Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1914-1918
  • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps
  • Unit of Service: 24th Aero Squadron
  • Location of Service: France; Germany
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant

View full service history

"It seems mine was the death room, each new patient brought in being very sick, no one surviving while I was there." (Memoir, page 28)

When the United States entered World War I, Harold Riley wrote, "I believed that the excitement and thrills of military action could be better appreciated from close contact, with real fighting." Although his father had just been diagnosed with diabetes, Riley's family urged him to serve. He became a pilot in the newly formed Army Air Corps, dropping propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines and scouting for ground troop movements. In October 1918, his plane was shot down, and his observer, Sam Keesler, was killed. (Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi was later named for him.) Riley spent most of his brief time in captivity--the war ended a month later--under medical care for his wounds.

[ Autobiography of WWI Experiences June 1917 to March 1919 by Harold W. Riley ]

About this Item

Title

  • Harold W. Riley Collection

Names

  • Riley, Harold
  • Riley, Harold W.

State of Birth

  • MN

Home State

  • MN

Headings

  • -  Riley, Harold W.
  • -  World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army Air Forces/Corps.
  • -  Prisoner of War -- United States

Form

  • Memoirs

Extent

  • 1 item

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • White

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1914-1918

    • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps
    • Unit of Service: 24th Aero Squadron
    • Location of Service: France; Germany
    • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
    • Dates of Service: 1917-1919
    • Prisoner of War: Yes
    • Entrance into Service: Commissioned
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- (collected 06/1931)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/2165

Cite as

  • Harold W. Riley Collection (AFC/2001/001/2165), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Riley, Harold, and Harold W Riley. Harold W. Riley Collection. 1917. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02165/.

APA citation style:

Riley, H. & Riley, H. W. (1917) Harold W. Riley Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02165/.

MLA citation style:

Riley, Harold, and Harold W Riley. Harold W. Riley Collection. 1917. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02165/>.