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John L. Gent Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

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John L. Gent Collection, 1905-1946 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: John L. Gent Collection, 1905-1946

Predominant Dates:1936-1945

ID: RHC/RC/354

Extent: 1.25 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 09/15/0016

Subjects: DeKalb (Ill.), United States. Army., Veterans, World War II

Forms of Material: Postcards

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Materials in the John L. Gent collection date from 1905 to 1946, but are predominantly from the years leading up to and including World War II (1936-1945). While serving Gent collected artifacts significant to his time at war. These artifacts represent a large portion of the collection and include foreign paper money and coins as well as military arm bands, patches, ribbons, pins, and belt buckles. Nazi Party propaganda postcards, many of which feature Hitler, are also included in the collection. A small part of the collection consists of U.S. Army publications given to serviceman during WWII.

Collection Historical Note

John L. Gent was born October 14, 1906 in DeKalb, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 30, 1941 in Chicago. He was a member of the 183rd Field Artillery Battalion in WWII, which were a part of the VII U.S. Corps under the command of Lieutenant General J. Lawton Collins. They fought in campaigns including Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland (Germany), Ardennes-Alsace (Belgium/Battle of the Bulge), and Central Europe.  He died on October 24, 1971 and was buried in St. Mary Cemetery located in DeKalb. His military headstone reads, “Tec 5, 183rd Field Artillery Battalion.”

Subject/Index Terms

DeKalb (Ill.)
United States. Army.
World War II

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Sue Breese

Acquisition Method: The Joiner History Room donated the collection to the Regional History Center.

Related Materials: Researchers interested in war propaganda may also be interested in the collection of World War I & II posters found in RC 200. For more information please see http://archon.lib.niu.edu/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=200&q=&rootcontentid=25048#id25048.

Box and Folder Listing

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Box 3
Item 1-2: Whistles (2)
Item 3: Sewing Kit (1)
Item 4: Pocket Knife Kit (1)
Item 5: Pouch with mirrors and safety pins (1)
Item 6-90: Foreign Coins (85)
Item 91: Wooden Cigarette Holder (1)
Item 92: Safety Match Box(1)
Item 93: Dagger enclosed in case (1)
Item 94: Ammunition Holder (1)
Item 95: Hand Grenade Pin and Pieces (1)
Item 96-177: Medals, Pins, Ribbon Bars, and Buttons (82)
Item 178: Belt Buckles (6)
Item 179: Leather Belt with coin decoration (1)
Item 180: Arm Bands (4)
Item 181: Miniature book Der Führer und die Wehrmacht (1)

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