Skip to Main Content

World War II Materials: Subject Guide

This is a guide to the materials in the USU Archives that deal with World War II.


Search for rare books, manuscript collections, and other archival material in the LRC catalog.


Search for digitized selections from the USU Archives, including documents, photographs, and full text rare books and manuscript material.

About World War II Materials in the USU Archives

The USU Archives has a number of items relating to World War II across various collections. These materials include U.S. Government publications dealing with field medicine, reports from the German Medical Consultants Conferences, contemporary reports and publications, and historical accounts. 

World War II Collection

Manuscript Collection

The World War II Collection, 1940-1966, includes material produced during the course of World War II. The collection is housed in a legal sized document box and is divided into two series. The finding aid for this collection is linked below

LRC History Collection

The LRC History Collection also contains material related to World War II. The catalog records of selected materials are linked below. Additional material on this topic can be located by searching the LRC Catalog. 

Rudolf Hess Collection

Rudolf Hess (1894-1987) was Adolf Hitler’s deputy and secretary. He was arrested in 1941 after parachuting into Scotland in a behind the scenes attempt to negotiate peace. Hess was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to life in prison at Spandau Prison, Berlin, Germany. During his trial, it became apparent that the strain of the war had left him mentally unstable. He was in prison for over 30 years—far longer than any other Nazi prisoner—under Four Power authority (UK, USA, France, and Soviet Union). He died in prison in 1987 at the age of 93 and was the last surviving member of Hitler’s cabinet. His death was ruled a suicide by self-asphyxiation.

The Rudolf Hess Collection, 1970-1991, includes meeting minutes and health reports from Hess’s incarceration in Spandau Prison, Berlin, Germany. The collection contains agendas and minutes of the meetings of the physicians of the Allied Prison Spandau and other reports regarding Hess’s health from the Four-Power Authorities (UK, USA, France, and Soviet Union). Representatives from each of the four powers conferred on medical treatment options for Hess. The collection also includes Hess’s autopsy report and a clipping on Hess from The Stars and Stripes newspaper (January 23, 1970). Some of the documents are in French and Russian. Hess is frequently referred to as Prisoner #7 within the material. Colonel Ronald R. Blanck acted as the American representation physician to the Four-Powers at the end of Hess’s life. Col. Blanck is a member of the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Blanck mentions his role in the Hess case in his USU oral history interview housed in the USU Archives.

The finding aid for this collection is linked below

Manuscript Collection

German Medical Consultants Conference Collection

The German Medical Consultants Conference Collection, 1942-1944, includes the reports on the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Conference of the Special Medical Consultants. The Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.), Office of Naval Advisor, Medical Section translated the reports from German to English. The reports of the conferences of medical consultants for the German armed forces discuss problems the German Army encountered in Russia; problems not commonly encountered in civilian practice; public health problems within the German Army, including tuberculosis and typhus; and discussion of forensic medicine and tropical hygiene. 

The finding aid for this collection is linked below.

Manuscript Collection

Military Medical Manuals Collection

The Military Medical Manuals Collection covers the years 1912-1975 and includes many undated documents. The collection includes manuals and instructional materials produced by the government to guide military procedures. They relate primarily to medical education within the military and sanitation, but also cover a wide range of medical topics dealt with in the military. A number of the manuals span the time period of World War II and deal with field medicine, circulars from the War Department, and combat sanitation.

The finding aid for this collection is linked below. 


Manuscript Collection

Historical Photographs Collection

The Historical Photographs Collection spans the years 1942-1951. Many of the materials are from the World War II era. The collection is divided into three series based on source of the photographs: Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Photographs, U.S. Army Photographs, and Unidentified Photographs. 


Manuscript Collection

Donald W. Knight, Sr. Collection

The Donald Knight, Sr. Collection includes instructional material, medals, and artifacts that Knight gathered or was awarded during his career in the U.S. Navy. Donald William Knight, Sr. (1917-2014) was a World War II veteran. After the war, he worked at what is now the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) where he taught x-ray technology. He retired in 1959. Of particular interest, is the canvas surgical roll, which includes surgical instruments and ephemera. The majority of the collection dates from World War II.

The finding aid for this collection is linked below.

Manuscript Collection

USU Archives Subject Guides