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Paul Dresser Papers

Identifier: MS 00206

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, papers, photographs, newsletters, and publications of Paul Dresser from his service in the Fifth Army during World War II. As a member of the Officer leadership of the Army Group, Dresser worked closely with General Clark, Commander of the Fifth Army throughout the war. Dresser participated in the landing of American forces in North Africa (Operation Torch) and served briefly under General Patton during this campaign. Included in his papers is a sign that served as written communication for the landing forces under the leadership of Patton. Dresser sent home carbon copies of Patton's immediate correspondence with Generals Eisenhower and Montgomery to his wife for safe keeping. A letter to require the complete surrender from the Sultan of Morocco is included in the messages Dresser kept.


  • Creation: 1940-1963
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1944-1947


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 publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


2.5 Linear Feet




The first series of the Paul Dresser papers reflect his personal correspondence with his wife, and papers concerning his Army career. Subsequent series follow movement as Dresser fought in operations with the Fifth Army during World War II starting in Africa, then to Italy, and finally Vienna. During Dresser's tour in Vienna, his wife and two children were permitted to visit and temporarily live with him at this duty station. Photographs were created into a sparate series based on their general subject matter. Those phtotgraphs that were annotated are documented clearly within this series. Dresser kept many field pamphlets and publications concerning the Fifth Army and the war in general in Europe. This includes a large amount of travel guides and otherwise ephemeral documentation. Together, they serve as a vivd snapshot of the life of Army soldiers in Occupied Europe following World War II. Dresser also kept most of the Stars and Stripes publications he recieved while serving overseas. The Algiers, African, and Italian Stars and Stripes have been cataloged separately.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Paul Dresser, Jr., 2016.

Guide to the Paul Dresser Papers
Christina R. Luers, CA
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository