Willburt E. Kinsley Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Willburt E. Kinsley Papers
Call Number: MS 92-17
Size: 0.75 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum
Processed by: KJC, 1992; JEF, 11-2-1998; MN, 10-2008; MN, 11-2015
Restrictions: None
Note: Digital collection, Willburt E. Kinsley Papers

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Willburt E. Kinsley Papers contains documents, photographs and negatives relating to Kinsley's military service in World War I and World War II. Several official documents concern his World War I Distinguished Service Cross and discharge. His World War I pilot log book provides detail on training and military missions in 1917 and 1918.

The bulk of the collection is comprised by negatives of images taken by Kinsley in which he documents locations, people and activities in France of the 90th Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.), United States Air Service, during World War I. The images show aircraft, landing fields, airport structures, barracks, drill grounds and fellow soldiers. Specific locations in France include Cazaux, Béthelainville, Paris, Verdun, Pannes, Souilly, Belrain, Brest, Saint-Mihiel, Angers, Nancy, Issoudun, Toul, Colombey-les-Belles, Château-Thierry and Ourches. Several images of Paris show the Place de la Concorde. There also are images from Kinsleys time spent in training at Gerstner Field in Louisiana and at liberty in New York. Specific locations in the United States include Kinder, Louisiana; Amagansett, New York; Lake Keuka in Keuka Park, New York; and Brooklyn, New York. Two images show the Statue of Liberty. Aircraft shown include Nieuport, Sopwith Camel, Spad, Caproni bomber, Salmson and airplanes with Liberty motors that Kinsley describes as "Liberty" or "Liberties." His squadron's "Lucky 7" dice emblem is visible on several aircraft. Named persons in the images are Jim Bovard, Hayden, William Lowe, Percy Hart, Grier, Lake, Carver, Lockwood, Dr. Livingston, Mellon, Cargill, Brown, Maurer, Dogan, Foddy, Bandy, Cunliffe, Smith and Kinsley. Men identified only by nickname are "Trapper" and "Big Dick." Four different, unidentified women are in several photographs.

Biography

Willburt E. Kinsley was born September 12, 1891, and lived in Winchester, Massachusetts. Kinsley served both in World War I and World War II, retiring from the military in 1953. Prior to World War II, he was an executive at a furniture manufacturer. He died June 10, 1975, in Winchester.

Kinsley began his military career as a private first class in the 90th Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces, on December 18, 1917. Prior to his overseas duty, Kinsley trained in the Aviation Section at Gerstner Field, Lake Charter, Louisiana, for two months. Then he spent time at Cornell Ground School at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Kinsley spent several months overseas in World War I, where he encountered 11 combats, was shot down once and was given official credit for two German fighter craft kills. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor in the line of duty.

During World War II, Kinsley served as a Lt. Colonel in the 36th Station Complement Squadron. He was stationed in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. He was decorated with the European African Middle Eastern Medal, the American Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the American Defense Medal.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-5 Military Documents
Series 2 Box 1 FF 6-Box 2 Images

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Correspondence

Box 1 FF 1 Pilot's Book (December 18, 1917-February 15, 1918: logs time in air, type of plane and engine, and brief detail of work; November 1917-May 15, 1918: engaged in practice sessions; May 26, 1918-December 24, 1918: engaged in combat, liaison, and reconnaissance)
Box 1 FF 2 War Department booklet of awards and Distinguished Service Crosses, January 21, 1919; copy of certification of Distinguished Service Cross; copy of letter recommending Kinsley and William Lowe for the Distinguished Service Cross.
Box 1 FF 3 Copy of service papers, September 17, 1941-April 30, 1946; original and copy of military record and report of separation; original and copy of honorable discharge paper, April 1, 1953; copies of Separation Qualification Record.
Box 1 FF 4 Military Identification Pass; A.R.C. Club for Officers card; Third Annual Reunion of the 90th Aero Squadron, November 14, 1925.
Box 1 FF 5 Order forms for the History of the Ninetieth Aero Squadron; envelopes; letter concerning publisher cost overruns, September 18, 1920.

