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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:18710
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy thanks his father for a gift bond. Jimmy and the “old gang” haven’t started an operational flying yet. Pictures taken at a picnic in Barksdale were enclosed.

grinnell:18713
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy visited London again. He read news that fathers will begin to be drafted and he is concerned that Billy will be drafted.

grinnell:18714
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy comments on the crazy sense of humor in a British comedy show that he saw in town. They are continuing with ground school and flying occasionally.

grinnell:18715
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy received a Christmas box from his parents. He thinks the news about the war seems promising, but he is still nervous about Billy being drafted.

grinnell:18716
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy finally received several letters from home.

grinnell:18717
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy sent a photograph of a friend from Barksdale, Kelly and his wife. He mentions another friend from Barksdale, Bob Pyle. He thinks the Russians are doing well against the Nazis.

grinnell:18711
Ley, Jimmy
Over the weekend Jimmy visited London.

grinnell:18712
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is still living in a tent. He hopes the Yankees will win the World Series. He asks what the general opinion in the US is as to how long the war will last.

grinnell:18707
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is worried about the Germans in Italy. He notes the death of Nile Kinnick.

grinnell:18708
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy sends home money and tells his parents to put some of it in bonds and give some to David and Betty’s expected baby. He received letters from Billy, Ruth, Janette, and Aunt Ada.

grinnell:18709
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy writes from a Red Cross lounge. He admits that he has tears in his eyes thinking about how much he misses all his family.

grinnell:18705
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy rides his bike frequently. He hasn’t heard much about the invasion in Italy.

grinnell:18706
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy is very happy that Italy surrendered.

grinnell:18689
Ley, Jimmy
A telegram from Jimmy announces that he will arrive in Des Moines by train the following morning.

grinnell:18739
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy mentions war news, what he had for dinner, and that he received a second Oak Leaf Cluster.

grinnell:18740
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy received a letter from Aunt Ada and fondly remembers wintertime in Lakota.

grinnell:18741
Ley, Jimmy
In Jimmy’s final letter he says that he hopes to pursue pilot’s training in the US.

grinnell:18737
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy returned from a furlough visit to the coast. He encloses a photograph of the crew.

grinnell:18738
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy responds to news from home.

grinnell:18734
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy discusses news about a draft that he read about in the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

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