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Walter L. Small, Jr., Papers, 1922-1975

(Manuscript Collection #731)

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

Title: Walter L. Small, Jr., Papers
Creator: Small, Walter L., Jr.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1922-1975) of U.S. Navy officer, USNA Class of 1938, including photograph albums, correspondence, speeches, clippings, reports and photographs.
Extent: 1.26 Cubic feet, 4 archival boxes, including correspondence, order, speeches, newspaper clippings, articles, reports, photographs, and scrapbooks

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

Accessions Information

October 9, 1996 (unprocessed), Papers (1922-1975) of U.S. Navy officer, USNA Class of 1938, including photograph albums, correspondence, speeches, clippings, reports and photographs. Donor: Rear Admiral Walter L. Small, Jr. USN (Ret).

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

Walter L. Small, Jr., Papers (#731), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Rear Admiral Walter L. Small, Jr.

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

  • Processed by: Michael J. Plakos, 1998

  • Ann Merriman, 1999


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

Walter Lowry Small, Jr. was born on October 31, 1916 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Judge Walter L. Small, Sr. and his wife Elizabeth Peele White (nee). Small, Jr. married Jane Van Rensselaer Harris, daughter of Rear Admiral Robert W. Cary, USN (Ret.), in 1940. They had two children, Elizabeth Craven Small and Jane Christian Small. Small entered the United States Naval Academy in 1934 and graduated in 1938 as a commissioned ensign. During World War II, Small served on the submarine USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) as Navigator and Executive Officer. Small also commanded many other naval vessels, acted as Personal Aid to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (1947), commanded the Middle East Force (1967-1968) and several submarine fleets, including the Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (1968-1970). Small retired from the Navy, June 1, 1973, with the rank of Rear Admiral.

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

Included in the papers is correspondence primarily of an unofficial nature. Of particular interest is a letter concerning the opening of the Port of Bandar Abbas by the Shah of Iran (1967, n.d.) and a letter from film producer Elmo Williams regarding shooting of the film TORA! TORA! TORA! (1969) in which he thanks Small for his consultation work. Also included are numerous written congratulations to Small on his promotion to Rear Admiral, correspondence describing a Naval War Gaming course and a description of Small by his niece for one of her class assignments. Also of interest is correspondence between Small and a Texas teacher of special education students. Discussion consists of the class’ request for an autographed photograph of Small, Small’s response to the teacher’s question of whether Admiral Nimitz was in agreement with President Roosevelt in regard to the “War at Sea” campaign, and also discussion of President Truman. In addition, correspondence focuses on the Pacific Submarine Force led by Small, as well as a letter from Small to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune submitting an obituary of Virginia Scott Polk whom he worked with during his naval career and greatly admired.

Other material in the collection includes official war patrol reports (September 9, 1944-January 25, 1945) of the submarine USS ICEFISH (SS-367) documenting its activity in the South and East China Seas. Reports entries include maneuvers around a Japanese patrol vessel and a sampan (October 17, 1944, p. 9), and details of an attack with the submarine USS DRUM (SS-228) on a Japanese convoy and aircraft (October 23-26, 1944, pp. 11-16). These reports also include summaries of radar contacts, Japanese aircraft and ship contacts, attack data, damage and defects, radio and radar functions and distance traveled. A large hand-drawn map of the 5th War Patrol of the USS ICEFISH is also included.

Later records (1967-1968) concerning the Middle East Region while Small was Commander of the Middle East Forces include rosters of United States and United Kingdom personnel and Bahrain civilians, as well as a history of the Middle East Force Command. Also present are several speeches given by Small at the commissioning and decommissioning of submarines and a variety of other official functions (1968-1970). Other materials include detailed information on submarines, Polaris and Poseidon missiles and biographical materials on Small. Numerous photographs are also present and pertain to Small's various commands, inspections, and official functions while in command. Two scrapbooks contain photographs and clippings documenting Small's command of the Submarine Fleet in the Pacific Ocean (1969-1970). See container list for fruther details.

