Jack Maginnis Papers

1801-1803, 1927-1959, 1977
Manuscript Collection #359
Maginnis, Jack, 1904-1977
Physical description
1.99 Cubic Feet, 622 items, 4 volumes, consisting of correspondence, diary, logbooks, citations, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
Jack Maginnis Papers (#359), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1801-1803, 1927-1959, 1977) consisting of correspondence, diary, logbooks, citations, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks and miscellaneous.

Biographical/historical information

Capt. Jack Maginnis (1904-1977) was a 1927 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a meteorologist. During his thirty-one-year naval career Maginnis served aboard the USS CONSTITUTION, USS PARROTT, USS BLACK, USS IRWIN, and commanded the USS MINNEAPOLIS and USS SALEM. He served in World War II and the Korean Conflict, during which he was the ranking U.S. naval officer wounded.

Scope and arrangement

Correspondence (1932-1955) reflects events spanning much of Maginnis's career as a naval officer.

Two early letters (1932) from American Consulate General Willys R. Peck evaluate Japanese military activity in the Chinese cities of Pukow, Hsiakuan, and Nanking. Two letters (1941) concern the transmission, reproduction, and related matters of codes and ciphers between the U.S. and Britain. A related report in the miscellaneous file consists of notes of a secret meeting held at Victory House (July 1941) concerning meteorological work with British authorities with whom Maginnis worked, the need for enciphering wireless weather transmissions to England, and other issues related to the development of a code. The bulk of the remaining correspondence deals with the bombardment of the USS IRWIN and subsequent wounding of Maginnis by North Korean forces near Songjin, Korea (1953). A final letter (1955) pertains to the visit of the USS SALEM to Dubrovik and comments on the character of the communist press.

Of particular interest are two diaries. A diary maintained by Maginnis (Jan.-July, 1941) describes his trip to London and the day-to-day progress of the war in London while he was stationed at the U.S. Embassy there. The other diary (Jan.-Feb., 1955) pertains to his command of the cruiser USS SALEM and reflects routine ship exercise and training drills in the Mediterranean. A flight log maintained by Maginnis documents his brief career as an aerological officer. The log lists his flights, flight hours, type of aircraft, and reason for missions.

Also included are items from London (1941) including a passenger list from the SS SIBONEY, a driver's license, ration book, and various British military club invitations. Notes on China (1945) describe the USS MINNEAPOLIS' s diplomatic efforts at Chefoo, Weihawei, Liukung Tao Island, Chinwangtao, and Peitaiho. These Chinese areas were occupied by the Japanese until U.S. forces helped to liberate them. Clippings (1953) from two issues of the "The Mighty Eye," newsletter of the USS IRWIN, describe the North Korean attack on the IRWIN during which Maginnis received wounds.

Photographs pertain primarily to the USS MINNEAPOLIS (1942-1944, undated) and the USS SALEM (1955). Included in the MINNEAPOLIS folder are prints of soldiers injured at Lunga Point, Guadalcanal, being transferred to the USS MINNEAPOLIS (1942), members of a ship party inspecting the ruins of Kwajalein Island (1944), and a series of prints concerning the naval bombardment of Satawan Island (1944). A second folder of MINNEAPOLIS prints concerns war damage sustained by the ship (1943). The SALEM photographs reflect the flagship's wardroom festivities as well as documenting the crew's activities. Other MINNEAPOLIS material consists of a scrapbook (undated) outlining the pictorial history of the ship. Also of interest are a series of photographs (1951, undated) reflecting the logging of mahogany trees in Liberia, Africa.

Miscellaneous items include a muster roll of the USS BLACK (1943), news releases relating the wartime histories of the USS MINNESOTA (1945) and USS SALEM, and a history of the USS WINSTON.

Items totally unrelated to Captain Maginnis include an allotment form (1801) and a commissary list (1802-1803) for the USS CONSTITUTION ("Old Ironsides").

Administrative information
Custodial History

April 3, 1978, ca. 300 items; Papers (1927-1956) of U.S. Navy officer, including correspondence, reports, orders, citations, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, and miscellaneous

September 28, 1982, ca. 250 items; Papers (1800-1803, 1931, 1941-1955), including correspondence, a diary, reports, photographs, clippings, and miscellaneous. Gift of Mrs. Jack Maginnis, Alexandria, Virginia

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Jack Maginnis

Processing information

Processed by D. Lawson; Jack Holland, February 1990

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
Maginnis, Jack, 1904-1977
Peck, Willys Ruggles, 1882-1952--Correspondence
Corporate Names
Constitution (Frigate)
Irwin (Ship)
Minneapolis (Ship : CA-36)
Salem (Ship : CA-139)
United States. Navy--Officers
Winston (Ship)
Korean War, 1950-1953--Naval operations, American
Military meteorology--Great Britain
World War, 1939-1945--China
World War, 1939-1945--Cryptography
World War, 1939-1945--England--London

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Correspondence 1932-1959
Box 1 Folder b USS Constitution material 1801-1803
Box 1 Folder c Notes on China, 1945
Box 1 Folder d Diary, 1941
Box 1 Folder e Diary, 1955
Box 1 Folder f Awards, 1950-1955
Box 1 Folder g Log Book, 1927, 1929, 1940
Box 2 Folder a London File, 1941
Box 2 Folder b USS Salem File, 1955
Box 2 Folder c Navy Publication
Box 2 Folder d Clippings, 1930-1977
Box 2 Folder e Miscellaneous Material
Box 2 Folder f Photographs - USS Minneapolis, undated
Box 2 Folder g Photographs - USS Minneapolis, undated
Box 3 Folder a Photographs - USS Minneapolis, undated
Box 3 Folder b Photographs - USS Minneapolis, undated
Box 3 Folder c Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 3 Folder d Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 4 Folder a Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 4 Folder b Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 4 Folder c Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 4 Folder d Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 4 Folder e Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 4 Folder f Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 5 Folder a Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 5 Folder b Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 5 Folder c Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 5 Folder d Photographs - USS Salem, 1955
Box 5 Folder e Photographs - Miscellaneous, 1933-1945
Box 5 Folder f Photographs - Korean War, 1953
Box 6 Folder a Photographs - Liberia, 1951
Box 6 Folder b Photographs - Liberian Lumbering, 1951
Box 6 Folder d Photographs - Miscellaneous, undated