Daily Archives: September 5, 2013

Friday Feature: WWII OSC “Yank” Collection to be featured at Adair History Day this Saturday

Mark your calendar, free up your Saturday. This Saturday (September 7th) the WWII-era OSC “Yank” Collection will be featured at the Adair History Day Mini Conference.  And guess what? There is a fabulous new Flickr set of Stock US Army Signal Corp photographs of Camp Adair 1943-44.

During the war, many OSC alumni served in all theaters, all over the globe. The OSC Yank was a quarterly newspaper sent to OSC servicemen from 1943 through 1945. Graduate students Mike Jager and Mike Dicianna will highlight this collection in a presentation about the war effort on campus and in the Corvallis community during WWII. But in advance of the event, Mike D. wrote this blog post as a teaser…

MSS Yank is one of our most poignant collections from the war years. Every letter tells a story, and each Yank issue is a window into what was happening at home and with Beaver alumni in service to their country.

Elaine Kollins Sewell and Jane Steagall, OSC graduates, wanted to provide their fellow Beavers with a little taste of home to boost morale. They published the first Yank as a 4-page newspaper-style Christmas greeting with news and gossip about OSC men and women in the service. They received many letters praising the publication and asking for more. It was expanded to 16 pages and published quarterly through November 1945. The collection includes this correspondence consisting of letters, telegrams, postcards, and V-mail. V-mail was a popular way to correspond with those serving overseas.
Participants at the presentation this weekend will have the opportunity to send their own “V-Mail” message to today’s Beaver military personnel on authentic WWII style V-Mail stationary.

A very special debut of a collection of Camp Adair photographs will also be presented on Saturday. These previously unseen images of the Adair Cantonment are part of SCARC’s new Governor Douglas McKay Collection. Last month, OSU brought the extensive collection of one of their famous alumni home to OSU. Douglas McKay was a 1918 Graduate of Oregon Agricultural College (and Student Body President) and a veteran of WWI.

McKay petitioned to re-enter the US Army when WWII broke out. He was reinstated as a Captain and was put in charge of the artillery range at Camp Adair. The collection of US Army Signal Corps images of life at the base during WWII was part of this new accession. Over 150 photographs surfaced in this vast collection. The majority of these images have never been seen here in the Willamette Valley history community before. This is an epic find! Adair historians will have the opportunity to research this sub-group of the MSS McKay collection when the entire collection has been processed. A representative sample of the new Adair photographs will be available as a slide show to whet the appetites of WWII Adair researchers.

The Mini-Conference will be held from 1:00 – 4:00pm at the Santiam Christian School, Mario & Alma Pastega Room, Library Building, 7220 NE Arnold Ave, Adair Village, OR. The event is sponsored by Adair Living History, Inc.