Alvis Mewborn Papers

1945-1949 (Bulk: 1945)
Manuscript Collection #1159
Creator(s)
Mewborn, Alvis
Physical description
0.25 Cubic Feet, 1 archival box; 84 items
Preferred Citation
Alvis Mewborn Papers (#1159), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
No restrictions

Papers (1945-1949 [Bulk 1945]) consisting of black & white photographic prints taken by U.S. Army Master Sergeant Alvis Whitted Mewborn in France, Germany, and Austria, during his service in the 131st Evacuation Hospital, 11th Armored Division, U.S. Third Army, during World War II, featuring photographs of Mauthausen Concentration Camp & Camp Gusen #1, near Mauthausen, Austria, where the Germans held mainly Italian but also Russian and Serbian prisoners of war about 9,000 of whom died in the camp; including views of the prisoners, alive and dead, the underground Messerschmitt factory, the quarry, the railroad siding, the camp cemetery and camp chapel built by the Americans after they liberated the camp; care and treatment of the survivors, etc.; Palais de Chaillot, in Paris, France; Ulm Cathedral in Ulm, Germany; St. Florian's Monastery near Enns, Austria; also views of homes belonging to Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, Germany; street scenes and the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France; and post-war Mewborn family and fishing scenes in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.


Biographical/historical information

Alvis Whitted Mewborn was born April 22, 1917 in Greene County, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Army during World War II on 21 October 1941 and remained in the Army for four years achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. He served in the 131st Evacuation Hospital, 11th Armored Division, US Third Army in Europe. During the last stages of the war, and the early postwar period, April - November 1945, the 131st Evacuation Hospital was stationed at Camp Gusen I, near Mauthausen, Austria, a German concentration camp for Italian, Russian, and Serbian prisoners of war. When the unit arrived many of the camp inmates were sick and starving and near death from years of mistreatment. Camp Gusen I was part of the Mauthausen camp complex where prisoners were forced to work for the Germans. The 131st Evacuation Hospital provided food, clothing, medical care, and burial for the many prisoners of war who died during this time and built a cemetery and chapel and other facilities. As the unit travelled through France, Germany, and Austria, Mewborn photographed many scenes documenting the end of the war, including the Camp Gusen I and its inmates, alive and dead, and the surrounding towns and countryside, and including views of the Paris, France, Ulm Germany, Enns, Austria, and the bombed-out homes of Adolph Hitler and Hermann Goering at Berchtesgaden, Germany. After his service in the war Mewborn returned to NC and married Martha Jones in August of 1966 and for 37 years he was the President of the Bethel Branch of Wachovia Bank. He was a member, deacon, and Sunday school teacher of Bethel Baptist Church. Alvis Mewborn died on July 23, 1999 at his home in Bethel, NC at the age of 82. Mewborn's niece, Ms. Monica Fleming, was the donor of the collection.


Scope and arrangement

The Alvis Mewborn Papers is arranged in one series of black & white photographic prints with two subseries. The first subseries consists of photographic prints that Alvis Mewborn took during his service in the U. S. Army during World War II. Subseries 1 includes images taken in France, Austria and Germany in May-June 1945. The images from World War II include photographic prints of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp & Camp Gusen #1, near Mauthausen, Austria during April 1945, including images of Camp, including the underground Messerschmitt factory, cemetery, chapel, and gallows. These photographic prints include many images of the mass graves for many of the inmates of the camp, as well as images of those who survived the camp and were under the care of Mewborn's unit. Also found are images of the 131st Evacuation Hospital; St. Florian's Monastery near Enns; views of homes belonging to Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, Germany; street scenes in Paris, including an image of Le Palais de Chaillot. Many of the photographs were developed and printed by The Baldwin Studio, St. Louis, Missouri, Autumn 1945.

The Subseries 2 consists of black & white photographic prints taken by Alvis Mewborn after he returned from World War II, ca. 1946-1949. These photographs record one or more family fishing trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the fish that they caught on their trip.


Administrative information
Custodial History

February 8, 2010, (unprocessed) 84 items, 0.027 cubic feet; Photographic prints (April-June 1945, 1946-1949, undated) taken by U.S. Army Master Sergeant Alvis Mewborn (1917-1999) of Greene County, N.C., in Austria, France, and Bavaria, Germany who served in the 131st Evacuation Hospital, 11th Armored Division, U.S. Third Army, during World War II, including scenes of Kirn, Germany; the Mauthausen Concentration Camp & Camp Gusen #1, near Mauthausen, Austria, including scenes of emaciated & dead inmates, the mess hall, chapel, gallows, mass graves, & allied cemetery; also the entrance to an underground factory near Mauthausen; St. Florian's Monastery near Enns; views of homes belonging to Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler at Bertesgaden, Germany; street scenes in Paris; also post-war Mewborn family fishing scenes in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Black & White. Various sizes. See preliminary inventory attached. 1 box. 84 items. 84 p. (ca. 0.027 cubic feet) Recd 12/10/2009. Note: Donor is the niece of Sergeant Mewborn. Donor: Ms. Monica Fleming