Series 2 ‒ Images

Box 1 FF 6 Photograph of Kinsley in World War I uniform (8 x 10); photograph of Kinsley standing on steps (1.5 x 2).
Box 1 FF 7 Wallet-type negative albums labeled "1-100" and "100-200." The negatives originally contained in the albums are in Box 2. Brief subject descriptions were recorded by Kinsley on the numerical index pages in each album.
Box 2   Negatives from albums in Box 1 FF 7. Image descriptions and order taken from Kinsley's handwritten numerical indexes in the negative albums. Bracketed words and phrases were added for clarification, and known misspellings were corrected. File folders (FF) 1-104 contain the contents of album "1-100" and FFs 105-203 contain the contents of album "100-200." Eleven additional images were with the numbered and described images, and they were placed at the end of each album (10 in first album, 1 in second). Six images described in the numerical list of the first album are missing: 11, P. P. Jones in Nieuport, Cazaux; 28, "Wotang," 90th "mascot," Ourches; 30-32, Major Anderson's Breguet wreck at Ourches (3 images); and 40, Percy Hart in Liberty.
Box 2FF 11. Robertson's wreck at Cazaux
Box 2FF 22. Robertson's wreck at Cazaux
Box 2FF 33. Robertson's wreck at Cazaux
Box 2FF 44. Robertson's wreck at Cazaux
Box 2FF 55. Sopwith Camel at Cazaux
Box 2FF 66. J. Cat wreck at Cazaux
Box 2FF 77. J. Cat wreck at Cazaux
Box 2FF 88. French general at Cazaux
Box 2FF 99. Nieuport diving on American airfield, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1010. French general at Cazaux
Box 2FF 1112. Nieuports at Cazaux
Box 2FF 1213. Flying boat in air, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1314. Hydroplane taking off, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1415. Bimotor "hydro" [hydroplane] on dock, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1516. Flying boat on dock, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1617. Hydroplane hangars, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1718. Motorboats at pier, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1819. Hydroplane taking off, Cazaux
Box 2FF 1920. Flying boat being towed in, Cazaux
Box 2FF 2021. Flying boat approaching dock, Cazaux
Box 2FF 2122. Armurrire [Armory], Cazaux
Box 2FF 2223. Liberty rear view at Ourches
Box 2FF 2324. Swimming pool of 90th [Squadron], Ourches
Box 2FF 2425. Liberty near front view, Ourches
Box 2FF 2526. Liberty near view of fuselage at Ourches
Box 2FF 2627. Hayden in observer's seat of Liberty at Ourches
Box 2FF 2729. [William] "Submarine" Lowe, Ourches
Box 2FF 2833. Fourteen Liberties [in] first formation to go over lines
Box 2FF 2934. Start of the first Liberty to go over
Box 2FF 3035. Observer Hart in Liberty
Box 2FF 3136. Front view of 14 Liberties
Box 2FF 3237. Side view of first five Liberties
Box 2FF 3338. #20 Salmson crashed on field
Box 2FF 3439. Caproni bomber
Box 2FF 3541. Marine [William Lowe], Olgar and Alice
Box 2FF 3642. Olgar and Alice
Box 2FF 3743. Toul from the air
Box 2FF 3844. Air photo
Box 2FF 3945. Lt. Bovard and his plane
Box 2FF 4046. Lt. Kinsley and his plane
Box 2FF 4147. German second line trenches, Toul sector
Box 2FF 4248. No Man's land, St. Mihiel Drive
Box 2FF 4349. No Man's Land near Pannes
Box 2FF 4450. French [artillery] piece in action (155 [mm caliber] Short)
Box 2FF 4551. German pillbox [concrete bunker], rear view
Box 2FF 4652. German pillbox [concrete bunker], close front view
Box 2FF 4753. German pillbox [concrete bunker], distant front view
Box 2FF 4854. Béthelainville
Box 2FF 4955. French outpost, Verdun
Box 2FF 5056. Camouflaged battery, Verdun
Box 2FF 5157. Camouflaged battery position
Box 2FF 5258. Big Dick, Grier and Lake
Box 2FF 53 59. Enlisted men, 90th [Squadron]
