Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Aubrey Wray Fitch papers
Date (inclusive): 1900-1982
Collection Number: 80132
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material:
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.
Fitch, Aubrey Wray, 1883-1978
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives
The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual
or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1980.
[Identification of item], Aubrey Wray Fitch papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
|1883 June 11
||Born, St. Ignace, Michigan
||Graduated, United States Naval Academy
||Ensign, United States Navy
||Received wings, Naval Aviator
Langley, United States Navy's first aircraft carrier
||Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air)
||Commander, Air Forces, South Pacific
||Awarded Distinguished Service Medal for leadership role during the Battle of the Coral Sea
||Vice Admiral, United States Navy
|1978 May 22
||Died, Newcastle, Maine
||Retired as Admiral, United States Navy
||Superintendent, first aviator appointed to the United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland
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
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
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Ocean
United States. Navy