George Hudson Fort Papers, 1917-1956

Manuscript Collection #330

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

Title: George Hudson Fort Papers
Creator: Fort, George Hudson, b. 1891
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1917-1956, undated) of U. S. naval officer, graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, 1912, who was executive officer aboard the USS FANNING when it sank a German U-Boat U-58 during World War I, and during World War II commanded the battleship USS NORTH CAROLINA in the South Pacific, consisting of correspondence, battle reports, reports, speeches, Naval War College papers, citations, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs and miscellaneous.
Extent: 0.65 Cubic feet, 392 items, consisting of correspondence, battle report, reports, speeches, Naval War College papeers, orders, citations, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

January 31, 1977, 319 items; Papers (1917-1953), including military and business correspondence, photographs, reports, citations, clippings, and miscellaneous. Gift of Miss Betty Fort, Washington, D.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

George Hudson Fort Papers (#330), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Miss Betty Fort

Processing Information

  • Processed by D. Lawson, July 1978

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

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

George Hudson Fort (August 23, 1891 - July 21, 1975) was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (1912), after which he served as ensign aboard the U.S.S. UTAH and participated in the Battle of Vera Cruz, Mexico (1914). During World War I he served as executive officer of the U.S.S FANNING, which sank and captured the German submarine U-58 (1917). Fort subsequently commanded a submarine, destroyers, a destroyer division, and a destroyer squadron. In the 1930's, he headed the mathematics department at the Naval Academy and subsequently completed advanced studies at the Naval War College. During World War II, Fort commanded the U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA in the South Pacific theater and was awarded the Navy Cross for action in the battle of the Eastern Solomons. In 1942 he advanced to the rank of rear admiral and commanded all landing craft with the South Pacific. As a Task Force Commander Fort directed the 1944 assault on the Palau Islands of Peleliu and Angauar. After World War II Admiral Fort commanded the amphibious training activities on the west coast. For detailed information, see Who Was Who in America, VI, 144.

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

World War I correspondence (1917, undated) relates the sinking and capture of the crew of the German submarine U-58 by the U.S.S. FANNING and NICHOLSON . Material includes a list of captured prisoners, copies of congratulatory letters, and lists of Americans recommended for British decoration. Related war correspondence comments on the FANNING'S "dazzle-painting; " duties of destroyer escorts based at Queenstown, Ireland; and a statement of notable engagements with German submarines from July to December, 1917. The statement includes commentary on the actions of ships WADSWORTH, BENHAM, PARKER, O'BRIEN, DRAMMON, McDOUGAL, CONYNGHAM, FANNING, and ROWAN. A speech (undated) describes aspects of the submarine's capture and the burial of a drowned German soldier. Newspaper clippings (1917, undated) contain photographs of the capture, and photographs relate to the sinking of the submarine (U-58).

A letter (1925) describes the death of Fort's former roommate at the Naval Academy as a result of a mid-air collision while on flight maneuvers at the Naval Air Station, Hawaii.

Peace-time correspondence (1928-June, 1932) relates to an incident involving Fort as commander of the U.S.S. BORIE in San Francisco Bay, discussion of gyro-pilots on submarines and their possible value for surface ships (Dec., 1929), activities of the Navy Relief Society (Feb., 1930), the decommissioning of the U.S.S. PAUL HAMILTON, and the refitting of the U.S.S. HAMILTON (1930-1931). Letters comment on the cordiality of Portland, Oregon, as a liberty port (June, 1930); Alaskan towns, fishing, and mining industries (Aug., 1930); fuel consumption in Navy ships (Nov., 1930); the unsatisfactory condition of the Navy's enlisted personnel situation (July, 1934); and efforts to gain membership into the Chevy Chase Club (1929-1930).

Business-related correspondence (1928-1930) concerns the estate of Martha C. Fort. Comments also concern stock splits, prices and dividends of AT& T, bonds, exercise of stock-buying rights, and copper stock.

Papers concerning education include comments on the value of Princeton and Dartmouth for non-technical educations (May, 1930) and the means of selecting officers for the Naval Academy class discusses the objectives of the mathematics department, value of math, grading, and athletes and academic standards. Fort's Naval War College papers (1938) consist of a solution to a strategical problem and theses dealing with trends in foreign policy of U.S. in the Pacific, cruiser warfare, and strategical operations related to the battle of Dogger Bank.

World War II correspondence (July-Aug., 1944, undated) concerns operation Stalemate- the Palau Islands invasion headed by Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, under whom Fort served as Commander Task Force Thirty-two. Letters contain discussions of operations, the delays of Major General Roy S. Geiger in an attack on Guam, organization of fighter directors, martial shipping near Peleliu, Halsey's attempts to neutralize the Palau Islands, and the utility of heavy flame-throwers in amphtracs. Other war-related records include a Peleliu-Anguar battle report that evaluates the capture of those islands during September and October, 1944. A general narrative relates a step-by-step account of activities. Other parts of the report pertain to chronology of events; damage sustained by ships; lessons learned; personnel performance; task organization; ammunition expenditure; naval and air bombardments; air operations; communications; intelligence reports; and reports ion medical matters, radar, CIC, and casualties. Other World War II material includes a battle action report (Aug. 24, 1942), which describes a Japanese air attack on the U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA and the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE by four planes in the Eastern Solomons. Included are descriptions of bomb hits, count of planes downed, and descriptions of armament used to repel the attack. Other NORTH CAROLINA -related records include a list of officers and a report of ship-held confidential military publications (Dec., 1942).

