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Britton (Ira M.) papers
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
    Title: Ira M. Britton papers
    creator: Britton, Ira M.
    Identifier/Call Number: 6097
    Physical Description: 0.42 Linear Feet 1 box
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1945
    Abstract: The Ira M. Britton papers consist of letters, photographs, certificates and notebooks created and collected by American serviceman Ira Britton during World War II. Britton served in both the the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Navy. Together, the photographs and letters describe the experience of Americans who served in the RCAF.

    Biographical / Historical

    Ira Martini Britton was born in Franklin, Pennsylvania in 1920. After receiving a letter from an American friend who had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, Britton decided to enlist as well. He left for Canada in the fall of 1941. By December, he had washed out of the program and returned to the United States. He then enlisted in the United States Navy where he worked in aircraft maintenance. On November 19, 1945, Britton was honorably discharged from the Navy with the rank of Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class.

    Biographical / Historical

    When Canada joined the war on September 10, 1939, Americans who wished to fight before the United States entered the war got their opportunity in the Royal Canadian Air Force. When joining the RCAF, recruits were required to pledge alleigance to the British monarch. For American recruits, this pledge could mean forfeiture of their American citizenship. In order to work around this issue, the Canadian government passed an Order in Council that allowed foreign recruits to instead agree to obey RCAF rules and discipline during the course of the war. When the United States entered the war, many Americans returned home to serve in the United States military.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection consists of Ira M. Britton's World War II documents. The letters reveal information about the lives of Americans who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and about Britton's experiences in the Navy in the United States. The collection includes many photographs. Some are of various servicemen and highlight life in the military. There are some group pictures of men in the RCAF and the Navy. Others are of friends and family members back home. Some appear to have been sent to Britton while he was in the service and others include him as well. Other documents in the collection, including records and notebooks, show details of life in the RCAF and Navy.

    Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder no. or item name], Ira M. Britton papers, Collection no. 6097, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Walkabout Books, December 18, 2014.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Soldiers -- California -- 20th century -- Archival resources
    Soldiers -- Canada -- 20th century -- Archival resources
    Canada -- Armed Forces -- Military life -- 20th century -- Archival resources
    United States -- Armed Forces -- Military life -- 20th century -- Archival resources
    Britton, Ira M.
    Britton, Ira M. -- Archives