William H. Wallace collection
Scope and Contents
The William H. Wallace Collection was donated to Florida State University by his daughter, Robin Wallace Turco in May 2015. The centerpiece of the Wallace Collection is a series of forty-six letters and postcards from Josette Asphiotis, a French penpal, to William Wallace from 1944 to 1946. They met sometime in September of 1944 while William was serving with the Army Air Force in Lyon and continued to correspond until after William returned home to Illinois. These letters highlight the human experience of World War II. Both Josette and William use their correspondence as a form of coping with the pressures of wartime service and conditions.
Moreover, these letters provide an example of overcoming the language barrier between American servicemen and French civilians, as well as offer insights into the transformation on the French homefront following the expulsion of the Nazis, French animosity towards the Germans, rationing, and the airmail system. On a more intimate level, their correspondence is an expression of human desires and an emotional connection solidified in ink. Also included in the Wallace collection are letters from William’s mother, from a young American woman named Judy Murry, several from Marcel C. Schiess, a friend at Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina, William’s military records and birth certificate, and also many photographs and postcards from his service in Italy and Egypt. Taken as a whole, the William H. Wallace Collection offers tremendous insights into the daily life and experiences of an American Airman serving in the European Theater.
- created: 1944-1946
- Other: Date acquired: 05/26/2015
- William H. Wallace, 1925-1988 (Person)
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
William Hemingway Wallace was born June 7, 1925 in Rantoul, Illinois to Emory L. Wallace and Marie H. Wallace. Prior to being inducted into the Army Air Force, Wallace had just earned his high school diploma. He received basic training in Mississippi before being sent overseas as an aircraft radio operator for the Army Air Force in June 1943. While serving in the European Theater of Operations, Wallace was assigned to the 62nd Troop Carrier Group, 4th Troop Carrier Squadron, following his unit to Egypt, Italy, France, Greece, Austria, and Switzerland. Wallace was eventually discharged from the United States Army Air Force on November 18, 1945 and soon after married Evelyn J. Wallace. He reenlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force on 16 December 1949, serving in the military for another eighteen years before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel on September 14, 1967. He spent several years working at Florida State University from 1971-1977 and remained in Tallahassee before his death in 1988.
Note written by Siegler III, Richard J.
Language of Materials
The William H. Wallace Collection was donated to Florida State University by Robin Wallace Turco in May 2015. The centerpiece of the Wallace Collection is a series of forty-six letters and postcards from Josette Asphiotis, a French penpal, to American airman William Wallace from 1944 to 1946.
Organized topically into twelve folders.
Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.
Source of Acquisition
Turco, Robin Wallace
Method of Acquisition
The William H. Wallace Collection was donated by his daughter, Robin Wallace Turco.
Processed in 2015.
- United States. Army Air Forces. Troop Carrier Squadron, 4th (Organization)
- L'Université de Paris (France) (Organization)
- American Red Cross (Organization)
- Chaplin, Charlie (1889-1977) (Person)
- Rooney, Mickey (1920-2014) (Person)
- Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 (Person)
- Armée française (Organization)
- Cooper, Duff (1890-1954) (Person)
- Payne, John (1912-1989) (Person)
- Henie, Sonja (1912-1969) (Person)
- Asphiotis, Mimi (Person)
- Asphiotis, Henriette (Person)
- Asphiotis, Josette (Person)
- Palace Hotel (San Francisco, Calif.) (Organization)
- Wallace, William H., 1925-1988 (Person)
- United States. Army Air Forces (Organization)
- United States. Army. European Theater of Operations (Organization)
- United States. Army Air Forces. Troop Carrier Group, 62nd (Organization)
- Ain (France)
- Ain River (France)
- Arcola (Illinois)
- Berlin (Germany)
- Bern (Switzerland)
- Cairo (Egypt)
- Campagne (France)
- Divonne-les-Bains (Switzerland)
- Lyon (France)
- Milan (Italy)
- Paris (France)
- Perouges (France)
- Pont Lafayette (France)
- Rantoul (Illinois)
- Rome (Italy)
- Tarquinia (Italy)
- Taylorville (Kentucky)
- Air mail service
- Basic training
- Bastille Day--History.
- Black Market
- Censorship-United States-History-20th Century
- European history
- United States--History
- United States. Army Air Forces--Military life
- V-E Day, 1945
- War and society--Europe--History--20th century.
- War and society--France--History--20th century.
- War and society--United States
- War and society.
- World War, 1939-1945
- World War, 1939-1945--Germany
- World War, 1939-1945--Social aspects--United States
- William H. Wallace collection
- Richard J. Siegler III
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note