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William G. Keen World War II Papers

 Collection
Identifier: CSWS-0011

These papers document the military training and career of an Army Air Force lieutenant who served in Europe during and after World War II. It includes several years of correspondence, primarily from W. George Keen to his parents, but also from his brother and cousin, as well as a variety of others. His training documents include manuals, textbooks, notes, and a yearbook from the AAF Technical Training Comand in Miami Beach, Florida, during the year that Clark Gable was also a student. Keen saved several large, professional photos of friends, planes, and a General Motors exhibit in Dayton, Ohio. The collection also includes an issue of many different magazines and newspapers from his various posts. Memorabilia includes brochures, church bulletins, postcards, ticket stubs, and many receipts.

Dates

  • 1938-1948

Language

The material in this collection is in English.

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

1.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

These papers document the military training and career of William G. Keen, an Army Air Force lieutenant who served in Europe during and after World War II. The collection includes several years of correspondence, training documents, professional photos, issues of many different magazines and newspapers from his various posts, as well as an assortment of memorabilia saved from service and travel.

Biographical/Historical Note

William George Keen was born on October 2, 1912 in Huntsville, Tennessee to Willard and Esther (Walton) Keen. He was the third of five children, with a younger brother named Charles, who also served during WWII. He graduated from the University of Chattanooga, and then enlisted on February 21, 1942. Keen graduated from Officer Candidate School in October (with the actor, Clark Gable) and the Army Air Force Intelligence School in December, 1942. During the War, Keen served as a First Lieutenant in the 8th and 9th Army Air Force, and after the war he stayed in Germany with the U.S. High Commissioner to serve as a Foreign Service Officer in the role of governor in Bavaria. He married Lilly Wolfrum in 1951 and began his diplomatic career with the U.S. Consulate, living in Italy, Switzerland, the Azores, and Trinidad before retiring to live in Silver Springs, Florida. Keen died on July 13, 2007 in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Arrangement

This collection has been divided into four series:

Missing Title

  1. Correspondence
  2. Military Documents
  3. Memorabilia
  4. Publications

Previous Citation

This collection was originally listed as part of MS.1764, MS.1881, and MS.2112. It was then listed as CSWS.WWII.1.0011 until receiving its current number.

Acquisition Note

These papers were transferred 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