William Stamps Howard, Jr., Papers, 1930-1949

Manuscript Collection #356

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

Title: William Stamps Howard, Jr., Papers
Creator: Howard, William Stamps, 1902-1962
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1930-1949) consisting of correspondence, dispatches, military records, photographs, newspaper, clippings, journal, log book, and miscellaneous.
Extent: 1.33 Cubic feet, 227 items, 2 volumes , consisting of correspondence, dispatches, military records, photographs, newspaper clippings, journal, log book, and miscellaneous.

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

Accessions Information

March 15, 1978, 75 items; Papers (1930-1949), including correspondence, diary, log book, photographs, and miscellaneous. Donor: Mrs. W. Stamps Howard, Jr., Tarboro, NC.

February 23, 2007, (unprocessed addition 1), 38 items, 0.90 cubic feet; Papers (ca. 1930-2007, n.d.) pertaining to the United States Navy captain, raised in Tarboro, North Carolina, including biography, correspondence, diaries, financial and personnel records, scrapbook materials, film, video, compact disc, and digital video discs, especially pertaining to his assignment in American Samoa, 1937-1939, and his service aboard USS NIAGARA (AGP-1), USS TREVER (DD-#339), USS RUSSELL (DD-434), USS STURTEVANT (DE-240), and USS CLOUES (DE-265). See preliminary inventory attached. Donor: Williams Stamps Howard, III.

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

William Stamps Howard, Jr., Papers (#356), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. W. Stamps Howard

Processing Information

  • Processed by D. Lawson, February 1979

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Captain William Stamps Howard, Jr. (1902-1962) was a native of Tarboro, NC, and a 1925 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. At the outbreak of World War II he commanded the destroyer USS STURTEVANT in convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. In 1943, Howard commanded Escort Division 28 in the Pacific and subsequently oversaw various other task groups in the Marshall-Gilbert-Ellice campaigns.

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

Personal correspondence (1944-1945) consists of letters from Howard to his wife written from the Central Pacific Theatre. The letters reflect day-to-day ship activities and the responsibilities of Howard as commander of an escort task group which numbered at times as many as sixty vessels. Letters comment on local military engagements and incidents, atrocities, Japanese prisoners-of-war, souvenir hunting, recreation problems for his men, and the sinking of submarines. Other letters comment on a Marine invasion of January 31, 1944, and sailing past Japanese islands to draw fire. A letter (Feb., 1945) outlines Howard's activities in the South Pacific; and another letter (April, 1945) comments on Roosevelt and Truman, the fear of socialism as an outgrowth of racial changes, and the effectiveness of Negro combat soldiers.

General correspondence (1935-1943) pertains to ships on which Howard served. Letters (1935, 1936) pertain to exercise performance of the USS TREVER, commanded by Howard, which won a "red E." A report (Jan, 1942), concerns a depth charge attack by the USS STURTEVANT on a submarine. A letter (Nov., 1941) outlines naval escort strategy for an escort group in the Atlantic; and a letter of August 14, 1943, concerns the commissioning of the USS CLOUES.

Pacific Area Escort Division 28 records concern Howard's command of task groups 57.7 and 96.3. A typescript "Wartime History of Commander Marshalls-GilbertsPatrol and Escort Group (CTG 96.3)" (undated) outlines Howard's role in the conflict. The bulk of the records pertain to Task Group 57.7 commanded by Howard.

The log book (1941) of the USS STURTEVANT, a destroyer in Destroyer Division 62, Squadron 31, reflects convoy duty in the submarine infested waters of the North Atlantic just prior to the outbreak of World War II and shortly afterward. Log entries provide details of the rigors of convoy duty and delineate numbers, names, and positions of convoy ships, and records ships torpedoed. Entries concern attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent news bulletins regarding war news. Information concerning the sinking of the USS REUBEN JAMES is also recorded. Entries record daily reports of submarine positions, and an entry (Dec. 15, 1941) describes an encounter of the STURTEVANT with a submarine.

