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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:18703
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy bought a bike. He asks when Betty is expecting her baby.

grinnell:18704
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy thanks his parents for sending him an issue of the Scarlet and Black, the Grinnell College newspaper.

grinnell:18699
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy’s v-mail says that they are living in tents and able to go to a nearby town.

grinnell:18726
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is still in the hospital.

grinnell:18727
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is finally released from the hospital.

grinnell:18724
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy received letters and packages from Rosa, Aunt Dode, Uncle Alb, and Ruthy. Jimmy writes about the authentic model airplane that he commissioned and plans to mail home when it is finished.

grinnell:18730
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy had a good Christmas dinner. He thinks the war is going well and hopes to be home next year at Christmas time.

grinnell:18731
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy was happy to receive many Christmas cards and letters.

grinnell:18725
Ley, Jimmy
Because of a carbuncle under his arm, Jimmy has to stay in the hospital.

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Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy describes school, exams, and the weather.

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Ley, Jimmy
Life at the new camp seems to be a bit rough.

grinnell:18668
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy prepares to head to Florida. He enjoyed a final visit to New York to see Amy.

grinnell:18669
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy has arrived at Buckingham field, near Fort Myers, Florida. He describes the journey to Florida and a bit about the new camp. He reports that pressure chamber is not completed so they can’t do the altitude tests.

grinnell:18670
Ley, Jimmy
The first two days of gunner school have been tough. Jimmy imagines being back in civilian clothes and hopes the war will be over soon.

grinnell:18671
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy’s mother might visit Florida and he thinks he can get time off one weekend to see her. Jimmy explains a bit about shooting practice. Cameras are not allowed in the new camp.

grinnell:18672
Ley, Jimmy
In a letter to his grandmother, Jimmy explains that he will wait to visit her until his mother comes to Florida, as well. He encloses a letter written by his sister-in-law Ruth from the perspective of her baby son Dave. Jimmy sends it on to his grandmother, Opal Wheeler.

grinnell:18664
Ley, Jimmy
Back on the night shift for school, lots of the boys are looking forward to visiting New York together. Jimmy plans to see Amy.

grinnell:18665
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is very pleased with his trip to New York City, but sad that he did not get to see Amy. He plans to visit again if possible.

grinnell:18666
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy finished school, went on a tour of the factory, and is preparing to relocate to Panama City, Florida, where there is a pressure chamber to simulate high altitude. He will visit New York City again to see Amy.

grinnell:18696
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy sends a postcard so that his family doesn’t worry

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