Collection includes the following: group of 13 black and white photographs, each 5 x 3.5 in., featuring images of Shumard and his wife Eleanor J. Shumard (1919-1999), from ca 1939-1945, including 5 images with the location identified by Eleanor's handwritten notations as "Wendover, Utah 1945." -- Group of 2 black and white photographs, each 5 x 7 in., one of the Enola Gay crew hand ID'd by Eleanor as "The Crew who dropped the bomb" and another with Shumard holding an Enola Gay hat, hand ID'd by Eleanor "The hat he wore on the mission 1945." -- Group of 2 black and white photographs, each 5 x 7 in., showing exhibits of Shumard ephemera at the Michigan Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth (MI), both hand ID'd by Eleanor and dated 1986. -- Black and white snapshot of Robert Shumard in uniform holding the tail of an Air Force plane, 3.625 x 2.75 in., hand ID’d by Eleanor. -- Polaroid photo of Eleanor standing in front of a small museum display of her husband's war ephemera, hand ID’d by Eleanor and dated 5 August 1986. -- Black and white photograph of Shumard in uniform, 2.375 x 3.5 in., mounted to white cardstock below which is an original clipped signature of Robert Shumard ("Robert R. Shumard").
[With:] Twentieth Air Force shoulder patch, representing the AF component responsible for the operational component of the Manhattan Project. -- Air Force Master Sergeant shoulder patch, a rank Shumard achieved after the war. -- Original Air Force Flight Engineer Aircrew Badge (wings) with propeller and radial engine at center, 3 in., two pinbacks. -- Air Force enlisted dress hat pin, hand ID'd by Eleanor. -- Air Force double-pinback collar insignia pin, hand ID'd by Eleanor. -- Air Force "Shumard, R." pinback name tag, 2.375 in. -- A letter of provenance typed and signed by Eleanor indicating that the Master Sergeant stripes, name tag, cap and collar insignia, and Flight Engineer wings "are from the uniforms worn by my late husband, Robert S. Shumard..."
[Also with:] Postal cover sent by Shumard from the secret training base at Wendover Army Airfield, postmarked US Army, 26 July 1945, 10 days prior to the mission over Hiroshima and 1 day prior to his departure from Wendover Airfield. -- Prayer book given to Eleanor upon Robert Shumard’s death, 24 April 1967, hand ID'd by Eleanor. -- Identification card for unidentified photograph of the Enola Gay crew. -- Mailed postal cover to noted American researcher from Eleanor. -- Group of 2 articles about Shumard's early death of cancer in 1967 and Eleanor's struggle for Veteran's Compensation.
Sergeant Robert Shumard served in the 393rd Bombardment Squadron and was assistant engineer aboard the Enola Gay B-29 Superfortress bomber on its mission to drop the atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. A Michigan native, Shumard enlisted in the National Guard in 1940 (Army Artillery) before transferring to the Army Air Force in 1942. Following 15 months of extensive training with the 509th Composite Group at the Army Air Force base in Wendover, Utah, Shumard departed for the top-secret mission that would hasten the end of the war in the Pacific. After the war, Shumard remained in the Air Force Reserves and worked as a sales manager for the Sampson Company of Detroit. He died at the young age of 46 from stem-cell leukemia, a condition that, after decades of legal claims and litigation, was finally acknowledged by the US government to be a result of Shumard's WWII service and exposure to radiation.
Consignor relates that the collection was acquired from a noted American researcher in 1981, with the exception of the postal cover canceled 3 December 1998.
Owing to Shumard's early death and disinclination to sign autographs, his personal items and autographs are exceptionally scarce. A RARE COLLECTION OF WORLD WAR II EPHEMERA TIED TO A KEY MOMENT IN AVIATION AND AMERICAN HISTORY.