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Jimmy Ley Collection

James “Jimmy” J. Ley attended Grinnell College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. Ley’s papers include an extensive series of correspondence written by Ley during his time at Grinnell and in the army air force, as well as personal items, photographs, and military documents.

grinnell:12816
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy writes about the weather and the high popularity of gambling in the army camp.

grinnell:12991
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy tells about eating breakfast on the night shift, asks Betty about wedding planning, and prepares for a final test in Engine Repair.

grinnell:12995
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy has begun studying electricity. He wants to apply to Officer’s Candidate School and needs a letter from Doc Williams verifying character.

grinnell:12999
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy writes that he had a sore throat and describes a drill using gas masks.

grinnell:13063
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy visited Dallas and Fort Worth and received a postcard from Shirley at Minneapolis.

grinnell:12572
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is studying hydraulics and writes that the barracks is getting very friendly. He is sorry to miss the wedding.

grinnell:12644
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy was mistaken and Betty’s wedding is not until October. He wants to see the family and wishes they would visit.

grinnell:18690
McKelan, Harold
A telegram from Capt. Harolf [sic] McKelan stating the Jimmy’s furlough has been cancelled and ordering him to return immediately.

grinnell:18675
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy describes the flying clothing and equipment that he will be issued next week.

grinnell:18673
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy tells his father about his visit with his mother and grandmother. He asks after the garage and wishes for a furlough, although getting one seems unlikely.

grinnell:18676
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy sends a postcard to his dad letting him know he just graduated from gunnery school.

grinnell:18729
Ley, Jimmy
V-Mail “Greetings from Britain”

grinnell:18686
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy and Bob went to town this weekend. Jimmy does not have to attend the weekly hike. He is enjoyed receiving cookies from Ruth and Betty.

grinnell:18684
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy went on another long hike and another long flight. He enclosed some photographs of himself and his friends.

grinnell:18687
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy has been flying every day and being assigned to a combat crew. He thinks they will ship to the overseas squadron shortly and thinks there is a good chance of a furlough before then.

grinnell:18688
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy and Bob went to church for Easter.

grinnell:18685
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy writes about camping on an overnight hike. He believes that he will be moving to an overseas squadron within the next few months.

grinnell:18700
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy hasn’t received any mail since June. He wonders if his v-mail is going through. He says they will be going to the British Isles for a few days of training.

grinnell:18701
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy had a visit to Bournemouth resort and to London. He received fifteen letters from home at once.

grinnell:18702
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy has received more letters from home as well as Aunt Dode and Bob. Jimmy wishes he could eat some fresh food from Iowa. He hopes that Hitler and Italy will give up.

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