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Herman and Helen Buffington papers

 Collection — Container: Single Folder Collections - 1998 Box 25 (98.0626-98.0674), Folder: 98.0635 - Folder 1
Identifier: 98.0635

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection document the experiences of Helen Toles Buffington, a young woman growing up during World War II, as well as the experiences of Herman Buffington, who served with the 96th Infantry Division as a combat soldier who fought in the Battle of Okinawa.

Included in the collection is a transcript of Mrs. Buffington’s high school diary, in which she details her daily activities and emotions from 1941 to 1945. Also included in the collection are excerpts from a diary Helen kept while attending Young Harris College and excerpts from a diary Helen kept during the summer of 1945 while working as a phone operator at the Bell Aircraft Corporation, a major manufacturing center of B-29’s. Other items included in this collection include one colored photograph of Mrs. Buffington at the age of 17 in 1945, a pay-stub from the Bell Aircraft Corporation, and a book written by Herman Buffington titled Okinawa: Etched Deep in My Mind, detailing his experiences as a WWII combat soldier.


  • Created: 1941-1945
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1941-1945
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/31/1998


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Helen Toles Buffington was born on October 27, 1927, in Menlo, Georgia. Helen was fourteen years old when World War II started. Over the course of the war, she completed high school and enrolled at Young Harris College in 1944. During the summer of 1945, Buffington worked as a phone operator for the Bell Aircraft Corporation, a major manufacturing center for B-29’s. After the war, while working as a reporter with The Rome News-Tribune, she met Herman Buffington. The pair later married in 1949.

Herman Buffington was born on May 7, 1926, in Rome, Georgia. In August 1944, he entered the U.S. Army and was eventually assigned to the 96th Infantry Division in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Buffington was a combat soldier in the invasion of Okinawa. On the day before the battle ended, Buffington was wounded by mortar fire. After recovering from his injuries, Buffington was sent to Saipan where he and other soldiers prepared to invade Japan. However, the war ended before they could be sent off, and in 1946 Buffington was deactivated and sent home. For his service, Buffington was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Philippine Independence Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the Victory Ribbon, and three overseas service bars. After the war, Buffington attended the Carroll Lynn School of Business and the Rome Branch of the University of Georgia on the GI Bill.

The Buffingtons bought The Jackson Herald in Jefferson, Georgia, in 1965. Helen was the editor of the newspaper while Herman was the publisher. The Buffingtons also launched The Banks County News in Homer, Georgia, in 1968 and bought The Commerce News in Commerce, Georgia, in 1987. The Buffingtons also purchased The Madison County Journal in 1997 and adopted a new name for their growing group of newspapers known as MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.

Herman Buffington passed away on July 13, 2014.


1.00 folders

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Source of Acquisition

Helen Buffington

Method of Acquisition


Herman and Helen Buffington papers
Theresa Hume
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US