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Adolph Borigana and John J. Mendonca Second World War photographs, documents, and memorabilia

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2023-007-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains one photo album created by Cpl. Adolph T. Borigana, USA as well as 20 loose photographs, documents and memorabilia, and 38 loose photographs, military documents, and memorabilia belonging to PFC John J. Mendonca, USA during the Second World War.

Cpl. Adolph T. Borigana, USA Borigana's items include a large brown photo album, approximately 12x15 inches, which contains 122 small black and white photographs, as well as seven cut photographs that spell out "Iwo Jima" on the first page. The photographs, including 17 of the loose photographs, show Borigana and his fellow soldiers having fun in various locations at camp, at clubs drinking, various depictions of landscapes and destruction on Iwo Jima, including aerial photos, Marine cemeteries, military equipment, and one unit photo. One photo includes a P-51 Mustang, 522 "Buzz Buddy" (see Biographical/Historical Note). Three photographs, two of Borigana in uniform and one with fellow soldiers, were kept with the documents. Below is a listing of documents.

The documents include:
  • One essay, by Megan Thorpe (granddaughter of Borigana), about an interview with Borigana
  • Three photographs of Borigana
  • One notice to appear for induction: dated February 1943
  • One photograph of an aircraft carrier, printed
  • One menu, Easter dinner, Battery A 506 in Iwo Jima: dated April 1945
  • One special order, promotions, 506th AAA Gun Bn, promotion of Borigana to Corporal: dated November 1945
  • One roster, Bty A 506th AAA Gun Bn
  • One honorable discharge notice of classification: dated January 1946
  • One identification discharge certificate, for passage as discharged civilian: dated January 1945 (should be 1946)
  • One slip, country recorder, "Your discharge is recorded and will be mailed in 10 days": dated February 1946
  • One application for servicemen's readjustment allowance: dated January 1946
  • One separation qualification record
  • Three copies, one negative and two regular, discharge document: enlisted record and report of separation, dated January 1946
  • Three copies, one negative and two regular, honrable discharge certificate: dated January 1946
  • One testimonial, to Adolph T. Borigana, from President Harry Truman
  • One clipping, "Troopships Land 4636 Overseas Veterans Here," Los Angeles Times, January 14, 1946
  • One card, selective service registration certificate: dated August 1948

PFC John J. Mendonca, USA Mendonca's items include photographs, memorabilia, and documents. The photographs are small black and white photographs taken in Hawaii (at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on December 10, 1943) and Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in August and October 1944. The photographs include native peoples, a downed Japanese plane (possibly an Aichi E13A "Jake"), a photograph of Betty Hutton and another unidentified woman, and several soldiers in and around camp. Below are listings of the memorabilia and documents.

The memorabilia includes:
  • Two patches (USARPAC insignia, see Biographical Historical Note)
  • One honorable discharge patch (olive drab green diamond with a golden bald eagle on a wreath)
  • Three ribbons (two Asiatic-Pacific, one Good Conduct)
  • Two bank notes (one half-mark, German, one 10-franc)
  • Two religious booklets (My Military Missal and Catholic Prayer Book for the Army and Navy)
  • One pamphlet (In Memoriam, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Kwajalein, 16 April 1945)
  • One small knife
  • One four-leaf clover in plastic

The documents include:
  • Three draft cards: dated November 1941, April 1942, and a notice to appear for physical dated February 1943
  • Immunization record
  • Two notices to appear for induction: dated May 1942 and February 1943
  • One order for return transport: dated September 1945
  • One pay record
  • One discharge document, original: enlisted record and report of separation, dated February 1946
  • One separation qualification record
  • One memorandum regarding discharge, regarding forwarding of testimonial to honorable discharged service personnel, dated February 1946
Also included with the documents is one book entitled Your Victory, created by and sent to Mendonca by Headquarters AFMIDPAC (Armed Forces in the Middle Pacific) after discharge. The book and documents were stored in separate envelopes, included in the collection.


