A Guide to the Robert L. Wagner Collection, 1944-1945
Born in Seattle, Washington (1935-2007), Robert Lancaster Wagner grew up in Houston, Texas, and entered the University of Texas at Austin in 1941. During World War II, Wagner joined the U. S. Army Air Corps and served in the England-based 8th Air Force. As a right waist gunner on a B-24 for the 445th Bombardment Group, he completed 29 missions over Italy, France, and Germany. Upon his return to the states, Wagner resumed his studies, receiving a B. A. and M. A. in history from UT. In 1954, he began teaching history at Stephen F. Austin State University. In addition to numerous history articles and book reviews, Wagner authored The Texas Army: A history of the 36th Division in the Italian Campaign.
“Robert Lancaster Wagner.” Austin American-Statesman. April 15, 2007.
Comprising a diary and letters, the Robert L. Wagner Collection, 1944-1945, documents Wagner’s military service as an Air Force gunner in the 445th Bombardment Group during World War II. The diary chronicles Wagner’s missions from October 12, 1944 to April 25, 1945, describing bomb loads, damage to the plane, flight times and duration, and Wagner’s observations about the conditions and success of his flights. Two 1944 letters, written to Wagner by friends Ed B. Miller and W. E. and Pearl Wallace, concern personal news and inquiries about Wagner’s activities. Also in the armed services, Miller’s letter contains several holes due to censoring.
This collection is open for research use.
Robert L. Wagner Collection, 1944-1945, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers