Oliver and Howard Jelks diaries
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Oliver and Howard Jelks diaries

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Jelks family.
Title: Oliver and Howard Jelks diaries
Dates: 1917-1919
Extent: 0.1 cubic feet (2 folders)
Identification: MS 1652

Biographical/Historical Note

Oliver Robinson Jelks (1893-1974) and Howard Coates Jelks (1897-1984), brothers from Macon, Georgia, both enlisted in the Aviation Section of the United States Army Signal Corps in 1917, soon after the United States entered the First World War. Both received pilot training and were stationed in France, although neither saw active combat.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the original handwritten diary of Oliver Jelks that spans from November 12, 1917, the day the brothers left Macon for flight school, to September 1, 1918. The Oliver Jelks diary appears to be missing pages from both the beginning and the end. The second item is a transcription combining the diaries of both Oliver and Howard Jelks along with annotations, foreword, epilogue, and three photocopied images. The diary of Howard Jelks spans more dates than the one written by his brother, covering August 12, 1917 to January 21, 1919. The diaries are similar in subject matter and are primarily personal accounts of training and army life. Main topics include descriptions of travel, army duties, camp conditions, and sight-seeing treks.

Index Terms

Flight training--United States--History--20th century.
Jelks, Howard Coates, 1897-1984.
Jelks, Oliver Robinson, 1893-1974.
United States. Army. Signal Corps. Aviation Section.
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, American.

Location of Originals

The original journal of Howard Coates Jelks is in the possession of his son, Dr. Howard C. Jelks. of Florida.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The journal of Oliver Robinson Jelks was in the possession of Edward B. Jelks. The journal of Howard Coates Jelks is in the possession of his son, Howard C. Jelks.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Oliver and Howard Jelks diaries, MS 1652, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Edward B. Jelks, 1998.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Handwritten diary of Oliver Jelks, 1917 November 12 - 1918 September 1


2Transcribed combination of diaries of Oliver and Howard Jelks, 1917 August 12 - 1919 January 21