Letter from Alexander Wetmore to Sammy Ray, November 14, 1944

ID: SIA2010-0628 and SIA2010-0629

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Document

Date: November 14, 1944

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit: 192, Box: 557, Folder: 166401-166425

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A two page letter written by Alexander Wetmore, then Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian, to Sammy M. Ray, a Pharmacist's Mate I/C in the U.S. Navy, from 1942-1945, on November 14, 1944. Ray and Wetmore maintained an active correspondence throughout Ray's tour of duty. The letter discusses Ray's collecting activities, primarily birds, in the Pacific Islands during WW2. In the letter Wetmore sends words of encouragement about the specimens that Ray is sending to the United States National Museum. Wetmore also advises Ray on where to find nests and what types of birds he may see through the spring months. Additionally, Wetmore mentions that he would like to send more shot to Ray and that he appreciates Rays descriptions of combat operations. Ray was one of the many of the soldiers who collected specimens for the USNM during World War II. Ray's specimens are housed in the National Museum of Natural History.


  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Ray, Sammy M (Sammy Mehedy) 1919-
  • United States National Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • United States Navy
  • National Collections


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


This letter consists of two pages: SIA2010-0628 page 1, SIA2010-0629 page 2.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit: 192, Box: 557, Folder: 166401-166425

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


  • November 14, 1944
  • 20th century

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Veterans
  • Letters
  • Birds
  • Field work
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Letter writing
  • Archaeology
  • Animals
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Documents
  • Specimens
  • Collection and preservation
  • Acting Secretaries
  • Military
  • Birds--Collection and preservation
  • Fieldwork
  • Armed Forces
  • Ornithology
  • Ornithology--Field work


Islands of the Pacific


  • Document
  • Paper
  • Letters (correspondence)

ID Number

SIA2010-0628 and SIA2010-0629

Physical description

Number of Images: 2 Color: Color; Size: 8w x 10.5h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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