Walter L. Small, Jr., Papers

Manuscript Collection #731
Small, Walter L. (Walter Lowry), 1916-2004
Physical description
1.26 Cubic Feet, 4 archival boxes, including correspondence, order, speeches, newspaper clippings, articles, reports, photographs, and scrapbooks
Preferred Citation
Walter L. Small, Jr., Papers (#731), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1922-1975) of U.S. Navy officer, USNA Class of 1938, including photograph albums, correspondence, speeches, clippings, reports and photographs.

Biographical/historical information

Walter Lowry Small, Jr. was born on October 31, 1916 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Judge Walter L. Small, Sr. and his wife Elizabeth Peele White (nee). Small, Jr. married Jane Van Rensselaer Harris, daughter of Rear Admiral Robert W. Cary, USN (Ret.), in 1940. They had two children, Elizabeth Craven Small and Jane Christian Small. Small entered the United States Naval Academy in 1934 and graduated in 1938 as a commissioned ensign. During World War II, Small served on the submarine USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) as Navigator and Executive Officer. Small also commanded many other naval vessels, acted as Personal Aid to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (1947), commanded the Middle East Force (1967-1968) and several submarine fleets, including the Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (1968-1970). Small retired from the Navy, June 1, 1973, with the rank of Rear Admiral.

Scope and arrangement

Included in the papers is correspondence primarily of an unofficial nature. Of particular interest is a letter concerning the opening of the Port of Bandar Abbas by the Shah of Iran (1967, n.d.) and a letter from film producer Elmo Williams regarding shooting of the film TORA! TORA! TORA! (1969) in which he thanks Small for his consultation work. Also included are numerous written congratulations to Small on his promotion to Rear Admiral, correspondence describing a Naval War Gaming course and a description of Small by his niece for one of her class assignments. Also of interest is correspondence between Small and a Texas teacher of special education students. Discussion consists of the class' request for an autographed photograph of Small, Small's response to the teacher's question of whether Admiral Nimitz was in agreement with President Roosevelt in regard to the "War at Sea" campaign, and also discussion of President Truman. In addition, correspondence focuses on the Pacific Submarine Force led by Small, as well as a letter from Small to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune submitting an obituary of Virginia Scott Polk whom he worked with during his naval career and greatly admired.

Other material in the collection includes official war patrol reports (September 9, 1944-January 25, 1945) of the submarine USS ICEFISH (SS-367) documenting its activity in the South and East China Seas. Reports entries include maneuvers around a Japanese patrol vessel and a sampan (October 17, 1944, p. 9), and details of an attack with the submarine USS DRUM (SS-228) on a Japanese convoy and aircraft (October 23-26, 1944, pp. 11-16). These reports also include summaries of radar contacts, Japanese aircraft and ship contacts, attack data, damage and defects, radio and radar functions and distance traveled. A large hand-drawn map of the 5th War Patrol of the USS ICEFISH is also included.

Later records (1967-1968) concerning the Middle East Region while Small was Commander of the Middle East Forces include rosters of United States and United Kingdom personnel and Bahrain civilians, as well as a history of the Middle East Force Command. Also present are several speeches given by Small at the commissioning and decommissioning of submarines and a variety of other official functions (1968-1970). Other materials include detailed information on submarines, Polaris and Poseidon missiles and biographical materials on Small. Numerous photographs are also present and pertain to Small's various commands, inspections, and official functions while in command. Two scrapbooks contain photographs and clippings documenting Small's command of the Submarine Fleet in the Pacific Ocean (1969-1970). See container list for fruther details.

Administrative information
Custodial History

October 9, 1996, Papers (1922-1975) of U.S. Navy officer, USNA Class of 1938, including photograph albums, correspondence, speeches, clippings, reports and photographs. Donor: Rear Admiral Walter L. Small, Jr. USN (Ret).

Source of acquisition

Gift of Rear Admiral Walter L. Small, Jr.

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Processed by: Michael J. Plakos, 1998

