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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Philip and Alma Oliver Papers

 Collection
Identifier: CSWS-0045

Series I: World War II Materials, 1941 September-1945 September 27 -- Series I consists of a military orders notebook, U.S. Marine Corps documents including Oliver's discharge papers, photographs of Oliver and fellow Marines, and a MAG-25 patch.

Series II: MAG-25 and SCAT Reunion Materials, 1954 September-1998 November -- Series II contains newspaper clippings, reunion booklets, a MAG-25 squadron insignia photograph, and scrapbooks consisting of reunion ephemera, correspondence, and The New Ton-Tooter newsletters.

Series III: Oversize, 1939 June-1943 April -- Series III contains aviation maps Oliver used while serving as an air crew chief in the Pacific front during World War II.

Dates

  • 1939 June-1998 November

Conditions Governing Access

Manuscript and University Archives collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 24 hours is needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Abstract

The Philip and Alma Oliver WWII Papers contain materials from Master Technical Sergeant Philip M. Oliver's service with Marine Air Group 25 and the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command in the Pacific theater during World War II. It also contains materials from MAG-25 and SCAT reunions.

Biographical/Historical Note

Master Technical Sargeant Philip McAfee Oliver was born February 18, 1923 in Morristown, Tenn. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on May 23, 1941 in Nashville to serve four years. After boot camp training at Parris Island, SC and transferring to Quantico, Va., he trained as an aviation machinist at the Chicago Technical and Vocational School. After graduating from training, he transferred to the West Coast where he trained with the VMJ-152 air squadron at Camp Kearney, California, alongside flight and ground crews that were to be sent to the Pacific warfront. He transferred to the VMJ-153 squadron, part of Marine Air Group 25 (MAG-25), and eventually became its check crew leader.

Oliver served overseas beginning in June 1943 as the flying crew chief on routine flights. These flights included Espiritu Santo; Efate; Guadalcanal; Auckland, New Zealand via Norfolk Islands; Sidney, Australia; and other locations throughout the Pacific. He was then assigned to the 1st Marine Division as crew chief for the personal plane of Major General William H. Rupertus. Oliver served as transportation sergeant and flew co-pilot on the personal plane. He participated in the consolidation of the Northern Solomon Islands, New Georgia, and the Peleliu Islands.

In December 1944, Oliver rotated back to the United States. He reported to Marine Air Group 35 in El Centro, Ca. in January 1945. He trained in airplane and engine mechanics at the Curtis Tech Institute and after graduating from training became the squadron's engineering chief. He oversaw design modifications and changing, testing and evaluating aircraft.

Oliver became part of the first group from the West Coast to be honorably discharged after World War II. When he was discharged from active duty on September 27, 1945 in San Diego, his final rank was Master Technical Sergeant and he was authorized to wear aircrewmen's wings.

Beginning in 1956, Oliver and his wife, Alma, attended reunions for Marines who were part of the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command (SCAT) and MAG-25 during WWII. The annual reunions took place in locations across the U.S. and Canada.

MAG-25 and SCAT

The South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command (SCAT) was a joint command of U.S. military logistics units in the Pacific theater during WWII. Formally organized in November 1942, SCAT consolidated MAG-25 squadrons VMJ-253, VMR-152 (renamed from VMJ-152), and VMR-153 (renamed from VMJ-153), and the U.S. Army Air Force's 13th Troop Carrier Squadron, into one group. The group transported cargo on transport missions that included locations such as Guadalcanal, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Russell Islands, New Georgia, and Bougainville. MAG-25 and SCAT continued operations in China after the war ended, until it returned to the U.S. in June 1946. MAG-25 was decommissioned in May 1947, established as a provisional version in February 1950, and officially deactivated in January 1956.

Arrangement

The collection consists of three boxes. The collection is arranged in the following series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: World War II Materials, 1941 September - 1945 September 27 -- Box 1
  2. Series II: MAG-25 and SCAT Reunion Materials, 1954 September-1998 November -- Boxes 1-3
  3. Series III: Oversize, 1939 June-1943 April 15

Previous Citation

Materials in this collection were originally cited as part of MS.2112. It was then listed as CSWS.WWII.3.0011 until receiving its current number. All materials from the previous collection are contained within this collection.

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated by Philip and Alma Oliver to Special Collections via the Center for the Study of War and Society.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480