Call Number  MS-25

Name:  William Dean Mathes [1909-1969] Collection

Dates:  1941-42

Size:  1 Scrapbook, 1 folder of paper

History:  William Dean Mathes [1909-1969], of Morristown, Tennessee, served in World War II, in both the German and Pacific theaters. He served from 1944-1946, first in Germany and later in the Philippines after the German Surrender.  He was a military policeman and a member of the Regimental Band.  Before and after the worked as a book keeper and served at various times as a band director and choir director.  He died in Nashville, Tennessee, where he had moved two years before, in 1969.  His wife was Davee Walker [Mathes] and they married in 1930.  Gladys Walker, Mathes' sister-in-law created this scrapbook, with assistance from his mother, Ida Louise Mathes and his wife, Davee.  They  worked on this scrapbook from December 1941 through 1942. 

Scope and Content:  Early pages contain newspaper coverage of the attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent analysis.  Only a few of the newspapers have dates, but the scrapbook does seem chronological.  There is no indication of a newspaper name on any of the clippings.  Dates and events are hand written by some of the clippings.  All types of clippings are included, from “war at a glance” short lists, to long analyses and large maps.  The Pacific theater and early Japanese victories are well covered, but Russia and Europe are also covered.  The scrapbook is unique in that it provides in one place a number of articles and perspectives on the early years of the war.  Included with the scrapbook is a folder of papers related to Mathes' military service.  There are photographs, a letter of commendation from his commanding officer, his discharge papers, and a brief biography.

Processing Notes: The scrapbook was originally in a small black 3 ring binder.  It has been retained, separately.  The scrapbook pages have been enclosed in mylar and are in a new loose-leaf binder.  The pages retain their original order, mostly chronological.  Loose clippings have been mounted and placed at the end of the binder, chronologically, in a separate section.  Six oversized items have been removed from the book and placed in the map case.  They are listed below:

Subject Headings:

Mathes, William Dean

Mathes, Ida Louise

Mathes, Davee Louise

Walker, Gladys

Mullican, Rebecca

World War II




United States—War




1 white binder with scrapbook pages

1 black binder empty

1 folder with loose pages

6 oversized pieces:

  • 1.      Know Them: Insignia of Ranks
  • 2.      Burma Battle Map
  • 3.      Alaska, Frontier of Defense
  • 4.      Service Insignia
  • 5.      The Big News Parades Through the Year in Review
  • 6.      Pacific Theater of War

Processing Date: 10/2001