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Creator:  Dr. James (Jim) Minn, 1922-2010

Collection Number:  M496

Collection Title:  Minn (Jim) World War II Memories

Size:  11 items

Language:  Materials in the collection are in English

Dates:  Written circa 1999-2002, the memoir spans the period of 1943-1944

Collection Status:  Fully processed

Abstract:  Jim Minn was a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Southern Mississippi.  The Collection contains an audio cassette and typed notes of his memories as a scout in the First Platoon of “D” Dog Troop in the 94th Recon of the 14th Armored Division in France and Germany during World War II.  The tape was recorded on May 31, 1999. 


2.   Subjects

World War II, 1939-1945


3.   Biographical/Historical Note

Taken from Dr. Minn’s obituary published in the Hattiesburg American on January 16, 2011.

Dr. James Minn, a gentleman and a scholar, passed away peacefully on December 2, 2010. Jim was beloved by all who knew him, and was described as a modern "Renaissance Man" due to his love of science, the arts, and people near and far. Jim was the next to last of six children, and the only boy, born to Scotch Irish immigrants, Maggie Esler and James Minn, Sr., on January 25, 1922, in Pittsburgh, PA. He was proud to share a birthday with the legendary Scottish poet, Robert Burns, whose poetry he often quoted. Like Burns, Jim's family was financially poor, but maintained good humor, affection and education. Jim mastered the requirements of high school at age 15, and received a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. 

Jim was a World War II Army veteran who served in France and Germany with the 14th Armored Division. He maintained deep friendships with a number of those who served with him, enjoyed division reunions, and actually met one of the prisoners of war that he helped to liberate from a camp in Moosberg, Germany, in Ellisville, MS, many years later. Jim's personal memories of WW II are available on his website:

Due to the GI bill and encouragement from first wife, Ilene, Jim returned to school and received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. Jim moved his family to Delaware in 1952, when he was hired as a research chemist by Hercules, Inc. He was among the first members of the Kingswood of Brookside Methodist Church, and usually chair of social concerns where he was instrumental in bringing civil rights issues to the fore. He took daughter, Maureen, to the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963. 

In 1977, Hercules transferred Jim to Louisiana, and then to Hattiesburg, MS, where he retired in 1991, and joined the chemistry faculty at USM. In addition to his research on free radicals, carbonium ions, isocyanites, oxidation, and antioxidents, Jim greatly enjoyed mentoring students in the lab. 

In 1976, Jim married author and writing instructor, Elizabeth Bowne. They had 21 happy years together during which they traveled to many countries, often to participate in International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) meetings or UNICEF projects. Jim continued to write and sketch and in 1981, recorded a family treasure of old Scottish and Irish songs his father taught him. After Elizabeth's untimely death in 1997, he rarely traveled, but loved the companionship of Dr. Joy Greiner, who greatly mourns his passing. 

Dr. Minn was predeceased by his wives, Ilene and Elizabeth, his parents, and his beloved sisters, Margaret, Agnes, Elizabeth, Martha, and Sarah. 

He is survived by his daughters, Maureen G. Tucker of Newark, DE and Laurel L. Christie and husband, George, of New Castle, DE; son, David J. Minn and wife, Lescena, of Middlesex, NJ; stepson, Frank Bowne and wife, Laura, of Davidsonville, MD; grandson, Geordan Tucker, great granddaughters, Miranda Matthews and Annabelle Tucker of Newark, DE, and many nieces and nephews. 

4.   Scope and Content Note

Minn’s collection is comprised primarily of an audio cassette containing his memories of his service with the U.S. Army during World War II, a typescript of the audio and notes of additional memories.  The collection also includes email correspondence from friends Jim served with commenting on the copies of his recorded memories sent to them.  Photocopies of photos taken during the war and sketches were also included.  The collection is arranged in the order items were received.

Minn’s memoir provides a personal reflection that recounts experiences during World War II in France and Germany.  The memories begin with basic training and take the reader through a dated account of his platoon’s travels and events that took place. 


5.   Arrangement

Series one consists of the of the audio cassette and notes covering memories not mentioned on the tape

Series two is personal correspondence pertaining to the recorded World War II memories, a thirty one page typescript of “Jim Minn’s World War II Memories”, black and white photocopies of photos taken during World War II and photocopies of sketches drawn by Jim Minn


6. Related Material

Related collections at the University of Southern Mississippi include:

M374 Pittman (Alvy Ray) World War II Memoir

M278 Bullock (Pat H.) World War II Papers

M275 Fike (Claude E.) World War II Diary

Sundell (Carl H.) World War II Memoir

M285 Leech (Andrew Candler) World War II Diary

Oakman (Jack H.) World War II Memoir

Taylor (Riley) World War II Memoir

M401 McNutt (Opie Lee) World War II Collection

M281 Hill (Chester W.) World War II Memoirs

Hatcher (William H.) Memories of World War II

M403 Bishop (Edna) Papers

Gammon (Guy L.) WWII Collection

Clements (Dr. Joseph H.) Paper


7. Administrative Information

Provenance:  Donated by Dr. Jim Minn

Use Restrictions:  This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Reproduction of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Provision of photocopies or digital reproductions does not constitute permission to publish, distribute, provide internet access to, or otherwise display images of materials in this collection. Copyright is retained by the lawful copyright holder, and it is the responsibility of the permission seeker to contact and secure permission from the copyright holder. Where copyright permission is not granted, images are only for use in private study subject to the Fair Use exceptions made in U.S. Copyright Law.

Access Restrictions:  Open to research

Preferred Citation Method:  In citing these materials, the following information should be included:

Item, title of collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Processing Information:  Collection processed and finding aid written by [JJ Crawley], [April 16, 2015].


·         Obituary published in Hattiesburg AmericanJanuary 16, 2011.

·        Personal page maintained by G. Christie.  The photos found under WWII links correspond with the copies donated and are of better quality.  Contains a transcript of his memories that corresponds to the donated materials as well as additional information related to awards earned and souvenirs saved while serving in WWII. Personal website:  Christie, G. (n.d.). Jim Minn. Retrieved from:


8. Container List

Box 1

Folder 1           Correspondence: Personal. June 30, 2002, from Bob Tauber

Folder 2           Correspondence: Personal. July 7, 1999, from Vernon H Brown

Folder 3           Black and white photocopy of undated photographs of soldiers with typed captions below each photo.

Folder 4           Black and white photocopy of undated photographs of soldiers including Jim Minn with handwritten name and arrow pointing to Jim.

Folder 5           Black and white photocopy of undated photographs of soldiers with typed captions below in addition to handwritten names and arrows pointing to Jim Minn, Bill Lewis and Joe Sirianni.

Folder 6           Black and white photocopy of undated photographs of soldiers with typed captions below in addition to a handwritten name and arrow pointing to Jim.

Folder 7           Black and white photocopy of undated photographs of soldiers and a landmark sign with typed captions below in addition to handwritten names and arrows point to Jim Minn and Vernon Brown.

Folder 8           Black and white photocopy of sketches with a handwritten note on one, circa 1979, of buildings and scenery.  Two of the four sketches have a visible artist signature J Minn and date.  The other two do not have a visible                                            signature and date.

Folder 9           Typed page of additional memories not included in the audio recording or typescript.

Folder 10         Cassette tape labeled Jim Minn WWII Memories 5-31-99.  Side A&B 90 Minutes.

Folder 11         Thirty one page spiral bound typescript of the audio cassette titled Jim Minn’s World War II Memories.


9.  Item List



10. Publication Information

Publisher: The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, Special Collections


Physical Address:  The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries

McCain Library & Archives

118 College Drive #5148

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148

Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148