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William Jason Ashenfelter World War II Artifacts and Photographs

Identifier: MSS-4007

Scope and Contents

The collection contains William J. Ashenfelter's World War II memorabilia collected during his tour in Europe as part of the Thirty-first Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Nineteenth Tactical Air Command, Third Army). It includes a pair of leather gauntlets; two belts - one with coins wired onto it; a considerable number of Reichbanknotes and European coins; and a large number of photographs.

Of the photographs, approximately forty are of concentration camps and were taken when the camps were liberated by the Allied forces. Most of these photographs have been laminated with have a typed caption and are very gruesome in nature. The rest of the photographs are primarily aerial shots of landmarks in France and Germany, pictures of bombed out buildings, and photographs of members of the squadron.


  • 1942-1945


Biographical / Historical

William Jason Ashenfelter, son of Charles L. and Margaret Parker Ashenfelter, was born on February 17, 1922, in Centerville, Indiana. He graduated from Hollansburg (Ohio) High School in 1940 and enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps in 1942. During World War II he served as a photographer in the Thirty-first Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron.

He married Alice Jean Fleisch on May 23, 1943; the couple had two daughters, Malenna and Natalie. In 1958, he began work at Marshall Durbin, a poultry processing company based in Birmingham, Alabama; he retired as the Personnel Manager at the Jasper, Alabama, facility in 1993. Ashenfelter died on December 21, 2009, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


1.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



World War II memorabilia collected and photographs taken during Ashenfelter's tour of duty in Europe .


gift of Malenna Sumrall, 2013


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Processed by

Martha Bace, 2014



Guide to the William Jason Ashenfelter World War II Artifacts and Photographs
August 2014
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266