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Archie P. Kelley Papers, 1941

Manuscript Collection #822

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

Title: Archie P. Kelley Papers
Creator: Kelley, Archie P.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1941-1945) of U.S. Naval officer, USNA Class of 1941, including an autobiographical account, a letter describing experiences aboard the USS West Virginia during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and a letter explaining terms used in letters to avoid censorship; Address (November 2000) to the Coronado Shores Beach Club, Coronado, California, entitled "Archie Kelley's First 80 Years," including an account of his relationship with Admiral Hyman Rickover. Compact Disc. (S/N157-H.912313152B14).
Extent: 0.024 Cubic feet, consisting of written copy of a speech, audio compact disc of the speech, and two letters.

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

Accessions Information

May 8, 2001, 3 items, typescript; Papers of U.S. Naval officer, USNA Class of 1941, including an autobiographical account, a letter describing experiences aboard the USS WEST VIRGINIA during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and a letter explaining terms used in letters to avoid censorship.

October 24, 2001, 1 item, compact disc, serial number S/N157-H.912313152B14; Address (November 2000) to the Coronado Shores Beach Club, Coronado, California, entitled "Archie Kelley's First 80 Years," including an account of his relationship with Admiral Hyman Rickover. Gift of Captain Archie P. Kelley, USN (Retired), Coronado, CA.

March 11, 2004, (unprocessed addition 1), 3 items, 0.004 cubic feet; Speech (1/23/2004) to the Coronado Roundtable, Coronado, CA, entitled "Loose Guns or Genius? Admiral Hyman George Rickover, the US Navy's Most Hated Man, " ca. 1949-1956; and resume by Archie P. Kelley. Typescript and Compact Disk. 80 minutes. 700 MG. CD-R. (C3131GJ2120413LH) Donor: Capt. Archie P. Kelley, US Navy (ret.)

May 23, 2005, (unprocessed addition 2), 4 items, 0.02 cubic feet; Collection (24 April - 7 December 2004) including U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, Orange County, CA speech entitled "Admiral Hyman George Rickover, the US Navy's Most Hated Man," delivered 11 May 2004; Rotary Club speech on the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor delivered 7 December 2004; resume of Archie P. Kelley, 24 April 2004 prepared for both speeches; and Compact Disc. 128 KB. 700 MB CD-R. (5124IF291LH10739M) Donor: Capt. Archie P. Kelley, US Navy (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

Archie P. Kelley Papers (#822), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Captain Archie P. Kelley

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Archie P. Kelley (b. 1918) was born in Washington, D.C. His father, Frank H. Kelley, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1910. Kelley lived up and down the West Coast with his father's various duty assignments. Following his father's path, he attended the Academy and graduated in the Class of 1941. His career began with service aboard the battleship USS WEST VIRGINIA, which he was on during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). After the attack, he served temporary duties in the War Plans Office at Pearl and as navigational officer aboard the WEST VIRGINIA. Kelley's next major assignment was as gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS GANSEVOORT. Before reporting to duty he married his wife, Rosemary, in Las Vegas. The GANSEVOORT served in four combat actions primarily in support of amphibious landings, the first at Tarawa, in the South Pacific with Admiral Halsey's Task Force 38. Two years later, after being in the Aleutians, the ship returned to Hawaii. Kelley then became executive officer of the USS FRAZIER where he served another year and was involved in support of two more amphibious landings, one at Kwajalein. He was ordered to postgraduate school in naval architecture at MIT, where he was introduced to the study of nuclear physics. This resulted in his assignment to an experimental group investigating ways to decontaminate radioactive ships used in the atomic tests at Bikini. His experience earned him a position serving under Hyman G. Rickover beginning in 1948. Under Rickover, Kelley worked with GE contractors to develop the second nuclear propelled submarine, the USS SEAWOLF, and train its first crew.

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

The collection contains a typescript copy of a speech given by Kelley to the Coronado Shores Beach Club, entitled "Archie Kelley's First Eighty Years." The material goes in depth on the information described above, plus childhood memories, social life for naval officers in Hawaii before and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and his experiences on the WEST VIRGINIA during the attack. He also mentions his father's experience with the USS WEST POINT rescuing British civilians from Singapore. Kelley discusses his problems with the loss of Marines at Tarawa due to ineffective bombardment and post-Second World War details of his work decontaminating radioactive ships at Bikini. He goes into great detail concerning the background of Rickover's experience with discrimination against Jews in the Navy and the controversy that always dogged him in his Naval career, the development of nuclear-powered submarines by Rickover, i.e. the USS NAUTILUS and the USS SEAWOLF, and the development of the first civilian nuclear power plant. The speech was recorded onto a compact disc included in the collection. The CD is seventy-one minutes in length and contains additional details that Kelley elaborated on during his speech.

Other items in the collection are two letters. The first is an account of Kelley's experiences during the Pearl Harbor raid, dated January 19, 1942, written to his father. This covers much of the same information as in the speech with some additional details. The other piece of correspondence, dated October 8, 1999, provides definitions explaining terms used to pass censorship in the 1942 letter.

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. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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