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U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: Robert Leo Croteau Papers 1944-1945

(Manuscript Collection #677-050)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: Robert Leo Croteau Papers
Creator: Croteau, Robert Leo
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers of Seaman First Class Robert Leo Croteau who served on the USS BENNINGTON during World War II in the Pacific Theatre include publications of and about the USS BENNINGTON (CV-20) and American propaganda leaflets with writing in Japanese.
Extent: 0.125 Cubic feet, 1 archival box, containing publicatons, clippings, and propaganda leaflets

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 24, 1996, 12 items; Publications of the USS BENNINGTON (CV-20) and American propaganda leaflets for Japan. Donor: Mr. Robert Leo Croteau.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

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

Preferred Citation

U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: Robert Leo Croteau Papers (#677-050), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mr. Robert Leo Croteau

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services. Processed by A. Miller and M. Elmore June 2013


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Robert Leo Croteau served on the aircraft carrier USS BENNINGTON (CV-20) during World War II in the Pacific Theatre. As a member of the United States Naval Reserve, his active duty service commenced in August 1943. Croteau was one of the original crew members aboard the BENNINGTON when it was commissioned on August 6, 1944. By August 1945, Croteau was serving as Seaman First Class in the V-1-H Unit aboard the carrier. The unit’s work was to handle and spot all the aircraft on the hanger deck. Source: http://ussbennington.org/pics/WWII_Roster/cv-20-wwii-37.pdf.

The USS BENNINGTON, an Essex class (short-hull) fleet carrier, was commissioned August 6, 1944, as CV-20. It was named in commemoration of the Revolutionary War battle at Bennington, Vermont, which took place on August 16, 1777. The carrier joined Task Group 58.1 in February 1945 and took part in strikes against Japanese home islands until the end of World War II. Source: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships at www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b5/bennington-ii.htm.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This collection contains materials related to Robert Leo Croteau's service aboard the USS BENNINGTON during World War II. Included are volume one, issues four, five and seven, of the ship publication titled the "Busy 'B' CV-20" for May, July, and November of 1945, and a book titled "USS Bennington CV-20" which commemorates the commissioning and service of the ship during World War II and includes a crew roster. Other items include a 1944 article from the New York World-Telegram detailing life aboard the ship, a clipping of a photograph titled, "Half A Hellcat Better Than None," a program for the one year birthday celebration of the ship on September 13, 1945, while it was stationed in Tokyo Bay, and Croteau's plank ownership certificate that proves he was a member of the original crew.

The remainder of the collection includes four American World War II propaganda leaflets containing images and writing in Japanese. Translations have been provided in 2013 by East Carolina University Japanese Language Professor Tricia Wilson-Okamura and her students Andrew J. Bowman, James D. Coker, Rachel M. Comerford, and Sandra L. Satterthwaite.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

  • Box 1#0677-050.1 Icon to indicate that there are digitized materials available
    • Folder a#0677-050.1.a (4 items  digitized)
      • Plank Ownership Certificate awarded to Croteau for his service as a member of the original crew which commissioned the USS Bennington.  (item #1)
      • The first in a series of articles from the New York World-Telegram detailing life aboard USS Bennington, 1944.  (item #2)
      • "Busy 'B' CV-20" Vol. 1 No. 4 – A publication of the USS Bennington. May 1945.  (item #3)
      • "Busy 'B' CV-20" Vol. 1 No. 5– A publication of the USS Bennington. July 1945.  (item #4)
      • USS Bennington First Birthday Party – Tokyo Bay. Program listing the entertainment and the menu for the day, September 13, 1945.  (item #5)
      • "Busy 'B' CV-20" Vol. 1 No. 7– A publication of the USS Bennington. November 1945.  (item #6)
      • Newspaper clipping, titled "Half A Hellcat Better Than None," of a photograph of a Hellcat landed aboard a carrier (possibly USS Bennington).  (item #7)
      • USS Bennington CV-20 – A book commemorating the commissioning and service of the USS Bennington during WWII. Includes a crew roster.  (item #8)
      • American Propaganda Item Written in Japanese  (item #9)

        American propaganda leaflet for Japan containing an image of the Japanese flag, and writing in Japanese. 1945 (?).

      • American Propaganda Item Written in Japanese  (item #10)

        American propaganda leaflet for Japan containing a sketch of a Japanese man with a small child and a sketch of a human skull on the ground against a pink backdrop. Also contains writing in Japanese. 1945 (?).

      • American Propaganda Item Written in Japanese  (item #11)

        American propaganda leaflet for Japan containing a sketch of a man holding up a building while another man pulls on a rope tied around the first man's ankle, and writing in Japanese. 1945 (?).

      • American Propaganda Item Written in Japanese  (item #12)

        American propaganda leaflet for Japan containing a picture of a man being kind to a child in a field, and writing in Japanese. 1945 (?).

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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