Earl A. Luehman Papers

Manuscript Collection #619
Luehman, Earl A., 1918-
Physical description
0.086 Cubic Feet, 35 items , consisting of flight log books, passports, letters, certificates of commendation, photographs and Naval flight certifications.
Preferred Citation
Earl A. Luehman Papers (#619), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1942-1976) including flight log books, passports, letters, certificates of commendations, photographs, Naval flight certification.

Biographical/historical information

Earl Arthur Luehman (b. 1918) graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1941. He was subsequently stationed aboard the USS HELENA as a turret officer and saw action in Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal. He then attended flight school, receiving his wings in September 1943, and flew Navy Privateers and B-24's for the remainder of World War II for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, he was an instructor at Iowa State University in Naval Science and Navigation (1950-1952), served as the Commanding Officer of the US Naval Station in Trinidad (1959-1962), and was the Naval Operations officer during the Pacific atomic bomb tests (1958-1959). In the 1960s he served as the Country Director for the Caribbean Islands, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, and French Guinea in the Western Hemisphere Regional Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (1966-1967), served two years as the Naval Attache to the USSR (1963-1965) and served three years as the Naval, Defense and Naval Air attache in Greece (1968-1971). After retirement in 1971, he worked for a subsidiary of NCR in the early 1970s.

Scope and arrangement

Limited correspondence covers the years 1942 to 1970 and includes a description of the results of a hit by a medium calibre shell on turret four of the USS HELENA in November 1942, notification of Luehman attaining Patrol Plane Commander status (1953) and captain's rank (1959), notification of course completions (1960s), and commendation letters (1960, 1970).

The collection contains three flight logs (March 1943 - December 1948; January 1949 - January 1960; March 1960 - July 1969) which contain information on flight clothing issued, flight destinations, aircraft models used, flight time spans, the purpose of the flights (combat, training, or service), and the conditions of the flights (night or day, visual or by instrument). During World War II log records indicate that Luehman flew missions in the Pacific over Midway, Enewitok, Bonin Islands, Okinawa, Saipan, Guam, Western Korea, Tinian, Shanghai, the China Coast, and Ford Island as well as a long both coasts of the United States and the Caribbean. The logs also indicate that in August 1944 he was attached to Bombing Squadron 118. Although no specific battles are mentioned, briefremarks concerning combat missions do mention fights with "zekes" (February 1945) and searching for sunken ship debris and oil slicks and laying mines (July 1945). Post-war information found in the logs relates such events as circling a typhoon during a weather flight (August 1945) and searching for a nose cone in the Pacific (May 1958). Between 1960 and 1961 the flight logs document his involvement in search and rescue missions in the Caribbean. After October 1963 few flights are recorded.

Miscellaneous items include certificates, a biographical sketch, two passports, and a holder containing his flight certificates. One passport is a displomatic passport issued when he went to the USSR as a Naval Attache (1963) and the other passport documents trips to Arab countries in the 1970s.

Photographs in the collection are of Luehman, the USS HELENA and the damage to turret IV, Luehman's B-24 crew and the B-24 after a crash landing on Midway, the American fleet at Okinawa, a W-2 reconnaisance plane in flight, and various diplomatic activities in Trinidad.

For further information, see OH 129.

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 19, 1991, 24 items; Papers (1943-1969) of U.S. Naval officer, United States Naval Academy Class of 1941, including aviator's flight logbooks, memos, certificates, passports, and photographs. Gift of Captain Earl A. Luehman, USN (Ret), Alexandria, VA.

December 8, 1992 (unprocessed addition 1), 38 pages; Portion of memoir of U.S. Naval officer, US Naval Academy Class of 1941. Donor: Capt. Earl A. Luehman USN (Ret).

Source of acquisition

Gift of Captain Earl A. Luehman, USN (Ret)

Processing information

Processed by S. Gibbons, November 1992

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
Luehman, Earl A., 1918-
Corporate Names
Helena (Cruiser)
United States Naval Academy--Alumni and alumnae
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Ocean
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American