Skip to main content

Patricia Gaffney-Kindig collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 18.0018

Scope and Contents

The Patricia Gaffney-Kindig collection contains two hundred scanned photograph copies of American servicemen during World War II who were killed in action as well as an accompanying photograph of their American orphan children and some include their wife. Most of the children grew up never knowing their father who was killed or missing in the line of duty. Information provided for each serviceman includes name, rank, branch of service, and killed in action (KIA) or missing in action (MIA).

The children in these four albums are grown up now, are or were members of the American WWII Orphans Network (AWON) which is how Patricia was able to obtain many of these photographs. The AWON was established in 1991.


  • Created: 1942-1977
  • Event: Majority of material found within 1942-1948
  • Other: Date accessioned: 2018-05-29

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

Patricia Gaffney-Kindig’s father, 2LT George Philip Gaffney, Jr., was declared missing in action in 1944, at the of age 23, when his P47 Thunderbolt was lost in New Guinea. His daughter was born three months later. Gaffney was flying cover on a bombing mission to Wewak with the 41st Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, 5th Army Air Force. Fifty-five years later, in 1999, his remains were located by Alfred Hagen at a crash site in the Finisterre mountains, as a result of Patricia’s journey to New Guinea and initiation of a search which ultimately yielded the remains and repatriation of thirteen men, including Major Earl Kindig whose son Michael met and married Patricia as a result of this discovery.

Patricia served as president of the American WWII Orphans Network (AWON) for five years. AWON was founded in 1991 by Ann Bennett Mix, a WWII orphan who wanted to find others whose fathers had died during World War II.

During Patricia’s tenure, in 2004, she shepherded the involvement of AWON in the dedication of the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Among many accomplishments, she created four volumes of "Our Fathers, Portraits of Men Who Died in WWII and the Children Who Love Them” over a period of fifteen years. Two hundred fathers and their children are included.

Patricia is a visual artist and retired educator. As a member of AWON, she saw a need to express the yearning that exists for orphans, such as herself, to have a connection with the fathers most of them never knew. Few have photographs with their fathers. These albums allow that togetherness for a brief moment.

Note written by Patricia Gaffney-Kindig


1 Linear Feet (2 half boxes)

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

Patricia Gaffney-Kindig

Method of Acquisition


Patricia Gaffney-Kindig collection
Anne Marsh
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

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