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Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection

Identifier: MS-0470

Scope and Contents

The Colonel Ralph E. Forsyth Collection primarily consists of loose album pages, which document Forsyth's military service in Nicaragua. Although the collection dates from 1924 to 1976, the vast majority of photographs seem to date from the early 1930s and include scenes of the Nicaraguan jungle and coast, photographs of Ruth Forsyth, military camp life, Marines, wedding photographs of unidentified couples, a few family photographs, and more. The collection also has several loose photographs of the same subject matter. A few of these photographs have brief captions, but in general both the album and loose photographs have little to no description. Of particular interest is a page with partially burned photographs, apparently salvaged from some sort of wreck (the caption is unclear). Also included are photocopies of a letter from one of Forsyth's comrades to Ruth telling her of how the 10th Marines named a training camp in Forsyth's memory, and several other Marine Corps documents, such as a certificate, and an application for Second World War compensation dating from 1944 and 1945.


  • Creation: 1925-1976
  • Creation: Majority of material found in c. 1930-1933


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Ralph E. Forsyth was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. He was born on January 31, 1901 in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he joined the Marine Corps on June 3, 1922. He then served in the Philippine Islands from March 23, 1924 to August 16, 1926; in China from February 3, 1927 to October 31, 1928; Nicaragua from February 21, 1930 to January 15, 1933; and finally in the Asia Pacific from November 3, 1942 to June 24, 1944. He died on June 28, 1944 in Saipan while in combat. In 1945, members from his artillery regiment, the 10th Marines, named a training camp in his honor. During his long service he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation with ribbon bar and one star, the Nicaraguan Medal of Merit with diploma, Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, and the Victory Medal. He was married to Ruth Forsyth.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Probably donated by Ruth Forsyth.



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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US