Digital Commonwealth

Springfield College Armed Forces Collection

Springfield College Archives and Special Collections

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The Springfield College Armed Forces Collection contains correspondences, drawings, enlistment records, mailing lists, photographs, publications, scrapbooks, and service records which showcase the sacrifice and service of alumni during wartime. The College’s ties with the YMCA resulted in many alumni, students and faculty going overseas to work as YMCA camp secretaries. Like many colleges and universities across the country, Springfield established their own SATC unit on campus and built a barracks for them in 1918. The United States entered the World War One on April 6 1917 and in response Springfield College offered war work courses for YMCA secretaries. The training of war work secretaries and physical education directors were important contributions to the war effort by the college. The YMCA provided canteen services at the invitation of the US government and raised more than 150 million dollars (equivalent to 2.7 billion dollars in 2014) in order to comply with the request. This kind of work was not new to the YMCA which provided similar services during the Spanish American War. During World War Two, the college housed multiple branches of the military. The soldiers billeted on campus included those in the 323rd college training detachment, the Navy at their contractual Convalescence hospital, Quartermaster Corps and a unit of military police.

Locations in this Collection: