Edward K. Walker, Sr., Papers

Manuscript Collection #642
Walker, Edward K., Sr.
Physical description
0.43 Cubic Feet, 188 items , consisting of correspondence, photographs, printed material, a map, and miscellaneous items.
Preferred Citation
Edward K. Walker, Sr., Papers (#642), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Letter (7/16/48) from Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. with enclosures describing the sinking of the USS MAYRANT.

Biographical/historical information

Edward Keith Walker, Sr., (October 3, 1904-September 25, 1988) was born in Maine and graduated (1925) from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA). Walker was assigned to a number of vessels, including battleship USS FLORIDA (BB-30) in the late 1920s and on submarines in the early 1930s. During World War II, Walker took command (1942) of destroyer USS MAYRANT (DD-402) and was decorated for service in North Africa and Sicily. After the war, Walker was involved with "Operation High Jump" that used ships, planes, and helicopters to explore Antarctica (1946-1947). Walker retired (July 1, 1955) with the rank of rear admiral.

Scope and arrangement

The collection is comprised of a small amount of correspondence, memorabilia, printed materials, photographs, and a map. Two particularly interesting war-time letters include a request by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and President Roosevelt's secretary, General Edwin Watson, to provide lodgings for Walker and his wife at the White House when they visit to speak to the President about activities in the Mediterranean Sea (August 27, 1943). Numerous communiqués concern the details of the crash of seaplane George I during "Operation High Jump" including the rescue and treatment of survivors and burial of the dead (December 30-31, January 11-12, 1947). Other correspondence (March 6, 1948) describes the sinking of the MAYRANT after the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests, attached to a letter by Roosevelt, Jr., to Walker (July 16, 1948).

Memorabilia pertains to numerous U.S. naval vessels including programs for "Mess Night" on board USS FLORIDA (July-September 1926) and an issue of the ship's newsletter The Gator (July 31, 1926); launching and commissioning programs for the battleship USS MISSOURI (BB-63, January and June 1944); and a program and book forthe christening of the attack aircraft carrier USS FORRESTAL (CVA-59) that details the ship's construction and includes historical background on aircraft carriers (December 11, 1954). Miscellaneous programs concern various Navy functions and dinners.

Printed materials include Regulations of the U.S. Naval Academy (1923); two issues of Pearl Harbor Weekly containing articles on the history of Hawaii and Pearl Harbor, agricultural products such as pineapple and sugar cane, and sites around Honolulu, (March 31, 1928 and June 7, 1929); The Base Newspaper of the U.S. Submarine Base in New London, CT (August 22, 1931); an air raid manual (December 1941) and emergency preparedness materials; and newspaper clippings concerning the rescue of a sailor by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. (1943).

Numerous photographs are included, mostly pertaining to "Operation High Jump" and include images of the Antarctic landscape and icebergs; the destroyer USS BROWNSON (DD-868), the oiler USS CANISTEO (AO-99); and seaplane tender USS PINE ISLAND (AV-12); Navy seaplanes and early helicopters operating in the unusual conditions of the Antarctic; and the crash site of seaplane George I. Also included is a photograph of the officers and crew of the FLORIDA (1927).

Oversized materials are World War II-related items and include a newspaper page concerning the Battle of the Atlantic (June 11, 1943); an issue of The Key, the newspaper of the naval training school at Indiana University (August 10, 1943); and the Times of Malta (August 20, 1943). Other oversized publications include Production for Victory (December 2, 1943) and the Ford Reporter (August 1, 1944) that contain articles on Walker; and a Pan American Airways System map that depicts flight routes, proposed routes, and routes that are suspended because of the war (1940).

Administrative information
Custodial History

December 8, 1992, 188 items; Papers (1923-1954) of U.S. Naval Officer, USNA Class of 1925, including communiqu├ęs, photographs, programs, correspondence, newsletters, regulations, and miscellany.

December 6, 1993, 1 item; Letter (July 16, 1948) from Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., with enclosures describing the sinking of the USS MAYRANT. Gift of Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker, Jr. (Ret), Alexandria, VA.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker, Jr. (Ret)

Processing information

Processed by J. Smith, November 1999

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945--Correspondence
Walker, Edward Keith, Sr., 1904-1988
Corporate Names
Brownson (Destroyer : DD-868)
Canisteo (Ship)
Florida (Battleship)
Forrestal (Aircraft carrier)
Mayrant (Destroyer : DD-402)
Missouri (Battleship : BB-63)
Pine Island (Seaplane tender)
United States Naval Academy--Alumni and alumnae
United States. Navy--Records and correspondence
Meeting Names
Operation Highjump (1946-1947)
Aircraft accidents--Antarctica
Nuclear weapons--Marshall Islands--Testing
Operation Crossroads, Marshall Islands, 1946
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American
Antarctica--Discovery and exploration--American
Pearl Harbor (Hawaii)--Economic conditions--20th century