George Hudson Fort Papers

Manuscript Collection #330
Fort, George Hudson, b. 1891
Physical description
0.65 Cubic Feet, 392 items, consisting of correspondence, battle report, reports, speeches, Naval War College papeers, orders, citations, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
George Hudson Fort Papers (#330), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1917-1956, undated) of U. S. naval officer, graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, 1912, who was executive officer aboard the USS FANNING when it sank a German U-Boat U-58 during World War I, and during World War II commanded the battleship USS NORTH CAROLINA in the South Pacific, consisting of correspondence, battle reports, reports, speeches, Naval War College papers, citations, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs and miscellaneous.

Biographical/historical information

George Hudson Fort (August 23, 1891 - July 21, 1975) was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (1912), after which he served as ensign aboard the U.S.S. UTAH and participated in the Battle of Vera Cruz, Mexico (1914). During World War I he served as executive officer of the U.S.S FANNING, which sank and captured the German submarine U-58 (1917). Fort subsequently commanded a submarine, destroyers, a destroyer division, and a destroyer squadron. In the 1930's, he headed the mathematics department at the Naval Academy and subsequently completed advanced studies at the Naval War College. During World War II, Fort commanded the U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA in the South Pacific theater and was awarded the Navy Cross for action in the battle of the Eastern Solomons. In 1942 he advanced to the rank of rear admiral and commanded all landing craft with the South Pacific. As a Task Force Commander Fort directed the 1944 assault on the Palau Islands of Peleliu and Angauar. After World War II Admiral Fort commanded the amphibious training activities on the west coast. For detailed information, see Who Was Who in America, VI, 144.

Scope and arrangement

World War I correspondence (1917, undated) relates the sinking and capture of the crew of the German submarine U-58 by the U.S.S. FANNING and NICHOLSON . Material includes a list of captured prisoners, copies of congratulatory letters, and lists of Americans recommended for British decoration. Related war correspondence comments on the FANNING'S "dazzle-painting; " duties of destroyer escorts based at Queenstown, Ireland; and a statement of notable engagements with German submarines from July to December, 1917. The statement includes commentary on the actions of ships WADSWORTH, BENHAM, PARKER, O'BRIEN, DRAMMON, McDOUGAL, CONYNGHAM, FANNING, and ROWAN. A speech (undated) describes aspects of the submarine's capture and the burial of a drowned German soldier. Newspaper clippings (1917, undated) contain photographs of the capture, and photographs relate to the sinking of the submarine (U-58).

A letter (1925) describes the death of Fort's former roommate at the Naval Academy as a result of a mid-air collision while on flight maneuvers at the Naval Air Station, Hawaii.

Peace-time correspondence (1928-June, 1932) relates to an incident involving Fort as commander of the U.S.S. BORIE in San Francisco Bay, discussion of gyro-pilots on submarines and their possible value for surface ships (Dec., 1929), activities of the Navy Relief Society (Feb., 1930), the decommissioning of the U.S.S. PAUL HAMILTON, and the refitting of the U.S.S. HAMILTON (1930-1931). Letters comment on the cordiality of Portland, Oregon, as a liberty port (June, 1930); Alaskan towns, fishing, and mining industries (Aug., 1930); fuel consumption in Navy ships (Nov., 1930); the unsatisfactory condition of the Navy's enlisted personnel situation (July, 1934); and efforts to gain membership into the Chevy Chase Club (1929-1930).

Business-related correspondence (1928-1930) concerns the estate of Martha C. Fort. Comments also concern stock splits, prices and dividends of AT& T, bonds, exercise of stock-buying rights, and copper stock.

Papers concerning education include comments on the value of Princeton and Dartmouth for non-technical educations (May, 1930) and the means of selecting officers for the Naval Academy class discusses the objectives of the mathematics department, value of math, grading, and athletes and academic standards. Fort's Naval War College papers (1938) consist of a solution to a strategical problem and theses dealing with trends in foreign policy of U.S. in the Pacific, cruiser warfare, and strategical operations related to the battle of Dogger Bank.

