This collection contains photographic prints, newspaper clippings, conference programs, photocopies from various sources, military records, booklets, original essays, and more most likely compiled by Ralph Rogers Wheeler (1918-2004), an Alabama native. Items relate to Wheeler’s life and especially his military service and time as a Japanese prisoner of war. Beginning in 1942, he was first housed in a prison camp in the Philippines, and then sent via ship to a prison camp near Osaka, Japan. He was rescued in 1945 after Japan’s surrender. Supplementary materials appear to be related to research he did into Bataan and Corregidor, as well as his membership in POW organizations, such as the Cheaha Chapter of American Ex-POWs and the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.
Wheeler was a veteran of both WWII and Korea. He enlisted in the US Army in 1936 and re-enlisted in the Air Force in 1947, retiring in 1961. He was a member of Jacksonville First Presbyterian Church and is buried in Jacksonville City Cemetery.
(Sources: Information found in the materials and Ralph Rogers Wheeler obituary published in the Birmingham News, 29 January 2004.)
Latham, Bethany, "Ralph Rogers Wheeler Papers: Finding Aid" (2021). Finding Aids. 10.