillot] Paris, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1  (item #5)
      • Eiffel Tower, View from base, Paris, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #6)
      • Eiffel Tower, Elevation view, Paris, France (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #7)
      • Ruins of Kassell, Germany (October 1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #8)
      • Ruins of Kassell, Germany (October 1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #9)
      • Ruins of Kassell, Germany (October 1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #10)
      • Ruins of Kassell, Germany (October 1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #11)
      • Ruins of Kassell, Germany (October 1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 5.5" x 7.5" 1   (item #12)
Series 5:
Printed Materials
  • Box 2#1100.2
    • Folder b#1100.2.b
      Hitler Passed This Way: 170 Pictures from the London Times Evening News, Compiled by Crawford Snowden. Printed by Alabaster, Passmore & Sons, Ltd., London and Maidstone and Published by The Evening News (Associated Newspapers Ltd. Carmelite House, London, E.C.4.) Pamphlet. 1 item. 50 p. Note: Autographed: "To Dick with Best Wishes From Joan." A selection of photographs taken before and after the Blitzkrieg of 1940, illustrating the extent of bomb damage to London during World War Two.
    • Folder c#1100.2.c
      History of the 942nd Engineer Aviation Topographic Battalion April 4, 1944 - November 20, 1945, World War II, European Theatre of Operations, by Robert des Granges San Diego, CA: Robert des Granges, 1989. Photocopy Typescript. Spiral Bound. 1 item. 194 p. Notes: Includes Technical History of the 942nd Engr Avn Topo Bn & Unit History 4 April 1944 to November 1945. Printing by Alphagraphics, San Diego, CA 92127. Note: Unit History was reproduced from a microfilm provided to the author by Russell Stradling. Autographed by author with sentiment: "Will, To a very good army buddy and friend of many years. Hope you enjoy the book. Bob des Granges."

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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