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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Clifford E. Keenan Papers

Identifier: MS-2075

The collection is divided into three boxes. The first box houses correspondence (including letters, postcards, cards, and V-mail) written between Private Clifford Keenan and his mother, father, and grandmother between October 1942 and July 1944. The second box contains correspondence with friends, cards and postcards, military memorabilia, photographs, and photocopies of letters. The third box houses such oversized materials as a letter, a framed photograph, and some of Keenan's military decorations, including a campaign ribbon awarded to soldiers who served in at least one D-Day Invasion event where they were under fire and participated in a naval landing.

Many of these letters have been transcribed and published in book form by Clifford Keenan's younger brother, Hugh Thomas Keenan. This work may be found in MS.3264: World War II Letters of Private Clifford Edward Keenan, 2001.


  • 1942-1944

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are 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.


3.75 Linear Feet


This collection houses correspondence, photographs, and military memorabilia documenting Clifford Edward Keenan's service and death with the 505th Parachute Infantry during World War II.

Biographical/Historical Note

Clifford Edward Keenan was born to Hugh Avery and Jewell Gertrude (Owens) Keenan in Humboldt, Tennessee on August 8, 1920. He was the oldest of three children; his younger brothers were Hugh Thomas (born January 16, 1936) and Joe Thaddeus (born March 5, 1939). After graduating from high school, Clifford Keenan worked briefly for a shoe factory, a filling station, and the Railway Express Office before being drafted into the Army in 1942. He completed his infantry training at Fort Wolters, Texas, and his paratrooper training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Keenan was assigned to Company D of the 1st Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry (part of the 82nd All American Airborne Division) and was deployed to Europe. He was killed in action on June 6, 1944 during the D-Day invasion.


This collection consists of three boxes.

Acquisition Note

Hugh T. Keenan donated these papers to the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections on 2008 March 14.

Repository Details

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

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA