Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: George Canary Jr. letters

Abstract

The George Canary Jr. letters (dated 1939-1945; 3.42 cubic feet; 10 boxes) primarily comprise letters from George to his wife and extended family documenting his military training and later deployment to Europe during World War II.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: George Canary Jr. letters
Creator
Canary, George, Jr.
Extent
3.42 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Photography.
Sketches.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Europe
Arrangement
The George Canary Jr letters are arranged by sender and recipient if they sent more than one letter. For those who only sent a single letter, or this collection only contains a single letter from them, it is placed in a various letters folder. Each folder is then arranged chronologically. There is a number written on the top right corner of each letter that corresponds to a number written on the bottom right of the letter's envelope.
Finding Aid Author
Archive Staff
Preferred Citation
2003ms132.0004: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: George Canary Jr. letters, 1939-1945, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
George Canary Jr. (1922-1997) was born in Louisville, Kentucky to George Canary and Catherine McMahon. Canary enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1942 and served to September 1945. In February of 1943, George married his fiancé LaVerne Mayer (1921-1992) in San Antonio, Texas while on a furlough from the United States Army Air Force. The couple did not have any children.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The George Canary Jr. letters (dated 1939-1945; 3.42 cubic feet; 10 boxes) primarily comprise letters from George to his wife and extended family documenting his military training and later deployment to Europe during World War II. A majority of the letters are from Cpt. George Canary, Jr. to his fiancé and later wife, LaVerne Canary (Mayer). Canary wrote letters almost daily to LaVerne throughout his training in Salt Lake, Utah (1942-1943) and after his deployment to England (1944-1945). He often refers to her in his letters as Peanuts, My darling Wife, My Pin-up Wife, and 'My Sweet Angel Wife. While all of the letters profess his undying love for his wife and his desire to see her again, they describe mostly his everyday life in the military and air force. A few of his letters included drawings to his wife. Some of the drawings are located on the letter next to his opening remarks, whereas others are separate and attached to the letters. The drawings depict likenesses of him and other military personnel, as well as drawings of pin-up girls. One drawing was sent to him from his wife to obtain his opinion, on which he wrote his thoughts and returned with his letter. His letters from England include a newspaper comic strip entitled Jane... which is a story about a female spy in Europe. Other newspaper clippings about the American military in Europe accompany some the letters. The series also includes letters sent to Canary from LaVerne between 1942 and 1943. Even though the collection only contains letters from the first two years of Canary's absence, his letters allude to others she sent to him throughout the final two years of the war. Her letters close with lipstick kisses to her Soldier Husband. The series contains mock-newsletters titled The Latrine Gazette sent from Canary to various members of his family while he was deployed in England. These newsletters are presented in the form of a weekly newspaper that provided events and news from Canary. They discuss everyday life, games and sports played by the men, and Canary's feelings and beliefs about the war and military life.
There are also letters to and from Canary's other family members, including his sister E.V. McMahon, his mother and father, his Aunt and his mother- and father-in-law. In his letters to his in-laws, Canary refers to them endearingly as Mom and Pop. His Aunt Mary wrote from a convent where she is known as Sister John Maria. Within the series are photographs and negatives, newspaper clipping and other materials, including religious cards, sent to or from Canary. The photographs and negatives are primarily of LaVerne and the religious cards are sent from Sister John Maria, Canary's Aunt Mary. Part of the series comprises seven United States Army Air Force Preflight School workbooks, as well as worksheets and Canary's personal notes. The workbooks provide sketches of military planes, mathematical equations and flight instructions. These workbooks are noted as Restricted. Also included is a scrapbook by Canary sent to his Aunt Mary. Due to preservation concerns, any photograph and letter that could be removed was placed in the folder George Canary to Sister John Maria 'Aunt Mary.' The letters, postcards and photographs unable to be removed from the pages were separated from the physical scrapbook and placed in a separate box. The original scrapbook was then discarded.
The George Canary letters are part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1939-1945

George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1942 November

  • Box 6, folder 1
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1942 December

  • Box 6, folder 2
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 January

  • Box 6, folder 3
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 March

  • Box 6, folder 4
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 April 1-15

  • Box 6, folder 5
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 April 17-30

  • Box 6, folder 6
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 May 1-15

  • Box 6, folder 7
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 May 16-29

  • Box 6, folder 8
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 June-July

  • Box 6, folder 9
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 September-October

  • Box 6, folder 10
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 November 2-15

  • Box 7, folder 1
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 November 16-30

  • Box 7, folder 2
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 December 4-18

  • Box 7, folder 3
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1943 December 19-29

  • Box 7, folder 4
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 January 1-15

  • Box 7, folder 5
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 January 17-31

  • Box 7, folder 6
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 February 1-15

  • Box 7, folder 7
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 February 18-29

  • Box 7, folder 8
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 March 1-15

  • Box 7, folder 9
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 March 16-31

  • Box 7, folder 10
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 April 1-15

  • Box 7, folder 11
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 April 16-30

