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Register of the William Loren McGonagle papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Loren McGonagle papers
    Dates: 1947-1999
    Collection number: 99046
    Creator: McGonagle, William Loren
    Collection Size: 10 manuscript boxes (4.2 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The William L. McGonagle collection describes the devastation caused by the Israeli naval and air attack on the American naval intelligence ship Liberty on June 8, 1967, and the honors and citations bestowed on him for heroism and sacrifice. Materials include correspondence, reports, orders, personnel records, writings, printed matter, and photographs
    Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English, Hebrew

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research. Access to audiovisual materials requires at least two weeks advance notice. Audiovisual materials include sound recordings, video recordings, and motion picture film. Hoover staff will determine whether use copies of the materials requested can be made available. Some materials may not be accessible even with advance notice. Please contact the Hoover Institution Archives for further information.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Loren McGonagle papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1999


    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 Socrates at http : //library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    1925 Nov. 19 Born, Wichita, Kansas
    1942 Sept. - 1944 June Graduated, Coachella Valley Union High School, Indio, California
    1944 July - 1945 Nov. Student, University of Redlands, Redlands, California
    1947 June A.B. in History, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    1947-1950 Served in the destroyer USS Frank Knox and minesweeper USS Partridge and served in the minesweeper USS Kite during the Korean War
    1947 June Commissioned, in the rank of Ensign
    1951 Sept. - Dec. U.S. Naval School (Electronics), San Francisco, California
    1952 Jan. - 1953 July U.S. Naval Advance Base, Bremerhaven, Germany
    1959 Jan. - 1961 June Assistant Professor of Naval Science, Naval Weapons, Leadership, and Naval Operations
    1959 June - 1961 June B.S. in Education, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
    1963 July 1 Promoted to Commander
    1966 April - 1967 Sept. Commanding Officer of the technical research ship USS Liberty
    1967 June 8 Israeli naval and air attack on the American naval intelligence ship USS Liberty; Received Purple Heart and Medal of Honor
    1967 Oct. Promoted to the rank of Captain,
      Commanded the new ammunition ship Kilauea
      Led the NROTC Unit at the University of Oklahoma
    1969 Aug. - 1971 May Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science, Chief Navy Division
      Awarded meritorious Service Medal (Gold Star in lieu of Award)
    1974 Aug. 1 Retired from active duty
    1999 Mar. 3 Died, Palm Springs, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William McGonagle papers narrate the story of the Israeli naval and air attack on the American naval intelligence ship USS Liberty on June 8, 1967. Materials consist of correspondence, reports, orders, personnel records, writings, printed matter, and photographs relating to the incident.
    The central theme of the papers is the incident on USS Liberty. The surprise Israeli attack on the U.S. ship, the damages on the ship, loss of lives, and serious injuries produced an outcry all over the world. The heroic effort made by William McGonagle to save his shipmates earned him the Medal of Honor and citations as well as the respect of the United States Navy and beyond.
    The United States Navy File contains general information about the Navy and William McGonagle's personal files. The files record William McGonagle's assignments, including the USS Liberty, USS Kilauea, and JUSMAG Philippines. The USS Liberty records include numerous photographs which present a picture of the destruction and injuries.
    In addition, there are two 1/4-inch sound tape reels that contain information about the USS Liberty and an interview.


    The collection is organized into 4 series: Biographical File, United States Navy File, Photographs and Negatives, and 1/4-Inch Sound Tape Reel

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Liberty (Ship)
    Israel-Arab War, 1967--Naval operations.
    United States--Armed forces--Mediterranean Sea.
    United States--Foreign relations--Israel.
    Israel--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States. Navy-Officers.