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Guide to the Albert S. and Patricia Aiken World War II papers
1940-1945, 1991

Collection number: HMC-0700.
Creators: Aiken, Albert S., Aiken, Patricia.
Title: Albert S. and Patricia Aiken World War II papers.
Dates: 1940-1945, 1991.
Volume of collection: 0.5 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: The collection consists of the World War II era and related papers of fighter pilot Albert S. Aiken and his fiancé/wife, Patricia O’Brien Aiken.

Biographical note:
Albert S. Aiken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1917. He graduated from high school in Washington, D. C. and attended the University of Maryland at College Park. Aiken learned to fly at the College Park Airport and at the Schrom Airport in Greenbelt, Maryland. He entered the U. S. Army Air Corps as a flying cadet and graduated from the flight school at Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas, and then from the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in March 1941. He was assigned to a pursuit squadron of P-40 fighters, and served in the Aleutian Islands for two years. Aiken was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his service in World War II. In 1946, he taught flying at the Air University and flew surplus aircraft to Chile as a member of the U. S. Air Force. Aiken also served three years in Japan as commanding officer of the 39th Fighter Squadron, and later at the Pentagon, in Portugal, and at Andrews Air Force Base, where he retired as the chief of operations at the rank of lieutenant colonel.  He died in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2000.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the World War II era and related papers of fighter pilot Albert S. Aiken. The collection contains:  seven letters Aiken wrote to his fiancé, Patricia O’Brian, while serving in Alaska during World War II (March-June 1942); an account by Patricia Aiken concerning her experiences on the home front during World War II; xerographic copies of a portion of an official history of the 11th Air Force and other related documents; three issues of the magazine, Form One, published by the Flying Cadets of 1941 (Dec. 1940, Feb., March 1941); three issues of Air Force: Official Service Journal of the U. S. Army Air Forces (June, July 1943, March 1945); a copy of The Gig Sheet, a photo-illustrated album for graduates of the Flying Cadet Attachment, Air Force Advanced Flying School, Kelly Field, Texas, Class 41-B; and a World War II era scrapbook with clippings and photographs from Aiken’s service in the Aleutians. The original scrapbook is 52 pages in length and contained 68 black and white photographs. Subjects of the photographs from the scrapbook include: fellow soldiers, aircraft, landing fields, buildings, and tents. The photographs were taken on Amchitka, Adak, and Cold Bay.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in the following order: correspondence, published materials, and the scrapbook.

Alternative formats: A xerographic copy of the original scrapbook is available.

Digitized copies: Selected photographs from this collection have been digitized and can be viewed on Alaska’s Digital Archives by searching for “Albert Aiken.” For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Access restrictions: As the original scrapbook is fragile, Archives staff may restrict researcher access to the xerographic copy.

Rights note: The Archives does not hold copyright to these materials.

Preferred citation: Albert S. and Patricia Aiken World War II papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: For more materials related to World War II, please see the World War II in Alaska topic guide.

Custodial history: The collection was presented to John Haile Cloe by Albert S. and Patricia Aiken between 1987 and 2004.

Acquisition note: John Haile Cloe presented the collection to the Archives in 2004.

Processing information: This collection was described by and converted to current standards Jeffery A. Sinnott in 2004. The 68 black and white photographs have been removed from the scrapbook and placed in photo pages.