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Ralph H. Schneck Military collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 123

Scope and Contents

The Ralph H. Schneck Military collection (2.2 cubic feet; 1854-1973) documents Ralph H. Schneck’s childhood, military training, and service in the United States Army Air Corps.  The collection includes personal correspondence, photo albums with detailed captions, artifacts and a DVD of Schneck giving a personal account of his childhood until his enlisting in the Army. Schneck’s correspondence and photographs in particular give a rare, detailed glimpse into the daily existence of a soldier during military training and service, and later as a respected lead pilot in the Eighth Air Force during World War II.  The collection also contains two pre and post-war Europe travel logs given to Schneck.  Types of materials include: artifacts, correspondence, clippings, log-books, newspapers, photographs, post cards and programs.  The papers are organized into 4 series:


  • 1854 - 1973
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/07/2013


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright retained by Schneck family.  Per deed of gift, Purdue University given rights to scan, duplicate, preserve and allow researchers to publish from collection.  DVD in collection may be viewed by researchers but not reproduced nor digitized.

Biographical Information

Ralph Herbert Schneck was born to Rolla and Jessie Schneck on November 11, 1919 in Wadesville, Indiana. He grew up in rural Southern Indiana and graduated from Wadesville High School in 1937. Before he enlisted in the army, he worked for a grocery distributor in Evansville, Indiana. Schneck had a dream to fly, and when World War II broke out, he enlisted in the army. He took part in basic training in Lemoore, California in 1941, and later entered advanced training at Stockton, California. Further training was at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, tactical training at Hobbs, New Mexico in May 1943, then on to Boise, Idaho, Pocatello, to Sioux City where he joined the 445th Bomb Group. His last phase of tactical training was at Watertown, South Dakota. After his bomber training in the United States, travels took him to South America, North Africa and on to England, where he was deployed with the Eighth Air Force and became a respected lead pilot. He was served overseas from November 1943 to May 1945.

After a short period of civilian life after World War II, Schneck was recalled to active service and served in the United States Air Force for 25 years before retiring.

Source(s): Ralph H. Schneck’s photo albums and captions in the albums

Retrieved November 20, 2012 from:


1.60 Cubic Feet (One cubic foot box, one letter-size full-width manuscript box, and one tube-rolled item)

Physical Access Requirements

The photo albums of this collection have been digitized. Physical originals have been returned to the content creator. Consult an appropriate staff member for more information to access the digitized copies.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Donald R. Schneck, son of Ralph H. Schneck on July 7, 2012 and August 28, 2012.

Accruals and Additions


Processing Information

All materials have been housed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes.  All newsprint has been photocopied and made available for research purposes, and original newspaper clippings have been retained for display purposes. Correspondence was kept in original order and envelopes were retained for historical value.  Artifacts have been separated and grouped into individual series for preservation purposes. Photo albums were digitized and physical copies were returned to the creator.
Ralph H. Schneck Military collection
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States