Finding aid for the Ira M. Britton papers 6097

Natalie Camacho
USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California 90089-0189

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

Box 1, Folder 1

Photographs - Servicemen

Box 1, Folder 2

Photographs - Military Life

Box 1, Folder 3

Photographs - Landscapes/Scenery

Box 1, Folder 4

Photographs - Negatives

Box 1, Folder 5

Photographs - People

Box 1, Folder 6

Royal Canadian Air Force photograph

Scope and Contents

Includes the names of those pictured
Box 1, Folder 7

Royal Canadian Air Force notebooks

Scope and Contents

Britton's notebooks from his time in the RCAF; one labeled Air Craft Recognition; one labeled Navigation; Air Navigation Examination
Box 1, Folder 8

US Navy photographs

Scope and Contents

2 photographs; one includes names, hometowns, and stations of some of those pictured handwritten on the back
Box 1, Folder 9

Photographs from Chicago

Scope and Contents

Britt and Judy; photographs from Chicago's Latin Quarter and Joker Joe's Typhoon Club
Box 1, Folder 10

Photograph of boy in a baseball uniform

Scope and Contents

In a plastic picture frame
Box 1, Folder 11

Photograph of Judy

Scope and Contents

In color
Box 1, Folder 12

Request to Judy for photographs

Box 1, Folder 13

Personal Documents

Scope and Contents

Part of Britton's medical report; invoice from La Habra Hardware Company; newspaper coverage of Mary Nina Leta and Paul Andrew King's wedding
Box 1, Folder 14

VR-10 Maintenance Instruction No. 10-45 1945-08-04

Scope and Contents

Naval Air Transport Command Air Transport Squadron Ten
Box 1, Folder 15

Japanese government-issued Philippine fiat pesos banknotes 1942-1945

Scope and Contents

Four 10 pesos notes; four 5 pesos notes; one 1 peso note; five 1 centavo notes

Biographical / Historical

During its occupation of the Philippines, the Japanese government issued fiat currency, which derives its value from government regulation or law. The guerilla currency was outlawed so that those in possession of it could be arrested. Since the bills were essentially worthless, they were often referred to as Mickey Mouse money.
Box 1, Folder 16

Announcements and cards

Scope and Contents

Holiday cards; congratulatory cards; baby announcements
Box 1, Folder 17

Correspondence (1) 1941-09-09-1942-07-04

Scope and Contents

Primarily from other men in the military; some from women
Box 1, Folder 18

Correspondence (2) 1942-07-31-1942-12-28

Scope and Contents

Primarily from other men in the military; some from women
Box 1, Folder 19

Certificate of Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy, Ira Martini Britton 1945-11-19

Scope and Contents

Britton was released from the Navy on November 19, 1945 with the rank of Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class
Box 1, Folder 20

Empty photograph envelopes