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Charles C. Gifford First World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWI 17, Folder: 1-4, Folder: 1-4
Identifier: 2021-073-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains approximately 130 correspondence from 2nd Lt. Charles C. "Con" Gifford, AEF to his family during the First World War.

Gifford wrote to his family throughout 1917 while at the Plattsburg Officer Training Camp in New York state. In a letter to his mother dated May 13, 1917 he wrote about his recent arrival and the boredom he endured at the time of writing. Ten days later, on May 23, 1917 he wrote to his mother again with a change of pace noting that he was much busier with training and duties assigned by his commander.

In a letter to his mother that is undated but left in original order placing it between a postcard dated June 30, 1917 and a letter dated July 10, Gifford informed her that he was assigned to the "1st Battery, 1st Provisional Training Regiment." He wrote about his commanding officer, Captain Moretti and described him as "one of the finest men" who was "fair and square" because "he makes you work very hard but you always have the satisfaction of knowing that your work has some end in view." He explained that artillery work "is going to be very much harder than infantry work" because it required 10 more hours per week as well as increased physical and mental workloads.

By January 9, 1918, Gifford wrote from France as he described his duties as part of the 88th aerosquadron.

A letter addressed to Gifford's father informed him that on "September 29th [1918], . . . Charles . . . was wounded by a machine gun bullet fired from the ground while he was out on an infantry reconnaissance." The writer also informed Mr. Gifford that "Maj. Brickner told me this afternoon that his leg would be normal in about two months."

This collection also contains:

  • 11-postcards with photography of Gifford's cohort during officers training and European architecture
  • 1-photograph of a service member standing in front of an airplane with text on the verso reading "Lt. Gifford: 12"
  • 5-newspaper clippings from Fall 1918 describing Gifford's leg injury sustained during an aerial infantry reconnaissance mission in France and its subsequent amputation.


  • 1917 May 13 - 1919 July 24
  • Majority of material found within 1917 May 3 - 1918 December 3

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Second Lieutenant Charles Conyngham "Con" Gifford, American Expeditionary Forces (1895-1962) was born in Newark, New Jersey to Charles Alling and Helen Conyngham Gifford. He graduated from Yale University in 1917 before joining the AEF in 1918. 2nd Lt. Gifford served with the 101st Artillery, 88th Aerosquadron in France during the First World War. Gifford married Edith Z. Ackerson in 1923, and together had Charles A. Gifford Jr., Garret A. Gifford, and Lichard C. Gifford.


.04 Linear feet (4 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains approximately 130 correspondence from 2nd Lt. Charles C. "Con" Gifford, AEF to his family written during the First World War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles C. Gifford III.

Finding Aid for the Charles C. Gifford First World War correspondence
Frank J. López-Huerta
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States