Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Frank S. Buchanan Collection, 1918-1919

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Frank S. Buchanan collection
Creator: Buchanan, Josephine Aurandt
Inclusive dates: 1918-1919
Extent: 17 items
This collection contains 9 letters that Frank S. Buchanan wrote to his fiancée, Josephine Aurandt, during his stateside service in the United States Marine Corps during the First World War. He discussed camp life near Boston, Massachusetts, and his efforts to receive a discharge. Also present are 8 photographs.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1996. M-3230.15.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Frank S. Buchanan Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with photographs placed at the end.


Frank Speer Buchanan was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on February 27, 1899, the son of Frank M. and Alice Buchanan. After graduating from Altoona High School in 1917, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps; he served in Massachusetts until the end of World War I. He worked with the local Shaffer Stores Company throughout the interwar period and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in the late 1920s. During World War II, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and commanded a tank-destroying battalion. Frank S. Buchanan was killed in action in France on October 12, 1944. He and his wife, Josephine Aurandt, had four children: Frank, Josephine, Shirley, and Richard. Their two sons also served in the United States military during World War II: Frank, an officer in the army air forces, escaped from a German prison camp after being shot down in Italy, and Richard, a private, was killed in the Philippines on March 7, 1945.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 9 letters that Frank S. Buchanan wrote to his fiancée, Josephine Aurandt, during his stateside service in the United States Marine Corps during the First World War. Also present are 8 photographs.

Buchanan discussed camp life, including frequent drills and barracks inspections, and his experiences in Boston, Massachusetts, and Parris Island, South Carolina. Boston's proximity to the ocean pleased him, though he often got lost in the city's "quaint" and "narrow" streets (June 9, 1918). Though he remained in the United States throughout the war, Buchanan knew others who served in Europe. He wrote Josephine about a button supposedly taken off of a dead German soldier (July 13, 1918) and told her that he could easily have been among the many friends killed or wounded in France (October 30, 1918).

The collection also contains 8 photographs: 5 show a United States soldier in uniform, 2 are group photographs of military personnel, and 1 depicts a bulldog referred to as "Our Mascot."

Subject Terms

    • Boston (Mass.)--Description and travel.
    • Parris Island (S.C.)
    • United States. Marine Corps--Military life.
    • World War, 1914-1918--United States.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Marines--United States.
    • Buchanan, Frank Speer, 1899-1944.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Photographs.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   5, World War I Small Collections  
    Frank S. Buchanan collection [series]
    Folders   9-10  
     January 13, 1918-March 26, 1919, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    "Altoona Officer Given Assignment." Altoona Mirror (Altoona, Pennsylvania) 13 March 1940.

    "Col. Buchanan Dead, Sgt. Ruscito Listed Missing in Europe." Altoona Mirror (Altoona, Pennsylvania) [October 1942].

    "Pvt. Richard V. Buchanan." Altoona Mirror (Altoona, Pennsylvania) 3 April 1945.