World War II correspondence (July-Aug., 1944, undated) concerns operation Stalemate- the Palau Islands invasion headed by Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, under whom Fort served as Commander Task Force Thirty-two. Letters contain discussions of operations, the delays of Major General Roy S. Geiger in an attack on Guam, organization of fighter directors, martial shipping near Peleliu, Halsey's attempts to neutralize the Palau Islands, and the utility of heavy flame-throwers in amphtracs. Other war-related records include a Peleliu-Anguar battle report that evaluates the capture of those islands during September and October, 1944. A general narrative relates a step-by-step account of activities. Other parts of the report pertain to chronology of events; damage sustained by ships; lessons learned; personnel performance; task organization; ammunition expenditure; naval and air bombardments; air operations; communications; intelligence reports; and reports ion medical matters, radar, CIC, and casualties. Other World War II material includes a battle action report (Aug. 24, 1942), which describes a Japanese air attack on the U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA and the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE by four planes in the Eastern Solomons. Included are descriptions of bomb hits, count of planes downed, and descriptions of armament used to repel the attack. Other NORTH CAROLINA -related records include a list of officers and a report of ship-held confidential military publications (Dec., 1942).

A report (Aug., 1934) of an anti-war meeting held in Provincetown, Mass., comments on speakers' views that munitions makers are responsible for wars; "Arms and the Man," an article in Fortune magazine; an April 6, 1933 students' strike against war; the American League Against War and Fascism; the Marine Workers' Industrial Union; Fascism as related to a San Francisco dock strike; and U.S. preparations for war.

A speech (undated) concerning the unification act of the armed forces comments on the National Security Council, the National Security Resources Board, and the Secretary of National Defense; single-service procurement; administrative value of the joint chiefs of staff; need for U.S. sea hegemony; and U.S. carrier-based aviation strategy, long-distance fleet supply, and amphibious operations. Speeches also deal with early U.S. interest in submarines (undated) and with differences in amphibious operations of the Pacific and European theaters of war. Comments in the latter speech concern the Russell Islands, comparison of ammunition expended at Peleliu and Normandy, and the LSM(R) and its weaponry as an example of special amphibious craft.

Military publications include the U.S.S. WEST VIRGINIA "The Mountaineer" (Dec., 1933), the U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA "Tarheel" (June, 1942), and "The U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA Radio Press News" (Aug., 12, 27, 1942), in which an air battle is described. Command History, Third Amphibious Force (undated) relates the history of the battles of Guadalcanal, Russell Islands, New Georgia, Vella La Vella, Treasury Islands, Bougainville, Green Island, Emirov, Peleliu, Angaur, Ulithi, Leyte, and Lingayen. PhibsTraPac relates a pictorial story of the training of amphibious forces.

Photographs concern 1948 presidential candidate Harry Truman visiting various Naval installations. Miscellaneous material includes a pamphlet (1956) concerning railroad company executive Jardine Carter Fort. The pamphlet relates genealogical information concerning the Fort family and comments on the Bonnet Carre Spillway cases in Mississippi and various other railroad legal cases. A program of the Military Order of the World Wars is also included.

Oversize material includes a press article (1918) concerning the capture of the U-58, a photograph of the U.S.S. FANNING (undated), and the "Ramp-Age" (Jan, 1945), a military newsletter.

Administrative information
Custodial History

January 31, 1977, 319 items; Papers (1917-1953), including military and business correspondence, photographs, reports, citations, clippings, and miscellaneous. Gift of Miss Betty Fort, Washington, D.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Miss Betty Fort

Processing information

Processed by D. Lawson, July 1978

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Fort, George Hudson, 1891-
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972--Photographs
Family Names
Fort family
Corporate Names
Fanning (Ship)
Nicholson (Destroyer : DD–52)
North Carolina (Battleship : BB-55)
U-58 (Submarine)
United States. Navy--Officers--Correspondence
Peleliu, Battle of, Palau, 1944
World War, 1914-1918--Naval operations
World War, 1939-1945--Amphibious operations

Container list
Box 1 Correspondence
Box 2 Reports, speeches, Naval War College papers
Box 3 Orders, citations, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, miscellaneous
Folder os1 Newspaper clippings, publications