U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1909 Records

Manuscript Collection #583
United States Naval Academy Class of 1909
Physical description
2 Cubic Feet
Preferred Citation
U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1909 Records (#583), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Records (1925-1968) of U. S. Naval Academy Class of 1909 and 1910, including correspondence, class bulletins, class directories, day book, programs, reports, and clippings.

Biographical/historical information

The United States Naval Academy Class of 1909 matriculated into military service just as the United States was entering the global consciousness as a world power. Early experiments with submarine and aircraft development unfortunately led to the deaths of several members of the cohort, but shaped the world in which their brethren would become commanders. The Class of 1909 had veterans of military campaigns in China, Haiti, Mexico, and Nicaragua as well as the First World War, Second World War, and Korean War, and numerous members of the class were honored for their service both in peacetime and conflict. Vice Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, then an ensign, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his "eminent and conspicuous" conduct in leading an amphibious assault of Veracruz, Mexico in 1914, while Admiral Jesse Oldendorf received the Navy Cross for his defeat of the Japanese Southern Fleet in the Second World War Battle of Surigao Strait. The most notable and poignant honor to fall on the Class of 1909 was the posthumous awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Captain Franklin Van Valkenburgh "for devotion to duty, extraordinary courage, and the complete disregard of his own life" while serving on board the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Captain Van Valkenburgh refused to retire to a safer area during the attack, exposing himself to enemy fire and going down with the ship when it was capsized by a massive explosion. After their retirements from active duty, the members of the Class of 1909 remained in frequent contact with each other through their class secretary, Rear Admiral Harold C. Train. Rear Admiral Train organized monthly class luncheons at the Naval Academy and oversaw the planning of class reunions in Annapolis and San Diego every fifth year from 1920 until his death in 1968. Rear Admiral Frank Alfred Braisted, the Class president, took over Rear Admiral Train's duties and maintained contact with the last surviving members of the Class of 1909 until his passing in 1981.

Scope and arrangement

This collection contains correspondence between the members of the Class of 1909 and class officers Rear Admiral Harold Train and Rear Admiral Frank Braisted. The correspondence consists of letters regarding fundraising for memorials to class members, updates on job titles and residences, and biographical data for the annual class bulletins. This information is followed by financial accounts, ledgers, and miscellaneous documents, newspaper clippings, and photos related to the Class of 1909 as well as three class bulletins for the Class of 1910.

Administrative information
Custodial History

Octomber 12, 1989 2 cubic feet; Records (1925-1968), including correspondence, class bulletins, class directories, day books, programs, reports, and clippings. Donor: Dr. William R. Braisted.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Dr. William R. Braisted

Processing information

Processed by F. Bunting; A. Merriman, October 1999; further processing done by Joel Cook, March 2020.

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

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

Key terms
Corporate Names
United States Naval Academy--Alumni and alumnae

Container list
Box 1 USNA Class of 1909 records correspondence, 1925-1948
Box 2 USNA Class of 1909 records correspondence from: (R. E. White, Pacific mutual life insurance company, Benjamin F. Ciller, John J. Blanding, The Army and Navy club Washington, Southern commercial and savings bank, Etc...), 1948-1950
Box 3 USNA Class of 1909 records correspondence from: (Post card, Capt. John M. Ashley, U.S.N., Home life insurance company, Temple University, Goulard & Olena, Inc., D. H. McDowell, Etc..), 1951-1955
Box 4 USNA Class of 1909 records correspondence from: (Post card, Western Union telegram, Charles A. Mills, Amateur Athletic union, Church Farm school, Lake share club of Chicago, Samuel Wilder King, Chamber of commerce, Horace W. Nordyke, Disabled America Veterans, Colonel A. B. Miller, Union Pump Company, Etc...), 1956-1967
Box 5 USNA Class of 1909 records correspondence from: (Union pump company, Department of the navy, Thomas E. Van Metre, United states Naval Academy foundation, Pacific mutual life insurance company, Mrs. William Ward Smith, Mrs. Charles M. Elder, U.S.N.A. Alumni association, Post cards, Holiday cards, Navy Department Bureau of engineering, Etc...), 1930-1980
Box 6 USNA Class of 1909 records, Class bulletins & directories includes: (No."7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17" Bulletin class of 1909 U.S.N.A, Directory U.S. Naval Academy, Epistle #6 to U.S. Naval Academy, Geographical Addenda,, 1920-1952
Box 7 USNA Class of 1909 records, Financial Accounts includes:(Day book, Financial statement, Attendance sheet, Memo NO. 3, Dues), Ledgers:(Dates, Balance forward, etc.. ), Class bulletins & directories includes:( Bulletin NO. 18-32 U.S. Naval academy class of 1909), 1953-1968
Box 8 USNA Class of 1909 records, Speeches and addresses includes:(Speech delivered before Maryland state convention daughters American revolution, Baltimore, Maryland, 30 March 1950, Status of offers of military Assistance to the UN for Korea, Radio talk, Etc..), Reunion information 1909 Class Constitutions & Committees includes: (Class dinner restaurant, Members of lass of 1909 on duty in Washington and vicinity, The class reunion- thirty years after, Memorandum for class bulletin, Report on class diner, 40 year reunion and class dinner, Final report on the goat committee, U.S. naval academy alumni association alumni house, Annapolis, Maryland, Constitution of the class 1909, Fiftieth anniversary U.S. Navy academy, Guest book, 45 Years, Historic Annapolis), Military order of the World wars, Constitutions & Bylaws, Minutes, Roster, 1950-1960
Box 9 USNA Class of 1909 records, 1910 Class Bulletins Fiftieth Anniversary edition, 1952-1960
Box 10 USNA class of 1909 records clippings: (Second section general, Washington star, Alleged slayer to go on trial, etc... ), Miscellaneous items: (Class bulletin, Annapolis yacht club, Corpus Christi, Etc..), Photographs, 1917-1978