U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: David L. Martineau Papers

Manuscript Collection #677-046
Martineau, David L., 1910-
Physical description
4 Cubic Feet, consisting of correspondence, diaries, photographs, reports, orders, speeches, programs, videotapes, and miscellany.
Preferred Citation
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: David L. Martineau Papers (#677-046), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1930-1990) of U.S. Navy admiral, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1933, including correspondence, diaries, photographs, reports, orders, speeches, programs, and miscellany.

Biographical/historical information

David L. Martineau was born in Oshkosh, WI (December 4, 1910), and attended high school in Chicago, where he commanded the ROTC unit. Concurrently, Martineau served in the Illinois National Guard and won a senatorial appointment to the United States Naval Academy (USNA), entering as a midshipman (1929) and graduating as a commissioned ensign (1933). Prior to World War II, Martineau served on battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, and during the first years of the war, worked as the USNA midshipman duty officer and aide to the superintendent in Annapolis, MD (1941-1943). Martineau then commanded the destroyers USS PHELPS (DD-360) and USS METCALF (DD-595) in the Pacific Theatre (1943-1945). After the war, Martineau served in Naval shore administrative and personnel positions (1946-1949, 1952-1957), commanded the destroyer USS CHARLES H. ROAN (DD-853, 1949-1951), the destroyer tender USS EVERGLADES (AD-24, 1957-1958), and the heavy cruiser USS LOS ANGELES (CA-135, 1958-1959) before his retirement as a rear admiral (November, 1959). Awards received include a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a commendation ribbon. Martineau then worked in the private sector and served as military consultant to the House Armed Services Committee on Vietnam.

Scope and arrangement

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 USSYORKTOWN (CV-5), including the sinking of LEXINGTON and 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.

Administrative information
Custodial History

February 6, 1996, 4 cubic feet; Papers (1930-1990) of a U.S. Navy rear admiral, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1933, including correspondence, diaries, photographs, reports, orders, speeches, programs, and miscellany. Gift of Ms. Julie M. Bru, Chevy Chase, MD.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Ms. Julie M. Bru

Processing information

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
Martineau, David L., 1910-
Corporate Names
Everglades (Ship : AD-24)
Los Angeles (Cruiser : CA-135)
Metcalf (Destroyer)
Oklahoma (Battleship)
Phelps (Destroyer)
United States Naval Academy--Students
United States. Navy--Military life
United States. Navy--Officers
United States. Navy--Officials and employees
Midshipmen--United States
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Ocean
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American

Container list
Box 2 USS Phelps: History 1941-1944. War Diary March-June 1944. Gilbert L. Allan Journal 1942-1944. Reunion Information; USS Metcalf: History and Reunion Information 1944-1988. War Diary December 1944-September 1945. H. A. Beyer Journal 1943-1946. USS Everglades: History 1958. USS Los Angeles: History 1958-1979
Box 3 Navy Reports 1949, 1953-1958
Box 4 Speeches 1949-1959, 1974-1987, undated. Publications
Box 5 USNA Class of 1933 Reunions; Military Publications; Hearings, Committee on Armed Services 1950-1968. Influence of Congress on National Security Policy 1957. Congressional Record; Clippings; Record of the Military Career Incentives Task Force 1955-1956. Miscellaneous Materials
Box 6 Photographs - USS Mississippi Scrapbook 1934-1935. Battleships: USS Mississippi; USS Oklahoma; USS Pennsylvania; USS California; USS Arkansas; Pearl Harbor Survivor; Aircraft Carrier: Likely USS Enterprise; Heavy Cruisers: USS Vincennes, USS Columbus; USS Los Angeles, Unknown Cruiser
Box 7 Photographs - Destroyers: USS Phelps, USS Metcalf, USS Eaton, USS Charles H. Roan, USS Broome, USS Dennis J. Buckley, USS Leonard F. Mason, USS Leary, Fletcher Class; Destroyer Tender: USS Everglades; Minelayer: USS Oglala; Others: Landing Ship Tank 278; Support Ship; Other: Island Scenes, Groups, Portraits
Box 8 Videotapes: Phelps (October 1986)and Metcalf Reunions (1987-1989, 1992-1994)
Folder os1 Promotion Certificates; Photographs: USS Phelps, USS Los Angeles; USS Metcalf; Portraits