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James W. Ochs World War II collection

Identifier: RHC-55

Collection Description

Collection includes a photo album of images taken by Ochs, 16 photos taken by the Army Signal Corps of the 26th Infantry Division, and a scrapbook of documents, articles, letters, brochures and other printed materials, currency and artifacts collected by Ochs. Photographs in the album document his tour of duty in France with the 26th Division, friends he acquired in France, and his leisure time activities. The collection also included is a copy of the video interview conducted for the Veterans History Project, digitized images from the photo album, and a dvd compiled by Ochs of images and music.


  • 1942-1945


Access to Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.


Born in Charlevoix, Michigan in 1922, Jim Ochs grew up through the Depression. After graduating from high school in 1940, he attended college for a couple of years before receiving his draft notice in late 1942. He received training as a photographer, but was shuttled around between different training programs and eventually wound up with a signal company attached to the 26th Division as a message center runner. His division went to France in the fall of 1944, and was in action around Metz, in the Bulge counterattack, and Patton's advance into Germany. Ochs managed to acquire a camera and improvised a darkroom to develop his pictures while on campaign.


1.0 Linear feet (2 flat boxes)

Language of Materials


Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL|f2f5b183-121d-45fe-a216-1d4605ca29cb/

Source of Acquisition

Acquired from James W. Ochs as a result of the Veterans History Project interview conducted by Grand Valley State University History Department’s James Smither, 2011.

Alternative Format

A scrapbook and selection of photographs from this collection have been digitized and are available in our Digital Collection.

James W. Ochs World War II collection, RHC-55
Special Collections & University Archives
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  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States