Register of the Aubrey Wray Fitch papers

Finding aid prepared by Stephanie Watson
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
hooverarchives@stanford.edu
© 2017


Title: Aubrey Wray Fitch papers
Date (inclusive): 1900-1982
Collection Number: 80132
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4 manuscript boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 2 sound discs (5.2 linear feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, orders, personnel records, clippings, and photographs collected by Aubrey Wray Fitch relating to American naval aviation, especially in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Sound use copies of sound recordings available.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Fitch, Aubrey Wray, 1883-1978.

Access

Collection is open for research.
Use copies of all sound recordings in this collection are available for immediate access.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Aubrey Wray Fitch papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1980.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical Note

1883 June 11 Born, St. Ignace, Michigan
1906 Graduated, United States Naval Academy
1908 Ensign, United States Navy
1930 Received wings, Naval Aviator
1931 Commander, USS Langley, United States Navy's first aircraft carrier
1942 Vice Admiral, United States Navy
  Awarded Distinguished Service Medal for leadership role during the Battle of the Coral Sea
1942-1944 Commander, Air Forces, South Pacific
1944-1945 Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air)
1945-1947 Superintendent, first aviator appointed to the United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland
1947 Retired as Admiral, United States Navy
1978 May 22 Died, Newcastle, Maine

Scope and Content of Collection

The Aubrey Wray Fitch papers consist of the personal and naval records of Admiral Fitch. These papers document the span from his early career as a student at the United States Naval Academy, circa 1902, to the launching of the guided missile frigate USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG-34) in 1981, three years after his death. While the collection primarily emphasizes American naval aviation in the Pacific Theater during World War II, with special focus on the Battle of the Coral Sea, it also documents Admiral Fitch’s time as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy from 1945 to 1947.
As a Vice Admiral in the Pacific Theater during World War II, Fitch commanded U.S. planes in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval battle fought entirely by aircraft. Although his flagship, the USS Lexington, was sunk during the battle, Fitch was praised for his leadership and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. The Naval Records series includes Fitch’s naval awards, orders and promotions, dispatches, war diaries from the Pacific Theater during World War II, and poems and drawings created by fellow sailors. Photographs within the collection depict the early stages of U.S. naval aviation and follow Fitch throughout his changing assignments. The collection also contains personal scrapbooks created by Fitch during his time in the Navy.
In 1945, Fitch became the first naval aviator to be appointed Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. Fitch served as Superintendent until 1947, when he retired with the rank of Admiral. The Speeches and Writings series contains award presentations, written press releases, and speeches made by Fitch at the U.S. Naval Academy, including his retirement speech.
Unless otherwise noted, the arrangement scheme was imposed during processing in the absence of an identifiable original order.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

United States. Navy--Aviation.
United States. Navy--Officers.
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations.
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Ocean.
Sound recordings.

Box 1

Correspondence, 1941-1971

Scope and Content

Original alphabetical order of correspondence was maintained.
Box/Folder 1 : 1

A-B, 1944-1959

Box/Folder 1 : 2

C-D, 1944-1971

Box/Folder 1 : 3

E-F, 1944-1947

Box/Folder 1 : 4

G-I, 1944-1959

Box/Folder 1 : 5

J-M, 1945-1964

Box/Folder 1 : 6

N-Q, 1944-1959

Box/Folder 1 : 7

R-S, 1943-1947

Box/Folder 1 : 8

T-Z, 1941-1967

Box 2

Speeches and Writings, 1919-1947

Scope and Content

Includes radio broadcast transcripts, awards presentations, written press releases, and speeches made at the U.S. Naval Academy while Fitch was Superintendent, arranged in chronological order.
Box/Folder 2 : 1

Award presentations, undated

Box/Folder 2 : 2

Introduction of Rear Admiral Lewis B. Combs, undated

Box/Folder 2 : 3

Naval Academy lecture, 1919 March

Box/Folder 2 : 4

Army Air Force awards presentation, 1942 October 9

Box/Folder 2 : 5

Enterprise awards presentation, 1943 January 22

Box/Folder 2 : 6

Task Force Sixty-seven awards presentation, 1943 January 26

Box/Folder 2 : 7

Tangier awards presentation, 1943 February 20

Box/Folder 2 : 8

Presentation of Distinguished Service Medal to Major General Patch, 1943 March 10

Box/Folder 2 : 9

Retention of land-based planes, after 1944

Box/Folder 2 : 10

Visit from Soviet airmen, 1944 May 30

Box/Folder 2 : 11

31st anniversary of naval aviation, 1944 August 29

Box/Folder 2 : 12

Navy Day, 1944 October 27

Box/Folder 2 : 13

Edwin C. Hill broadcast, 1944 October 31

Box/Folder 2 : 14

Introduction to Commodore Burke, 1944 November 16

Box/Folder 2 : 15

By others, 1944-1945, undated

Box/Folder 2 : 16

National Plastic Products Company, circa 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 17

The Naval Academy as it begins its second century, circa 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 18

Acceptance of ensign presented by civilian employees, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 19

Board of Visitors, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 20

Centennial issue of The Log, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 21

Commissioning of USS Princeton, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 22

"I Know the Enemy" radio series, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 23

