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RG3696.AM:  Harold L. Gillett, 1898-1959

Papers:  1917-1919, 1943-1958

Unadilla, Otoe County, and Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska:  WWI veteran, Company C, 2nd Balloon Squadron, 3rd Balloon Company

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box + oversize


Harold L. Gillett, the son of Letta and Leonard C. Gillett, was born in Unadilla, Otoe County, Nebraska, in 1898. He entered the service in May of 1917, and joined the newly organized U.S. Balloon School of Ft. Omaha, Nebraska in September. While a member of the Signal Corps 3rd Balloon Company, Gillett served in France. After the war and while living in Lincoln, Nebraska, Gillett served as State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as Vice-Commander of Lincoln’s American Legion Post 3, and as a member of the Nebraska State Veteran’s Advisory Committee. He was associated with the Fred Groth Insurance Agency for more than 20 years. Gillett also served as Lancaster County Election Commissioner, 1951-1958. He died in 1959.


This collection, relating to Harold L. Gillett’s military career in World War I as part of the U.S. Army’s Third Balloon Company, is arranged in two Series: 1) World War I Scrapbook Publications; and 2) Miscellany. The Scrapbook Publications of Series 1 consist of three volumes. Volume 1 provides an honor roll of Lancaster County, Nebraska servicemen, including biographies and photographs. Volumes 2 and 3 deal with the balloon section of the American Expeditionary Force. Volume 2 provides a history of all the balloon companies of the U.S. Army, while Volume 3 deals specifically with the 3rd Balloon Company. The Miscellany of Series 2 includes three letters written by Gillett back to his family, 1917-1918; a Membership Directory of the National Association of American Balloon Corps Veterans, 1958; and various certificates, including his commissioning as Lancaster County Election Commissioner and membership in the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Note:  See the Nebraska History index for various citations relating to Harold and Lettie Gillett. See the Library Catalog and the Nebraska History index for published items relating to the Balloon Service in WWI.

Acc. 0054  [1968]


Series 1 – World War I Scrapbook Publications, 1919

Box 1


  1. Honor Roll of Lancaster County, Nebraska, 1919

  2. The Balloon Section of the American Expeditionary Force, 1919

  3. Third Balloon Company, U.S. Army (contains photographs)

Series 2 – Miscellany

  1. Miscellany, including:

    Letters (3) to family, 1917-1918

    Membership Directory of the National Association of American Balloon Corps Veterans, 1958

    Letter of appointment to “The Great Navy of the State of Nebraska,” 1953

    Certificates, 1943-1957 (see oversize)


Subject headings:

Gillett, Harold L., 1898-1959

United States. Army. Balloon Section

World War, 1914-1918 — Aerial operations, American


KFK                       10-10-1996

Revised TMM        04-07-2010; 08-09-2019