To view items in this collection, use the Online Finding Aid

Lieutenant General George W. Read (1900-1974) was an Army officer who commanded armor units during World War II and became the U.S. Army's Chief of Armor. The son of Major General George Windle Read, one of World War I's top commanders in the American Expeditionary Forces, Read was raised on military posts throughout the United States. He enlisted in the Army in May, 1917, first serving with the 15th Cavalry Regiment and then the 30th and the 42nd Infantry Divisions during World War I. In 1919, Read completed officer candidate school and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. Reed then transferred to Cavalry, and during the interwar period he served throughout the United States and overseas. In 1937, Reed served in the Middle East as an observer in Palestine and a member of the Armored Force Board that was based in Cairo, Egypt. After graduating from the Command and General Staff College in 1941, Read was assigned to the 6th Armored Division, where he served, in various assignments, throughout World War II. After the war, Read served in a number of assignments, including commanding general of the 1st Constabulary Brigade in Occupied Germany, commanding general of the 2nd Armored Division in Europe, chief of staff of Army Field Forces, commanding general of the Armor Center and commandant of the Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky. For two years Read served as commander of Allied Forces, Southeastern Europe before becoming the commanding general of the 2nd US Army. He retired in 1960. Read received multiple awards including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the French Legion of Honor, the Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, and the Greek Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Phoenix.




Reed, George W., Lieutenant General


bulk 1941-1942


Jenifer Renzel, Gift, 2017


0.05 Cubic feet ((1 folder))


No restrictions on access.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials



Scope and Contents

This collection consists mostly of materials gathered by George W. Read during his 1941 trip from Fort Knox, Kentucky, to Cairo, Egypt, to observe General Erwin Rommel and his troops in North Africa. The material includes the following: correspondence describing the flights to North Africa; Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) system map; Pan Am postcards; eight air mail envelopes; Pan Am System "Notes for Passengers by Air;" and miscellaneous ephemera such as a menu, tickets, receipts, a time table, a baggage label, and information cards. While most of the material relates to Pan Am, there is also material from United Air Lines, Trans-World Airlines (TWA), Qantas Empire Airways and British Airways.





Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests


Pan American World Airways, Inc.

Topics Airlines
World War, 1939-1945 -- Africa


Lieutenant General George W. Read Correspondence and Airline Ephemera, Accession 2017-0053, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives