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Archive Record

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Collection Paul W. Wahler
WVM ID Number WVM Mss 1817
Object Name Archive
Title Papers and still images, 1962-1968.
Year Range from 1962
Year Range to 1968
Event Vietnam War
Description Papers and still images pertaining to the service of Paul W. Wahler, Jr., a Racine, Wisconsin, resident who served in the 14th Engineer Battalion during the Vietnam War. The collection is arranged into two series: materials pertaining to Wahler's service in the military and Vietnam and materials pertaining to his death in Vietnam. The materials pertaining to Wahler's service in Vietnam include manuscripts, a photograph and color slides. Manuscripts include letters to Wahler from fellow servicemen and friends about his service, newsclippings of interest to Wahler or about Wahler. Orders include instructions for Wahler regarding travel for his deployment, what to expect upon arrival in Vietnam, what to bring, promotions and appointments. Certificates include many letters, notifying Wahler or his wife of an award, and corresponding certificates. Oversized materials include several certificates from Wahler's training in Virginia, an advertisement in Vietnamese and an annotated map of Vietnam. Photographs from Wahler's service include a labeled photograph of the 14th Engineer Battalion in Dong Ba Thin, Republic of Vietnam, featuring Wahler and other officers. Color slides date from May, June, August and November 1967 and are all from Vietnam. Wahler took photographs, had slides made, labeled them, then sent them home for his wife to view. Some of these slides are arranged into a particular pattern to view a specific journey or time in his service. Most of these slides are labeled with the contents and the place they were taken. Most of them feature roads and bridges in Phan Thiet, Phan Rang, Dong Ba Thin and Dalat. There are many images of Vietnamese roads, farms, buildings, cities and people. Often, Wahler noted things of interest, such as where he lived on base, who was in the photograph, and what was normal for him to see in Vietnam, such as a van loaded full of people with more passengers on the top. All of the slides from November 1967 are unlabeled, but contain images of roads, bridges, the inside of rooms, airstrips and people. Letters regarding Wahler's death advise his wife about how to receive benefits, notification of posthumous medals and wards for Wahler, and letters of condolence and sympathy from many individuals and groups. Of particular interest in the letters is one dated November 28, 1967, detailing the events that lead to Wahler death the night of November 18, 1967. Of interest is a set of two documents, one in Vietnamese and one in English, announcing that Wahler, among others, had been awarded the National Order of Vietnam, 5th Class from the government of the Republic of Vietnam. Other correspondence consists of several telegrams, dating from November 19 to November 29, 1967, first notifying Mrs. Wahler of her husband's death, and later informing her on details about the transportation of his remains back to the United States. Several certificates are for the completion of various training courses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Also included are a posthumous award of a Bronze Star and a memorial certificate from the government. Oversized materials include posthumous awards given to Wahler. Still images in this collection include photographs and color slides. Photographs pertaining to Wahler's death include two photographs, one of a group of men seated in chairs in front of a building, and one of a man at a podium with a priest next to him. These photographs are mentioned in a letter of condolence from the Chaplain in Wahler's unit as the memorial service for Wahler. There are three color photographs, one of the Pershing Rifles at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1967, of which Wahler was a member. The other two photographs feature a group of people, including Mrs. Wahler, at a donation ceremony for the Pershing Rifles.
Extent and Medium of Description Papers : 0.2 linear ft. (1 archives box and 1 oversized folder) and. Photographs : 0.4 linear ft. (1 archives box and 2 folders)
Biographical Record Wahler, Paul W., Jr.
Subjects Soldiers -- Wisconsin -- Racine.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Casualties.
United States. Army. Engineer Combat Battalion, 14th.
United States. Army -- Military life.
Color slides.
Color photographs.
Certificates.
Black-and-white photographs.
Search Terms Vietnam War