M.H. Mitchell, Inc. 47th Fighter Squadron collection

M.H. Mitchell, Inc. 47th Fighter Squadron collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Library
Creator: Unknown
Title: M.H. Mitchell, Inc. 47th Fighter Squadron collection
Dates: 1940-2005
Quantity: 4.4 Linear feet 2 document boxes, 3 oversized boxes
Coll. Number: ms3399

Biographical/Historical Note

The 47th Fighter Squadron became active in 1940 and was designated the 47th Pursuit Squadron, one of three squadrons in the 15th Pursuit Group. The 15th Fighter Group was in turn part of the 20th Air Force based on Iwo Jima. They were the only single engine fighter group flying VLR (Very Long Range) missions off Iwo Jima, and escorted B-29s to Japan.

The 47th Pursuit Squadron participated in numerous campaigns from 1940 to 1945, flying aircraft that included P-10, P-26, P-36, P-47, and P-51. The squadron was credited with shooting down eight Japanese aircraft on 7 December 1941, and was inactivated on 15 October 1946.

The 47th was re-designated the 47th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in 1952. Many changes, moves, and reactivations have occured in the ensuing decades.

Scope and Content Note

Collection consists of photographs, writings and printed materials documenting the activities of the 47th Fighter Squadron during World War II, as well as its reunion activites and several artifacts from Iwo Jima.

Index Terms

47th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter).
Mitchell, David
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, American.
World War, 1939-1945--Japan.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

M.H. Mitchell, Inc. 47th Fighter Squadron collection, ms3399, Hargrett Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


1. World War II

11Photographs, 1941-2000
2Photographs (copies)
OS Box
1Panoramas, photographs and slides
13Mission reports- 47th Fighter Squadron, 1945
4Mission reports- 15th Fighter Group, 1945
5Mission reports- Air Force Operation Reports, 1945
6Mission reports- copies, various
7Writings- Iwo Jima Diary, by Henry C. Ryniker, 1945 February 1-September 24
8Writings- book of humorous songs, by Henry G. Sanders, 1940-1945
9Writings- humorous poems, by Henry G. Sanders, 1940-1945

2. Veterans and Reunions

110Histories, WWII (photocopies)
11Clippings (mainly Georgia newspapers), 1940-1989
21-2Correspondence of Henry G. Sanders, 1977-1990
3Reunion bulletins and rosters, 1970-1979
5-6Member rosters, 1982-1991
7In Memory- members of the 47th who died during service
8Printed materials- Sunsetter's Gazette (newsletter of the 7th Fighter Command, 1987-2005
9Printed materials- newsletters including the Retrospect, the 8th AF News, the Bluenoser, Afterburner,, 1986-2002
10Printed materials- articles including "Chief of the Sunsetters", "Battle of Leyte Gulf- the Greatest Air and Sea Battle", "Iwo Jima: And I was there"; "Caught on the Ground"; Chapter #3 of an unidentified war narrative.
11Printed materials- magazines including Pacific Fighters, Pacific Air Combat WWII, and P-51 Mustang, 2002-2003
OS BoxCassette
11Chas Kesslig interview (cassette)- taken 3 days before his death, 1999 July 25

3. Artifacts - Iwo Jima

3Four wood-handled toothbrushes and one plastic toothbrush, with kanji (The orange plastic toothbrush has Japanese kanji written down its length. It reads, in short, "Top quality toothbrush.")
Straw sandals, very thin, approximately size 8
Jikatabi with kanji, ankle-high, rubber-soled, approximately size 10-11
Various rocks, including smooth limestone and volcanic rocks, all from Iwo Jima
Carton of tobacco cigarrettes, stamped "Imperial Japan" and printed with national flags
Small carton of tobacco cigarettes, with green text and predator bird
Box carton of tobacco cigarettes, with small kanji
Military issued safety razor
Accompanying objects for razor: one small box containing two blades and a cloth pad for the razor blade
Olive green plastic case of kanji-inscribed eraser, Japanese coinage, needle and thread, and numerous pin tips
One unmarked red chopstick
Five blue pencils with kanji with paper band holding it together
Two bamboo objects, likely water stoppers
4Golden-yellow senninbari with red thread throughout
White tiger belt senninbari with red threaded tiger (The white tiger belt senninbari has its 1000 red stitches on the inside in the pattern of a tiger with two large red kanji on either side. It is not apparent which side the belt was worn as both sides have wear. The item was originally white but now is dirty and stained, as to be expected.)
Tiny scrap of white cloth with Japanese kanji
3.5 foot long white flag with naval symbol and kanji
Ornate white, blue, and purple bandana (possibly a hachimaki)
Flotation bladder, air pillow
Pouch with two metal buttons and kanji
Two hachimaki with large kanji
Silk cloth with several images
Brown cloth with white kanji and colored stripes