John L. Landreth Collection

Manuscript Collection #590
Landreth, John L., 1917-
Physical description
0.055 Cubic Feet, 1 item , typescript diary.
Preferred Citation
John L. Landreth Collection (#590), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Collection (1943-1945) of member of U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941, including correspondence, typescript diary relating to the cruise of the USS BORUM (DE-790).

Biographical/historical information

John L. Landreth (b. 1917), a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941, served on board the battleships USS NEVADA (BB-36) and USS ALABAMA (BB-60), and on escort vessel USS BORUM (1944-1945) during World War II. Landreth also commanded the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA (CV-3) after the war, was present at the Bikini Atoll atomic bombs tests, and retired from active duty in 1948.

Frederic Shelby Brooks, Jr. (b. 1901) was a native of Texas and served in the Navy during World War I, receiving the Victory Medal. Brooks re-enlisted (July 1943), trained at the San Diego Naval Training Station, and was assigned to the escort vessel USS BORUM (DE-790) as a radar operator. Brooks was detached in June 1945.

Scope and arrangement

The collection consists of a typescript diary entitled Fringe of War and was compiled from Brooks's diary notes while on the USS BORUM (1943-1945). Particularly interesting entries pertain to bombing raids by German planes off the English coast (May 10-28, 1944, pp. 27-29); Operations Neptune and Overlord, code names for the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, that includes details of actions, ships present, and code names used for ship identification (June 4-6, 1944, pp. 31-40); and a German raid on London and its destruction (December 17, 1944, pp. 74-75). Other military-related entries concern German weapons including delayed action bombs and mines (May 28-30, pp. 29-30); radio controlled missiles (June 19, 1944, p. 42); and rockets or "buzz bombs" (June 25, 1944, p. 50). Throughout the diary, escort and convoy duties of the BORUM are described, including patrols in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey (August 23-October 22, 1944, pp. 60-71).

Other entries concern the BORUM's first sea trials in the Caribbean Sea and descriptions of Haiti and Panama (February 14-18, 1944, pp. 7-9). Also included are descriptions of sites in San Miguel, Azores (March 18, 1944, p. 12); Londonderry, Ireland (March 1944, pp. 15-16); Plymouth (April 4-30, 1944, pp. 17-25), Exeter (September 1, 1944, pp. 62-63), Bristol (September 26, 1944, p. 66), and London(November 9 and December 17, 1944, pp. 73-75), England; and Cherbourg (August 20, 1944, p. 59), Le Havre (January 9-16, 1945, pp. 79-80), and Paris (March 6, 1945, pp. 82-84), France.

For further information on John L. Landreth, see O.H. #119.

Administrative information
Custodial History

April 3, 1990, 1 volume; Diary (1943-1945) of Frederic Shelby Brooks, Jr., covering the cruise of the USS BORUM (DE-790). Gift of Mr. John L. Landreth, Brookeville, MD

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. John L. Landreth

Processing information

Processed by J. Smith; M. Boccaccio, January 1995

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
Personal Names
Landreth, John L., 1917-
Corporate Names
United States Naval Academy--Alumni and alumnae
United States. Navy--Officials and employees
Brooks, Frederic Shelby, Jr., 1901-. Fringe of war