Southern Methodist University

John C. Cox Jr. World War II papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Cox, John C., Jr., 1918-1999
Title: John C. Cox Jr. World War II papers
Dates: 1941-1946
Abstract: John C. Cox, Jr. served in the United States Army in the South Pacific during World War II. The collection includes correspondence, photographs and other materials related to his military service.
Accession No: MSS 105, MSS 105X
Extent: 6 boxes (3.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

A World War II veteran, John C. Cox, Jr. was born on September 20, 1918 in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.S. in 1940, and a Juris Doctor degree in 1942. During World War II, Cox served in the United States army in the South Pacific. He enlisted as private first class and attained the rank of master sergeant by the end of the war. Cox received military training in Camp Wolters, Texas, the 57th training battalion in the Camp Callan anti-aircraft and coastal artillery replacement training center near La Jolla, California, and Fort Ord, California. In April 1944, Cox sailed with his troop to New Guinea and then to the Philippines in October 1944. An amateur photographer, Cox captured the war destruction and local life in hundreds of snapshots. He returned to the United States in January 1946.

After his World War II service, Cox practiced law briefly, and then worked in the mortgage loan business until retirement. He died in Dallas, Texas on April 14, 1999.


John C. Cox, Jr. obituary, Dallas Morning News, April 15, 1999

“59 veterans from Dallas en route home,” Dallas Times Herald, January 13, 1946

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection includes correspondence addressed by John C. Cox, Jr. to his family in Dallas between 1943 and 1946, several hundred photographs taken during military training and deployment in the South Pacific, military effects, ephemera and scattered issues of military periodicals. The materials illustrate life in military training centers in Texas and California, as well as the effects of war on the South Pacific area of New Guinea and Leyte, Philippines.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into three series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1943-1946
Series 2: Photographs, 1941-1946
  • Subseries 2.1: Prints and postcards
  • Subseries 2.2: Negatives
Series 3: Publications, ephemera, military effects, 1942-1946.


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Cox, John C., Jr., 1918-1999.
Cox family.
United States. Army – Military life – History – 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 – Personal narratives, American.
World War, 1939-1945--Pacific Area.
Military training camps—Texas – History.
Military training camps –California – History.
Leyte Gulf, Battle of, Philippines, 1944-- Photographs.
Military records.

Related Materials

World War II photographs, Medical Museum and Arts Service. DeGolyer Library, Ag2002.1454.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], John C. Cox, Jr. World War II papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University. or TITLE, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Cox family, 2009.

Processing Information

The collection was processed, arranged and described by the archivist. The letters were placed in archival folders and photographs housed in acid-free sleeves. Periodicals and military effects were rehoused in archival boxes.

Processed by

Collection processed and finding aid written by Ada Negraru, 2015.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence
2 boxes

This series includes the letters sent by John C. Cox, Jr. to his family in Dallas. Included are handwritten letters and postcards sent from Texas and California, and V-mail correspondence from New Guinea and the Philippines. >
Box Folder
1 01 Camp Wolters, Texas, Fort Ord, California, and Camp Callan, California, March - April, 1943
02-07 Camp Callan, California, May-November, 1943
08 Fort Ord, California, January 1944
09 Fort Ord and San Francisco, California, February 1944
10 San Francisco, California, March 1944
Box Folder
2 11-16 New Guinea, April – September, 1944
17-20 Philippines, October, 1944– December, 1945
21 Military records, 1943 - 1946

Series 2: Photographs
2 boxes; 3 framed photographs; 2 panoramic prints

This series contains circa 600 black and white photographic prints and circa 300 negatives. Some of the photographs taken in New Guinea and Philippines are marked “censored.” One folder contains images of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, by an unknown photographer. Also included are two panoramic group portraits of soldiers in training at Camp Callan, California, as well as two framed portraits of John C. Cox, Jr. and one group photograph of John C. Cox, Jr. and Delta-Chi fraternity members playing musical instruments.
Subseries 2.1: Prints and postcards
Box Folder
3 01-02 Military training, Texas and California, 1943-1944
03 New Guinea, 1944
04 On the way to Philippines, October 1944
05 Battle of Leyte Gulf (unknown photographer), October 1944
06-07 Leyte, Philippines, 1944-1945
08 Return to the United States, 1945-1946
5X Rolled-up panoramic prints
1. Battery “A” 57th A. A. Training Battalion, Camp Callan, California, May 22, 1943
2. Battery “B” 57th A. A. Training Battalion, Camp Callan, California, September 11, 1943
Subseries 2.2: Negatives
Box Part
4 1 New Guinea, 1944
2 On the way to Philippines, 1944
3 Philippines, 1944-1945

Series 3: Publications, ephemera, military effects
2 boxes and 6 folders

Series 3 includes publications, ephemera, disparate issues of army magazines and other periodicals, newspaper clips, and Cox’s personal military effects.
Box Folder
2 22 Commencement booklets, Southern Methodist University, May 1942
23 The New Testament; cover inscribed “For God and our country.” Copy presented to John C. Cox, Jr., by his family.
24 Pamphlet, “How the gun works”
25 Pamphlet, “Pocket guide to New Guinea and the Solomons”
26 Ad for un-censored war photographs
27 Address book
5X Periodicals: The China Lantern (June 22, 1945), Daily Pacifican (August, 1945); Guinea Gold (May-September, 1944), Newsweek (August 17, 1942), Special Service Weekly (August 26, 1944)
6 Personal military effects: name tags, military insignia, sack, cap, belt, scarf, key holder, hair pillow, slippers.