A report (Aug., 1934) of an anti-war meeting held in Provincetown, Mass., comments on speakers' views that munitions makers are responsible for wars; "Arms and the Man," an article in Fortune magazine; an April 6, 1933 students' strike against war; the American League Against War and Fascism; the Marine Workers' Industrial Union; Fascism as related to a San Francisco dock strike; and U.S. preparations for war.

A speech (undated) concerning the unification act of the armed forces comments on the National Security Council, the National Security Resources Board, and the Secretary of National Defense; single-service procurement; administrative value of the joint chiefs of staff; need for U.S. sea hegemony; and U.S. carrier-based aviation strategy, long-distance fleet supply, and amphibious operations. Speeches also deal with early U.S. interest in submarines (undated) and with differences in amphibious operations of the Pacific and European theaters of war. Comments in the latter speech concern the Russell Islands, comparison of ammunition expended at Peleliu and Normandy, and the LSM(R) and its weaponry as an example of special amphibious craft.

Military publications include the U.S.S. WEST VIRGINIA "The Mountaineer" (Dec., 1933), the U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA "Tarheel" (June, 1942), and "The U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA Radio Press News" (Aug., 12, 27, 1942), in which an air battle is described. Command History, Third Amphibious Force (undated) relates the history of the battles of Guadalcanal, Russell Islands, New Georgia, Vella La Vella, Treasury Islands, Bougainville, Green Island, Emirov, Peleliu, Angaur, Ulithi, Leyte, and Lingayen. PhibsTraPac relates a pictorial story of the training of amphibious forces.

Photographs concern 1948 presidential candidate Harry Truman visiting various Naval installations. Miscellaneous material includes a pamphlet (1956) concerning railroad company executive Jardine Carter Fort. The pamphlet relates genealogical information concerning the Fort family and comments on the Bonnet Carre Spillway cases in Mississippi and various other railroad legal cases. A program of the Military Order of the World Wars is also included.

Oversize material includes a press article (1918) concerning the capture of the U-58, a photograph of the U.S.S. FANNING (undated), and the "Ramp-Age" (Jan, 1945), a military newsletter.

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 :

  • San Diego, California
  • Portsmouth, Virginia

Autograph Entries :

    • Christy, H[arley] H[annibal] (1930)
    • Wilkinson, T[heodore] S. (8) (1944)

Subject Entries :

    • ALASKA— 1930
    • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Ships and Shipping— 1929
    • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Ships and Shipping— 1930
    • BUSINESS AND COMMERCE— Stocks and Bonds— 1929-1930
    • CIVIL UNREST— Pacifism— 1934
    • ELECTIONS— U.S. President— 1948
    • FORT FAMILY— 1928-1930
    • INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS— Communism— 1934
    • INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS— Fascism— 1934
    • LABOR— Labor Unions— Marine Workers' Industrial Union— 1934
    • LABOR— Strikes— 1934
    • OREGON— PORTLAND— 1930
    • ORGANIZATIONS— American League Against War and Fascism— 1934
    • TRANSPORTATION— Railroads— Mississippi
    • TRANSPORTATION— Railroads— Organizations— Law Committee of the Association of American Railroads— 1956
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Air Force— 1925
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Amphibious Warfare
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Army— Units— 3rd Amphibious Force
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Joint Chiefs of Staff— 1948
    • U.S.— MILITARY— National Defense— 1948
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Liberty— 1930
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Education— U.S. Naval Academy
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Organizations— Navy Relief Society— 1930
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Personnel— 1934
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships— 1930
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships— U.S.S. NORTH CAROLINA
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Submarines— 1929
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Organization— 1948
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Organizations— Military Order of the World Wars
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Publications— 1933
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Publications— 1942
    • U.S.— MILITARY— Social Life and Customs
    • WAR— Philosophy
    • WAR— WORLD WAR I— Battles— Dogger Bank, 1915
    • WAR— WORLD WAR I— Naval Operations
    • WAR— WORLD WAR I— Prisoners of War— 1917
    • WAR— WORLD WAR I— Submarines— 1918
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Amphibious Operations— 1944
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Angaur, 1944
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Guam, 1944
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Palau Islands, 1944
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Peleliu Islands, 1944
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Russell Islands, 1944
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— South Pacific
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Campaigns— Solomon Islands
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Ships and Shipping
    • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Weapons

Date Entries :

  • 1917-1918
  • 1944

Images below are listed alphabetically by subject. This list reflects only those portions of the collection for which negatives have been prepared.

Description: Arriving at Puget Sound Navy Yard
Location: Washington— Puget Sound
Date: 1950s
Call Number: p-330/24(381)

U.S.— MILITARY— Navy— Ships— S-25
Description: Navy Day
Location: Maine— Portland
Date: 1923
Call Number: p-330/14(379); 15(380)

Location: At sea
Date: 1917
Call Number: p-330/16(1244)

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

Box 1#0330.1
Box 2#0330.2
Reports, speeches, Naval War College papers
Box 3#0330.3
Orders, citations, publications, newspaper clippings, photographs, miscellaneous
Oversize Folder os1#0330.os1
Newspaper clippings, publications

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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