The main component of this collection is that of the photographs and negatives (circa 1943-1948) taken by Milton P. Fields. Most of the positive images have corresponding negatives; however, there are some negatives without matching positive images.
The aircraft carrier USS
SARATOGA, where most of Fields' work in this collection was concentrated, is the focus of many photographs, which were taken from shore, aboard ship, and from aircraft. Of significant interest are the pictures that were taken on the
SARATOGA during a kamikaze attack at Iwo Jima on February 21, 1945, in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Photographs of this event focus on action taking place on the flight deck. There are photographs picturing the damage on other parts of the ship as well. Newspaper articles that report the kamikaze attack at Iwo Jima in February, 1945, and the
SARATOGA's arrival in San Francisco at the end of the war later that year are also included. Some of the operations of
SARATOGA in the Pacific Ocean were photographed from aircraft flying overhead showing beach invasions and bombing raids on Eniwetok Atoll, Tanambogo and Gavutu islands, Florida Island, and others. An assortment of photographs show operations on the flight deck with
SARATOGA's aircraft, other flight deck operations, and shipboard life.
Photographs of other ships include the USS
HAMMONDSPORT (sea plane tender, July 1942), HMS
VICTORIOUS (launching aircraft), Destroyer Escort DE-407 USS
SHELTON, Destroyer DE 447 USS
ALBERT T. HARRIS, USS
GREENWOOD, a light carrier; USS
NORTH CAROLINA (August 1943), Cruiser USS
SAN DIEGO (June 1943), a tanker, and a Japanese warship.
Photographs of high ranking U.S. Naval personnel include former Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Admiral Raymond Spruance, Admiral Sherman, and Admiral William F. Halsey. Senator Margaret Chase Smith and Senator Al Gore, Sr., are pictured as well.
Other topics represented in the images include a U.S. Navy photo school, Camp Andrews, harbor scenes, USO entertainment, U.S. warplanes taking off and landing on Saratoga (includes “barrier crash” of TBF-1), score of damage by airplanes on Japanese targets, warplanes on ship deck, unidentified people (civilians in U.S.), scenes of Clinton, N.C. (1947), scenes around Navy yard and docked ship, crew with cameras, various shots of warplanes sinking into water when practicing landing on ship, the Navy General Office and two ship crews with corresponding ships unnamed (with names of crew members on back), a USS
SARATOGA crew ski party held at Mt. Ranier (1945), the wedding of a prominent African American Greenville physician (1948), and three oversized photographs (ca. 1948) featuring views of East Carolina Teachers College in Greenville, N.C.
Printed materials include a map of one of
SARATOGA's voyages in the Pacific Ocean, a cartoon drawing, a copy of a sketch of a battle at sea by Gilbert Bundy, an unsigned artist's rendition of
SARATOGA under attack, a Japanese word and phrase list, and a weekly accounting of the cost for the general mess on
SARATOGA. Also included is a poem about the
SARATOGA, a poem titled "My Alma Mater," general court martials for photographer’s mate first class David Kieffer and seaman first class Harold W. Albright (1945), a congratulatory memorandum from A. B. Betsger, Commander, U.S. Navy, to Chief Photographer “ZIMMERMAN” for the fine photography work of his men aboard the
SARATOGA (1945), and a copy of an affidavit of Stefan A. Yarady, an airman captured by the Japanese and held as a prisoner of war (1943-1946). Also in the printed materials are two editions of the East Carolina Teachers College year book, the Tecoan (1946,1948); a blank registration form for Yorktown CV10 Reunion (1984); twelve issues of the Saratoga Log, a newsletter edited and published by John Fry, of San Diego, CA, for veterans of the USS
SARATOGA (1992-1995); photocopies of
Sara: The Story of the U.S.S. Saratoga [CV-3] with names and addresses of crewmembers in photographs indicated in margins of text by the donor (ca. 1924-1946); and two pages from a book entitled “I Was a Kamikaze” by Ryuji Nagatsuka, photocopy, with notes by Fields on back (undated).