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Pemberton Southard Papers, 1942-1944

Manuscript Collection #551

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

Title: Pemberton Southard Papers
Creator: Southard, Pemberton, b. 1918
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1942-1945) of a U.S. Naval officer, USNA Class of 1941, consisting of Battle of Vella Gulf battle reports (1943), a history of the USS Lang (DD-399), USS Lang action reports (Feb. 1942-April 1944), naval communiques relating to USS Lang (1942-1944), and after-action reports for the battles of Vella Gulf, Guadalcanal, Wewak, (New Guinea), Morotai, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, Lingayen Gulf, and other Pacific Ocean operations in which the USS Lang participated (1942-1945)
Extent: 0.037 Cubic feet, 16 items , consisting of action reports, reminiscences, ship's histories, and a biographical sketch

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

Accessions Information

February 9, 1988, 5 items; Papers of Naval officer, USNA Class of 1941, consisting of battle reports on the Battle of Vella Gulf (1943) and a history of the USS LANG.

May 14, 1996, (unprocessed addition 1), 74 pages; Action report (Feb. 1942-Apr. 1944) for USS LANG (DD-399). Gift of Capt. Pemberton Southard, USN (Ret) of Beaufort, SC.

May 8, 2001 (unprocessed addition 2), Naval Communiques (1942-1944) concerning U.S.S. LANG (DD-399) and copies of after-action reports for battles of Vella Gulf, Guadalcanal, Wewak (New Guinea), Morotai, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, Lingayen Gulf, and other World War II Pacific operations in which the LANG participated. Donor: Southard, Pemberton

October 24, 2001 (unprocessed addition 3), 14 items; Papers, 1943-2001, including communications to and from the U.S.S. LANG DD-399, (18 July – 30 November 1943) during and after the battle of Vera Gulf (8 p., carbon typescript); Battle of Vella Gulf report (10 August 1943) excerpted from a Springfield, Mass. Newspaper (1 p., mimeograph typescript); Silver Star Medal Award Citation (undated) by W. F. Halsey, Admiral, U.S. Navy, to Lt. Pemberton Southard for actions during the battle of Vella Gulf 6-7 August 1943 (1 p., carbon typescript); Letter (12 May 2001) from S. Michael (Mike) Mania, BMSN, 1st Division, who served under Capt. Southard aboard the U.S.S. TURNER DD/DDR 834 (1953 – 1954), containing an account of Southard’ s leadership style (4 p., typescript). Donor: Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)

May 17, 2002 (unprocessed addition 4), Papers (1937-1970) of a U.S. Naval Officer, USNA Class of 1941, consisting of six manuscript items, 1941-1957, including correspondence, reports, and copies of naval log and 24 published works, 1937-1970, including periodicals, pamphlets, and books, primarily on naval and military history. Donor: Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)

June 25, 2002 (unprocessed addition 5), Papers (1946-1959) of a U.S. Naval Officer, USNA Class of 1941, including manuscripts, photographs, and printed materials concerning the Destroyer Escort Radar (DER) Picket, NORAD, and the North Atlantic Barrier. DONOR: Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)

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

Pemberton Southard Papers (#551), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)

Processing Information

  • Processed by K. Romer, April 1996

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Captain Pemberton Southard was born in Augusta, ME (February 4, 1918), and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in 1941. During World War II, Southard served on the destroyers USS LANG (DD-399) and USS MYLES C. FOX (DD-829), and after the war, the destroyer minesweeper USS DORAN (DMS-41), the attack cargo ship USS VERMILION (AKA-107), the radar picket destroyer USS TURNER (DDR-834), and the destroyer tender USS GRAND CANYON (AD-28). Southard also held many administrative positions with the Bureau of Naval Personnel; Amphibious Group Two; the Naval War College; the Naval Station in Key West, FL; the NROTC Unit of Princeton University; the Fleet Training Group in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the First Naval District; and the Fleet Training Group and Center in Newport, RI. Southard was awarded several medals, including the Silver Star for his conduct for the Vella Gulf Night Action.

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

The collection consists of official Navy action reports of the USS LANG (February 1, 1942-April 4, 1944), three accounts of the Battle of Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands, a history of the LANG, and a biographical sketch of Southard. The reports detail the LANG'S participation in various operations and include information on casualties, damage, other ships involved, analysis of the LANG'S performance, commendations, and lessons learned from the engagements. Discussed are the search and rescue of survivors in the Atlantic Theatre from the torpedoed British freighter SS EMPIRE WILDEBEESTE in cooperation with oiler USS SAPELO (AO-11, February 1, 1942); actions during shore bombardments on Guadalcanal (February 3, 1943), Nauru Island (December 10, 1943), and the Caroline Islands (January 31, 1944); surface and anti-aircraft engagements in the Vella Gulf and Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands (July 27, August 1, 15-16, 1943); landings on Makin in the Gilbert Islands (November 30, 1943); and anti-submarine actions (April 4, 1944).

The collection also includes three descriptions of the Battle of Vella Gulf (August 6-7, 9-10, 1943) consisting of an official Navy narrative detailing the battle plan, a chronological log of the battle, actions of all the destroyers involved, diagrams of the battle, and comments on enemy forces; a reminiscence that lists American and Japanese destroyers involved; and a typescript newspaper account of the action by an international news correspondent (August 10, 1943).

