George C. Ball, Jr., Papers, 1941-1968

Manuscript Collection #678

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: George C. Ball, Jr., Papers
    Creator: Ball, George C., Jr., 1919-
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1941-1968) including correspondence, orders, briefings, speeches, printed material, photographs and miscellaneous items.
    Extent: 0.65 Cubic feet, consisting of correspondence, orders, briefings, speeches, printed material, photographs, and miscellaneous items.
  • Description

    The collection's correspondence consists mainly of orders, reports, and requests for leave. Of particular interest are Ball's description of a fire that destroyed transport USS LAFAYETTE (AP-53) while docked in New York (February 10, 1942); details of base life in Panama and the Panama Canal Zone (June 1, 1948 - May 24, 1949), and a detailed account of the water tending and re-supply duties of the self-propelled dredge YW-114 on a mission out of Cuba (November 24, 1962). Correspondence written while in Cuba after the Cuban Missile Crisis mentions the possibility of lifting the quarantine on American families, reopening base schools at Guantanamo Bay, and the return of families (November 27, 1962, December 2 & 26, 1962). Life on base in Key West (January 25, April 10, 1968) is also described in the correspondence.

    Naval war training operations are discussed in the correspondence and include two war games that resulted in casualties. Detailed are the deaths of two men who fell off the deck of the submarine USS PICUDA (SS-382) in the open sea during Operation Quick Pursuit (April 18, 1967). Further correspondence deals with poor training and job quality, inadequate safety precautions, laxness of submarine commanders in avoiding detection, and the actions of the PICUDA' s captain during Quick Pursuit (May 11, 1967, February 28, 1968). Also mentioned are the grounding of the nuclear submarine USS SEAWOLF (SSN-575), and the loss of the Israeli submarine DAKAR and the French submarine MINERVA during Operation Springboard (February 1, 5 1968). The loss with all hands of the nuclear submarines USS THRESHER (SSN-593) and USS SCORPION (SSN-589) are also discussed (April 12, 1963, March 2, 1967, May 27, 1968). Other training exercises referred to are Portex and Caribex (March 15, 1950), the joint US/Spanish war game Poopdeck 2-67, and the joint US/French war game Fairgame V (May 24, 1967).

    Other correspondence addresses discipline and the growing disregard of submarine commanders for enforcing safety procedures, observations of the periscopes of several submarines during maneuvers, poor mess hall procedures, and the lack of command discipline (March 2, 1967). Also discussed are the construction of nuclear submarines USS TAUTOG (SSN-639) and USS HADDOCK (SSN-621), describing problems, needs, status reports, personnel assignments, and sea trials (January-December 1967; March 13, 1968); the military trials of three seamen from submarine USS SEACAT (SS- 399) caught with marijuana and the dangers of marijuana street peddling (August 10, September 27, 1967; January 22, 1968); and a meningitis outbreak (February 12, 1968) on board the submarine tender USS HOWARD W. GILMORE (AS-16). A booklet attached to a letter (June 3, 1968) discusses the financial benefits to Panama from the United States presence in Panama and the Canal Zone. Miscellaneous items include a civilian account of daily naval maneuvers in the Caribbean, a 1958 report of a study by OPNAV/BUPERS Personnel Monitoring Group entitled "Desirability and Selection Criterior for Early Promotion of Naval Officers," photographs (mostly Naval personnel shots), speeches and briefs given to various crews, several issues of publications from the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (1960), and a Boy Scout handbook for the Panama area.

    See also George Ball Oral History #139.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    George C. Ball, Jr. (Jerry) was born in Memphis, TN (May 20, 1919), graduated from the United States Naval Academy (1941), and was assigned to the battleship USS NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55). Ball entered submarine training school in New London, CT (March 1942), and spent the next eighteen months on board the submarine USS S-14 (SS-119), rising from engineer to gunnery officer, communications officer, navigation officer, and finally to executive officer. Ball became the youngest submarine commanding officer in the Navy when he took command (January 1944) of the submarine USS 0-6 (SS-67). Ball then served as executive officer (April 1945-April 1947) on the submarines USS SAND LANCE (SS-381), USS GUAVINA (SS-362), and USS CONGER (SS-477); commanding officer (1950-1952) of the submarines USS ENTEMEDOR (SS-340) and USS TENCH (SS-417); coordinator for training reserves (1954-1956) aboard the submarine tender USS HOWARD W. GILMORE (AS-16); and commander (June 1963-August 1964) of the attack transport USS MONROVIA (APA-31). Ball's administrative duties included serving as naval aide to the commander in chief of the Caribbean (January 1948-June 1949); working in the office of the chief of Naval Operations (1952-1954); commander of Submarine Division 42, Key West, FL (1956-1957); member of the joint staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1958-1960); commanding officer of the Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (1961-1963); assistant director and later director of the Naval War College (1965-1967); commander of Submarine Squadron 12, Key West, FL (January 1967-July 1968); and deputy chief of staff for the US Southern Command in the Canal Zone, Panama (1968-1971). Ball retired as a captain (June 30, 1971).

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    May 25, 1994, 1,100 items; Papers (1941-1973) of US Naval Officer, USNA Class of 1941, including correspondence, reports, briefings, speeches, orders, photographs, and miscellaneous materials. Gift courtesy of Captain George C. Ball, Jr., USN (Ret.), Orlando, FL.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Captain George C. Ball, Jr.

    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

    George C. Ball, Jr., Papers (#678), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

Container List

Correspondence and orders 1963-1968, 1971, nd; Biographical Information
Civilian Observer; Printed Material; Miscellaneous Material; Photographs

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Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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Container List

Correspondence and orders 1963-1968, 1971, nd; Biographical Information
Civilian Observer; Printed Material; Miscellaneous Material; Photographs

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