Milton P. Fields Papers, 1941-1995, undated

Manuscript Collection #754

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Milton P. Fields Papers
    Creator: Fields, Milton P.
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers [1945, 1948] including correspondence, photographs, a map, a phase chart, 2 poems, courts martial, etc.
    Extent: 4.5 Cubic feet, 4 boxes, 251 items, containing 240 photographs, a map, a Japanese phrase chart, two poems, courts martial, and other miscellaneous items.
  • Description

    The main component of this collection is that of the photographs and negatives (circa 1943–1948) taken by Milton P. Fields. Most of the positive images have corresponding negatives; however, there are some negatives without matching positive images.

    The aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, where most of Fields' work in this collection was concentrated, is the focus of many photographs, which were taken from shore, aboard ship, and from aircraft. Of significant interest are the pictures that were taken on the Saratoga during a kamikaze attack at Iwo Jima on 21 February 1945, in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Photographs of this event focus on action taking place on the flight deck. There are photographs picturing the damage on other parts of the ship as well. Newspaper articles that report the kamikaze attack at Iwo Jima in February 1945, and the Saratoga's arrival in San Francisco at the end of the war later that year are also included. Some of the operations of Saratoga in the Pacific Ocean were photographed from aircraft flying overhead showing beach invasions and bombing raids on Eniwetok Atoll, Tanambogo and Gavutu islands, Florida Island, and others. An assortment of photographs show operations on the flight deck with Saratoga's aircraft, other flight deck operations, and shipboard life.

    Photographs of other ships include the USS Hammondsport (sea plane tender, July 1942); HMS Victorious (launching aircraft); USS Shelton (destroyer escort, DE-407); USS Albert T. Harris (destroyer, DE-447); USS Greenwood; a light carrier; USS North Carolina (August 1943); USS San Diego (cruiser, June 1943); a tanker; and a Japanese warship.

    Photographs of high ranking U.S. Naval personnel include former Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Admiral Raymond Spruance, Admiral Sherman, and Admiral William F. Halsey. Senator Margaret Chase Smith and Senator Al Gore Sr. are pictured as well.

    Other topics represented in the images include a U.S. Navy photo school, Camp Andrews, harbor scenes, USO entertainment, U.S. warplanes taking off and landing on Saratoga (includes “barrier crash” of TBF-1), score of damage by airplanes on Japanese targets, warplanes on ship deck, unidentified people (civilians in U.S.), scenes of Clinton, North Carolina (1947), scenes around Navy yard and docked ship, crew with cameras, various shots of warplanes sinking into water when practicing landing on ship, the Navy General Office and two ship crews with corresponding ships unnamed (with names of crew members on back), a USS Saratoga crew ski party held at Mt. Ranier (1945), the wedding of a prominent African American Greenville physician (1948), and three oversized photographs (ca. 1948) featuring views of East Carolina Teachers College in Greenville, N.C.

    Printed materials include a map of one of Saratoga's voyages in the Pacific Ocean, a cartoon drawing, a copy of a sketch of a battle at sea by Gilbert Bundy, an unsigned artist's rendition of Saratoga under attack, a Japanese word and phrase list, and a weekly accounting of the cost for the general mess on Saratoga. Also included is a poem about the Saratoga, a poem titled "My Alma Mater," general court martials for photographer’s mate first class David Kieffer and seaman first class Harold W. Albright (1945), a congratulatory memorandum from A. B. Betsger, Commander, U.S. Navy, to Chief Photographer “Zimmerman” for the fine photography work of his men aboard the Saratoga (1945), and a copy of an affidavit of Stefan A. Yarady, an airman captured by the Japanese and held as a prisoner of war (1943–1946). Also in the printed materials are two editions of the East Carolina Teachers College year book, the Tecoan (1946,1948); a blank registration form for Yorktown CV-10 Reunion (1984); twelve issues of the Saratoga Log, a newsletter edited and published by John Fry, of San Diego, CA, for veterans of the USS Saratoga (1992–1995); photocopies of Sara: The Story of the USS Saratoga [CV-3] with names and addresses of crewmembers in photographs indicated in margins of text by the donor (ca. 1924–1946); and two pages from a book entitled “I Was a Kamikaze” by Ryuji Nagatsuka, photocopy, with notes by Fields on back (undated).

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Milton P. Fields was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, in 1926 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a photographer. After the war, he attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and graduated in 1949 with an AB in English. He later attended Emory University and Wake Forest University earning a doctor of laws in 1953. That same year Fields was admitted to the bar in North Carolina. He served as a prosecuting attorney in Rocky Mount, N.C., in 1958 and the following year he and partner(s) established Fields and Cooper Law Offices. Fields' practice area is general civil litigation.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    January 21, 1998, ca. 225 items; Photographs and miscellaneous documents of photographer stationed aboard the USS Saratoga during World War II. Gift of Mr. Milton P. Fields, Rocky Mount, N.C.

    February 8, 2000 (addition 1), 19 items, 0.022 cubic feet; Correspondence, photographs, prints, clippings, documents and printed materials related to the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) during World War II in the Pacific Ocean, including a copy of an affidavit of Stefan A. Yarady, an airman captured by the Japanese and held as a prisoner of war, 1943-1945; and copies of the "Saratoga Log," Vol. 1, no. 1 – Vol. 4, no. 1, January 1992 – January 1995, a newsletter edited and published by John Fry, of San Diego, CA, for veterans of the USS Saratoga. Gift of Mr. Milton P. Fields.

    July 27, 2004 (addition 2), 205 items, ca. 1.57 cubic feet; Photographic prints and negatives (1943-1946) taken, developed and printed by the donor during his World War II service as a Photographers Mate (2C) aboard USS Saratoga (CV-3); and as a student at East Carolina Teachers College, ca. 1946-1950; also ECTC Tecoan volumes, 1946, 1948. Gift of Mr. Milton P. Fields.

    September 10, 2004 (addition 3), 1 item, ca. 0.003 cubic feet; Photographic print (ca. 1943-1946) of an aerial view of the USS Saratoga (CV-3), Sepia. 9.25" x 6.75". Gift of Ms. Brittney A. Campbell.

    October 9, 2006 (addition 4), 2 items, ca. 0.003 cubic feet; Photocopied manuscript of Sara: The Story of the USS Saratoga (CV-3), ca. 1924-1946, Lt. B.J. Richards, ed. (n.p., [1946?]). 23.5 x 30.5 cm. Notes: Original blue hardcover with gold printing and silhouette of CV-3 and original map missing. Names and addresses of crewmembers in photographs indicated in margins of text by the donor. Gift of Mr. Milton P. Fields.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mr. Milton P. Fields

    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

    Milton P. Fields Papers (#754), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Encoded by Apex Data Services.

    Processed by Dale Sauter, October 2013.

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