February 9, 1988, 5 items; Papers of Naval officer, USNA Class of 1941, consisting of battle reports on the Battle of Vella Gulf (1943) and a history of the USS
May 14, 1996, (unprocessed addition 1), 74 pages; Action report (Feb. 1942-Apr. 1944) for USS
LANG (DD-399). Gift of Capt. Pemberton Southard, USN (Ret) of Beaufort, SC.
May 8, 2001 (unprocessed addition 2), Naval Communiques (1942-1944) concerning U.S.S.
LANG (DD-399) and copies of after-action reports for battles of Vella Gulf, Guadalcanal, Wewak (New Guinea), Morotai, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, Lingayen Gulf, and other World War II Pacific operations in which the
LANG participated. Donor: Southard, Pemberton
October 24, 2001 (unprocessed addition 3), 14 items; Papers, 1943-2001, including communications to and from the U.S.S.
LANG DD-399, (18 July – 30 November 1943) during and after the battle of Vera Gulf (8 p., carbon typescript); Battle of Vella Gulf report (10 August 1943) excerpted from a Springfield, Mass. Newspaper (1 p., mimeograph typescript); Silver Star Medal Award Citation (undated) by W. F. Halsey, Admiral, U.S. Navy, to Lt. Pemberton Southard for actions during the battle of Vella Gulf 6-7 August 1943 (1 p., carbon typescript); Letter (12 May 2001) from S. Michael (Mike) Mania, BMSN, 1st Division, who served under Capt. Southard aboard the U.S.S.
TURNER DD/DDR 834 (1953 – 1954), containing an account of Southard’ s leadership style (4 p., typescript). Donor: Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)
May 17, 2002 (unprocessed addition 4), Papers (1937-1970) of a U.S. Naval Officer, USNA Class of 1941, consisting of six manuscript items, 1941-1957, including correspondence, reports, and copies of naval log and 24 published works, 1937-1970, including periodicals, pamphlets, and books, primarily on naval and military history. Donor: Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)
June 25, 2002 (unprocessed addition 5), Papers (1946-1959) of a U.S. Naval Officer, USNA Class of 1941, including manuscripts, photographs, and printed materials concerning the Destroyer Escort Radar (DER) Picket, NORAD, and the North Atlantic Barrier. DONOR: Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Pemberton Southard Papers (#551), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Southard, Pemberton, USN (RET), (Capt.)
Captain Pemberton Southard was born in Augusta, ME (February 4, 1918), and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in 1941. During World War II, Southard served on the destroyers USS
LANG (DD-399) and USS
MYLES C. FOX (DD-829), and after the war, the destroyer minesweeper USS
DORAN (DMS-41), the attack cargo ship USS
VERMILION (AKA-107), the radar picket destroyer USS
TURNER (DDR-834), and the destroyer tender USS
GRAND CANYON (AD-28). Southard also held many administrative positions with the Bureau of Naval Personnel; Amphibious Group Two; the Naval War College; the Naval Station in Key West, FL; the NROTC Unit of Princeton University; the Fleet Training Group in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the First Naval District; and the Fleet Training Group and Center in Newport, RI. Southard was awarded several medals, including the Silver Star for his conduct for the Vella Gulf Night Action.
The collection consists of official Navy action reports of the USS
LANG (February 1, 1942-April 4, 1944), three accounts of the Battle of Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands, a history of the
LANG, and a biographical sketch of Southard. The reports detail the
LANG'S participation in various operations and include information on casualties, damage, other ships involved, analysis of the
LANG'S performance, commendations, and lessons learned from the engagements. Discussed are the search and rescue of survivors in the Atlantic Theatre from the torpedoed British freighter SS
EMPIRE WILDEBEESTE in cooperation with oiler USS
SAPELO (AO-11, February 1, 1942); actions during shore bombardments on Guadalcanal (February 3, 1943), Nauru Island (December 10, 1943), and the Caroline Islands (January 31, 1944); surface and anti-aircraft engagements in the Vella Gulf and Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands (July 27, August 1, 15-16, 1943); landings on Makin in the Gilbert Islands (November 30, 1943); and anti-submarine actions (April 4, 1944).
The collection also includes three descriptions of the Battle of Vella Gulf (August 6-7, 9-10, 1943) consisting of an official Navy narrative detailing the battle plan, a chronological log of the battle, actions of all the destroyers involved, diagrams of the battle, and comments on enemy forces; a reminiscence that lists American and Japanese destroyers involved; and a typescript newspaper account of the action by an international news correspondent (August 10, 1943).
Also included in the collection are two histories of the
LANG and biographical information concerning Southard.