The collection's early correspondence (1930) consists of one letter that describes Martineau's Midshipmen's Cruise to Europe on board the battleship USS
UTAH (BB-31). This trip to France, Germany, Norway, and Scotland is extensively described in Martineau's handwritten diary (June-August, 1930). Specific entries pertain to a shipmate's suicide in Paris (July) and his burial at sea (August); a visit to the German Naval Academy (July); observing surgery in Edinburgh (July); gunnery practice (August 26); and specifications of the heavy cruiser USS
PENSACOLA (CA-24, August 28). Throughout the journal,Martineau details shipboard duties and training, tourist sites, social activities, and impressions of local people.
Pre-World War II correspondence is mainly comprised of Martineau's Navy orders and notices of promotion for his service on the battleship USS
MISSISSIPPI (BB-41, 1933-1935); the minelayer USS
OGLALA (CM-4) during the Aleutian Islands Survey Expedition in Kiska Harbor (1935); the battleship USS
CALIFORNIA (BB-44, 1935-1936); the heavy cruiser USS
VINCENNES (CA-44, 1937-1938); the destroyer USS
BROOME (DD-210, 1938-1940); and the battleship USS
ARKANSAS (BB-33, 1940-1941).
World War II correspondence (1944-1945) is sparse and concerns Martineau's command of the destroyers USS
PHELPS (DD-350) and USS
METCALF (DD-595). Postwar communications relate to assignments in several naval administrative positions (1946-1949, 1951-1957), including many associated with Martineau's efforts before the House Committee on Armed Services concerning Career Incentive legislation (1955). Correspondents during this period include Assistant Secretary of Defense Carter L. Burgess, Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh A. Burke, Rear Admiral Elton W. Grenfell, Surgeon General B. W. Hogan, Secretary of the Navy Charlie Thomas, Governor LeRoy Collins of Florida, publisher Malcolm Forbes, and numerous congressional legislators. Another group of orders pertains to Martineau's command of the destroyer USS
CHARLES H. ROAN (DD-853, 1949-1951), the destroyer tender USS
EVERGLADES (AD-24, 1957-1959), and the heavy cruiser USS
LOS ANGELES (CA-135, 1958-1959).
After retirement, correspondence reflects Martineau's interest in a strong Navy and national defense, and many letters to the editors of various publications are included, as well as letters referring to Martineau's many speaking engagements (1967-1991, undated). Personal correspondence (1977-1987) includes letters from Rear Admiral Warren C. Hamm, Jr., Commander U.S. Naval Forces in Korea (1977-1979), Commander of Amphibious Group Two of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet (1979-1981), Deputy Commander in Chief of the Iberian Atlantic Area (1985-1987), and formerly under Rear Admiral Martineau's command. Other personal letters from Martineau's former classmate Edwards "Pete" Brown (1984-1989, undated) concern Brown's unlawful dismissal from the USNA (1933).
Other files detail the histories, actions, and reunions pertaining to the
PHELPS, METCALF, EVERGLADES, and
LOS ANGELES. Included are Martineau's handwritten war diaries for the
PHELPS (March-June, 1944) and
METCALF (December, 1944-September, 1945), as well as typescript journals of crewmen aboard these vessels. The diaries mention many battles and campaigns throughout the Pacific Theatre including Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941); Bouganville Island (February, 1942); Coral Sea (May, 1942); Midway (June, 1942); Guadalcanal (August, 1942); Aleutian Islands (May-June, 1943); Makin Island (November, 1943); Marshall Islands (January-March, 1944); and Saipan (June, 1944). Also mentioned in the journals are the activities of the aircraft carriers USS
ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS
HORNET (CV-8), USS
LEXINGTON (CV-2), and USS
YORKTOWN (CV-5), including the sinking of
YORKTOWN; and the sinking of the escort aircraft carrier USS
LISCOME BAY (CVE-46). Specific entries detail battle damage to the
PHELPS and assistance provided by the battle damage repair ship USS
PHAON (ARB-3) during a battle near Saipan (June 18-22, 1944); sunken Japanese ships in Manila Bay and the city of Manila in ruins (May 17-20, 1945); a typhoon near Okinawa (August 30-September 2, 1945); and the capitulation of Japan and the destruction of mines (September, 1945-March, 1946). A post-war file concerning the
LOS ANGELES contains information on the ship's participation in the President's People to People Program and a visit to Japan's Blackship Festival (May-June, 1959).
A large number of photographs are included in the collection and focus on the ships Martineau served on and the places they visited. A scrapbook of photographs taken while on board the
MISSISSIPPI during a Caribbean cruise includes images of the ship; crew and officers; scenes in Cuba, Haiti, the Virgin Islands, and Panama; and passage through the Panama Canal (1934-1935). Other photographs include various battleships, and of particular interest is an image of the USS
OKLAHOMA (BB-37) following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The ship is shown raised and stripped of materials in the harbor. Further photographs include the
ENTERPRISE and other aircraft carriers; the
LOS ANGELES and other heavy cruisers; the
PHELPS, METCALF, and other destroyers; and the
EVERGLADES and another destroyer tender. Of note are two series of pictures documenting battle damage to the
PHELPS (June 1944) and the scrapping of the
LOS ANGELES. Also included are many photographs depicting shipboard life, social functions, groups of crewmen and officers, and portraits.
Further records include Navy administrative and personnel reports (1949, 1953-1958, undated), speech transcripts by Martineau and others (1949-1959, 1974-1987, undated), publications, clippings, miscellaneous materials, and videotapes of the
PHELPS (October 1986) and the
METCALF (1987-1989, 1992-1994) reunions. Oversized items include awards, certificates, and photographs.