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

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

  • Box 2#0731.2
    • Folder a#0731.2.a
      Photos: P-731/ 1-6 from change of command ceremony ( Bahrain) ; P-731/7-19 International Group on Nuclear Sharing (Paris) ; P-731/20-27 Shah opening new fort of Bandar Abbas, Presentation of athletic awards Imperial Ethiopian Navy Days, Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I of Ethiopia, Northern outpost in Pakistan; P-731/28-34 Admiral Small: at US Army War college, at permanent Joint Board of Defense, at Comsublant staff. Groups and other individuals. 4 items. 34 p. 1938 - 1972.
    • Folder b#0731.2.b
      Photos: P-731/35-54 Admiral Small: at Inter-American NavalConference, Newport RI: Inter-American Naval Conference, Washington D.C.; Tour of Peru ; P-731/55-68 Adm Small with family and colleages ; P-731/69-78 Navy portraits of Walter Small, Snapshots of Walter Small receiving medals. 3 items. 44 p. 1947 - 1971.
    • Folder c#0731.2.c
      Photos: P-731/80-84 Color Photos of Pearl Harbor war memorials; P-731/79,80,82,85-87 Black and White Pearl Harbor and submarine photos; P-731/88-92 Miscellaneous Photographs; P-731/93-110 Dinner for ruler of ?, Birthday pictures; P-731/111-115 Friends and Family. 5 items. 44 p. ?, 1968.
    • Folder d#0731.2.d
      Photos: P-731/116-126 Adm. Small's visit to Sub Flotilla One; P-731/127-138 Adm. Small's visit to Sub Flotilla One; P-731/139-146 Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, Massawa Ien Navy Days 12-15 Feb. ; The Shah of Iran, Bandar Abbas Dedication 7 Nov. 3 items. 31 p. 1967-1968.
    • Folder e#0731.2.e
      Photos: P-731/147-162 Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada- US, Charleston, SC , Canadian And US Ambassadors; P-731/163-217 Inspection Trip to Polaris/Posiedon Subsquad in Guam; P-731/218-221Fishing trip during R Adm Small's inspection trip to Polaris/ Posiedon SubSquad in Guam. 4 items. 75 p. 1970-1972.
    • Folder f#0731.2.f
      Photos: P-731/222-241R Adm Small Comideastfor - Arrival in Bahrain- 29 April 1967 - Reception- 30 April 1967 - Change of Command - May 1967; P-731/242-264 R Adm Small Comideastfor - Aden- Nune 1967 - Massawa - May 1967 - Port Sudan- May 1967 - Aqaba - May 1967; P-731/265-276 R Adm Small- Comideastfor - Yeubo - May 1967 - Jidda - May 1967 - Djibouti - June 1967; P-731/277-288 R Adm Small- Comideastfor Tamatave - August 1967 - AbuDhabi - January 1968 - Dubai - January 1968. 4 items. 67 p. 1967 - 1968.
    • Folder g#0731.2.g
      P-731/ 289 - 387 Sixth Inter-American Naval Conference Newport, RI April 1971. 3 items. 99 p. 1971.
    • Folder h#0731.2.h
      P-731/ 388 - 455 Sixth Inter-American Naval Conference Newport, RI April 1971. 3 items. 68 p. 1971.
  • Box 3#0731.3
    • Folder a#0731.3.a
      5th Patrol of Submarine USS FLYING FISH, map, n.d. 1 item. 1 p.
    • Folder b#0731.3.b
      Scrapbook of "Rear Admiral Walter Lowry Small, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet", containing newspaper articles (biography of Walter L. Small), 1968. Aloha Reception photos, 1968. Admiral's barge photos. Promotions articles. Photos aboard the BONEFISH- his first trip to sea in new command, 1968. Admiral Hyland visits Fleusubtrafac Building, 1968. ASAHIO officers photos. Admiral Cole promotion photos. USS HALIBUT (SSN587) receives Presidential Unit Citation, 10/1968. Westpac Trip, Comsublant/Comsubpac Conference, 11/1968. Westpac Tour, 1969. Visit with Japanese Admirals. Submariners celebrate 69th Anniversary. Armed Forces Day, 1969. Reception in Honor of Admiral and Mrs. Small, 1969. 4 items. 112 p.
  • Box 4#0731.4
    • Folder a#0731.4.a
      Scrapbook of "Walter Small and the Seventies". Newspaper articles, photographs of 50th Anniversary of Nuclear Power, 1/1970. Westpac trip, 1/1970. "Patrol" Special Anniversary Issue, 2/1970. 50th Anniversary of Submarine base photos, 2/1970. Subpac Mardi Gras photos, 2/1970. St. Patrick's Day Reception photos, 3/1970. USS PARCHE Dedication pamphlets, Admiral Christie's Remarks at opening ceremony. Ribbon from official opening and dedication of the Pacific Submarine display and USS PARCHE Memorial Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor. Remarks by Walter Small at ceremony. Letter sent to submarine flag officers and World War II veterans officers. 70th Anniversary Submarine Birthaday Ball program, 4/1970. USS GREENLET (ASR10) Decommissioning, 1970. 3 items. 103 p.

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 preliminary inventory
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