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American Field Service World War II Records

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

New York Headquarters

Regional Representatives

Tenth French Army

Middle East Forces

Central Mediterranean Forces

South East Asia Command

First French Army

British Liberation Army

Unsorted 1



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American Field Service World War II Records, 1939-1958 | Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs

By Nicole Milano

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Collection Overview

Title: American Field Service World War II Records, 1939-1958Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1940-1945

ID: RG2/001

Creator: American Field Service

Extent: 83.49 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement:

This collection is arranged at the box level into the following eight series, based on the administrative structure of the American Field Service and the military forces they served with during World War II:  Series 1: New York Headquarters, 1939-1946 (bulk 1940-1945); Series 2: Regional Representatives, 1939-1942; Series 3: Tenth French Army, 1940; Series 4: Middle East Forces, 1941-1944; Series 5: Central Mediterranean Forces, 1943-1945; Series 6: South East Asia Command, 1942-1945 (bulk 1944-1945); Series 7: First French Army, 1943-1945; Series 8: British Liberation Army, 1945.  In addition to the 109 boxes arranged by series, the collection includes two boxes of unsorted files (1 cubic foot) that have yet to be incorporated into existing series.

The collection is processed at a series and box level only; the folders (and individual items) remain unsorted within each series.  See the individual series descriptions for more information.

Languages: English, French

Abstract

The American Field Service (AFS) was an ambulance organization founded in World War I and reactivated in 1939 under the leadership of Director General Stephen Galatti.  American volunteers drove ambulances in France, North Africa, the Middle East, Italy, Germany, India, and Burma, and carried over 700,000 casualties by the end of World War II.  The American Field Service World War II Records include personnel records, identification cards, reports, printed material, publications, official war diaries and logs, correspondence, and other administrative files generated by the organization at its various offices and headquarters during the war until the start of the AFS student exchange programs in 1947.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The American Field Service World War II Records include personnel records, identification cards, reports, printed material, publications, official war diaries and logs, correspondence, and other administrative files generated by the organization at its various offices and headquarters during the war until the start of the AFS student exchange programs in 1947.  The bulk of the collection consists of the correspondence, publications, scrapbooks, personnel files, and identification cards kept at New York Headquarters, although there are also administrative files from the regional representatives in Boston and Detroit.  Overseas material includes administrative files, publications, war diaries, and logs from the AFS offices and field headquarters near the French and British forces.  In addition to the wartime material, the collection includes post-war documents related to repatriation and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), which some AFS ambulance drivers joined after the war, as well as two boxes of unsorted material.  These unsorted files contain personnel applications, documents related to 485 and 567 Ambulance Car Companies, and ambulance plaque information.  They also include later correspondence dated as late as 1958, which was likely related to George Rock’s The History of the American Field Service, 1920-1955 (1956, American Field Service, Inc.)

See the individual series descriptions for more information.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 154 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 tube, 4 loose film cans

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.  Some of the company, unit, and platoon diaries in Series 4, 5, and the unsorted files are fragile and must be handled with care.  The personnel files in Series 1 are partially restricted due to sensitive information.  E-mail the AFS Archives staff for information about accessing these files.

Use Restrictions: Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Archives. In the event that this research becomes a source for publication, a credit line indicating the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs is required. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Acquisition Method: The collection was transferred to the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives) by AFS staff at unknown dates.  While the New York Headquarters files remained with the organization during and after the war, some of the files related to overseas activities were collected from overseas wartime staff in the years after the war, as indicated by correspondence within the collection.  Director General Stephen Galatti appointed W. W. Phillips as AFS Historian during the war, and sent Phillips to the Middle East to issue directions for the keeping of records, and also to collect files from the Cairo Headquarters.  Phillips also took down accounts of personal memories to fill in gaps from the records, and these are likely present in the collection.

Appraisal Information: Select tributes and commendations were removed by AFS Archives staff at an unknown date, and placed into a topical collection (World War II Tributes, RG2/007.)  No other items were deaccessioned, separated, or removed from the collection.

Related Materials: For more tributes and commendations (in addition to those in Series 1), see the World War II Tributes (RG2/007), which was removed as a topical collection at an unknown date by AFS Archives staff.  For the official photographic collection, which was kept by New York Headquarters staff during the war, see the American Field Service World War II Photographic Collection (RG2/002.)  For the official records of the American Field Service during World War I, see the American Field Service World War I Records (RG1/001.)

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [Date]; American Field Service World War II Records; Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs, New York, NY.

Processing Information: Certain series of this collection were partially processed by AFS Archives staff at an unknown date, and the entire collection was processed at a series level by Nicole Milano in 2011. Preliminary finding aid written by Nicole Milano in June 2011 and encoded in EAD by Nicole Milano in June 2011 under the scope of the 2010-2011 Basic Processing grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: New York Headquarters, 1939-1946 (bulk 1940-1945)],
[Series 2: Regional Representatives, 1939-1942],
[Series 3: Tenth French Army, 1940],
[Series 4: Middle East Forces, 1941-1944],
[Series 5: Central Mediterranean Forces, 1943-1945],
[Series 6: South East Asia Command, 1942-1945 (bulk 1944-1945)],
[Series 7: First French Army, 1943-1945],
[Series 8: British Liberation Army, 1945],
[Unsorted 1: circa 1939-1958],
[All]

Series 7: First French Army, 1943-1945Add to your cart.

0.75 cubic feet (2 boxes)

This series contains administrative files related to the activities of the American Field Service (AFS) with the First French Army, working under the auspices of the British military.  AFS joined forces with the First French Army in 1944, though this series also includes preliminary correspondence regarding the formation of a new French unit from 1943.  The correspondence also includes topics ranging from the use of British Geneva Cards until French Geneva Cards could be issued, to disciplinary problems with AFS men. In addition to the correspondence, the series includes Ordres de Movements, section diaries, and other administrative files from the French Army Headquarters, first located in Naples, and later Paris.  The majority of the documentation was generated by Charles Henry Coster, who became Commanding Officer of AFS with the French Army in 1944 after serving as Finance Officer at the Middle East Forces Cairo Headquarters.

This series is processed at box level only; the folders (and individual items) remain unsorted within the boxes.

Box 1: Administrative FilesAdd to your cart.
Box 2: Administrative FilesAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: New York Headquarters, 1939-1946 (bulk 1940-1945)],
[Series 2: Regional Representatives, 1939-1942],
[Series 3: Tenth French Army, 1940],
[Series 4: Middle East Forces, 1941-1944],
[Series 5: Central Mediterranean Forces, 1943-1945],
[Series 6: South East Asia Command, 1942-1945 (bulk 1944-1945)],
[Series 7: First French Army, 1943-1945],
[Series 8: British Liberation Army, 1945],
[Unsorted 1: circa 1939-1958],
[All]


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