  • Box 7, folder 12
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 May 1-15

  • Box 7, folder 13
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 May 17-31

  • Box 8, folder 1
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 June 1-14

  • Box 8, folder 2
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 June 16-30

  • Box 8, folder 3
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 July 1-16

  • Box 8, folder 4
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 July 17-31

  • Box 8, folder 5
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 August 1-15

  • Box 8, folder 6
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 August 16-31

  • Box 8, folder 7
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 September 1-15

  • Box 8, folder 8
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 September 16-30

  • Box 8, folder 9
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 October 1-15

  • Box 8, folder 10
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 October 16-31

  • Box 8, folder 11
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 November 1-15

  • Box 10, folder 1
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 November 17-30

  • Box 10, folder 2
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 December 1-15

  • Box 10, folder 3
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1944 December 16-30

  • Box 10, folder 4
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 January 1-16

  • Box 10, folder 5
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 January 17-30

  • Box 10, folder 6
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 February 1-12

  • Box 10, folder 7
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 February 13-28

  • Box 10, folder 8
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 March 1-9

  • Box 11, folder 1
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 March 10-31

  • Box 11, folder 2
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 April 1-12

  • Box 11, folder 3
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, 1945 April 13-May 5

  • Box 11, folder 4
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George Canary to LaVerne Canary, Circa 1942-1945

  • Box 11, folder 5
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Newsletters from George Canary to family, 1944 September 29

  • Box 11, folder 6
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Newsletters from George Canary to family, 1944

  • Box 11, folder 7
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Newsletters from George Canary to family, 1945

  • Box 11, folder 8
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E.V. Sis McMahon to George Canary, 1942-1943

  • Box 11, folder 9
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Letters to George Canary, 1942-1943

  • Box 11, folder 10
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Letters to LaVerne Canary, 1942-1945

  • Box 11, folder 11
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Mrs. Canary Mom to George Canary, 1943

  • Box 11, folder 12
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Correspondence between Norman Mayer and George Canary, 1943

  • Box 11, folder 13
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Correspondence between Mr. and Mrs. George Canary, Sr. and George Canary, 1943

  • Box 11, folder 14
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Sister John Maria Aunt Mary to George Canary, 1943

  • Box 11, folder 15
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1942 November

  • Box 12, folder 1
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1942 December

  • Box 12, folder 2
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1943 January

  • Box 12, folder 3
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1943 February-April

  • Box 12, folder 4
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1943 May

  • Box 12, folder 5
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1943 June

  • Box 12, folder 6
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1943 November

  • Box 12, folder 7
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LaVerne Canary to George Canary, 1943 December

  • Box 12, folder 8
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George Canary to Sister John Maria Aunt Mary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 1
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Letters, 1943-1944

  • Box 13, folder 2
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Correspondence between Mr. and Mrs. George Mayer and George Canary, 1943-1944

  • Box 13, folder 3
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C. Valentine to LaVerne Canary, 1943-1945

  • Box 13, folder 4
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Norman Mayer to LaVerne Canary, 1944

  • Box 13, folder 5
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Ral Vellaued to LaVerne Canary, 1944-1945

  • Box 13, folder 6
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Newspaper clippings, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 7
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Cards to LaVerne and George Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 8
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Drawings by George Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 9
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Pamphlets, religious cards, and receipts, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 10
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Military orders, documents and letters to George Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 11
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Photographs of George and LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 12
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Photograph of George Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 13
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George Canary's high school notebook, 1939

  • Box 13, folder 14
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Church program, 1943 January 17

  • Box 13, folder 15
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Drawing of the human body, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 13, folder 16
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Graphic Materials, circa 1942-1945

Negatives: LaVerne Canary and Unknown Woman, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 1
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 2
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 3
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 4
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 5
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Negatives: unknown street, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 6
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Negatives: unknown street, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 7
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Negatives: unknown location, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 8
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 9
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Negatives: two unknown girls, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 10
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 11
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Negatives: unknown woman, man, and child, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 12
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Negatives: two unknown women, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 13
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Negatives: unknown woman, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 14
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Negatives: two unknown women, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 15
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary and two unknown women, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 16
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary and four unknown women, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 17
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Negatives: LaVerne Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 18
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Negatives: George Canary, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 15, item 19
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Scrapbook Given to Sister John Maria 'Aunt Mary', circa 1942-1945

  • Box 16, item 1
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United States Army Air Force Preflight School workbooks, circa 1942-1945

George Canary's U.S. Flight Preparatory School worksheets and notes, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 1
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George Canary's U.S. Air Force Preparatory School worksheets and notes, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 2
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George Canary's U.S. Flight Preparatory School worksheets and notes, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 3
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George Canary's U.S. Civil Aeronautics workbook, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 4
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George Canary's Air Force Preflight School workbooks restricted, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 5
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George Canary's Air Force Preflight School workbook restricted, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 6
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George Canary's Air Force Preflight School workbook restricted, circa 1942-1945

  • Box 14, folder 7
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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