  • Creation: 1941 November 27 - 1946 February 21

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

Corporal Adolph Tony "Dolph" Borigana, United States Army (9/22/1923 - 11/26/2013) was born in Oakland, California to Regina Massone, née Volpatti formerly Borigana. He had two sisters and one brother and one step-brother, and his mother Regina was born in San Martino, Udine, Italy; emigrated September 1922. He attended four years of high school before he entered active service in the Army on February 18, 1943 in San Francisco and served in the Pacific Theater, specifically Iwo Jima, with A Battery, 506th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. He was honorably discharged January 19, 1946. After the war, Adolph lived with his mother and step-father Carmelo Massone for some years and worked as a machinist for a refrigerator and appliance factory before he married his wife Evelyn R. Borigana (1927 - 2005) and he passed away in November 2013 and is interred at St. Mary's Cemetery in Oakland.

Private First Class John "João" Joaquin Mendonca, United States Army (10/30/1909 - 4/4/2000) was born in Lihue, Kauai, Territory of Hawaii to João Joaquim de Mendonça, born in Portugal, and Anna "Maria" de Jesus Aguiar, along with several siblings. The family moved from Kauai by way of Honolulu aboard the SS President Taft on July 8, 1927, sailing for San Francisco. They lived in Oakland, California and John worked as a spring assembler for LA Young when he registered for selective service at 30 years old in 1940 before entering active service in the Army on March 3, 1943.

John's first draft notice, dated November 1941, classified him 1H, deferred due to age because he was already 32 years old. In April 1942 he received another classification of 1A, nominally available for service. He was ordered to report for induction in May 1942 but was rejected for hypertension. He was ordered to appear for physical examination on February 9, 1943 and ordered to report for induction three days later. After induction by the end of the month, he ended up serving in the Pacific Theater, specifically Kwajalei, Marshall Islands, as a cook with the 369th Station Hospital. He departed the Pacific for the US in October 1945 and was honorably discharged by the end of the month at Camp Beale, California. John passed away at the age of 90 and was interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, CA.

USARPAC Patch "The USARPAC (United States Army, Pacific) insignia is a blue patch with 12 white stars and a red arrow and was originally designed and approved for US Army forces in the Pacific Ocean areas on October 18, 1944. The patch contains a red arrow and white stars on a blue field. The red arrow of war denotes the valor and self-sufficiency of the forces of the command. The blue field represents the vast expanse of the command area. The white stars portray the North Star, Big Dipper and the Southern Cross, which locate the command headquarters. The stars of the insignia also recall a key date in the history of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Armed Forces in the Pacific. The total of 12 stars represents the month of December, the seven stars of the Big Dipper, the 7th day, and the four stars of the Southern Cross plus the North Star, the year '41: 12-7-41 - December 7, 1941, the date of the United States' entry into World War II." (

"Buzz Buddy" The photographs airplane is number 522 “Buzz Buddy”; 457th FS, 506th FG; P-51D-25-NA, 44-72876. From an article on plane decals, "It is unknown who was assigned to fly 'Buzz Buddy'. However, it is known that 1st Lt. Chauncey A. Newcomb scored two aerial victories while flying 'Buzz Buddy'. 1st Lt. Newcomb was actually assigned to 514 “Erma Lou” along with 1st Lt. Francis 'Frank' Albrecht. It was not uncommon for pilots to fly VLR missions in planes they were not assigned to." (; Decal Review: DKdecals P-51D/K Mustang over the Pacific and Australia (48028), June 11, 2020,


.3 Linear Feet (3 folders, one oversized folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains one photo album created by Cpl. Adolph T. Borigana, USA and several loose 38 photographs, military documents, and memorabilia belonging to PFC John J. Mendonca, USA during the Second World War.


This collection is arrange by creator, material type, and chronology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of David Massone.

Finding Aid for the Adolph Borigana and John J. Mendonca Second World War photographs, documents, and memorabilia
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States