The 25th IDA Archive Collection
The 25th Infantry Division Association established an Archive collection at the The George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia in the mid-1990s. Since that time 25th Division veterans, families and friends have donated hundreds of objects to the collection.
The purpose of the Archive is to amass and preserve a large body of material relating to the history of the Tropic Lightning Division. This Archive is to serve as a resource for Association members, students and others with an interest in our Tropic Lightning history.
Among the many objects in the collection are: maps from WWII, Korea and Vietnam; letters; after-action and combat action reports; captured flags; uniforms; photographs; rosters; newspapers and clippings; books; newsletters; orders; mess-hall menus; combat art and other materials related to the Division history. Among notable recent donations are a hand-drawn banner of a 35th Infantry Regiment Mortar Platoon circa 1945 and a 12th Infantry Regiment guidon that was used in Vietnam.
The collection continues to grow as individuals send their donated materials. The Archive collection consists of objects that offer a window into our history. The collection is not complete. For example, it contains most combat action and after action reports for 1967 and 1968, but lacks copies of those records for previous or subsequent years. As our members continue to make contributions, those voids will eventually be filled.
The collection is catalogued and members and others may inspect the inventory and request to see individual items at the Marshall Foundation. Neither the Association nor the Foundation has staff to perform research for individuals. However, the Foundation staff would be happy to assist members to find and inspect items from the inventory. No object may be removed from the Foundation. Members wishing to review the inventory and perhaps study individual items within the collection should contact the Marshall Foundation in advance of their visit to insure that assistance is available upon their arrival. The Archives are maintained in a three-story climate-controlled vault that also houses the papers of General of the Army George C. Marshall, who served as the senior U.S. military commander in World War II and later as Secretary of State during the Korean War. Also housed here are the papers of General George Patton and General Van Fleet, a senior Army ground commander on the Korean peninsula.
While the papers of notable leaders will add greatly to the visitors understanding of that war, the artifacts of the soldiers of the Tropic Lightning Division will serve as testimony to the everyday life of the infantryman and support troops. Maps, photographs, diaries and other objects that Association members have donated to the Archive will be featured in the Foundation’s museum interpretation of that war.
Have you found some old maps, photographs, diaries or other souvenirs of your days with the Tropic Lightning Division? Don’t throw them away! Contribute to the preservation of our proud Tropic Lightning history. Your souvenirs will become part of the everlasting fabric of our history and be examined by scholars and historians who will define our contribution to the 20th century battles against fascism and communism for generations to come.
If you don’t have something from your days with the Division to contribute, consider a financial contribution to the Archive Project. Your funds will help assist the staff of the George C. Marshall Foundation to properly catalogue and safely store articles in the Archives Collection.
Donations to the Archives may be sent to:
25th Infantry Division Association Archives
P.O. Box 7
Flourtown PA 19031-0007.
Donors are urged to send their materials by Certified Mail to insure safe handling.