George Ewell Dryden, b. 1893.
George Ewell Dryden, b. 1893.

Guide to the George Ewell Dryden Papers, 1917-1920

MS 398

A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
Nimitz Library

Naval Academy Seal

United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029

Prepared by: David D'Onofrio

December 2008

Descriptive Summary

The George Ewell Dryden Papers were donated to the Special Collections & Archives Department by Emily Russell. Accession No. 07-02.
4.5 linear inches.
Access to the George Ewell Dryden Papers is unrestricted.
The George Ewell Dryden Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information
Preferred Citation:
George Ewell Dryden Papers, MS 398
Special Collections & Archives Department
Nimitz Library
United States Naval Academy

Biographical Sketch

George Ewell Dryden was born on December 19, 1893. On June 20, 1917, Dryden was appointed from his home state of Maryland as an Assistant Paymaster in the United States Navy, with the temporary rank of Lieutenant. On October 4, 1917, Dryden was attached to the Navy Yard at Norfolk. On March 7, 1919, Dryden reported as Duty Officer at the Naval Supply Station, Naval Operating Base at Hampton Roads, Virginia, but was quickly transferred to U.S.S. Galveston (Cruiser No. 17) as Supply Officer. Galveston, which had been engaged in convoy escort duty until the signing of the Armistice, served as flagship of Squadron 3, Patrol Force in Western European waters, where she largely served as a transport for German prize crews. On April 23, 1919, while Galveston was on duty in European waters, Dryden offered his resignation to his commanding officer, and officially resigned from the United States Navy on March 10, 1920.

Scope and Content Note

The George Ewell Dryden Papers, comprising 4.5 linear inches of documents, span the years 1917 to 1920. The papers focus primarily on Dryden's experiences while supply officer aboard U.S.S. Galveston in 1919.

Included in the collection are photograph albums, memoranda, inventories, and a diary.

The Dryden Papers are arranged alphabetically by document type into a single series with no subdivisions. Dryden's diary offers frequent references, and occasional details and opinions, regarding ports of call visited by Galveston, including Plymouth, England (March 26), Murmansk, Russia (April 8), Brest, France (May 29), Vigo, Spain (June 4), Hamburg, Germany (June 17), Taranto, Italy (July 7), and Istanbul, Turkey (July 17). The diary also makes frequent references to Dryden's duties, such as account payments, supply acquisition, and in one case, making reparations for damages done by a liberty party in London (April 27-28 and May 14). Recreation and shipboard life are also touched upon throughout, including references to drills and playing dominoes and baseball with other officers. In one entry, Dryden claims to have umpired the first baseball game to be played in Spain (June 6). Interspersed throughout the diary are entries reflecting the tedium of shipboard life, with some entries simply reading "same life, day uneventful," or "still alive." Supplementing the diary entries are photograph albums, which include photographs of all of the ports of call mentioned in the diary. Special focus is given to Istanbul, Turkey, referred to throughout as Constantinople. Also of note are photographs of the Russian landscape, people, and living conditions around Murmansk. In addition to photographs of ports and landscapes are pictures of various United States Navy vessels, captured U-Boats, and Dryden's home and family in Norfolk, Virginia. The remainder of the collection consists of miscellaneous papers, most of which were found folded in the diary. These papers include supply inventories, memoranda to the crew of the Galveston regarding such topics as officer seniority, harbor regulations, and the value of Turkish currency, and several documents pertaining to the transport and treatment of the German prize crew of Stephan from Vigo, Spain to Southend, England.

Container List

Box Folder  
1 1 Diary, March-September 1919
2 Diary (Loose Items), 1919-1920 and undated

Includes Russian harbor regulations, ration inventories, memos regarding crew seniority and transfers, harbor regulations, and instructions regarding the treatment of prize crews.

3 Diary (Transcript), March-September 1919
4 Photograph Album, 1917-1918 and March-April 1919

Includes images of U.S.S. Galveston and her trans-Atlantic crossing, Plymouth, England, Russia (including Russian sailors, countryside and living local conditions), Dryden's home in Norfolk, Virginia, and surrendered German U-Boats.

5 Photograph Album, June-August 1919
Includes images of U.S.S. Galveston and her various ports of call, such as Southend, England, Brest, France, Vigo, Spain, Hamburg, Germany, Malta, Taranta, Italy, the Corinth Canal, and Istanbul, Turkey (Constantinople).
6 Photograph Album, ca. August 1919

Includes images U.S.S. Galveston, Istanbul, Turkey (Constantinople), and George E. Dryden.

7 Travel Documents, undated

Includes a list of dutiable items, and several foreign language documents.