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Victor Delano Papers, 1941-1986

(Manuscript Collection #539)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Victor Delano Papers
Creator: Delano, Victor, b. 1918
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Accounts (1941-1986) of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and duty in the USS West Virginia, by Victor Delano; also Familygrams, photographic prints, and program, ca. 1965, by Captain Delano relating to his command of Amphibious Squadron Eight; also two packets of drawings of Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship, H.M.S. VICTORY, 1970; and an article, entitled “TOP SECRET COMPHIBPAC OPERATIONS PLAN A11-45: The Story of the Invasion of Japan” by James Martin, ca. 1986.
Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival box. 14 items.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

December 7, 1987 (unprocessed), 3 items; Accounts of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and duty in the USS WEST VIRGINIA. Donor: Capt. Victor Delano.

February 15, 1988 (unprocessed addition 1), 8 items; Familygrams, Pearl Harbor report, program, and photographs. Donor: Capt. Victor Delano.

August 29, 2000 (unprocessed addition 2), 2 items, 0.044 cubic feet, 44 pages; 1. "H.M.S. Victory," prints of drawings of Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship, by Christine Warburton and L. Gover, 1970. 24 items (10-1/2? 7-3/4?); 2. "TOP SECRET COMPHIBPAC OPERATIONS PLAN A11-45: The Story of the Invasion of Japan," by James Martin Davis, 1945. EYES ONLY Serial No. 0013. Photocopy. 20 p. Donor: Capt. Victor Delano, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941 (USN ret.)

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

Victor Delano Papers (#539), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Capt. Victor Delano, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941 (USN ret.)

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 10/22/2012; Finding aid and inventory revised by Jonathan Dembo, 10/22/2012; Final Inventory by Spencer Tart, 4/26/2012; Arrangement, Description, Preliminary Inventory, and Finding Aid by Spencer Tart, 4/18/2012; Encoded by Apex Data Services, March 2002


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Captain Victor Delano, was born in Washington, DC, 20 December 1919. He was the son of Capt. Harvey Delano, USN(Ret), and Marcia Murdock Delano. Delano attended public schools in Wichita, KS, Washington, DC and Newport, RI. He graduated from Severn School in 1937. Delano entered U.S. Naval Academy 2 July 1937. He graduated "with distinction" (8) and was commissioned an ensign in the U. S. Navy on 7 February 1941. Delano was stationed aboard the battleship USS WEST VIRGINIA at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked. In February 1942, he was assigned to the antiaircraft cruiser USS SAN JUAN (CLAA-54) and in January 1944 was transferred to the destroyer USS WEDDERBURN (DD-684). Immediately after WW II, Delano was appointed commander of the USS SHOVELER (AM-382) and of Mine Division 23. In 1946, he attended Postgraduate School at the Naval Academy and then Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned an Master of Science degree in Physics from MIT in February 1949. Delano was then assigned to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory until November 1951 where he worked on atomic weapons effects testing. He commanded the destroyer USS EVERSOLE (DD-789) 1952-53, during the Korean War. He later served on the staff, Commander Second Fleet; as executive officer, USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148); on the staff, Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet; he commanded the USS TACONIC (AGC-17); he commanded Amphibious Squadron 8 and was Chief of Staff, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. His shore assignments included Bureau of Ordnance and Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He also attended the Armed Forces Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Captain Delano was married, 23 June 1951, to Jacqueline Stinson of Santa Fe, NM who died 30 August 1990. They had a daughter, Katherine D. Jahnig of Chevy Chase, MD and son, Harvey Delano II of Sacramento, CA. One granddaughter, Leigh Jacqueline Jahnig; one grandson, Peter Delano Jahnig.Retired 1 December 1969.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Series 1: Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor consists of a personal memoir of the Captain’s experiences aboard the U.S.S Virginia leading up to and during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7,1941. Also included are two copies of a letter to a commanding officer detailing the events of Dec.7,1941. The second copy of the letter is has been reduced in size and is easier to read.

Series 2: Amphibious Squadron Eight consists of Familygrams from Delano, 2 June - 4 November 1965, to the crewmen and families of Amphibious Squadron. These familygrams, detail Captain Delano’s Duty aboard the U.S.S Guadalcanal as well as Amphibious Squadron Eight’s tour of the Caribbean and their involvement with the People-to-People and Handclasp programs. The cruise involving training for the U. S. Marines and peace-keeping service in the Dominican Republic. This sereis also includes the program from Captain Delano’s change of command of the Amphibious Squadron Eight on April 22, 1965 is included as well. The series also includes three black & white photographic prints of a Battalion Landing Team, The U.S.S. Guadalcanal, and an aerial view of the US.S. Guadalcanal, U.S.S Capricornus, U.S.S Plymouth, and the U.S.S York County at sea.

Series 3: HMS VICTORY consists of two packets of reproduction drawings of Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) H.M.S Victory. These drawings show details of the outside of the H.M.S Victory and also show parts of the ships that wouldn’t normally be seen by tourists to the ship. Both sets of drawings are from 1970.

