In June 2016 we received a request from William Langford of Plattsmouth, Nebraska for a photograph of shells that were donated to the museum by his grandfather (Daniel Boone Langford) during the first half of the 20th century. William recalled visiting IZ and seeing some of these specimens 44 years ago. His grandfather was a shell collector whose knowledge of the Pacific Island reefs and beaches (acquired in part through his fieldwork) was so extensive that the United States Navy employed him as a civilian expert to assist with the planning of the amphibious invasion of Okinawa during WWII (see W.J. Holmes, Double Edge Secrets, U.S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific During WWII, Naval Institute Press, 2012).
Daniel Langford, who passed away in 1954, discovered a number of new mollusk species, several of which were named after him by Smithsonian curators (including William Healy Dall) and other malacologists. We assembled a plate with images of some of these species and sent photographic copies to William Langford and his two sons. Many thanks to volunteer Nick Raymond, and Yolanda Villacampa for taking the photographs of these specimens.
For those who are interested, some of the details of Daniel Langford’s life can be found in Harald Rehder’s memorial sketch of Langford’s friend and brother in law Ditlev Thaanum, who was also a well-known Pacific shell collector.
By Bob Hershler