Alvin Arthur Fahrner Papers, 1939-1952

Manuscript Collection #202

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

Title: Alvin Arthur Fahrner Papers
Creator: Fahrner, Alvin Arthur, 1915-1994
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1939-1952) consisting of correspondence, orders, reports, memos, newsletters, clippings, post cards, financial records, and miscellaneous.
Extent: 0.43 Cubic feet, 305 items , consisting of correspondence, orders, reports, memos, newsletters and publications, clippings, post cards, financial records, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

June 27, 1972, ca. 200 items; Files (1941-1947), including correspondence, military orders, reports, newsletters, and miscellaneous

July 23, 1975, 50 items; Papers (1944-1946), consisting of Navy newsletters, newspapers, and miscellaneous. Gift of Dr. Alvin A. Fahrner, Greenville, N.C.

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

Alvin Arthur Fahrner Papers (#202), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Dr. Alvin A. Fahrner

Processing Information

  • Processed by D. Beard, April 1985

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Dr. Alvin Arthur Fahrner (November 17, 1915 - October 20, 1994), a native of Farmville, Virginia, was a professor of history at East Carolina University from 1960 through 1981. Before entering the Navy in 1940, he was an employee of the Virginia Department of Highways. After graduating from Midshipman School, Fahrner was assigned to various naval vessels, including the USS CALIFORNIA, on which he served during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 1941). From 1943 until 1945, Fahrner was an aide to Admiral Edward W. Hanson, first in COMBATDIV 9 with the third and fifth fleets, and then at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. During this time Fahrner saw action in most of the major combined military operations in the Pacific, including the Marshall Islands, Saipan, the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and others. Fahrner returned to reserve status in March of 1947.

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

Personal correspondence (1939-1952) contains several items of interest, including Christmas cards (undated) containing derogatory comments about the Japanese. Also included in this material are letters (1947, 1952) from Admiral Hanson congratulating Fahrner on his release from naval duty and advising him about the possibility of returning to active duty in the event that "war might come accidentally."

Military correspondence, orders, and records (pre-World War II) deal with Fahrner's entry into the Navy and attendance at Midshipman School (1940), assignment to the USS ARIZONA, and appointment to the staff of Commander Battle Force aboard the USS CALIFORNIA (1941). During World War II the material deals with Fahrner's continued assignment to this staff, but aboard the USS NEW MEXICO and USS PENNSYLVANIA (1942). After receiving anti-aircraft training and serving on Atlantic convoy duty (1942-1943), Fahrner was ordered back to the Pacific as an aide and flag lieutenant on the staff of Admiral Edward W. Hanson of COMBATDIV 9 (1943-1945). Fahrner was then assigned to Hanson's staff at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard until his separation from the service (1945-1947).

Naval publications consist of ships' newspapers (1944-1945), newsletters from Pearl Harbor (1945), and a program, Here Comes the Navy, for an all-star baseball game at Pearl Harbor.

Miscellaneous material includes accounts of shipboard life, menus, a speech, poetry (possibly by Fahrner), and newspaper clippings documenting Fahrner's commendation for meritorious service and his transfer to Pearl Harbor.

Oversize material consists of publications, magazine clippings, a 1944 newspaper article and illustration of the USS WISCONSIN and a poster, "Air Defense," depicting the USS SOUTH DAKOTA in action.

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

Card Catalog Entries Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.

Geographic Entries :

  • South Pacific Islands
  • Hawaii, Honolulu

Autograph Entries :

  • Hanson, Edward W. (2) 1947, 1952

Subject Entries :

  • HAWAII— World War II
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Education— 1940-1941
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Publications— 1944-1946
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships— USSCALIFORNIA — 1941
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships— USSWISCONSIN — 1944
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships— USSSOUTH DAKOTA — 1943-1945
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— World War II— 1941-1945
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— 1941-1945
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Guadalcanal, 1942
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— South Pacific, 1941-1945
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Navy— 1941-1945
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Navy— Armaments
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Training

Newspaper Entries:

Honolulu, Hawaii
  • The Honolulu Advertiser
    • Aug. 14, 1945
    • Sept. 14, 194
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee Journal
    • Oct. 29, 1944

Date Entry :

  • 1941-1947

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

Box 1#0202.1
Military correspondence (1940-1947), general military records and orders (1941-1947), and personal correspondence (1939-1952)
Box 2#0202.2
Various naval publications (1944-1945) and miscellaneous material (1944-1945, undated)
Oversize Folder os1#0202.os1
Naval publications (1944-1946), newspapers (1944-1945), and miscellaneous material (undated)

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 Department, 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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