The collection consists of J. Russell Major's World War II papers, primarily letters written to his parents during the period 1942-1945. The early letters covers his training as a Field Artillery officer at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma (1942-1944) and other U. S. bases, including Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base (Glider School) and Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Letters from July 1944-May 1945 date from his service as a forward artillery observer in France and Germany. Other items in the collection include miscellaneous orders, 1942-1945; papers relating to his awards (Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart); his service record; notes relating to his army career; and 4 volumes of the U. S. Army official history (European Theater), with one volume annotated by Major. Major's World War II reminiscences, based in part on the correspondence in this collection, were published in 1999 under the title "The Memoirs of an Artillery Forward Observer, 1944-1945." The book is in Preston Library's rare book collection.