Howard Myers Scull papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Howard Myers Scull was born July 25, 1913 in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of Benjamin A. and Cordelia Myers Scull. He had two older siblings, Fred and Mary. He graduated from Easton High School in 1931 and went on to attend Lafayette College, where he was a member of the Theta Xi Fraternity. After graduating from Lafayette in 1935, he attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he was a member of the Alpha Kappa Kappa Fraternity and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). He spent two years as an intern at Presbyterian Hospital after graduating medical school and was awarded a fellowship with the Mayo Clinic, but chose to enter the Army instead in July 1941.
Following preliminary training, 1st Lieutenant Scull was transferred to the Air Corps and became a flight surgeon overseeing the care of aviation personnel. He served in the 322nd Bombardment Group, assigned to the 3rd Bomb Wing. In February 1943, Scull was sent overseas as a Captain, traveling through Brazil and Africa before arriving in England towards the end of March 1943, where he was senior medical officer overseeing ten doctors, a small hospital and two dispensaries. The 322nd Bombardment Groups was stationed at the RAF Andrews Field in Essex from 1943 to September 1944. According to a letter Scull wrote on April 15, 1943, flight surgeons were forbidden from combat flights, but he did fly over enemy territory at least once on August 19, 1943. In addition to his duties as flight surgeon, Scull also attended courses, including a psychiatry course with special reference to handling mental casualties as a result of combat operations. In September 1943, Scull was promoted to Major and became base surgeon with complete responsibility for the health and all sanitary ramifications of the station and its satellites (approximately 5000 men and officers) as well as the supervision of twelve doctors, and two dentists. He died in a plane accident when the plane he was on, a Martin B-26C, crashed on Cronk ny Arrey Laa on the Isle of Man on July 4, 1944.
The Howard Myers Scull papers consist of three series: early life and education, World War II service, and post death documents and research.
Series I contains certificates, photographs, correspondence, and a yearbook from his early life and tenure in college and medical school. Photographs portray Scull from childhood to his service in the United States Army Air Corps, as well as Scull's parents, siblings, and his nieces. Also included are Scull's diaries from his time in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania (1936 to 1939) with brief entries about his classes, social outings, and family events. Researchers will find references to quality of classes and lectures, diagnoses in clinic, results of autopsies, and studying. Scull mentions family throughout his diary, in particular visits to his brother Fred and his sister-in-law Ella. In 2015, Scull's niece transcribed the entirety of his diary entries into a single volume (located in Box 2, folder 3).
Series II consists primarily of Scull's correspondence from his time as a flight surgeon stationed in England during World War II. The bulk of Scull's correspondence is to or from his brother Fred and sister-in-law Ella about family matters; social news; his training in Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Florida; and his service in England. Scull's niece transcribed this correspondence and collected it into a single volume in 2014 (located in box 2, folder 5). The letters provide a glimpse into family dynamics, family health concerns, homesickness, the loss of men from his unit, and Scull's relationships with women, especially Jane Price, his fiancée who married another man just months before Scull's death. This series also includes certificates and documentation of Scull's status and promotions in the Army between 1939 and 1944, with a report personally written by Scull detailing the activities of his Medical Detachment. Original copies of his personal financial records, will, insurance documents, and a pilot log book are also included.
Series III consists entirely of materials dated after Scull's death on July 4, 1944. It includes official War Department correspondence, as well as personal letters of condolence and documents related to Scull's effects and estate. Additionally, there are clippings of Scull's obituary from various newspapers, photographs of his tombstone, and research conducted between 2009 and 2015 regarding the cause and details of the airplane crash.
Gift of Natalie Watkins Scull, 2015
- University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine
- United States. Army. Air Corps
- Lafayette College (Easton, Northampton County, Pa.)
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Sarah Yerger, Rayna Andrews, and Elsa Varela
- Finding Aid Date
- 2016 May 4
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.