Guide to the Lee C. Schlegel World War II Collection

Special Collections & Archives
University Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326


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Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
Title: Lee C. Schlegel World War II Collection
Creator: Schlegel, Lee C., 1919-2004
Identifier/Call Number: SC.LCS
Extent: 2.15 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1936-1954
Date (bulk): 1941-1944
Abstract: The Lee C. Schlegel World War II Collection documents the experiences of United States Army soldier, Lee Cyrus Schegel, whose enlistment period spanned the first three years of United States involvement in World War II. The collection consists of approximately two-hundred photographic prints, a scrapbook, two diaries, and a small amount of personal papers.
Language of Material: English

Biographical Information:

Lee Cyrus Schlegel was born on May 26, 1919 in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania to parents, Theodore Machmer and Anna Bertha (née Luckenbill) Schlegel. Following high school, Schlegel was employed as a structural and ornamental metal worker. He married Dorothy E. Moyer on September 10, 1941, and less than two weeks later, enlisted in the United States Army at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
Schlegel underwent his initial military training at Camp Croft, South Carolina. In February 1942, he was assigned to Company D, 34th Infantry Division and traveled to Fort Dix, New Jersey in preparation for overseas movement. By the end of April, Schlegel's regiment had set sail for the UK where the division would ready themselves for the British-American invasion of North Africa known as Operation Torch, which began in November 1942. Schlegel took part in a number of North African campaigns, including the Battle of Hill 609, that ultimately led to surrender by Axis forces in Tunisia in May 1943. The following September, the 34 th Infantry Division boarded an English ship bound for Italy to take part in the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland, known as Operation Avalanche.
Schlegel would distinguish himself as an exemplary soldier during this campaign, later receiving the Silver Star for gallantry in action. As described, "in the face of this heavy fire and while under full enemy observation, [Schlegel] crawled up a slippery and treacherous rise to the aid of three wounded men, administered first-aid and stayed with them until the barrage ceased. He then made two trips with the litter squads, aiding the evacuation of the men, before returning to resume command of his squad. Sergeant Schlegel's display of courage and initiative was an inspiration to the men of his platoon and a credit to the Armed Forces of the United States."
In January 1944, while moving into position at Mt. Trocchio, Italy, Schlegel suffered a leg injury and was hospitalized at Naples for three months. When he returned to service in June, the 34 th Division had moved through Cisterna, Civitavecchia, and on to Rome pushing Axis forces north. Schlegel received a furlough notice on July 22, and finally made it stateside on September 3, 1944.
Lee Cyrus Schlegel passed away on November 16, 2004 at Shillington, Berks County, Pennsylvania and is buried at Forest Hills Memorial Park, Reiffton, Exeter Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Contents

The Lee C. Schlegel World War II Collection documents the experiences of United States Army Sergeant, Lee Cyrus Schlegel, whose enlistment period spanned nearly three years of United States involvement in World War II, beginning in September, 1941 and ending in September, 1944. The collection consists of approximately two-hundred photographic prints, a scrapbook, two diaries, and a small amount of personal papers. Photographs focus on the soldier's daily life overseas and include snapshots of fellow soldiers, barracks and other military dwellings, defensive fighting positions, military vehicles and equipment, village life, and landscapes of North Africa and Italy, with a small number of pictures taken stateside. The scrapbook consists of newspaper clippings, camp menus, newsletters, ticket stubs, and postcards, which document the War from a local, national, and international perspective. Two diaries penned by Schlegel describe the movements of his regiment, Company D, 34th Infantry Division, as well as personal observations and feelings about the day-to-day life of a wartime soldier. The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Information:

Purchased, 10/06/2015

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Processing Information:

Holli Teltoe, 2015

Subjects and Indexing Terms


Box 1, Folder 1

Italy, 17th General Hospital, Naples, 1944

Box 1, Folder 2

Italy, ca. 1943-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 3

Italy, Armoured Vehicles, ca. 1943-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 4

Italy, City of Tarquania, ca. 1943-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 5

Italy, City of Viterbo, ca. 1943-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 6

Italy, Defensive Zone, ca. 1943-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 7

Italy, Views of the Mediterranean, ca. 1943-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 8

Newspaper Clippings, ca. 1941-ca. 1954

Box 1, Folder 9

North Africa, Barracks, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 10

North Africa, Camp Life, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 11

North Africa, Camp Life, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 12

North Africa, Camp Life, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 13

North Africa, City Scenes, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 14

North Africa, Countryside and Mountains, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 15

North Africa, Mediterranean Sea and Shore, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 16

North Africa, Villages, ca. 1942-ca. 1943

Box 1, Folder 17

Personal Papers, ca. 1941-ca. 1944, 1944 May 14

Box 1, Folder 18

Reading, Pennsylvania

Box 1, Folder 19

Schlegel, Lee C., Portraits, ca. 1941-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 20

Schlegel, Lee C., Snapshots, ca. 1941-ca. 1944

Box 1, Folder 21

Stateside Snapshots, ca. 1941-ca. 1942

Box 2, Item 1

Scrapbook, 1941-1945

Box 2, Item 2

Schlegel, Lee C., Diary, 1941-1944

Box 2, Item 3

Schlegel, Lee C., Diary, 1944

Folder 1

Schlegel, Lee C., Portrait and Newspaper Clippings, 1936, 1944, ca. 1954