James Victor Rowney Papers

1941-1970, 2016, undated
Manuscript Collection #549
Rowney, J. Victor
Physical description
2.0 Cubic Feet, 5 flat boxes and 1 half document case, consisting of correspondence, orders, scrapbooks, photographs and an obituary
Preferred Citation
James Victor Rowney Papers (#549), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1941-1970) of Naval officer, USNA class of 1941, consisting of scrapbooks, containing clippings, correspondence, reports, photographs, memorabilia, orders. Also includes biographical information and 2016 obituary.

Biographical/historical information

James Victor Rowney was born (November 11, 1917) in Baltimore, MD. Rowney belonged to the Maryland National Guard (1935-1937) and U.S. Naval Reserve (1937). He received an appointment (1937) to the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) and graduated in 1941. During World War II, Rowney was assigned to the aircraft carriers USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) in the Pacific Theatre and participated in the occupation of Japan. After the war, Rowney attended post-graduate school at the Naval Academy (1949) and the California Institute of Technology (1949-1950) for courses in aeronautical engineering with a specialization in jet propulsion. During the Korean War, Rowney commanded VF 112 in Airgroup 11 on the aircraft carrier USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CV-47), served on attack aircraft carrier USS TICONDEROGA (CVA-14), received command of Carrier Air Group 7 (January 1956), and participated in several NATO operations. Rowney was then assigned to the Bureau of Aeronautics (1959-1961), taught at the Academy (1962-1965), and commanded two Naval Air Stations in California (1965-1968). Rowney retired (July 31, 1968) with the rank of captain and has received several commendations and service ribbons.

Scope and arrangement

The correspondence and orders pertain to Rowney's different assignments, and includes forms for change of duty stations, commissions, temporary additional duty, personal letters of congratulations from Dwight D. Eisenhower, and documentation for all of the awards and citations, including The Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Gold Star and Air Medal.

Miscellaneous materials include a report on missions flown by Rowney (July 10-August 13, 1945) and an aircraft action report for Bomber-Fighter Group 88 (July 25, 1945) while attached to the YORKTOWN and aircraft carrier USS SHANGRI-LA (CV-38) near the end of World War II. Other items consist of a piece of cloth printed with an American flag and several languages explaining that the holder of this item is a downed American pilot and that any assistance rendered would be rewarded by the U.S. government. Also present is an emblem of the "Fighting 88", a "Crossing the Arctic Circle" certificate from the Royal Order of the Blue Noses, a history of Carrier Air Group 7 (1957) and biographical information on Rowney. The bulk of the collection is comprised of three scrapbooks and photographs concerning Rowney's naval career. The first scrapbook (1941-1942) documents the actions of the USS ENTERPRISE with hand-drawn charts including one showing the ship's location on certain dates, the battles fought, and the positions of the sunken aircraft carriers USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) and USS HORNET (CV-8). Other hand-drawn charts illustrate the Battle of Midway (June 6, 1942); the make-up of Task Forces 16 and 61 and the position of the ENTERPRISE and other ships within them; actions at Guadalcanal; and the near misses and direct hits taken by the ENTERPRISE (August 24, 1942). The scrapbook also contains photographs of damage to the ENTERPRISE and the Solomon Islands during battle (August 7-9, 1942), and a list of ENTERPRISE casualties (August 25, 1942). Throughout the book are ship's plans-of-the-day, war information bulletins, and news articles concerning various aspects of the war.

The second scrapbook (1943-1945) contains memorabilia concerning the ENTERPRISE, as well as materials pertaining to the USS YORKTOWN and Carrier Air Group 88 that was attached to it. Also included are construction statistics and details of actions in the Pacific Theatre during the war and a tracking chart of the YORKTOWN (July 1-August 15, 1945). Throughout the scrapbook are magazine and newspaper clippings concerning various aspects of the war and the YORKTOWN. The book's photographs have been removed. They are located in a separate file and primarily concern the occupation of Japan after its surrender. Interesting photographs include aerial shots of bomb damage to Tokyo and Tokyo Bay, atomic bomb damage to Hiroshima, the emperor's palace grounds, American prisoner-of-war camps, and various ships.

The third scrapbook (1956-1957) focuses on Rowney's years as commanding officer of Carrier Air Group 7 attached to aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA (CV-60) and the USS TICONDEROGA. This group participated in NATO maneuvers including a series of demonstration flights off Mayport, FL, called "Operation Lantflex" (June 1957) and an exercise over the Norwegian Sea called "Operation Strikflant" (September 1957). Also included are photographs of the SARATOGA and TICONDEROGA, as well as articles, clippings, and memorabilia.

Administrative information
Custodial History

February 9, 1988, 4 vols.; Papers (1941-1970) of Naval officer, correspondence, reports, photographs, memorabilia, order, etc. Gift of Captain James V. Rowney, USN (Ret), Mountain View, CA.

April 9, 2020, (unprocessed addition 1), 0.25 cubic feet; This donation contains biographical information and memories of Captain Rowney written by his son James H. Rowney, his obituary, photocopies of photographs of Captain Rowney, and a photocopy of a letter he wrote to Mrs. Betty Taussig which included memories of his Naval career. The donor is Captain Rowney's niece. Gift of Linda L. Shonk.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Captain James V. Rowney, USN (Ret)

Gift of Linda L. Shonk

Processing information

Processed by M. Boccaccio, September 1991

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Edited by Ann Merriman 1999 Edited by Heather Anderson 2002

Copyright notice

Originals restricted from use. Use photocopies instead.

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

Container list
Box 1 Folder b Awards and Citations
Box 1 Folder c Miscellaneous Materials
Box 1 Folder d Photographs
Box 2 Folder a Scrapbook, 1941-1942 (photocopy)
Box 3 Folder a Scrapbook, 1941-1942 (original, RESTRICTED, use photocopy in 549.2)
Box 4 Folder a Scrapbook, 1943-1945 (photocopy)
Box 4 Folder b Scrapbook, 1943-1945 (original, RESTRICTED, use photocopy in 549.4.a)
Box 5 Folder a Scrapbook, 1956-1957
Box 6 Biographical Information and Obituary, Reminiscences by Capt. Rowney and by his son James H. Rowney, and photocopies of Photographs of Captain Rowney, 2016