Source of acquisition

Gift of Ms. Monica Fleming

Processing information

Processing & preliminary inventory by Cynthia Sharp, 1/22/2010; revised & encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 2/8/2010; processing by William Reinhardt, 4/25/2012; final inventory by William Reinhardt, 4/26/2012; revised & encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 11/14/2012

Copyright notice

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


Language of material

French; German

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Item 1 US Army soldiers sitting on the ground with tents and trucks visible in the background (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.75" x 4.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "France - 1945"
Box 1 Folder a Item 2 1st Sergeant Ceppos with tents and a second soldier in the background (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 4.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "1st Sgt Ceppos, France"
Box 1 Folder a Item 3 US Army soldiers lined up in front of the mess hall at Gusen I Concentration Camp, near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.75" x 4.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "Mess Hall at Cp Gusen Concentration Camp"
Box 1 Folder a Item 4 View of Gusen I Concentration Camp and Danube River taken on hill covering an underground Messerchmitt factory that manufactured German fighter planes during World War II (May 1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "Concentration Camp Gusen #1, near Mauthausen Austria Danube River and Alp Mountain in background. Hill in foreground is over underground Meschermitt factory chiseled out of solid granite. May 1945."
Box 1 Folder a Item 5 US Army soldiers sitting and standing in a group with tents in the background (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.75" x 4.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "France 1945"
Box 1 Folder a Item 6 US Army soldiers standing in a group with mountain in the background (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 4.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "Motor Pool Section"
Box 1 Folder a Item 7 Entrance to Gusen I Concentration Camp after being cleaned up by US Army (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "Entrance to Concentration Camp - after clean up by American Troops."
Box 1 Folder a Item 8 Entrance to underground Messerschmitt factory at Gusen Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: " Entrance to underground factor, Gusen, Austria."
Box 1 Folder a Item 9 US Army soldiers posed around a small artillery piece at the entrance of a railroad car (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 10 US Army soldiers standing in front of St. Florian's Monastery in Sankt Florian, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "St Florian's Monastery, near Enns, Austria May-June 1945"
Box 1 Folder a Item 11 Rock face; In the quarry at Gusen I (1945) Photographic print. 2.5" x 3.5". Black & White. 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 12 Group of freed prisoners assembled on a parade ground, Camp Gusen (1945) Photographic print (1945) Photographic print. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 13 US Army soldier and two young boys (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder a Item 14 Camp Gusen street scene with U. S. Army soldiers (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 15 Railroad tracks and buildings with a mountain in the background (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder a Item 16 View of Gusen I Concentration Camp buildings from hilltop (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 17 US Army soldier standing in front of tents (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder a Item 18 Three women looking out the window of a train car (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder a Item 19 Two US Army soldiers standing in wreckage near concentration camp building (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder a Item 20 View of river or canal landing with children on beach and in water; small boat afloat; barge numbered 6532 moored (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 21 US Army soldier standing in front of tents to the left (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder a Item 22 Two US Army soldiers standing in front of captured German tank; on moving railroad flat car (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 23 View of a countryside taken from a moving train car (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 24 View of Palais de Chaillot monumental - museum - theater - garden complex, Paris, France; fountain in foreground (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 25 Freed prisoners standing in front of a building (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 26 US Army medic repairing and army truck (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 27 Ulm, Germany war damaged buildings (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 28 Ulm, Germany war damaged buildings, including a view of Ulm Cathedral in the background (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 29 US Army soldiers playing baseball (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 30 US Army soldiers sitting in a jeep at a ferry crossing with young boys around; loaded ferry in mid-stream (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 31 Horse and an ox pulling a cart (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 32 Large group of US Army soldiers with bags full of their belongings (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 33 Grounded ship with BATAAN written on the side (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 34 US Army medical corpsman up close (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 35 View of street and buildings with a woman on the right side (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Double exposed
Box 1 Folder a Item 36 Two US Army soldiers (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 37 Overview of Gusen I Concentration Camp (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 38 Train and railroad tracks (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder a Item 39 Railroad tracks leading to siding at Camp Gusen I Concentration Camp (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5" 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 1 Horses pulling carts of bodies at Gusen I Concentration Camp. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder b Item 2 Two US Army soldiers walking away from fire and plume of smoke behind one of the buildings at Gusen I Concentration Camp. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder b Item 3 US Army soldiers and nurses on the stairs cut into a hill at Gusen I Concentration Camp known as the Stairway of Death. Prisoners had to carry stone up the stairs from the quarry. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder b Item 4 Urinal marked "Defense D'Afficher" [Post Not Bills]. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "Paris France"
