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Destroyer Escort Commanding Officers Collection: Stuart T. Hotchkiss Papers, 1942-1950

(Manuscript Collection #564-002)

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

Title: Destroyer Escort Commanding Officers Collection: Stuart T. Hotchkiss Papers
Creator: Hotchkiss, Stuart T.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1942-1950) including Memoirs with clippings, correspondence, maps and charts, photographs, and miscellaneous.
Extent: 0.45 Cubic feet, 4 items , copies; Memoirs with clippings, correspondence, maps and charts, photographs, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

February 3, 1989, 2 volumes; World War II memoir (June 1943-June 1945) covering duty as commander of the USS COOLBAUGH (DE217), containing reminiscences, copies of correspondence, maps and charts, and photographs

March 15, 1989, 1 volume; Memoir (1945-1950) covering duty as commander of USS DD939 (ex-German Z-39) and the USS GRIDLEY, containing reminiscences, copies of correspondence, clippings, orders, and other materials

August 22, 1989, 1 volume; Memoir of service in the USS BOWDOIN (1942-1943). Gift of Capt. Stuart T. Hotchkiss, USNR(Ret), Madison, Connecticut

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

Destroyer Escort Commanding Officers Collection: Stuart T. Hotchkiss Papers (#564-002), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Capt. Stuart T. Hotchkiss, USNR(Ret)

Processing Information

  • Processed by J. Holland, April 1990

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Captain Stuart T. Hotchkiss, a Yale University graduate and a yachtsman for New Haven, Connecticut, was commissioned on July 2, 1936, in the U.S. Naval Reserves. Hotchkiss entered active duty on 20 April 1941 and commanded five ships during and after World War II: the USS BARBET (1941), the USS BOWDOIN (1942-1943), the USS COOLBAUGH (1943-1945), the USS DD939 (ex-German Z-39) (1945), and the USS GRIDLEY (1945-1946).

Hotchkiss has written four volumes of memoirs supported by correspondence, maps and charts, orders, clippings, and photographs detailing his activities and experiences from 1942 until 1946.

Volume I initially describes minesweeping exercises while commanding the USS BARBET. The bulk of the volume describes experiences while on the USS BOWDOIN. Hotchkiss writes about expeditions to Greenland, including making soundings in fjords, establishing meteorological stations, and conducting diplomatic relations with the Danish government and the Eskimos.

Volume II describes Hotchkiss's transfer to the USS COOLBAUGH. It concerns duties of a commanding officer of a destroyer escort in the South Pacific near Hollandia and describes the ship's activities while performing convoy duty and patrolling. Also included are clippings and other information describing the battle for Guadalcanal.

Volume III describes the activities of Task Unit 77.4.1 under Radm. Sprague. Hotchkiss describes how his ship helped to neutralize enemy airfields at Mindaro (island south of Manila) and Leyte Gulf, leading to the successful invasion and occupation of the Philippines in 1945. Rescue of burn victims from kamikaze raids, for which he received a Legion of Merit medal, is also described. The alleged sinking of a Japanese submarine by his ship and an explosion on the USS MOUNT HOOD are also included.

Volume IV describes Hotchkiss's transfer to the USS DD939 (ex-German Z-39), detailing his duties testing the ship's handling and engineering plant capabilities. During his command of the USS GRIDLEY, he comments on his personal experiences in Sicily, Casablanca, and Algeria; then he discusses taking the GRIDLEY through the Panama Canal and eventually to San Diego where the ship was decommissioned. The volume ends with Hotchkiss's discharge in 1946 and with paperwork concerning his appointment to the final rank of Captain USNR in 1950.

For related material see Oral History #115.

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

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. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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