Box 2FF 5460. Photographer and lighting truck
Box 2FF 5561. Kinsley's cot at Béthelainville
Box 2FF 5662. Jim Bovard reading
Box 2FF 5763. Crew's quarters in hangar
Box 2FF 5864. Headquarters building, Béthelainville
Box 2FF 5965. No. 1 of Béthelainville field
Box 2FF 6066. No. 2 of Béthelainville field
Box 2FF 6167. No. 3 of Béthelainville field
Box 2FF 6268. Camouflaged road
Box 2FF 6369. Truck taking away Pat's wreck [airplane]
Box 2FF 6470. Interior of barracks at Béthelainville
Box 2FF 6571. Big Dick and Carver
Box 2FF 6672. Judge, our mascot [dog]
Box 2FF 6773. Officers' barracks, Souilly
Box 2FF 6874. Men's mess, Souilly
Box 2FF 6975. Marine [William Lowe] at operation office, Souilly
Box 2FF 7076. Hayden, Big Dick and Lockwood
Box 2FF 7177. Wreck of Sopwith Camel
Box 2FF 7278. Wreck of Sopwith Camel, Souilly
Box 2FF 7379. Officers' quarters, Belrain
Box 2FF 7480. Officers' quarters, Belrain
Box 2FF 7581. Dr. Livingston's dog
Box 2FF 7682. Dr. Livingston's dog on stove
Box 2FF 7783. Dr. Livingston and his dog
Box 2FF 7884. Barbed wire entanglements
Box 2FF 7985. Kinsley crawling through wire
Box 2FF 8086. Interior of church at Béthelainville
Box 2FF 8187. Place de la Concorde, Paris
Box 2FF 8288. Place de la Concorde, Paris, showing monument
Box 2FF 8389. Place de la Concorde, Paris, showing fountain
Box 2FF 8490. Place de la Concorde, Paris, looking west
Box 2FF 85 91. Railroad station at Château-Thierry
Box 2FF 8692. Hangar blown down at Béthelainville
Box 2FF 8793. Commanding officer's quarters at Belrain
Box 2FF 8894. Belrain 1
Box 2FF 8995. Belrain 2
Box 2FF 9096. Belrain 3
Box 2FF 9197. Belrain 1
Box 2FF 9298. Belrain 2
Box 2FF 9399. Belrain 3
Box 2FF 94100. Quarters of Foster and Kinsley, Béthelainville
Box 2FF 95 [Unidentified woman seated on bench on dock, Alley's Inn in background, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 95-98)
Box 2FF 96 [Unidentified woman holding a flower standing behind bench on dock, Alley's Inn, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 95-98)
Box 2FF 97 [Unidentified woman in bathing suit standing on dock, Alley's Inn, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 95-98)
Box 2FF 98 [Unidentified woman in bathing suit seated in a rowboat, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 95-98)
Box 2FF 99 [Kinsley on dock, Alley's Inn, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing)
Box 2FF 100 [Kinsley in bathing suit at bottom of stairway, Alley's Inn, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing)
Box 2FF 101 [Unidentified woman seated on pilings by water's edge, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 101, 102, 203)
Box 2FF 102 [Unidentified woman in bathing suit seated on back of rowboat with legs in water, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 101, 102, 203)
Box 2FF 103 [Unidentified woman seated on grass, dock in background with three people on bench, Alley's Inn, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing)
Box 2FF 104 [Bench on dock, Alley's Inn, Lake Keuka, Keuka Park, New York] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing)
Box 2FF 1051. Rear view, commanding officer's quarters, Béthelainville
Box 2FF 1062. Starboard side bow, La France [SS France]
Box 2FF 1073. Bow view, La France [SS France]
Box 2FF 1084. Stern starboard view
Box 2FF 1095. Stern view showing wake
Box 2FF 1106. Smoke stacks
Box 2FF 1117. George Mellon and gang
Box 2FF 1128. Wireless tower at Brest
Box 2FF 1139. Brest Harbor
Box 2FF 11410. Brest Harbor
Box 2FF 11511. Brest Harbor
Box 2FF 11612. Breakwater, Brest
Box 2FF 11713. French cruiser, Brest
Box 2FF 11814. U.S. battleship
Box 2FF 11915. Angers barracks 1
Box 2FF 12016. Angers barracks 2
Box 2FF 12117. Angers barracks 3
