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398th United States Army Air Force Bombardment Squadron Collection

Identifier: SC 00799

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Contains a handwritten diary, roster, booklets, and newsletters that were collected by a member of the 398th Bombardment Squadron, 504th Bombardment Group of the Twentieth United States Army Air Force that was stationed on Tinian Island during Word War II. Included in the collection is a diary written by an unknown soldier that follows his voyage from Seattle, Washington in November 1944 up through the end of the War in September 1945. The unknown soldier was an enlisted soldier and worked on Tinian Island as a storekeeper and as a K.P. (Kitchen Police). Some of the topics mentioned in the diary included life aboard his ship, the S.S. Sea Star, Tokyo Rose, Japanese snipers, rations, airplane crashes, bombing missions, casualty lists and events, Naval support and daily life on Tinian. The diary begins with detailed, daily entries and then becomes sporadic by the end. The collection also contains a pocket guide to the Nansei Shoto Islands prepared by the special publication branch, Information-Education Section. The pocket guide was designed for an American G.I. to understand the islands and their inhabitants. Much of the guide contains stereotypes and propaganda about the Okinawan people. The collection also contains a pamphlet titled, "Wecome San Francisco Port of Embarkation," a booklet for service men stationed at Camp Stoneman on their return from fighting in the War. The guide is informal in nature, containing illustrations and informal language. It was designed as a rulebook for G.I.'s during their stay at Camp Stoneman. The collection also contains issues of "The Daily Star" newspaper, the newspaper of the S.S. Sea Star. The Daily Star provided a glimpse into shipboard life, newsclippings from the warfront and back in the states, a Chaplin's message, sports scores, cartoons, the ship's "Plan-of-the-day" and other miscellanous articles. The collection also contains the book "A History of the War In Maps, In Pictographs, in Words" by Penguin Books, published in 1944. The book was a joint military and Penguin Books publication designed to help both the military and civilian population understand the war. The collection also contains a roster with addresses of the enlisted members of the 398th Bombardment Squadron, 504th Bombardment Group. Some of the names included in the unknown soldier's diary are present in the roster, others are missing.


  • Creation: 1944-1945

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


0.20 Linear Feet


This collection is not yet fully arranged and described. Researchers may wish to consult with a staff member for further information in advance of using the collection.

Related Materials:

World War II Resources in the Special Collections Research Center at .

504th Bombardment Group Wiki page at

Processing Information

Acc. 2011.571 accessioned and minimally processed by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in September 2011. Further processed by Jonathan Katora, Special Collections Assistant, in November, 2011.

Guide to the 398th United States Army Air Force Bombardment Squadron Collection
Finding Aid Author: Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository