Institute on WWII and the Human Experience: 02.00.0236
This collection pertains to Herman C. Giles (Combat Infantry Rifleman with the 103rd Infantry Division), who served in the European Theater. He served as a corpsman with a medical detachment to the 66th Infantry Division according to his typed "Background" statement. His discharge papers note that he was a rifleman in Company G, 411th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division, serving in the European Theater, 1943-1945. Giles was stationed at Camp Blanding in 1943, Columbus, GA, for Air Corps training in 1943, and then Texas for infantry training. This collection contains a number of letters on Camp Blanding stationery. He describes Camp Blanding as "a mile and a half in the middle of hell" in a letter dated 3/5/1943. A letter dated 4/11/43 includes a diagram and floor plan of Camp Blanding itself. He then transferred with his unit to France and saw combat in the Vosges Mountains with the 103rd Infantry Division. This collection contains 208 letters, 15 V-mails, 11 telegrams, and one postcard to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Giles of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Herman Giles was born in Nashville, Tennessee). There are also eight photographs in the collection (one in color and seven in black and white) of his family, the 103rd Infantry Division, the U.S. Mainland and the European Theater, and photographs of him in London, England, Dallas, Texas, Stark, Florida, Nashville, Tennessee, and Dillingen, Germany. It also contains letters from Giles to his parents and scrapbook items. The collection also contains an oral history transcript of an interview provided by the Reichelt Program for Oral History. The collection also includes a 14-page manuscript entitled "History, Background, and Synopsis of Military Career."