The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Novia James White Photo Collection, circa 1920-1960


Novia James White Photo Collection, circa 1920-1960


The Novia James White Photograph Collection consists of two folders of black and white photographic items, one of which has been hand-tinted. The collection includes family photographs of White and his wife's family, but the bulk of the items are related to White's service in the Air Force during World War II.

Novia James White was born in 1919 in Lebanon, Kentucky, to parents Bird C. White and Elizabeth White. He graduated from duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1937 and then attended the University of Wisconsin for one year before he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles. After one semester at UCLA, White left school to get a job in the newspaper industry, delivering papers and collecting bills. Shortly after he dropped out of college, his fiancée, Nannette von Siebenthal came out to Los Angeles; they married in the summer of 1939. Together they had three children, one of which was born before the war. He worked in newspapers until he enlisted in the air cadets in the Army Air Corps in 1943.

He trained as a navigator for a B-24 Liberator and then transferred to the B-29 Bomber, called the Superfortress, before he was sent to the South Pacific. He was part of the 40th Bomb Group, 58th Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force. He was stationed on Tinian, an island in the northern part of the Mariana Islands, where he flew three missions before the official surrender of the Japanese Army. Following the Japanese surrender, White was stationed on Tinian and then transferred to the Philippines, where he served as a mess officer, earning an Army commendation for his work. He was honorably discharged in October 1946. After the war, White worked in newspapers in Philadelphia and Atlanta before he joined the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company. He retired from there as Vice President in 1984. White passed away in May of 2013.


White, Novia James


013PC53, Novia James White Photograph Collection, The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky


The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky


circa 1920-1960






20th century

Collection Items