Robert E. Murphy Collection

Collection Guide


Personal papers related to the World War II military experiences of University of Scranton alumnus Robert (Bob) E. Murphy '49, who served in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.
Robert E. Murphy
Date Range
1930s - 1950s
1 box

Access and Use

Digital Access

No digital access is currently available for materials in this collection.

Physical Access

Physical materials may be browsed by appointment in the Reading Room of the University Archives and McHugh Special Collections.


Items in The University of Scranton Archives and Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections may be made available to visiting researchers to support research, scholarship, education, and private study under an assertion of fair use (17 U.S.C. 107). The University of Scranton respects the intellectual property rights of others and does not claim any copyright interest in these materials. It is your responsibility to determine the ownership and status of copyright in any materials you may wish to use beyond fair use, and obtain the permission of the copyright owner, if needed. Individuals or organizations holding additional information about the copyright status of items in this collection are invited to contact the University Archives and McHugh Special Collections staff at

Preferred Citation

[Item Title], [Folder], [Box], Robert E. Murphy Collection, McHugh Special Collections, The University of Scranton.


Administrative/Biographical History

Robert (Bob) E. Murphy, class of 1949, was born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania and served in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force during World War II.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 1 box with 31 folders that contain Murphy's personal papers related primarily to his World War II military experiences.

System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged into 5 series:

  • Series I: Pre-Military
  • Series II: United States Army
  • Series III: United States Air Force-Records
  • Series IV: Post Military
  • Series V: Miscellaneous


Series I. Pre-Military

Folder 1. Aviation
  • Frank Wiggins Trade School postcard dated August 25, 1939: notification to report for training in Airplane Mechanics on September 11, 1939
  • Letter from Fletcher Aviation Corp. in Burbank, CA dated January 23, 1941 re: stock in airplane model Basic Trainer FBT-2
  • Letter of recommendation from Don Gray, Night Foreman at Vega Airplane dated February 13, 1941
  • Undated certificate of service for 1 year from Vega Airplane Company in Los Angeles City High School District Diploma of Graduation holder
  • Frank Wiggins Trade School postcard dated June 30, 1941: diploma ready
Folder 2. Correspondence
  • Colored postcard of surf riding at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu (dated May 19, 1937)
  • Colored postcard of Greetings from Pennsylvania (dated August 20, 1938)
  • Postcard sent to Bob Murphy at 3153 Mina St., Whittier, CA (cancellation date of October 3, 1939)
  • Personal letter addressed to Bob Murphy at 635E Elmwood Ave in Burbank, CA (cancellation date of February 13, 1941)
  • Personal letter from Clara with return address of 3991 Hepburn Ave., Los Angeles, CA sent to Bob Murphy of 635 E. Elmwood Ave., Burbank, CA (dated February 13, 1941 with cancellation date of February 13, 1941)
  • Personal letter from Archbald to Robert Murphy at 635 E. Elmwood in Burbank, CA: how people around town are doing (dated March 27, cancellation date of April 4, 1941)
  • Picture postcard of Yachts at anchor in Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL, the Aquarium ship in foreground; from Julia of West Palm Beach, Florida, sent to Robert Murphy at 635E Elmwood Avenue, Burbank, CA (cancellation date of April 26, 1941)
  • Drawn colored postcard with joke about eggs on cover, from Jay Makulski of Baltimore, MD, sent to Bob Murphy in Burbank, CA; Addressed to Dear Skinny (cancellation date of September 11, 1941)
  • Letter in pencil from Mag & Dad and all the Murphs in brown envelope (dated October 16, 1941)
Folder 3. Diaries and Notebooks
  • Diary of Robert Murphy 138 S. Main St., Archbald, PA covering the period from June 19, 1938 to September 16, 1938
    • Looks like order receipt pad but called the Forester from USDA
    • Duty as military police in Tobyhanna
    • Describes countryside as travels through several states from New York to Arizona via Indiana, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico
    • Settled in Round Valley, Arizona - "The most beautiful night I’ve ever seen starlit heavens, full silvery moon and gentle balmy breezes stirring from among the hills. This night shall remain indelible in my mind.” (July 12)
    • Kingman, Arizona:  “40 miles from town, 40 miles from water, 10 miles from hell, God bless our home”  (July 19)
    • Temperatures up to 126-132 degrees
    • "Russian-Japanese war started today.  All trouble settled." (July 31)
    • Into Range Survey School.
    • "Went surveying in the Colorado River Region.  Finished up at Parker Dam.  On the shores of the dam we   killed 1 big rattler and eight (8) small ones along with a “scorpion.’  Colorado waters very warm.  My first real swim in the West." (August 22, Yucca, Arizona)
    • Went to Whittier, CA and enjoyed himself very much, listening to bands (September 5)
    • Returned to Round Valley (September 12)
    • Paper in back of diary:  List of morning class from Stan with Murphy listed as living in Burbank
  • Diary covering period from September 17, 1938 to December 28, 1938 in same type receipt pad
  • Black notebook with class notes and accounts listing as well as family birthdates, 1939-1941
Folder 4. Diaries and Notebooks
  • Small 5" x 3" green (leather?) spiral notebook belonging to Robert Murphy - autographs with addresses; some dated June 1938, 8/38; some with sayings, some from Yucca, Arizona, some from PA
  • Green Memorandum Book with expenditures noted September 1939 and cash received.  Includes cost of materials.
  • Black notebook signed twerps with accounting of expenses
Folder 5. Life Insurance
  • 9 pieces of correspondence related to life insurance
Folder 6. Miscellaneous
  • Confirmation of receipt of radio message (dated October 13, 1940)
  • Green notebook International Association of Machinists (dated October 11, 1940)
  • Newspaper clipping: Round Valley C.C.C. camp will give a dance on Saturday, October 29th to which the public of Mohave county is invited. Chaperoned transportation to and from the dance will be furnished for Kingman girls
Folder 7. Photographs
Folder 8. Photographs
  • Muzette Woods, Camp F-9, March 1937
  • 1 black and white photo of girl in coat during winter marked "March blizzard Sunday 10th 1941 Margie a la Lamair" on back
  • Professional photograph, blue suit and tie With small photo of family marked May 75
Folder 9. Photographs
  • Black photo album, 1939
Folder 10. School Related Items
  • Martial Arts Evening High School ID card
  • Personal card with notes on back: Commencement Exercises June 10, 1936
  • North Hollywood Evening High School ID card
Folder 11. Selective Service Pre-Military
  • Registration certificate for Board #182 with Bob living in Burbank (dated October 16, 1940)
  • Class II A (dated May 23, 1941)
  • Selective service postcard cancellation date Nov 22, 1941 sent to Burbank address of 215 E. Elmwood explaining Bob’s II-A Classification expired; instructed to have employer submit affidavit of employment at once if you wish to enjoy continued deferment

Series II. United States Army

Folder 12. Selective Service - United States Army
  • Selective Service notice of classification of Class 2B (dated December 5, 1941)
  • Letter: Notice of continuation of classification II-B (dated March 7, 1942)
  • Letter: Enlistment in Army Air Corps (dated March 7, 1942)
  • Notice of classification I-C (dated April 24, 1942)
Folder 13. Records
  • Brown envelope marked Pilots' Information File (dated February 1, 1944)
Folder 14. Records
  • Parachute log record
  • Peach colored postcard Form no. 160a-US Army transport First Class
  • Pilot and crew member physical record card
  • Soldier's individual pay record
  • Change of status notice (4)
  • Efficiency report
  • Individual issue record
  • Scoresheet for officer candidates with handwritten letter attached (dated June 11, 1943)
  • Hobbs, New Mexico Special orders (dated June 16, 1943)
  • Shipping ticket (dated November 3, 1943)
  • Letter to Bradley from Murphy (dated December 10, 1943)
  • Letter from Bradley to Murphy (dated December 18, 1943)
Folder 15: Army Air Forces Basic Flying School
  • Aviation Cadet Identification Card, Minter Field, Bakersfield, California
  • Certificate of Appointment as Corporal in the Aviation Cadet Wing (dated January 22, 1943)
Folder 16: United States Army Years Correspondence
  • Personal letter from friend Joe or Joey or Jay from Balto (Baltimore), MD to Bob Murphy at Van Nuys, California: "I’m still at it for Bethlehem Steel, making ships." (letter dated  May 19, 1942, cancellation date of May 20, 1942)
  • Photo postcard of Lake Tomah, Tomah, Wisconsin, from Vera Jane, sent to Bob Murphy at 14348 1/2 Sylvan St., Van Nuys, California (cancellation date June 13, 1942)
  • Personal letter written in pencil, from Dad (J. A. Murphy) with   in Harrisburg, PA to S/Sgt. R.E. Murphy, 47 Liaison Sqdn, Brownwood, Texas (dated November 14, 1943, cancellation date of November 15, 1943): Works on Pratt & Whitney 1830-twin engine 14 cylinders. There are 5 operations in tearing them down. Father got into argument about who was first to fly: Wright brothers or Prof. Langley. Father remembered from St. Thomas that it was Langley. Father separated from wife, working near Hershey
Folder 17. Discharge Papers
  • Honorable discharge Army of the United States, laminated with enlisted record on back (reduced in size) (dated July 14, 1944)
  • Notification of Discontinuance of Allotment with Date of Separation of July 14, 1944 and effective date of July 31, 1944
  • Letter from War Department Finance Section Unit C, Separation Center-45, Indiantown Gap Mil Res Penna; requesting Robert Murphy to complete form regarding when he was called to active duty, and his home address at the time (cancellation date of January 7, 1946)
Folder 18. Miscellaneous
  • Newspaper Clipping: Sunday News (August 25, 1946)
Folder 19. Photographs
  • Soldier and ?Father, Marked Summer 1944
  • July 1944, assume Bob Murphy in uniform on lawn
  • Photo: Joe-Bob-Duke "Pom-pom pavillon" February 1945, Netherlands, East Indies
  • Soldier, Summer 1944
  • Soldier in front of window, Summer 1944
  • New Guinea November 44, "The Three stooges"
  • Black and white photo; New Guinea Beach Glider Guiders on back Nov. ‘44 with men identified by name on back, includes Bob from PA
  • 2nd Glider Echelon, 65th Troop Carrier April, 1945
  • Soldier, marked Marty Germany Winter 45-46
  • Envelope from Archibald, Pa with photographs: New Guinea Nov 1944, Soldier posed with weapon, soldier posed with gun, soldier standing with gun, soldier posing with gun and dog in background, airplane Mainliner with people walking, airplane Mainliner without people, 4 people, 3 men (middle person with camera), men in front of Gate sign, negative of 5 people posing, professional photo, wallet size with date of 9-23-39; colored postcard of Enoch Pratt Library (dated December 17, 1941)

Series III. United States Air Force - Records

Folder 20. Air Force Period Correspondence
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked September 25, 1944)
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked February 14, 1945)
  • Postal card marked D-Day (postmarked October 20, 1945)
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked November 2, 1945)
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked November 2, 1945)
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked November 23, 1945)
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked December 1, 1945)
  • Handwritten letter (postmarked January 26, 1946)
  • Handwritten report (dated March 15, 1946)
Folder 21. Air Force Period Newspaper clipping
Folder 22. Air Force Period Photographs
Folder 23. Air Force Period Records

Series IV. Post Military

Folder 24. Correspondence
  • Handwritten letter (dated March 20, 1946)
  • Handwritten letter (dated August 13, 1946)
  • Handwritten letter (dated October 30, 1946)
  • Letter in envelope to Mr. & Mrs. John Beaver & Family (cancellation date of April 12, 1947)
Folder 25. Photographs
  • John Beaver in shop (dated December 1951)
Folder 26. University of Scranton
  • Transcript
  • Commencement pamphlet with Robert Murphy graduating with BS in Business Administration, June 1949
  • Alumni Society credential of membership (June 3, 1949)

Series V. Miscellaneous

Folder 27. Correspondence
  • Handwritten letter dated September 25 from Archibald, PA
  • Wedding invitation addressed to The Garcons
  • Picture postcard of Golden Gate Park
Folder 28. Japanese Material
  • 4 items
Folder 29. Miscellaneous Material
  • Leather name tag
  • Whistler’s Diploma card
Folder 30. Notebooks
  • Small brown notebook, Record of flights, year unknown
  • Medium notebook, record of flights, year unknown
Folder 31. Photographs
  • 15 loose photographs
  • 1 poster of pilots
  • 1 professional photograph, man in uniform
Unfoldered Materials
  • 1 empty professional photographer's frame
  • 1 diploma, Latin