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Guide to the Wallace Reid letters MSS.4030

Publication:
University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

205.348.0500

archives@ua.edu

Publication Date: September 2014

Collection Title:

Wallace Reid papers

Unit ID:

MSS.4030

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.4 Linear feet

Dates:

1943-2006

Abstract:

Letters, greeting cards, scrapbook pages, and other World War II materials belonging to this Locust Fork, Alabama, soldier.

Related Material:

PDF version of finding aid

Creator:

Reid, Wallace, 1925-

Scope and Contents Note:

The Wallace Reid papers include letters, scrapbook pages, greeting cards, World War II souvenirs from Europe, photographs, and a handwritten memoirs. All of the materials document Reid's involvement in World War II. Almost all of the letters were written by Reid to his parents. Despite the fact that he often wrote these before, during, and after battles, Reid clearly tried to remain positive in his letters to prevent his parents from worrying about him. His memoirs addresses this and provides the more horrific details of his experience.

Access Restrictions:

Access is only available via the University Libraries' digital collections at http://lib.ua.edu/digital.

Biographical/Historical Note:

Born in 1925 in Locust Fork, Alabama, Wallace Reid is the youngest of eight children. His older brothers Bryson and Tracy ("Ted") had already joined the military when he reported for duty on October 7, 1943, at the Tarrant City draft board. He was eighteen years old. He had been working at Kinney's Shoe Store for a year after graduating from high school. His parents were sixty-one and fifty-nine, and his mother was unwell, living at a nursing home. His father had worked as a prison guard.

He first went to Ft. McClellan, Alabama, then to Ft. McPherson in Atlanta, then to Camp Wheeler in Georgia for seventeen weeks of basic training. The training was tough, perhaps more dangerous than actual combat. He took a ship from New York City to northern Ireland and landed in early April 1944. He was in South Hampton waiting for D-Day.

He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day +1. He was assigned to Company F of the Twenty-third Regiment, Second Infantry Division. He was injured by shrapnel in his left foot on July 27, 1944. He was flown from France to a hospital in England to recuperate. By mid-October 1944 he had rejoined his company in Germany. His company was part of the Battle of the Bulge. He tells horrific stories of the battle and aftermath. He survived with serious frost bite on his arm and hand. On February 6, 1945, he arrived at a military hospital in England for treatment. After 9 weeks, he was discharged on May 2, just a few days before V-E Day. His original company, who by now were 98% replacements, had left for the Pacific. He was able to stay in England for several months of rest and relaxation before he received his orders to ship out. His boat arrived in New York City on November 29, 1945.

In 1946 he entered The University of Alabama as a student on the GI Bill. After attending school for three years, he joined the Air Force from September 1949 -- November 1952 and was stationed in Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, and at Lowry AFB, Denver, Colorado. He remained in the active reserves until 1968. He finished a business degree at the University of Houston and lived in Texas until his retirement. As of 2014, he lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

More biographical information about Wallace Reid may be found in

Subjects:

V-E Day, 1945

World War II

World War, 1939-1945

World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--France--Normandy

World War, 1939-1945--Medical care

PDF version of finding aid

Contents:

Letters: March - April 1944 Box 4030.001 Folder 1

Letters: May - August 1944 Box 4030.001 Folder 2

Letters: September - October 1944 Box 4030.001 Folder 3

Letters: November - December 1944 and undated 1944 Box 4030.001 Folder 4

Letters: February -April 1945 Box 4030.001 Folder 5

Letters: May - August 1945 Box 4030.001 Folder 6

Letters: September - December 1945 Box 4030.001 Folder 7

Letter fragment and miscellaneous envelopes Box 4030.001 Folder 8

Greeting Cards and Postcards Box 4030.001 Folder 9

Scrapbook Pages Box 4030.001 Folder 10

Scrapbook Pages Box 4030.001 Folder 11

Souvenirs Box 4030.001 Folder 12

Souvenirs from Europe Box 4030.001 Folder 13

Photos Box 4030.001 Folder 14

IDs and Miscellaneous Papers Box 4030.001 Folder 15

Memoirs (red notebook) Box 4030.01 Folder 16