Series 4: COMPHIBPAC OPERATIONS PLAN A11-45 consists of a photocopy of an article, ca. 1985, by James Davis Martin entitled "Top Secret Comphibatic Operations Plan A11-45: Story of the Invasion of Japan." This manuscript attempts to describe what would have happened during War World II had America not used atomic weapons on Japan. It has a detailed description of the fighting strategy that would have been used against the Japanese instead of Atomic Bombs.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

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Series 1:
Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Box 1#0539.1
    Victor Delano's accounts relating to the attack of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th, 1941 (ca. 1941-1942, 1965) 1 item. 6 p.
    • Folder a#0539.1.a
      • Pearl Harbor (Part 1), by Victor Delano; account of his naval career 7 February - 7 December 1941, from his graduation from the U. S. Naval Academy to his service aboard the battleship USS WEST VIRGINIA (ca. 1965) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 6 p.   (item #1)
      • Pearl Harbor (Part 2) by Victor Delano; account of events of 7 December 1941 aboard the battleships USS WEST VIRGINIA (ca. 1965) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 23 p.   (item #2)
      • Ensign Victor Delano. Memorandum to Commanding Officer, via Gunnery Officer, [USS WEST VIRGINIA], Subject: Account of Events, December 7, 1941 (Part 3) (8 December 1941) Photocopy holographs. 1 item. 6 p.   (item #3)
      • Ensign Victor Delano. Memorandum to Commanding Officer, via Gunnery Officer, [USS WEST VIRGINIA], Subject: Account of Events, December 7, 1941 (Part 3) (8 December 1941) Photocopy holographs. 1 item. 6 p.  (item #4)
Series 2:
Amphibious Squadron Eight
  • Box 1#0539.1
    • Folder a#0539.1.a
      • Familygram, by Victor Delano, Commander Amphibious Squadron Eight, United States Atlantic Fleet regarding peace keeping in the Dominican Republic, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve training, USS MONROVIA (APA 31), USS OKINAWA (LP 3), Project Handclasp (2 June 1965) Mimeograph typescripts. 1 item. 5 p.   (item #5)
      • Familygram #2, by Victor Delano, Commander Amphibious Squadron Eight, United States Atlantic Fleet regarding peace keeping in the Dominican Republic, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve training, USS MONROVIA (APA 31), USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7), Project Handclasp (13 September 1965) Mimeograph typescripts. 1 item. 5 p.   (item #6)
      • Familygram #3, by Victor Delano, Commander Amphibious Squadron Eight, United States Atlantic Fleet regarding Dominican Republic, Battalion Landing , First Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, U. S. Marine Corps training, USS MONROVIA (APA 31), USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7), USS CAPRICORNUS (AKA 57), USS PLYMOUTH ROCK (LSD 29), USS YORK COUNTY (LST 1175), Guantanamo, Cuba; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Aruba & Curacao, Dutch West Indies; (4 November 1965) Mimeograph typescripts. 1 item. 11 p.   (item #7)
      • Commander Amphibious Squadron Eight, Amphibious Force, United States Atlantic Fleet. Change of Command Ceremony: USS OKINAWA (LPH-3), Flagship, U. S. Naval Station, Norfolk, Program (22 April 1965) Mimeograph typescript. 1 item. 4 p. Note: includes biographical sketches of David S. Bill, Captain, U. S. Navy (departing commander) & Victor Delano, Captain U. S. Navy (arriving commander); History of Amphibious Squadron Eight; Commanders of Amphibious Squadron Eight; list of ships in Amphibious Squadron Eight.   (item #8)
      • Battalion Landing Team embarked in Ready Group Ships (P-539/1); USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7) (P-539/3), and an aerial view of Amphibious Squadron Eight at sea, including the USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7), USS CAPRICORNUS (AKA 57), USS PLYMOUTH ROCK (LSD 29), and the USS YORK COUNTY (LST 1175) (P-539/2) (ca. 1965) Photographic prints. Black & White. 3" x 5" prints. 3 items. 3 p.   (item #9)
Series 3:
HMS Victory
  • Box 1#0539.1
    • Folder b#0539.1.b
      • 12 Superb Drawings of parts of the Exterior of Lord Nelson's famous flagship HMS VICTORY: Main Mast and Top - Belfry - Bowsprit - Foot of Mizzen Mast - Quarter Deck and Poop Ladder - Port Gangway looking aft - Port Sheet Anchor - Entry Port - Steering Wheel - Main Shrouds - Starboard Guns. Second Series. Drawings (c) L. Glover (1970) 7" x 10" prints. 1 item. 12 p.   (item #1)
      • 12 Superb Drawings of parts of the Exterior of Lord Nelson's famous flagship HMS VICTORY: 1. Figurehead and Beakhead; 2. Port Carronade; 3. Poop Deck; 4. Upper Gun Deck; 5. Lower Gun Deck; 6. Capstan, Lower Gun Deck; 7. Tiller, Lower Gun Deck; 8. Two Stern Chasers; 9. Orlop Deck; 11. Carpenter's Walk; 12. Stern View. Drawings (c) Christine Warburton (1970) 7" x 10" prints. 1 item. 12 p.   (item #2)
Series 4:
COMPHIBPAC Operations Plan A11-45
  • Box 1#0539.1
    • Folder c#0539.1.c
      • Top Secret Comphibatic Operations Plan A 11-45: Story of the Invasion of Japan, EYES ONLY, by James Davis Martin. Serial No. 0013. Top Secret. (ca. 1985) Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 20 p. Note: Article about the U. S. plans to invade Kyushu, Japan in 1945.   (item #1)

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.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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