Smith Family Papers on World War II, MS 065
Scope and Content Note
The Smith Family Papers on World War II contains the personal papers of Reverend Frank Herron Smith of Berkeley and the personal and wartime papers of his son Morris Eugene "Gene" Smith, of San Luis Obispo. Both father and son shared a lifelong interest in Asian culture and history, having spent several years living in Japan and Korea.
The collection is housed in six boxes and divided into two series:
- Frank Herron Smith Papers, 1942-1945
- Morris Eugene Smith Papers, 1936-2005
Records relating to the elder Smith's efforts on behalf of interned Japanese-American citizens during and after World War II are found in the first series, including correspondence to government officials and broadsides ordering the evacuation and internment of Japanese-Americans from the Central Coast of California.
In the second series, the younger Smith's wartime papers include an autobiographical typescript of his career as a military interrogator, with sketches of interrogations and photographs of Smith with other U.S. soldiers and Japanese POWs, and of commanding officers in the Philippines. Also included is a post-war study by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission of the effects on the populations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Vintage newspapers from San Luis Obispo County, California, document the end of the war and post-war.
There is an additional donation of two tennis racquets and frames owned by the younger Smith, who played at Wimbledon in 1939.
The provenance, or original organization, of the papers has been preserved for the most part. However, in order to simplify access to the collection for researchers, some materials in specific formats and topics were reorganized and refoldered to more accurately reflect their contents.