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Archives at The Museum of Flight

"So, Major Ralph Wandrey, What Did You Do During the War?" -- DVD, undated

 File — Carton: Video Box 1
The Ralph Wandrey Fighter Ace Collection documents fighter pilot and ace Ralph Wandrey's World War II service as well as activities associated to his veteran status, from 1935-2009. A smaller amount of material is personal in nature. Types of material include military records, a pilot's log, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, pamphlets, personal and educational records and clippings, among others. The collection has been arranged into three main series: Military Service, Veteran Affairs and Personal. Due to the relatively small size of each series, they have been ordered alphabetically.

Series I: Military Service materials consists primarily of Wandrey's military records and retirement documentation, 1942-1946. Additional materials include clippings, correspondence, a DVD with what is presumably an interview with Wandrey and his flight log.

Thirty-nine photographs are also present, including vintage prints and digital reprints. Sizes vary from 3x5" to 8x10". The images are a mix of casual and posed black-and-white prints and depict Wandrey and his fellow servicemen in military activities and settings, including with aircraft. Other images feature recreational activities, such as dining and sight-seeing. There are also two poster-size photographic reproductions. One is a black-and-white group portrait of servicemen in front of an obscured aircraft. Presumably these are members of 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group. Eleven men have gold star stickers on them, while two have silver stars. It is unknown what this signifies. The other poster is for the 9th Fighter Squadron and includes the squadron insignia and aerial victory markings as well as an honor roll and aces list, although the names are mostly illegible. Most of the photographs do not include captions to provide contextual information, such as names, dates, or years. Duplication occurs.

Series II: Veteran Affairs files includes brochures, correspondence, honor rolls, photographs and ephemera. Most materials are dated 1969-2009 and focus on assorted veterans' associations with the 49th Fighter Group and P-38 Association as most prevalent. There is a small amount of material which appears to have been used as display signage, likely at Association meetings. A highlight is a history of the 9th Fighter Squadron written by Wandrey in 1985. Additional materials include a small amount of commemorative material related to Major Richard I. Bong, known as "America's Ace of Aces." The items are mostly from the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center and include brochures, postcards and background information on the Center. The VFW San Juan Marne Post #733, of which Wandrey was a member, is also well-represented with a 1969-1970 scrapbook. The scrapbook was disassembled for preservation reasons but materials were retained in original order. The dark gray leatherette cover was also kept for context. It includes a VFW insignia above a glued-on color photograph of a brick wall with signage that reads "V.F.W. Post 733." Materials within the scrapbook include clippings, 39 photographs and newsletters.

Last is Series III: Personal files which consists of textual and visual items that focus on Wandrey's early education and employment, CAA and FAA documentation, and also includes assorted clippings and 17 photographs. The photographs are a mix of black-and-white and color and range in size. Most are casual snapshots and depict unidentified people, likely friends and family, mostly at gatherings. Four are photographic Christmas cards from the Shaffer family, although it is unknown if they were friend or family. Very few photographs have captions. A highlight in this series is Wandrey's personal scrapbook, which has been disassembled for preservation reasons, although original page order was retained. Ranging from 1934 to 1945, it primarily showcases his activities prior to his military enlistment although a few items within are relevant to his military training and service. Materials include school report cards, ephemera from church, scouting, and assorted social activities, greeting cards, clippings, membership cards, and photographs. Most of the photographs were found loose in the final page of the scrapbook and feature a few family members, including Wandrey. Lastly, there is a very small amount of documents pertaining to Verla Bahr, including her 1941 high school diploma and cover as well as a clipping about her 1944 wedding to Wandrey.


  • undated

Conditions Governing Access

The DVD is currently not available, pending preservation measures. This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.


1 Videodiscs : DVD


Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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