Also in the log is a copy of a letter (Dec. 16, 1941) describing the detection of a torpedo; evasive and offensive action; and evaluation of sound detection gear. A handwritten copy of a communique account of the REUBEN JAMES sinking and a similar entry for the USS KEARNY also appear, as does a list of destroyers turned over to England by the U.S.

A journal (1930-1943) records Howard's activities while serving on the USS NIAGARA and MAYFLOWER and other duties. Entries reflect his on and off duty activities and professional and social activities. Entries for 1931 concern the fire and sinking of the MAYFLOWER. An entry for 1934 logs war maneuvers of a fleet cruise, and entries for 1940 pertain to the outbreak of war. Personal financial entries (1936-1943) record information on his stocks- shares bought, dividends paid, etc.

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

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#0356.2
    • Folder a#0356.2.a
      William Stamps Howard, Jr., Captain United States Navy [1902-1962]: A Biography (2007) by William Stamps Howard, III. Typescript & Compact Disc. 2 items. 25 p.
    • Folder b#0356.2.b
      Pago Pago, Tuituila, American Samoa (2007) by William Stamps Howard, III. Typescript. 1 item. 2 p. Notes: A memoir of life in American Samoa, 1937-1939.
    • Folder c#0356.2.c
      Clippings (ca. 1930's-1942, n.d.) 3 items. 4 p.
    • Folder d#0356.2.d
      Intelligence Exploitation of Captured German Submarines (2007) [by Williams Stamps Howard, III] Typescript. 1 item. 2 p.
    • Folder e#0356.2.e
      U-570: Capt. William Stamps Howard, Jr.'s Account of Her Capture by Capt. Woods of HMS BURWELL (ca. 1942) Holograph. 1 item. 4 p.
    • Folder f#0356.2.f
      Loose Material from Scrapbook (ca. 1937-1939) including photographic prints, printed materials, printed forms, etc. 13 items. 19 p. Note: See also #356.3.a
    • Folder g#0356.2.g
      United States Navy at War: Final Official Report to the Secretary of the Navy Covering the Period March 1, 1945 to October 1, 1945, by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. . . . (1945) Pamphlet. 1 item. 36 p.
    • Folder h#0356.2.h
      The ONI Weekly (December 6, 1942) Number 46. Copy No. 137. Issued by the Publications Section of the Combat Intelligence Branch for the Officers of the United States Fleet. Periodical. 1 item. 38 p.
  • Box 3#0356.3
    • Folder a#0356.3.a
      Scrapbook (1937-1939) of William Stamps Howard, Jr. & family documenting the family's stationing in American Samoa, and illustrating landscapes, native life & customs, territorial & naval officials, etc. including photographic prints, postcards, correspondence & printed forms. 1 item. 35 p. Note: See also #356.2.f
    • Folder b#0356.3.b
      • Flag Day (n.d.) 8 mm. Reel #1. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Smells of vinegar.  (item #1)
      • Samoa Personalities (ca. 1937-1939) 8 mm. Reel #2. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Smells of vinegar.  (item #2)
      • Samoa - Manua (1937-1939) 8 mm. Reel #3. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Duplicate number. Smells of vinegar.  (item #3)
      • Ships (n.d.) 8 mm. Reel #3. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Duplicate number. Smells of vinegar.  (item #4)
      • Samoa - Tota (1937-1939) 8 mm. Reel #4. 1 item. 1 p. Note: Smells of vinegar.  (item #5)
      • Samoa November 1937 - July 1937 (n.d.) Property of W.S. Howard 1955 Marina Way, Buford, GA 30518. Sony Braodcast Video Cassette Master.  (item #6)
      • Samoa November 1937 - July 1937 (2005) © YesDVD. Duration: 1:46:12. DVD 2550-05. 1 item. 1 p.  (item #7)
    • Folder os1#0356.3.os1
      SS MARIPOSA Shellback Certificate & Newspaper Clippings (1938-1964) 7 items. 10 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 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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