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Grant Gordon Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-4309

Scope and Contents

This collection contains family documents, military documents, and approximately forty-seven photographs depicting Grant Gordon's family and military life in the 1940s. Of particular interest are Mr. Gordon's military records and photographs from his time serving as a squad leader in the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only African American combat unit included in the first assault forces to land on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

Dates

  • 1944 - 2003

Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of this collection have been restricted by Archives and Special Collections. Contact University Libraries Special Collections at archives@ua.edu or 205.348.0500 for information on access to the restricted portions of this collection.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections (archives@ua.edu) with questions regarding specific manuscript collections.

For more information about copyright policy, please visit: https://www.ua.edu/copyright/. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Grant Gordon (1917-2003) was born in Houston, Mississippi, to Grant Peter Lee Gordon and Darthula Barbee, and was the youngest of six children. The family moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, when Grant was six months old, running a truck farm raising vegetables and selling them door-to-door. In 1935, he graduated from South Beloit High School in Illinois, and moved with his sister, Louise, to Milwaukee. They both entered Milwaukee State Teachers College, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1940. One month after graduating, Grant was drafted into the Army as the United States entered World War II. Grant was sent to Officer's School at Camp Steward, Georgia, and graduated as a First Lieutenant. He was then sent to Anti-Aircraft Artillery School at Camp Davis, North Carolina. He served in various capacities in Europe, and was the leader of a squad of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only African American combat unit included in the first assault forces to land on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. He received a commendation from General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After his honorable discharge, Grant returned to Milwaukee and began his career as a teacher at Fourth Street School and Fifth Street School. In 1958, he was appointed to the position of vice principal, and would later serve as the principal of Grant Avenue School from 1960 through 1968. He was the first African American principal in the Milwaukee Public School System. In 1968 he became General Assistant to the Superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools, supervising principals of elementary schools. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1981. He died in 2003.

Extent

.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Family documents, military documents, and approximately forty-seven photographs depicting Grant Gordon's family and military life in the 1940s. Of particular interest are Mr. Gordon's military records and photographs from his time serving as a squad leader in the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only African American combat unit included in the first assault forces to land on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The University of Alabama Libraries acquired the Grant Gordon Collection in 2021.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Rayman, November 2021.
Title
Guide to the Grant Gordon Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Jessica Rayman
Date
November 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266
205.348.0500