Box 1 Folder b Item 5 View of Gusen I Concentration Camp with the wall and wire fences visible, including people walking around and bicycling can be seen on the ground. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder b Item 6 Camp Gusen Chapel for the 131st Evacuation Hospital with a US Army soldier standing out front (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 7 Camp Gusen Chapel interior with a US Army soldier standing in the pulpit. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder b Item 8 US Army medical corpsman kneeling in the Gusen cemetery including crosses & a star of David (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 9 Gusen I Concentration Camp seen from hilltop (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Print Blurry and discolored
Box 1 Folder b Item 10 Gusen I Concentration Camp former inmate lying on a blanket over a wooden box (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 12 Red Cross tents for the 131st Evacuation Hospital at Kirn, Germany seen from hilltop (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "131st Evacuation Hosp. at Kirn Germany near Rhine river (near Mainz) April 1945. Supporting 70 Division and XXIII Corps at this time."
Box 1 Folder b Item 13 US Army soldier standing beside the Camp Gusen Cemetery sign stating: "Here lie buried military and civilian prisoners of Camp Gusen and Camp Mauthausen who passed away after the day of liberation." Gusen I Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 14 Civilians burying bodies of prisoners in a mass at Gusen I Concentration Camp using horse drawn carts (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 16 Mass grave lined with 18 emaciated corpses of Gusen I Concentration Camp victims, near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5.4". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 17 Pile of emaciated corpses awaiting burial at Gusen I Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.25" x 4.2". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 18 Mass grave lined with 14 emaciated corpses at Gusen I Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.25" x 4.2"
Box 1 Folder b Item 19 Naked, emaciated men found still alive at Gusen I Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.25" x 4.2"
Box 1 Folder b Item 20 Mass grave lined with 20 emaciated corpses at Gusen I Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria. Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.6". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 21 Two piles of emaciated corpses at Gusen I Concentration Camp near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.75" x 3.75". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Print Blurry
Box 1 Folder b Item 22 Gusen I Concentration Camp survivors receiving medical care near Mauthausen, Austria (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 23 Gusen I Concentration Camp survivors receiving clothing near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 24 Gusen I Concentration Camp survivors coming out of the back of a medical truck with towels around their waists near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 25 Gusen I Concentration Camp survivors after medical care near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 26 Emaciated Gusen I Concentration Camp survivor walking by with a towel around his waist near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 27 US Army soldier standing in front of the Camp Gusen Cemetery near Mauthausen, Austria. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder b Item 28 US Army soldiers looking out from Hitler's home in the Bavarian mountains. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "Looking from Hitler's Home in Bavarian Mts Southern Germany."
Box 1 Folder b Item 29 Destruction around Hitler' home in Bavarian mountains with two US Army soldiers kneeling in the picture. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "Hitler's Home"
Box 1 Folder b Item 30 US Army soldier kneeling on the wall in front of building from Hitler's home in the Bavarian mountains. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1p. 1p. Note: Caption on verso: "Hitler's Home"
Box 1 Folder b Item 31 Three US Army soldiers from the 131st Evacuation Hospital standing in front of the wreckage of what was Hermann Goering's Home in Berchtesgaden, Germany; sign reads: "Goering's Home" (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "Goering's Home Berchtesgaden, Southern Bavaria, Germany 131st Evac Hosp EM"
Box 1 Folder b Item 32 Unidentified view. (1945) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1p. Note: Print blurry
Box 1 Folder c Item 1 Four people standing and laughing in the snow in front of house, Outer Banks, NC. (1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 2.5" x 3.5". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder c Item 2 Three men standing in front of a car, Outer Banks, NC. (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1p
Box 1 Folder c Item 3 Five Mewborn men standing behind their catch of fish, Outer Banks, NC (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 4 Four Mewborn men standing behind their catch of fish, Outer Banks, NC (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Photo is partially blurred on left side
Box 1 Folder c Item 5 Two Mewborn men holding a line of fish in front of beached boats with bridge visible in the background, Outer Banks, NC. (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 6 Four Mewborn men holding up their catch of fish in front of the water, Outer Banks, NC. (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 7 Two Mewborn men holding a line of fish in front of beached boats with bridge visible in the background; a little boy's head is visible over the end of the boat on the right; a woman in a bathing suit is seen sitting on the bridge supports looking straight forward into the photo, Outer Banks, North Carolina (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 8 Two beached fishing boats, one motorized and one with oars; a little boy's head is visible over the end of the boat on the right; a woman in a bathing suit is seen sitting on the bridge supports, Outer Banks, North Carolina (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Some blurring in upper left corner
Box 1 Folder c Item 9 Four Mewborn men holding up a line of fish standing on grass in front of water, Outer Banks, NC. (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 10 Two Mewborn men standing in a motorized boat moving on the water, Outer Banks, NC (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 11 Four Mewborn men standing in the water with fishing poles, Outer Banks, NC. (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 12 Two Mewborn men in a fishing boat, one sitting down with a fishing pole, the other standing up with a fishing pole., Outer Banks, NC. (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p
Box 1 Folder c Item 13 Mewborn man holding a vertical line of fish on the beach, Outer Banks, NC (ca. 1946-1949) Photographic print. Black & White. 3.5" x 5". 1 item. 1 p. Note: Caption on verso: "Joyce 4177"