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Wrightson Ely Clinton, Sr. collection

 Collection — Container: 09.0005 - Box 1
Identifier: 09.0005

Scope and Contents

This collection pertains to Corporal Wrightson Ely Clinton Sr., who served in the 116th Field Artillery Battalion of the United States Army National Guard's 31st Infantry Division. He served in the Netherland East Indies and the Philippines from 1944 to 1945 as a clerk of the Battery.

This collection consists of one half-box, primarily containing photographs and artifacts he was issued, collected, or awarded during his service. It also includes correspondence with his family, separation papers, scanned copies of the original scrapbook his photographs were stored in, and rosters of servicemen from his battalion.


  • Created: 1943-1946
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1944-1945
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/23/2009


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

Wrightson Ely Clinton Sr. was born on April 11, 1923, to Charles Ely Clinton and Ruth Seiffert Clinton. He had one younger brother named Charles Henry Clinton. Wrightson graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1941. Before enlisting, he worked as a stock clerk for the Mack Manufacturing Corporation of New Brunswick and attended night school at Rutgers University to study Engineering, Metallurgy, and Engines.

On April 28, 1943, he was inducted into the United States Army National Guard’s 31st Infantry Division at Fort Dix, New Jersey. This was also known as the “Dixie Division” because it was primarily composed of guardsmen from the South. He was assigned to the 116th Field Artillery Battalion and trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before being deployed to the Pacific Theater.

He was a Private First-Class in the Netherlands East Indies in 1944, serving primarily as a clerk battery doing secretarial work. He toured New Guinea, Dutch Guinea, and Morotai Island. There, he witnessed the Battle of Morotai and photographed General MacArthur's landing on September 15, 1944. In mid-1945, he was stationed at Mindanao in the southern Philippines; thus, he participated in—and is decorated for—Philippine Liberation. Among the places, he visited there were Del Monte Airstrip, Malaybalay, Sayre Highway, Macajalar Bay, and the Agusan Plateau. By June 1945, he was promoted to corporal.

During his time in the Pacific, he took many personal photographs with written anecdotes on the back. These describe his daily life, his fellow soldiers, where he went, and what he did. He sent these pictures home to his family and eventually compiled a scrapbook of his time abroad. He returned to the U.S. via the USS Barnett in December 1945 and was honorably discharged January 3, 1946, in Monmouth, NJ. He would become the commander for the Clark-Moetz 2319 Veterans of Foreign Wars post later that year, focusing on soldiers’ readjustment to civilian life. He passed away May 10, 2005, at the age of 82 and was survived by his wife Patricia, brother Charles, and daughter Alice Mae Clinton Russo. The latter makes mention of her mother Helen in her included notes, who is thought to have at least been Clinton’s sweetheart during the war. Alice donated this collection to Florida State University in 2009.


1.00 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

Alice Mae Russo (Daughter of Wrightson Ely Clinton, Sr.)

Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

Processed March 2018

Wrightson Ely Clinton, Sr. collection
Elaine-Mae Ignacio
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