Memorial dedication, 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 24

"Unsung Hero" radio program 1945

Box/Folder 2 : 25

"Navy and Marine Pilots Outshoot Japanese," 1945 February 3

Box/Folder 2 : 26

Press conference, 1945 February 7

Box/Folder 2 : 27

To the employees of Grumman, 1945 April 10

Box/Folder 2 : 28

V-E Day, 1945 May 8

Box/Folder 2 : 29

USS Franklin tribute, 1945 May 21

Box/Folder 2 : 30

Proposed statement on universal military training, 1945 June 16

Box/Folder 2 : 31

"Navy Hour" broadcast, 1945 July 24

Box/Folder 2 : 32

Acceptance of Order of the Southern Cross, 1945 July 25

Box/Folder 2 : 33

Reserve battalion review, 1945 August 23

Box/Folder 2 : 34

Captain John Madison Hoskins, 1945 August 23

Box/Folder 2 : 35

Press luncheon, 1945 September 1

Box/Folder 2 : 36

"Saga of USS Maryland," 1945 September 11

Box/Folder 2 : 37

To the brigade of midshipmen, 1945 September 20

Box/Folder 2 : 38

"Meet Your Navy" program, 1945 October 1

Box/Folder 2 : 39

Navy Day, 1945 October 25

Box/Folder 2 : 40

Maryland's victory loan, 1945 October 30

Box/Folder 2 : 41

Last graduating class of midshipmen from Notre Dame, 1945 November 2

Box/Folder 2 : 42

Introduction of Admiral Halsey, 1945 November 27

Box/Folder 2 : 43

Unification at St. John's Military Academy, 1945 December 20

Box/Folder 2 : 44

Visit to Victoria, British Columbia, circa 1946

Box/Folder 2 : 45

141st anniversary of Trafalgar, 1946

Box/Folder 2 : 46

June Week, 1946

Box/Folder 2 : 47

USS Kearsarge, 1946 March 2

Box/Folder 2 : 48

Broadcast to the people of the Philippine Islands, 1946 April 22

Box/Folder 2 : 49

Board of Visitors, 1947

Box/Folder 2 : 50

United Citizens League, 1947 January 1

Box/Folder 2 : 51

Naval academy resignation, 1947 February 15

Boxes 3-4

Naval Records, 1908-1982

Scope and Content

Includes flight log books, naval correspondence, orders and promotions, war diaries, and poems and drawings created by fellow sailors. Also includes documentation of the launching of the guided missile frigate USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG-34) in 1981. Records are arranged in alphabetical order.
Box/Folder 3 : 1

Aviators flight log book, 1942-1947

Box/Folder 3 : 2

Correspondence, 1928-1942, 1945

Box/Folder 3 : 3

Correspondence, 1943

Box/Folder 3 : 4

Drawings, undated

Box/Folder 3 : 5

Excerpts from personal papers, 1908-1974

Box/Folder 3 : 6

Launching of the USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG 34), 1981-1982

Box/Folder 3 : 7

Orders and promotions, 1908-1919

Box/Folder 3 : 8

Orders and promotions, 1921-1939

Box/Folder 4 : 1

Orders and promotions, 1940-1944

Box/Folder 4 : 2

Orders and promotions, 1945-1953

Box/Folder 4 : 3

Poems and lyrics, undated

Box/Folder 4 : 4

War diaries, 1942

Boxes 4, 9

Printed Matter, 1906-1963

Scope and Content

Includes awards presented to Fitch, clippings, U.S. Naval Academy souvenir books and bulletin, and naval yearbooks, arranged in alphabetical order.
Box/Folder 4 : 5

Awards, 1919-1959

Box/Folder 4 : 6

Clippings, 1936-1963

Box/Folder 9 : 1

Lucky Bag, 1906

Box/Folder 4 : 7

Naval Academy Bulletin, No. 9, 1956 June

Box/Folder 4 : 8

Naval Academy Centennial, 1945

Box/Folder 4 : 9

Naval Academy Souvenir Book, 1946

Box/Folder 4 : 10

Trident, 1946

Box/Folder 4 : 11

USS Wyoming: At War in the North Sea, 1917-1918

Boxes 5-6

Photographs, 1902-1978

Scope and Content

Includes photographs of Naval bases, naval aviation, President Roosevelt’s visits to Pensacola, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Pacific Theater during World War II, and Fitch’s personal life after retirement, arranged in chronological order. Photocopies of images are also included.
Box/Folder 5 : 1

Undated

Box/Folder 5 : 2

1902-1915

Box/Folder 5 : 3

1932

Box/Folder 5 : 4

1933-1935

Box/Folder 5 : 6

1936-1938

Box/Folder 5 : 7

President Roosevelt's visits to Pensacola 1938 June - 1940 April

Box/Folder 5 : 8

1940

Box/Folder 6 : 1

1941-1942

Box/Folder 6 : 2

1943

Box/Folder 6 : 3

1944

Box/Folder 6 : 4

1945

Box/Folder 6 : 5

1946

Box/Folder 6 : 6

1947

Box/Folder 6 : 7

1955-1978

Boxes 7-10

Scrapbooks, 1900-1943

Scope and Content

Scrapbooks documenting Fitch’s naval career from his time as a student at the U.S. Naval Academy to his station as Vice Admiral in the Pacific Theater during World War II, arranged in chronological order.
Box/Folder 7 : 1

1900-1904

Box/Folder 7 : 2

1906-1908

Box/Folder 8 : 1

1910-1936

Box/Folder 8 : 2

1918

Box/Folder 9 : 2

1922-1926

Box/Folder 8 : 3

1941-1942

Box/Folder 10 : 1

1941-1943

Record cabinet

Sound Recording, 1947 January 15

Access

Use copy reference number: 80132_a_0002815

Scope and Content

Sound recording of ceremony noting the changing of command for the U.S. Naval Academy. Includes speeches by the outgoing head, Admiral Aubrey Wray Fitch, and incoming head, Admiral James L. Holloway, Jr., as well as a gun salute and the thoughts of Captain Long.