Ann Merriman, 1999

Marian D. Collins, May 2004

Copyright notice

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

Container list
Box 1 Folder b Report of War Patrols, USS Icefish (SS-367). 1 items. 74 p. 1944 - 1945
Box 1 Folder c Middle East Command info, Details Key Personnel, Important people in Middle East, An acceptance letter from the Emperor of Ethiopia, A fact sheet on Islam, and a profile of Bahrain. 5 items. 63 p. 1967 - 1968
Box 1 Folder d Speech transcripts. 13 items. 144 p. 1961, 1968 - 1970
Box 1 Folder e Official Navy announcements regarding changes of command, vessel decommisioning, etc. 24 items. 73 p. 1962 - 1970
Box 1 Folder f Navy News releases, General Dynamics Sub Folio, Naval Submarine Fire Control and Tatics Manual. 9 items. 226 p. 1968 - 1973
Box 1 Folder g Posiedon Balistic missile fact sheets. 3 items. 12 p. 1967 - 1968
Box 1 Folder h Biographical information including resumes, biography, and certificate of naval retirement. 9 items. 25 p. 1973
Box 1 Folder i Press clippings. 37 items. 43 p. 1922 - 1989
Box 2 Folder a Photos: P-731/ 1-6 from change of command ceremony ( Bahrain) ; P-731/7-19 International Group on Nuclear Sharing (Paris) ; P-731/20-27 Shah opening new fort of Bandar Abbas, Presentation of athletic awards Imperial Ethiopian Navy Days, Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I of Ethiopia, Northern outpost in Pakistan; P-731/28-34 Admiral Small: at US Army War college, at permanent Joint Board of Defense, at Comsublant staff. Groups and other individuals. 4 items. 34 p. 1938 - 1972
Box 2 Folder b Photos: P-731/35-54 Admiral Small: at Inter-American NavalConference, Newport RI: Inter-American Naval Conference, Washington D.C.; Tour of Peru ; P-731/55-68 Adm Small with family and colleages ; P-731/69-78 Navy portraits of Walter Small, Snapshots of Walter Small receiving medals. 3 items. 44 p. 1947 - 1971
Box 2 Folder c Photos: P-731/80-84 Color Photos of Pearl Harbor war memorials; P-731/79,80,82,85-87 Black and White Pearl Harbor and submarine photos; P-731/88-92 Miscellaneous Photographs; P-731/93-110 Dinner for ruler of ?, Birthday pictures; P-731/111-115 Friends and Family. 5 items. 44 p. ?, 1968
Box 2 Folder d Photos: P-731/116-126 Adm. Small's visit to Sub Flotilla One; P-731/127-138 Adm. Small's visit to Sub Flotilla One; P-731/139-146 Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, Massawa Ien Navy Days 12-15 Feb. ; The Shah of Iran, Bandar Abbas Dedication 7 Nov. 3 items. 31 p, 1967-1968
Box 2 Folder e Photos: P-731/147-162 Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada- US, Charleston, SC , Canadian And US Ambassadors; P-731/163-217 Inspection Trip to Polaris/Posiedon Subsquad in Guam; P-731/218-221Fishing trip during R Adm Small's inspection trip to Polaris/ Posiedon SubSquad in Guam. 4 items. 75 p, 1970-1972
Box 2 Folder f Photos: P-731/222-241R Adm Small Comideastfor - Arrival in Bahrain- 29 April 1967 - Reception- 30 April 1967 - Change of Command - May 1967; P-731/242-264 R Adm Small Comideastfor - Aden- Nune 1967 - Massawa - May 1967 - Port Sudan- May 1967 - Aqaba - May 1967; P-731/265-276 R Adm Small- Comideastfor - Yeubo - May 1967 - Jidda - May 1967 - Djibouti - June 1967; P-731/277-288 R Adm Small- Comideastfor Tamatave - August 1967 - AbuDhabi - January 1968 - Dubai - January 1968. 4 items. 67 p. 1967 - 1968
Box 2 Folder g P-731/ 289 - 387 Sixth Inter-American Naval Conference Newport, RI April 1971. 3 items. 99 p. 1971
Box 2 Folder h P-731/ 388 - 455 Sixth Inter-American Naval Conference Newport, RI April 1971. 3 items. 68 p. 1971
Box 3 Folder a 5th Patrol of Submarine USS FLYING FISH, map, n.d. 1 item. 1 p
Box 3 Folder b Scrapbook of "Rear Admiral Walter Lowry Small, Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet", containing newspaper articles (biography of Walter L. Small), 1968. Aloha Reception photos, 1968. Admiral's barge photos. Promotions articles. Photos aboard the BONEFISH- his first trip to sea in new command, 1968. Admiral Hyland visits Fleusubtrafac Building, 1968. ASAHIO officers photos. Admiral Cole promotion photos. USS HALIBUT (SSN587) receives Presidential Unit Citation, 10/1968. Westpac Trip, Comsublant/Comsubpac Conference, 11/1968. Westpac Tour, 1969. Visit with Japanese Admirals. Submariners celebrate 69th Anniversary. Armed Forces Day, 1969. Reception in Honor of Admiral and Mrs. Small, 1969. 4 items. 112 p
Box 4 Folder a Scrapbook of "Walter Small and the Seventies". Newspaper articles, photographs of 50th Anniversary of Nuclear Power, 1/1970. Westpac trip, 1/1970. "Patrol" Special Anniversary Issue, 2/1970. 50th Anniversary of Submarine base photos, 2/1970. Subpac Mardi Gras photos, 2/1970. St. Patrick's Day Reception photos, 3/1970. USS PARCHE Dedication pamphlets, Admiral Christie's Remarks at opening ceremony. Ribbon from official opening and dedication of the Pacific Submarine display and USS PARCHE Memorial Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor. Remarks by Walter Small at ceremony. Letter sent to submarine flag officers and World War II veterans officers. 70th Anniversary Submarine Birthaday Ball program, 4/1970. USS GREENLET (ASR10) Decommissioning, 1970. 3 items. 103 p