Frank R. Bartimo Papers

Manuscript Collection #701
Bartimo, Frank R.
Physical description
0.22 Cubic Feet, 201 items, consisting of correspondence and official documents.
Preferred Citation
Frank R. Bartimo Papers (#701), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1942-1947) including correspondence, official documents, letters, problems with a homosexual roommate, description of poor living conditions, etc.

Biographical/historical information

Frank R. Bartimo (b. 1914) resided in the Washington, DC, area and worked in Secretary of State Cordell Hull's office before World War II. Bartimo joined the Navy (July 1944) and trained at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Newport, RI. Bartimo served (August-October, 1945) on the aircraft carrier USS LOS ANGELES (CA-135) but saw no action. He was discharged, and as a civilian was employed by the Army's Judge Advocate section in Heidelberg, Germany (December 1946-February 1947). The collection consists of Bartimo's letters to his wife, Kay, and also contains letters from Bartimo's brother-in-law, Richard Toomey, to his sister, Kay. Toomey joined the Navy and trained at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station (April-September 1942) and served (October 1942-August 1945) on the light cruiser USS CLEVELAND (CL-55).

Scope and arrangement

The collection's early correspondence concerns Toomey's training experiences. Included are sites around Chicago, IL, such as the Marshall Field Museum, the Schlitz Brewery, and exotic architecture (May 31, 1942); the Plant Conservatory and Lincoln Park Zoo (July 13, 1942); and a circus (September 21, 1942). Toomey also mentions a visit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the secrecy involved (September 21, 1942). Further correspondence mentions the training of Negroes as commandos (August 21, 1942); naval training (August 24, 1942); the high divorce rate among sailors due to infidelity (December 17, 1944); life on board the CLEVELAND (October 7, 1942- August 29, 1945); and the belief that all branches of the military disliked General Douglas MacArthur (September 22, 1945). Throughout Toomey's correspondence, the subjects of censorship and Toomey's low opinion of the Navy are expressed.

The later correspondence details Bartimo's training at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Newport, RI, including fire-fighting and abandoning-ship drills (March 27 and 29, 1945). One piece of correspondence from a friend in Washington, DC, discusses theArmy's Cadillac II program and its importance, as well as the new United Nations charter (June 24, 1945). While in Cuba during Bartimo's brief duty on the LOS ANGELES, he mentions the poor living conditions, prostitution, and the purchase of clothes, cigars, and perfume (September 3-31, 1945).

Post-war correspondence from Heidelberg, Germany, is particularly interesting and throughout the letters Bartimo discusses the poor living conditions; anti-occupation and anti-American feelings; and forms of entertainment such as cocktail parties, clubs, and skiing (December 15, 1946-February 5, 1947). Also detailed are cases of embezzlement by American Army colonels and German civilians, and black market activities (December 20-26, 1946, February 1-2, 1947); alleged rape (January 1, 1947); and a dishonorable discharge for assault (January 15, 1947). Other topics discussed are venereal disease (December 21, 1946); adultery on board ship and in Germany (December 9, 1946, January 2, 1947); a relationship between a young American Negro man and a young German woman (February 1-2, 1947); and problems with a homosexual roommate (February 3, 1947).

Administrative information
Custodial History

May 22, 1995, 184 items; Personal correspondence (1942-1947) of U.S. Navy officer and post-war Judge Advocate Section officer. Gift courtesy of the Friends of ECU Library.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Friends of ECU Library

Processing information

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
Bartimo, Frank R., 1914-
Toomey, Richard
Corporate Names
Cleveland (Light cruiser : CL-55)
Los Angeles (Ship)
United States. Navy--Military life
United States. Navy--Officers
Nautical training-schools--Illinois--Chicago (Ill.)
Nautical training-schools--Rhode Island--Newport (R.I.)
World War, 1939-1945--Censorship
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American
Germany--Social conditions--1945-1955