JOHN AND EDNA MOSLEY PAPERS
Scope and Contents
The collection contains papers that span the years 1915-2004. It includes report cards, diplomas, school yearbooks, correspondence, newspaper clippings, certificates, publications, reports, articles, flight suits, compass, teaching materials, scrapbooks and photographs. The material documents Mosley’s high school and college days and his career with the Tuskegee Airmen.
The series comprises resumes, report cards from junior high, Mosley’s high school commencement address and diploma, Colorado State College graduation announcement, Colorado State University alumni programs and awards and newspaper clippings. The series also includes a few items concerning Mosley’s wife, Edna, and the death of his father, John W. Mosley, Sr.
This series includes yearbooks, publications, reports and articles about the Tuskegee Airmen. Also included are programs from the Tuskegee Airmen national conventions. Also included is a travel bag commemorating Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and The Organization of Black Airline Pilots, Inc.
This series consists of two scrapbooks pertaining to Mosley’s childhood, education and military career. The scrapbooks contain chiefly newspaper clippings.
Photographs of Mosley’s wife and family are included in this series. Also included are photographs of Tuskegee Airmen.
This series consists of an American Woodmen insurance beneficiary certificate and a poster marking the 15th anniversary of the Women’s Bank. Mosley’s wife, Edna, was a member of the 1993 Board of Directors and is pictured on the poster. Also contains John W. Mosley's flight suits and compass. There are also Edna Mosley's curriculum poster materials. Additionally, there is a color portrait of John and Edna Mosley.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Biographical / Historical
John William Mosley, Jr. was born in Denver, Colorado on June 21, 1921. His father came to Colorado attracted by the Cripple Creek silver rush but settled his family in Denver. Mosley attended Whittier Elementary School, Cole Junior High School and Manual Training High School in Denver, Colorado. At Manual he was an honor student, class valedictorian, Merit Scholarship winner and lettered in wrestling and football. He obtained his undergraduate education at Colorado State College in Fort Collins, Colorado where he was the first African American to play football in the Big Seven Conference and to win a regional wrestling championship.
After graduation, Mosley was drafted into the U.S. Army Field Artillery unit despite the fact that he held a private pilot’s license and wished to be an Air Force pilot. Eventually he was transferred and enrolled in flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Force Base, an isolated U.S. Army Air Corps training complex for African Americans. Mosley achieved the rating of a Command Pilot. Under the command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., the Tuskegee Airmen fought in the aerial war over North Africa, Sicily and Europe. Mosley elected to return to civilian life in 1946, maintaining his commission as a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Reserve.
Mosley received a Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver in 1948. He was employed as Boys’ Work Director for YMCAs in Denver, Colorado and Kansas City, Missouri until 1950, when he was recalled to active duty. Mosley served in a variety of staff and combat operational positions in Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States and obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After retirement from the Air Force in 1967, Mosley continued to serve his country with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he worked in a variety of positions including Equal Opportunity Specialist, Staff Director of the Mountain Plains Federal Regional Council and Special Assistant to James Farmer, Assistant Secretary of Administration.
Mosley later retired from the Federal Government, but remained active in professional and community organizations including the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation; Mile High United Way; Denver Sister Cities, International; Y.M.C.A.; and Goodwill Industries.
He married his high school friend, Edna Wilson, in 1945. Edna Mosley was the first African-American City Council member for the City of Denver, Colorado and co-founder of the Women's Bank. The couple had four children: Edna Lorette, John Gregory, Brian Wilson, and William Eric.
Edna Mosley died in Denver, Colorado on August 26, 2014. John William Mosley, Jr. died in Denver, Colorado on May 22, 2015. Edna and John Mosley are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Wheatridge, Colorado.
3 boxes (3 linear feet)
1 oversize folders
4 oversize boxes
1 oversize folios
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift, John and Edna Mosley, December 11, 2001.
Merrie Jo Schroeder
- African American air pilots -- History. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- African American women -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Military records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Personal papers Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- SAfrican Americans -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Scrapbooks. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Women city council members -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- JOHN AND EDNA MOSLEY PAPERS
- revised December 2015
- Language of description
- Script of description