Guide to the Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection

Finding Aid Authors: Amanda Lanthorne.
© Copyright 2011 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection 1925/1976

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection
Dates: 1925-1976
Bulk Dates: c. 1930-1933
Identification: MS-0470
Creator: Forsyth, Colonel Ralph E., 1901-1944
Physical Description: 1.00 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

Ralph E. Forsyth was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. He was born on January 31, 1901 in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he joined the Marine Corps on June 3, 1922. He then served in the Philippine Islands from March 23, 1924 to August 16, 1926; in China from February 3, 1927 to October 31, 1928; Nicaragua from February 21, 1930 to January 15, 1933; and finally in the Asia Pacific from November 3, 1942 to June 24, 1944. He died on June 28, 1944 in Saipan while in combat. In 1945, members from his artillery regiment, the 10th Marines, named a training camp in his honor. During his long service he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation with ribbon bar and one star, the Nicaraguan Medal of Merit with diploma, Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, and the Victory Medal. He was married to Ruth Forsyth.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name:

United States. Marine Corps -- History -- 20th century -- Sources

Genre/Form of Material:


Geographic Name:

Nicaragua -- Military relations -- United States -- Sources

Topical Term:

Photograph albums

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Related Materials:

John and Jane Adams Photograph Collection
San Diego Scrapbook Collection
San Diego Photograph Collection
Francis M. Wulbern Papers

Scope and Contents

The Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection primarily consists of loose album pages, which document Forsyth's military service in Nicaragua. Although the collection dates from 1924 to 1976, the vast majority of photographs seem to date from the early 1930s and include scenes of the Nicaraguan jungle and coast, photographs of Ruth Forsyth, military camp life, Marines, wedding photographs of unidentified couples, a few family photographs, and more. The collection also has several loose photographs of the same subject matter. A few of these photographs have brief captions, but in general both the album and loose photographs have little to no description. Of particular interest is a page with partially burned photographs, apparently salvaged from some sort of wreck (the caption is unclear). Also included are photocopies of a letter from one of Forsyth's comrades to Ruth telling her of how the 10th Marines named a training camp in Forsyth's memory, and several other Marine Corps documents, such as a certificate, and an application for Second World War compensation dating from 1944 and 1945.