Also included in the collection are two histories of the LANG and biographical information concerning Southard.

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

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

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

  • Box 1#0551.1
    • Folder c#0551.1.c
      USS LANG (DD-399) Action Reports (September-December 1944)
    • Folder d#0551.1.d
      USS LANG Action Reports (January 1945; March-June 1945)
    • Folder e#0551.1.e
      Papers, 1943-2001, including communications to and from the U. S. S. Lang, DD-399, (18 July - 30 November 1943) during and after the Battle of Vella Gulf (8 p., carbon typescript); Battle of Vella Gulf report (10 August 1943) excerpted from a Springfield, Mass. newspaper (1 p., mimeograph typescript); Silver Star Medal Award Citation (n.d.) by W. F. Halsey, Admiral, U. S. Navy, to Lt. Pemberton Southard for actions during the Battle of Vella Gulf 6-7 August 1943 (1 p., carbon typescript); Letter (12 May 2001) from S. Michael (Mike) Mania, BMSN, 1st Division, who served under Capt. Southard aboard the U. S. S. Turner, DD/DDR 834 (1953-1954), containing an account of Southard's leadership style (4 p., typescript). 14 p. (0.005 cubic feet)
  • Box 2#0551.2
    • Folder a#0551.2.a
      All Hands, by John A. Oudine; published by The Bureau of Naval Personnel. 1966, 64 pages
    • Folder b#0551.2.b
      All Hands; published by The Bureau of Naval Personnel. 1946, 52 pages
    • Folder c#0551.2.c
      Journal of the European Cruise, by Captain R.L. Morris; published by USS Mount Olympus AGC-8. 1952, 78 pages
    • Folder d#0551.2.d
      Mediterranean Cruise 1948; 32 pages
    • Folder e#0551.2.e
      Reef Points 1937-1938, by Carl Redmond Dwyer; published by United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 1937, 192 pages
    • Folder f#0551.2.f
      Reef Points 1939-40, by Jay Noble; published by United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 1939, 194 pages
    • Folder g#0551.2.g
      Reef Points 1940-1941, by Stuart C. Jones; published by United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 1940, 200 pages
    • Folder h#0551.2.h
      Regulations Governing the Admission of Candidates into the United States Naval Academy; published by U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1935, 83 pages
    • Folder i#0551.2.i
      Road to Rome, by Headquarters Fifth Army; published by Headquarters Fifth Army. Undated, 56 pages
    • Folder j#0551.2.j
      The America's Cup 1970, by E. Wesley Oliver, Jr.; published by Palmer & Oliver, Inc., Woodside, N.Y. 1970, 47 pages
    • Folder k#0551.2.k
      The Drags Handbook of the U.S. Naval Academy, by Cary Hall; published by The Log, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 1940, 39 pages
    • Folder l#0551.2.l
      The Log: Graduation Issue (1/31/1941), by E.E. Kintner; published by Fleet-McGinley, Inc., Candler Bldg., Baltimore, MD. 1941, 36 pages
    • Folder m#0551.2.m
      The Old Navy 1776-1860; published by National Archives Trust Fund Board, Washington, D.C. 1962, 56 pages
    • Folder n#0551.2.n
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 7/25/1945, 24 pages
    • Folder o#0551.2.o
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 8/1/1945, 37 pages
    • Folder p#0551.2.p
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 8/8/1945, 12 pages
    • Folder q#0551.2.q
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 8/15/1945, 36 pages
    • Folder r#0551.2.r
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 8/22/1945, 140 pages
    • Folder s#0551.2.s
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 8/29/1945, 56 pages
    • Folder t#0551.2.t
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 9/5/1945, 56 pages
    • Folder u#0551.2.u
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 9/12/1945, 70 pages
    • Folder v#0551.2.v
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 9/19/1945, 44 pages
    • Folder w#0551.2.w
      The O.N.I. Weekly; published by The Navy Department. 9/26/1945, 36 pages
    • Folder x#0551.2.x
      Turner DDR 834, by John B. Peterson; 1953, 48 pages
  • Box 6#0551.6
    • Folder a#0551.6.a
      Destroyer Escort Radar Picket (DER): The DER, It's Mission, and Briefly How the Barrier Works, 2 p. [1959]
    • Folder b#0551.6.b
      Destroyer Escort Radar (DER) Picket Operations & Clippings, 2 p. 3/4/1959 3/17/1959 n.d.
    • Folder c#0551.6.c
      Destroyer Escort Radar (DER) Picket Photographs, 7 items. 1958 - 1959
    • Folder d#0551.6.d
      NORAD Radar Defense of North America, Reprinted from Time Magazine, 6 p. 11/25/1957
    • Folder e#0551.6.e
      The North Atlantic Barrier, by Capt. P. Southard & draft version, 14 p. 1959
    • Folder f#0551.6.f
      Classmate 1941, Vol. I, Publication of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941, 24 p. 2/7/1946
    • Folder g#0551.6.g
      The Earlybird, Copmbarlant Newsletter No. 24, including a biographical article on Capt. P. Southard (p. 11), 18 p. May-1959
    • Folder h#0551.6.h
      U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941 Fifteenth Anniversary Directory and Newsletter, 40 p. 1956

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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