Colonel Charles Leon Andrews (1910-2005) was a decorated veteran (including the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit) who, during World War II, was appointed Military Attaché to Brazil and Ecuador before serving two combat tours as battalion commander during the Korean War. After graduating first in military excellence from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1934 (where he was a prized fencer like General Patton before him), he taught foreign languages there, before being transferred to positions at Ft. Leavenworth and then Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and Quito, Ecuador in 1943-1944.
The first scrapbook is 43 pp., approximately 17” x 12”, and covers 1929-1934 when Andrews was a cadet at the United States Military Academy. Embossed on the faded black front cover (Ward Belmont, 1914) is the West Point crest. Covers detached, held together by thick string on one end. Highlights include: 12 Dance Cards, 1930-1934, for various West Point balls and hops, featuring numerous Art Deco designs; a 1930 article mentioning Hitler; West Point admission letter and appointment certificate; over 50 photos (mounted, inserted, pastedowns, recto/verso) of family, Andrews in uniform, soldiers, West Point barracks and marching exercises, action photos from football games, and numerous candids; graduation exercises programs, report cards, letters in response to violations and demerits (for “belching in loud and disgusting manner” and another for being in front of window in improper uniform); 1932 Merry Wives of West Point program; official 1932 USMA football schedule and a 1934 Pasadena Rose Bowl ticket (Columbia and Stanford).
The second scrapbook (25 pp. with loose and mounted pieces on rectos and versos plus 14 pp. blank), approximately 14.5” x 11.5”, has an embossed brown art deco design with “Photographs” on front and covers the years 1943-1945. Overall VG+, with approximately 74 black and white photos. This album details Andrews’s marriage to Harriet Goetz of New York (daughter of West Point instructor Col. Robert Goetz) on August 30, 1943 (they would later divorce in 1952). This album seems to have been carefully arranged by Harriet, who would often write captions in white pen on the black pages. Highlights include: the remnants (in envelope) of Col. Andrews’s moustache, cut April 30, 1944; candid photo of Ecuadorian President Jose Velasco Ibarra boarding a plane and invitations to August 1944 dinner with him; small broadside “Brazilians Defend Your Brazil” from 1942, a rousing, patriotic screed urging Brazilians to protect their homeland during war; 1942 Fort Leavenworth Command and General Staff School Guide map (20” x 27”); Military Intelligence Division War Department honor to Col. Andrews, 1943-1945, acknowledging his “loyalty and devotion to duty;” numerous photographs of General George Brett visiting Quito; program for Leningrad Music Hall production of Bolivar, June 1944; War Department 1943 restricted booklet with section on Women’s Auxillary Army Corps; pages of wedding gift cards and letters from family and military figures and friends as well as Christmas 1943 cards and gift tags; War Ration Book Four; program for renowned harpist Nicanor Zabaleta concerts, August 1944; numerous photos, clippings, and postcards of Rio and Quito; handwritten speech in Spanish by Colonel.
Two striking World War II era scrapbooks/photo albums that wonderfully detail the rise of Andrews from West Point cadet to Colonel and provide a compelling glimpse of 1930s and 1940s daily life both stateside and in South America. Item #50