A Guide to the Robert E. Hord Jr. Papers, 1942-1945, n.d. Hord Jr, Robert, Papers Ms2011-058

A Guide to the Robert E. Hord Jr. Papers, 1942-1945, n.d.

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2011-058


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

©2011 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Jennifer Mitchell, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Robert E. Hord Jr. Papers, 1942-1945, n.d.
Physical Characteristics
0.8 Cubic Feet 2 boxes
Hord, Robert E., Jr., 1920-2010
Papers consist primarily of correspondence written by Robert Hord Jr. of Richmond, VA to his parents, Gladys and Robert Hord Sr. Also includes a scrapbook and photographs of the Hord family. Robert Hord Jr. was born in 1920; he attended the Virginia Polytechnic Institute's Engineering Extension school in Richmond from 1937 to 1939. In April 1942, Hord enlisted in the Army where he served in the 302nd Ordinance Regiment before being transferred to the 758th Railway Shop Battalion. Hord was stationed in a number of camps across the United States before his unit was sent overseas in December of 1943. Hord spent the remainder of World War II repairing trains and railroads in Dibrugarh, Assam, India before being sent home. Hord was discharged from the army in November 1945. Hord went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1949 and a Master's in Power and Fuel Engineering in 1950. Hord went on to a successful career working for the railroad before passing away in December 2010.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Robert E. Hord Jr. Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Robert E. Hord Jr. Papers, Ms2011-058, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Robert E. Hord Jr. papers were purchased by Special Collection in May 2011. An addition to the collection was purchased in August 2011.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Robert E. Hord Jr. papers was completed in June 2011. The processing of an addition was completed in September 2011.

Biographical Note

Robert "Bobby" E. Hord Jr. was born in 1920 to Gladys Bauer Hord and Robert E. Hord Sr. in Richmond, Virginia. Robert Hord Jr. attended class at the Richmond branch of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute Engineering Extension Division from 1937 to 1939.

Hord enlisted in the Army in April of 1942 and was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion of the 302nd Ordinance Regiment. Hord completed his training at numerous bases throughout the United States including: Camp Sutton in Monroe, North Carolina; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Camp Young in Indio, California; Camp Pickett, Virginia, and Camp McCain in Mississippi. While he was serving in Mississippi, Hord received a much-anticipated transfer to Company A of the 758th Railway Shop Battalion. He spent a brief period at Camp Harrahan in New Orleans, Louisiana where the battalion was activated before being transferred to Camp Millard in Bucyrus, Ohio to complete training. In December of 1943, Hord and the rest of the 758th were sent overseas to Dibrugarh, Assam, India. Hord spent the remainder of his service in the China-Burma-India theater before returning state-side for discharge in November of 1945.

After the war, Robert Hord Jr. completed his studies at VPI receiving a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1949 and continuing to complete a Masters in Power and Fuel Engineering in 1950. Hord spent the remainder of his life living in Richmond, Virginia and channeling his love for the railroad into a successful career working for the Norfolk and Western Railroad and later, the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad. Robert Hord, Jr. died on December 13, 2010.

Additional Information about 758th Railway Battalion found here: 758th Railway Shop Battalion by David Kauffman http://militaryrailwayservice.blogspot.com/2010/01/758th-by-dave-kaufman.html retrieved June 2011.

Scope and Content

The Robert E. Hord Jr. papers have been devided into two series based upon material type. Series I consist primarily of letters written by Robert E. Hord Jr. to his parents, Robert and Gladys Hord while serving in the army during World War II. Also present are two letters written to Robert Hord Jr. by "Cousin Otto" and Al Bungardner. There are a few letters written to Robert Hord Jr.'s parents on Robert's behalf. Also included are newspapers and advertisements which were included with Robert's letters home.

The majority of the letters speak directly to Hord's mother and center around discussions of camp life and the types of equipment he is working on while serving with the 302nd Ordinance Regiment. There are extensive discussions of Hord's efforts to secure a transfer the the Railway Shop Battalion. After the transfer, the letters settle into a kind of routine discussion of interesting events in camp, the types of trains he is working on, and responses the homefront news that his mother shares with him in her letters. The letters offer a unique perspective on the war and a glimpse into camp life for soldiers stations in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II.

Series II of the collection consists of a scrapbook and loose photographs of the Hord family. Photographs include Mr. and Mrs. Granville Hord, Robert Hord's grandparents. The scrapbook includes images from the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and images of the camp where Hord was stationed in India. The majority of individual photographs are unidentified.


The collection is divided into two series by material type. Series I includes the correspondence written by Robert Hord Jr. arranged chronologically followed by the other letters and materials which are also arranged chronologically. Series II includes the photographs and scrapbook.

Index Terms


  • Hord, Robert E., Jr., 1920-2010
  • Family Names:

  • Hord family (Richmond, Va)
  • Subjects:

  • Railroad
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • World War II

Contents List

Correspondence, 1942-1945
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 1
    Correspondence, May 12, 1942 - July 2, 1942
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 2
    Correspondence, July 6, 1942 - September 6, 1942
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 3
    Correspondence, September 8, 1942 - December 7, 1942
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 4
    Correspondence, January 8, 1943 - May 1, 1943
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 5
    Correspondence, May 4, 1943 - June 10, 1943
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 6
    Correspondence, July 1, 1943 - October 4, 1943
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 7
    Correspondence, October 8, 1943 - December 2, 1943
  • Box-Folder 1 folder: 8
    Correspondence, February 10, 1944 - April 4, 1944
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 1
    Correspondence, April 6, 1944 - May 10, 1944
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 2
    Correspondence, May 16, 1944 - July 2, 1944
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 3
    Correspondence, July 3, 1944 - October 8, 1944
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 4
    Correspondence, October 15, 1944 - December 31, 1944
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 5
    Correspondence, January 7, 1945 - April 30, 1945
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 6
    Correspondence, May 4, 1945 - July 29, 1945
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 7
    Correspondence, August 5, 1945 - October 3, 1945
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 9
    Correspondence - Letters written to Robert Hord, Jr., September 16, 1942 - October 27, 1942
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 8
    Notices and Correspondence sent to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hord, April 12, 1943 - August 31, 1945
  • Folder oversize: 1
    Newspaper clippings and advertisements, March 1944 - January 1945
  • Box-Folder 2 folder: 10
    Ephemera, n.d.
Photographs, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 3 folder: 1
    Photographs - Mr. & Mrs. Granville Hord; James E. Lyle; Hattie E. Meylert, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 3 folder: 2
    Photographs - unidentified groups, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 3 folder: 3
    Photographs - unidentified individuals, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 3 folder: 4
    Photographs - unidentified children, n.d.
  • Box-Folder 3 folder: 5
    Unidentified photographs, n.d.
  • Box 3
    Hord family scrapbook, n.d.