Box 2FF 12218. Drill ground, Angers
Box 2FF 12319. Angers city
Box 2FF 12420. House, Angers
Box 2FF 12521. Statue of Liberty
Box 2FF 12622. Statue of Liberty
Box 2FF 12723. Bird Park, Nancy
Box 2FF 12824. Main court [Place Stanislas], Nancy
Box 2FF 129 25. Main arch [Arc de Triomphe by Héré], Nancy
Box 2FF 13026. Scene looking through arch [toward Place de la Carriere], Nancy
Box 2FF 13127. Municipal building [along Place Stanislas], Nancy
Box 2FF 13228. Cargill and Brown
Box 2FF 13329. Drill ground, Angers
Box 2FF 13430. Day I [Kinsley] left for home
Box 2FF 13531. Sgt. Cargill
Box 2FF 136 32. Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 137 33. Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 13834. Toul station
Box 2FF 13935. Captured guns, Paris
Box 2FF 140 36. Moi [Kinsley] at Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 141 37. Maurer at Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 142 38. Hangars and field at Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 143 39. Hangars and field at Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 14440. The old wood pile, Belrain
Box 2FF 145 41. Typical French dog, Colombey-les-Belles
Box 2FF 14642. Canal and barge
Box 2FF 14743. "B" Flight [Kinsley's flight group]
Box 2FF 14844. Bill Maurer
Box 2FF 14945. Schoelkoff Hall 1
Box 2FF 15046. Schoelkoff Hall 2
Box 2FF 15147. Schoelkoff Hall 3
Box 2FF 15248. Schoelkoff Hall 4
Box 2FF 15349. New armory
Box 2FF 15450. Old armory 1
Box 2FF 15551. Old armory 2
Box 2FF 15652. Hydroplane, rear view, Cazaux
Box 2FF 15753. Sopwith [Camel] #23, Cazaux
Box 2FF 15854. Five plane formation, Cazaux
Box 2FF 15955. Four plane formation, Cazaux
Box 2FF 16056. Nieuport diving, Cazaux
Box 2FF 16157. Kinsley in Nieuport, Cazaux
Box 2FF 16258. Kinsley in front of Nieuport, Cazaux
Box 2FF 16359. Spad, Cazaux
Box 2FF 16460. Barracks at Cazaux
Box 2FF 16561. Dogan at Kinder, Louisiana
Box 2FF 16662. Dogan at Kinder, Louisiana
Box 2FF 16763. [Airplanes #] 1640 and 17 at Kinder, Louisiana
Box 2FF 16864. "Kin" [Kinsley] in #1640 at Kinder, Louisiana
Box 2FF 16965. "Trapper" and Hayden, Louisiana, at hose
Box 2FF 17066. Foddy waiting, Louisiana
Box 2FF 17167. "Kin" [Kinsley] sitting in front of barracks
Box 2FF 17268. Porch of barracks, Louisiana
Box 2FF 17369. Cunliffe sitting on porch
Box 2FF 17470. Porch near view
Box 2FF 17571. Porch from street
Box 2FF 17672. Dogan and [unidentified] at hydrant
Box 2FF 17773. [Airplane #] 1575 on line, Louisiana
Box 2FF 17874. View of field, Louisiana
Box 2FF 17975. Bandy by truck, Louisiana
Box 2FF 18076. Field showing starting line
Box 2FF 18177. Bunch on field and snake
Box 2FF 18278. Smithie on truck, Louisiana
Box 2FF 18379. Dogan standing by truck
Box 2FF 18480. Ourches Field, France
Box 2FF 18581. Ourches Field from air
Box 2FF 18682. Railroad from air
Box 2FF 18783. Village of Ourches from air
Box 2FF 18884. Barracks field at Issoudun
Box 2FF 18985. Road scene from Ourches barracks
Box 2FF 19086. Dogan and George, field at Issoudun
Box 2FF 19187. Three of us [Dogan, Kinsley and George], field at Issoudun
Box 2FF 19288. Dogan in Spad, Ourches
Box 2FF 19389. George and me [Kinsley], Brooklyn [New York]
Box 2FF 19490. "Kin" [Kinsley] in G. Baxter's backyard
Box 2FF 19591. George shooting dice at Amagansett [New York]
Box 2FF 19692. G. [George] and "Chan" in sun parlor
Box 2FF 19793. George in sun parlor
Box 2FF 19894. "Kin" [Kinsley] in sun parlor
Box 2FF 19995. "Kin" [Kinsley] by bath house
Box 2FF 20096. Country Club, Hampton
Box 2FF 20197. Blimp at tennis courts
Box 2FF 20298. Miss dingbat on porch
Box 2FF 203 [Woman standing by front of car] (additional image in album not recorded on numerical listing; same subject shown in Box 2 FFs 101, 102, 203)