|Title:||Mary F. Howard Papers|
|Creator:||Howard, Mary Ferebee|
|Repository:||ECU Manuscript Collection|
|Languages:||English; Spanish; French|
|Abstract:||Papers (1933-1987 [Bulk: 1941-1945]) of an American Red Cross volunteer who served on Guadalcanal, New Caledonia, and New Zealand, during World War II, including three drafts of her manuscript memoir of her service entitled Red Cross Adventure that was later published as No Drums, No Trumpets: Red Cross Adventure; Invitations, 1933, 1939, to Mary Ferebee Howard to attend the inauguration ceremonies for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice President John N. Garner, with portraits of Roosevelt and Garner; Inauguration Ceremonies Program, 4 March 1933; Official Inaugural Concert Program, National Symphony Orchestra, Constitution Hall, Washington, 4 March 1933; Inaugural information envelope addressed to Mary Ferebee Howard; Invitations to Presidential Palace, Managua, Nicaragua, 12, 19 December 1939; also photographs, programs, memos, instruction, clippings, original art, ephemera relating to her wartime service. Rec'd 10/29/1979 & 3/31/2004.|
|Extent:||1.0 Cubic feet, 2 archival boxes and 1 oversized folder; 260 items; 813 p.|
October 29, 1979 196 items; Papers (1943-1944) of Red Cross worker on Guadalcanal and New Caledonia, including photographs, programs, memoes, instructions, clippings, and miscellaneous. Donor: Miss Mary F. Howard.
March 31, 2004, 6 items, 0.008 cubic feet; Invitation (1933-1939) to Mary Ferebee Howard to attend the inauguration ceremonies for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vice President John N. Garner, 3/4/1933, with portraits of Roosevelt and Garner; Inauguration Ceremonies Program;, 3/4/1933; Official Inaugural Concert Program, National Symphony Orchestra, Constitution Hall, Washington, 3/3/1933; Inaugural information envelope addressed to Mary Ferebee Howard; Invitations to Presidential Palace, Managua, Nicaragua, 12/19, 12/19/1939. Recd. 3/31/2004. Donor: William E. "Mickey" Elmore.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Mary F. Howard Papers (#391), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Encoded by Apex Data Services, 2002; Processing, Preliminary inventory by Amy Fenton, 4/25/2013; Final inventory by Amy Fenton, 5/2/2013; Container List by Jonathan Dembo, 7/1/2013; Encoding updated by Jonathan Dembo, 7/2/2013
Mary Ferebee Howard, was born on June 22, 1913 in Tarboro, North Carolina. In 1942, when World War II broke out she volunteered for the American Red Cross. After training she was assigned to the South Pacific, where she split most of her time between Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. She served in the South Pacific from 1943-1945. During her time with the American Red Cross, Ms. Howard helped to open service clubs and planned social events for the military units stationed in the South Pacific. She and her co-workers also helped make life easier for the many wounded or sick servicemen in the base hospitals. Her memoirs are filled with personal details and accounts of her meetings with individuals, ranging from Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, to lower ranked officers like Lt Col. Evans F. Carlson who commanded th 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, to visiting entertainment and movie stars like Ray Milland, Lanny Ross, Ray Bolger and Bob Sarnoff of NBC, to political leaders like Eleanor Roosevelt, "Happy Chandler, the ex-governor of Kentucky, and Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, to individual sailors, servicemen, fellow Red Cross volunteers both male and females, French inhabitants, New Zealanders, and Australians, and Melanesian natives. She recounts daily life in great and colorful detail, including the weather, geography, insects, endemic diseases, entertainments, food, housing, living and working conditions, treatment of Japanese prisoners, drinking and alchoholism, and personal and sexual relationships among and between the disparate individuals assembled in the war zone.
One person she met socially was James Michener, who was a Senior Historical Officer during the war, who was also doing research for his 1947 book, Tales of the South Pacific, that won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for literature. The plot of Tales of the South Pacific focuses on the romantic relationship between an American nurse and a native plantation owner. Ms. Howard may have served as one of the inspirations for the American nurse.
After her service, she returned to Eastern North Carolina and attended East Carolina University, where she received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees, before becoming a teacher in the Edgecombe County, N.C., Public Schools. She never married, but lived an adventurous life, traveling the world, and devoting her time, energy, and resources to education. Her impact is felt today, as art of the funds from her endowment are allotted for a scholarships in Eastern North Carolina, including at East Carolina University.
She kept meticulously detailed journals, which formed the basis of her memoir entitled No Drums, No Trumpets, (Rocky Mount, North Carolina Wesleyan College Press, 1992) the original manuscripts of which are maintained at East Carolina University.
She died in Tarboro, North Carolina in 2005.
Mary F. Howard's brother, William Stamps Howard, Jr., 1902-1962, a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Class of 1925, has also left his papers to East Carolina University. William spent the bulk of World War II serving in and commanding destroyers in the Pacific Theater. The William Stamps Howard, Jr. Papers (Mss. Coll. #356) are also available in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection at: http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0356
Mary was also related to Nelson M. Ferebee, (b. 1840) who served as a physician in the U.S. Navy, 1872-1904. The Nelson M. Ferebee Papers (Mss. Coll. #404) are also available in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection at: http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0404
Other external sources: Mary Ferebee Howard: adventurer, philanthropist
The Mary F. Howard Papers are arranged according to material format in original order except as indicated: Series 1: Manuscript Materials; Series 2: Oversized Materials
The bulk of the materials in this collection consist of three drafts of her published memoir of her wartime service with the American Red Cross, and a variety of publications, official documents, photographic prints, newsletters, invitations, brochures, and programs related to Howard’s service with the American Red Cross in the South Pacific between 1941 and 1945. The drafts of the memoir are filed together.
The publications include newsletters, newspapers, brochures and pamphlets that with two exceptions were published entirely in the South Pacific during Ms. Howard’s time there. The exceptions are Dew York Daily Mirror (September 1941), Reader’s Digest, (August 1946) and The ECU Report (July 1987).
Her papers also include official documents relating to the military and American Red Cross and the bases at which Ms. Howard was stationed. These include financial documents, speech regulations, calendars, licenses, and security information, passenger regulations, and travel information from her time traveling to different bases and islands throughout the South Pacific.
All of the brochures, invitations, and event programs are filed together. They are all from events that Ms. Howard helped to organized as part of the American Red Cross.
In addition the collection also includes invitations to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 inauguration events in Washington, DC and invitations to Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza's 1939 Christmas parties in Managua, Nicaragua.
Among the most interesting and useful items in the colleciton are 145 black & white photographic prints in the documenting Ms. Ferebee's life in the South Pacific during World War II. Mainly they record the events hosted by the Red Cross for the Army, Navy and Marine units stationed in the Solomon Islands. They are kept in the original order in which they were received. Among the photographic prints are of some South Pacific natives, damaged ships from the Imperial Japanese Navy, as well as crashed Japanese airplanes. Most of the photographic prints are 3"x 5" and a few are 4" x 6."
Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.