John B. Lomax Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0964

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 54 silver gelatin photographs documenting the African-American soldiers of the 3067 Quartermaster Salvage Collecting Company in training in Wyoming during WWII, with almost all of the photographs annotated with humorous remarks and identifications of the images. There is also a photostatic copy of discharge papers.

A copy of discharge papers belonging to John B. Lomax and accompanying the present photographs suggest that he is the compiler and annotator. Most of the photographs picture the men of the 3067 in uniform, and in the snow, at Camp Guernsey in Wyoming, though a few of the photographs likely show the men in service in Europe or on their way there, with a tropical backdrop to more than one image. The men clown around outside the mess hall, pose outside barracks after visiting the rifle range, stand at attention with rifles, sit in Jeeps, stand casually in the snow, and more. A small panorama pictures the entire African-American unit standing proudly behind their four white officers.

The annotations note several other soldiers by name or nickname, including Overton ("Old saw dust brain"), Ben, Taylor, Johnny Boy, "Old Spraglin," Veasy ("The mail man himself...the morale of the company"), Gibson, Lee, "G.L Gip," and an unnamed motor sergeant ("Now don't ask about this guy. He's the motor sgt. for the company. Dead buddies we are"). Lomax wrote sarcastic remarks on the back of almost all of the photographs.

John B. Lomax was born and raised in Atlanta. He was inducted into the Army at Fort Benning, and discharged at Fort McPherson, Ga. He is likely the same John B. Lomax who passed away in Atlanta in 2010, having been widowed by Helen Lomax some time ago. One photograph of an African-American soldier in the present grouping is inscribed "Love to Helen" on the front, with a long inscription to her on the back, signed "Always, Cooks." This is likely a nickname for Lomax, or his preferred name when writing to his wife.

Dates

  • circa 1944 - 1946 April

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu.

Biographical Note - John B. Lomax

John B. Lomax was born and raised in Atlanta. He was inducted into the Army at Fort Benning, and discharged at Fort McPherson, Ga. He is likely the same John B. Lomax who passed away in Atlanta in 2010, having been widowed by Helen Lomax some time ago. One photograph of an African-American soldier in the present grouping is inscribed "Love to Helen" on the front, with a long inscription to her on the back, signed "Always, Cooks." This is likely a nickname for Lomax, or his preferred name when writing to his wife. Lomax himself earned distinction as the winner of a World War II Victory Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with One Bronze Star, and the American Service Medal. Lomax served as a technician fifth grade for about two years before being honorably discharged from the Army on Apr. 22, 1946.

According to the discharge papers, the 3067 Quartermasters served in Central Europe. Salvage companies, sometimes employing Axis P.O.W.s, retrieved discarded or abandoned materiel, both friendly and hostile, and were often responsible for the re-burial of Allied dead.

Extent

.21 Linear Feet (1 Half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection contains 54 photographs documenting the African-American soldiers of the 3067 Quartermaster Salvage Collecting Company in training in Wyoming during WWII, with almost all of the photographs annotated with humorous remarks and identifications of the images. There is also a photostatic copy of discharge papers.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Title
Finding Aid for the John B. Lomax Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Zach Johnson
Date
April 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

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