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RG3964.AM:  Desley Leo Taylor, 1910-1975

Scrapbooks:  1942-1945

Talmage, Otoe County, and Auburn, Nemaha County, Nebraska:  Soldier; Newspaper publisher

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 3 volumes


Desley L. Taylor, son of Charles and Bess Arbogast Taylor, was born March 23, 1910, in Carleton, Thayer County, Nebraska.  After graduating from Kearney High School, he attended the University of Nebraska.  Taylor was the publisher of the Davenport (Iowa) People’s Journal until 1941.  Afterwards, for about nine months, he published the Talmage Tribune in Talmage, Otoe County, Nebraska.  Taylor entered the U.S. Army on October 6, 1942, and served with the 2nd Battalion, 40th Engineers, seeing action in both North Africa and Europe.  When he was discharged on November 21, 1945, he had achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.

Desley Taylor was married to Gertrude (Giermann) Hill in 1947.  Together they owned and operated the Talmage Tribune for fifteen years.  The Taylors then moved to Auburn, where he worked for the Nemaha County Herald until his retirement in 1972.  Desley Leo Taylor died on November 24, 1975, and is buried in Green Hill Cemetery at Rock Port, Missouri.


This collection consists of one box containing three scrapbooks.  The materials in the scrapbooks date from 1942-1945.  This material relates entirely to the military career of Desley L. Taylor and his service during World War II in North Africa and Europe.  The scrapbooks trace Taylor’s three years of service as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 40th Engineers, beginning with his induction in 1942, and ending with his discharge in 1945.  The volumes were arranged by Taylor, who didn’t keep a strict chronological sequence to the material, but arranged the collection by subject headings.  The scrapbooks contain military orders and information, extracts of letters Taylor sent home, photographs, souvenir material, newspaper clippings, and newsletters.  Topics included basic training, the invasion of Sicily, the bombings of European cities, camp life and conditions, entertainment, sightseeing, concentration camp victims and horrors, and friends he made

A Dachau concentration camp identification tag, a piece of fuselage from a U.S. plane, and a soap dish reputedly owned by a child of Martin Bormann and recovered from Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest,” have all been transferred to the Museum.


Box 1


  1. Scrapbook, July 10, 1942-November 14, 1943 – Topics include Induction, Training, Overseas Movement, Amphibious Landing, and Sicilian Campaign

  2. Scrapbook, November 14, 1943-September 29, 1944 – Topics include Italian Campaigns and North African Adventures

  3. Scrapbook, September 29, 1944-November 21, 1945 – Topics include French Campaign, Invasion of Germany, Post VE Day Service, Redeployment, and Discharge


Subject headings:

Military life

Military training camps (U.S.)

Soldiers — Nebraska

Taylor, Desley Leo, 1910-1975

United States — Army — 2nd Battalion — 40th Engineers

World War, 1939-1945


AIF                      12-12-1979

Revised TMM      03-30-2019