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Guide to the Grace Avery Lillard Papers
(bulk, 1943-1945)
 MS 3069

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 10, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

The strength of the collection stems from its items documenting Grace Avery Lillard's World War II military experiences as technician, 5th grade, Women's Army Corps (WAC) Detachment, 1st Tactical Air Force (Provisional). These include her pocket Bible, letters sent home to her parents, and 9-page typescript account of her time in service—"This is Your Story! An Account of the WAC Detachment 1st Tactical Air Force (Prov.)"—written while stationed in Ansbach, Germany, near the end of the war in 1945. Lillard describes her basic training, her transport by troopship, accommodations in Europe, air-raid warnings, bombings, cryptographic work, and voluntary nursing at a military hospital. Lillard's scrapbook contains hundreds of photographs, virtually all of them identified, and many accompanied by ephemera, tickets, programs, newspaper clippings, maps, and receipts.

The collection also contains scattered material from Grace Lillard's civilian life, both before and after her WAC service, such as her 12th grade report card (1936–1937), a program signed by actress Jeannette MacDonald (1939), a chapbook of poems she wrote and self-published for friends (circa 1964), two passports with travel stamps for Croatia, Greece, and other European countries, and assorted photographs of family, friends, and Lillard herself, ranging in date from World War I to 1960.


The Grace Avery Lillard Papers are organized in two series:

Series I. Personal papers, 1915-1990
Series II. Women's Army Corps service, circa 1941-1945

The material is generally filed in chronological order within each series, except for the photographs in Series I, which are grouped at the end. Similarly, because of its size, the scrapbook in Series II is filed out of chronological order, at the end of that series.