The collection consists of one photograph album and loose photographic prints which belonged to Leon Biles, Jr. Biles was an African American U.S. Army soldier and the photographs documents his military service from 1944 to 1947. The album consists of photographs taken or collected by Biles while serving stateside during World War II.
The photographs are extensively captioned and include images of Biles' family in Minnesota, friends, fellow soldiers and sailors (some of whom are relatives), and women who he met in his travels (including African American servicewomen in the Women's Army Corps). Additionally, there are photographs of train locomotives and airplanes, with handwritten notes on train routes.
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Leon Biles, Jr. (1925-93) was born in Minneapolis. He enlisted in the Army in 1943, and according to his notes in the album, was assigned to the 599th "Port" (Transportation) Company in Indiantown Gap. He left the Army in 1946, but according to Veterans Affairs he reenlisted during the Korean War, serving in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954.
(Source: William Reese Company, Catalogue three hundred seventy-one: African Americana, 2021)
0.25 Cubic Feet (in one photograph album and two folders)
Purchased from William Reese Company, 2021.
The collection has been rehoused in archival-quality boxes and folders.
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository