Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Collection Title: John T. Irvan Papers
Series Number: MS12-23
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Dieter C. Ullrich in September of 2012.
Date Listed: September 18, 2012
Date Span: 1944-2004
Size of Collection: 0.25 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 1 letter half size document case.
Type of Material: Correspondence, certificates, photographs, postcards, drawings and newspaper clippings.
Condition of Material: Fair with some fading and foxing due to aging and improper storage.
Arrangement: Organized by format of material; Chronological arrangement.
Biographical / Historical Information: John T. Irvan served as enlisted soldier in the Second World War in the United States Army. He was born on September 29, 1917 at Murray, Kentucky. He attended local public schools and graduated from Murray State Teachers College (presently Murray State University) in 1940. Prior to the war, he taught briefly and worked at an ammunition plant. Irvan was drafted into the service on September 21, 1943. He trained at Camp Wheeler near Macon, Georgia and was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment of the First Army Division on March 23, 1944. He was immediately sent to Wemouth, England where his regiment prepared for the D-Day invasion. His unit landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on the morning of June 6, 1944. He was awarded a Silver Medal for his actions on that day. His regiment traveled through France, Belgium, Czech Republic and Germany. He saw combat during the Battle at Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged from the service on October 12, 1945. Following the war, he worked as a tobacco seller for the U. S. Tobacco Company. He retired in 1989 and died on January 7, 2004.
Scope and Content: Collection consists of a dozen color sketches drawn by Private John T. Irvin while serving in Europe during the Second World War. The collection contains biographical information, certificates and awards, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings and brief histories of the First Division of the United States Army published during and after the war. Included with the collection are letters from his close friend Ernest E. Nikkel, who served in the First Division during the Second World War.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Irvan, John Thomas, 1917-2004
Nikkel, Ernest E., 1914-2006
World War, 1939-1945 - Personal narratives, America.
United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 16th (1869-1957)
Soldiers – Kentucky – Calloway County.
1. Biographical Information
2. Certificates and Awards
3. Correspondence 1994-2004
4. Drawings 1944-1945
5. First Division History
6. Newspaper Clippings 1944-1945
8. Postcards-Europe 1940s