ROSS J. WILSON PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The collection spans 1935 to 1996. Wilson's military records and his correspondence comprise the bulk of the collection, which also includes limited memorabilia and photographs.
Wilson's military papers include personnel files, correspondence, memos and orders documenting his World War II and Army Reserve assignments. Materials from both pre and post war advanced officer training courses are also included. Wilson's correspondence and memorabilia primarily reflect his involvement with the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division.
87th Mountain Infantry Regiment ski training activities at Mount Rainier, Washington and Lake Louise, Canada comprise the bulk of the series. Many of these photographs are loose, although a photograph album contains similar materials. Limited photographs depicting maneuvers at Jolon, California and the occupation of Kiska Island also form a portion of the series. Many of the photographs are soiled or stained.
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
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.
Ross James Wilson was born February 8, 1913 in Kansas City, Kansas, the youngest of three sons of James R. and Elva Pearl (Fleming) Wilson. The family moved to the Flathead Valley in Montana in 1916, where Wilson attended the Swan River Grammar School at Swan River, Montana, and graduated from Flathead County High School in 1931. After high school, Wilson worked with his father as a building contractor and also as a purchaser for the J. Hofert Christmas Tree Company.
As a member of the Montana National Guard, Wilson served with the 163rd Infantry Regiment, Company F. He attained the rank of company first sergeant and subsequently received an officer's commission. With America's entry into World War II, Wilson transferred to the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment, which would later become part of the 10th Mountain Division. He commanded the 1st Battalion of the 87th. Wilson participated in both the Kiska and Italian Campaigns and received a Bronze Star Medal for his actions during the attack on Mount Belvedere. On April 20, 1945, he received a Silver Star Medal for gallantry during the 10th Mountain Division's attack toward the Po River. Wilson was one of only six 10th Mountain Division soldiers to receive the Legion of Merit, the nation's third highest military decoration. He was discharged at the end of World War II as a full colonel.
After the war, Wilson returned to Montana's Flathead Valley where, in addition to continuing his service in the Army Reserve, he was the district supervisor of Region 1 of the Montana Fish and Game Department for thirteen years. He also served as Flathead County sheriff for eight years and was active as a real estate agent.
An avid outdoors man, Wilson particularly enjoyed camping and fishing. He was a member of the Eagles, Shriners, Masons, Elks and the American Legion. In 1972, he married Katie Reis. Wilson died in Whitefish, Montana on December 19, 1996 of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Other Finding Aids
Gift, Mary Wilson, donated the materials in this collection on October 2, 1998.
Number of Boxes: 1 (1 linear foot)
- Camp Hale (Colo.) Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Camp Swift (Tex.) Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Military records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Montana. -- National Guard.
- Photographs. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Ski troops. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Soldiers -- United States -- Correspondence. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- United States. -- Army. -- Infantry Regiment, 87th.
- United States. -- Army. -- Mountain Division, 10th.
- Wilson, Ross James, 1913-1996 -- Archives.
- ROSS J. WILSON PAPERS
- OCTOBER 2009
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script