Guide to the Robert W. Swartz Scrapbooks, 1944-1946
A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029
Prepared by: David D'Onofrio
(Original Guide by Mary R. Catalfamo, 2003)
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
Robert Wilbert Swartz, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1926, was drafted into the U.S. Navy in late October 1944. After being found physically fit for duty, Swartz was inducted on December 8, 1944 in Philadelphia. Following induction, he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland for training.
After graduating from hospital corps training on July 5, 1945, Swartz was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland. In early 1946, he was transferred to U.S. Naval Receiving Station and Armed Guard Center, Brooklyn, New York. By February, Swartz was attached to the Fleet Training Group, Atlantic Fleet, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and shortly thereafter was stationed aboard U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Attack aircraft carrier : CVA-42). In April 1946, Swartz transferred to the U.S. Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, where he was detailed to the eye clinic. Three months later, Swartz was discharged from the U.S. Navy as part of the post-World War II demobilization.
Scope and Content Note
The Robert W. Swartz Scrapbooks, consisting of two volumes, span from October 1944 to July 1946. The scrapbooks focus on Swartz's drafting into the U.S. Navy and various duty stations as a hospital corpsman.
The scrapbooks are composed of forms, memoranda, hand-drawn sketches, identification cards, membership cards, event programs, luggage tags, press clippings, photographs, and firing range targets.
The scrapbooks are the product of Swartz's induction, training, and brief service in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman in the closing days, and shortly after the conclusion of World War II. Documents such as selective service notices, liberty passes, separation papers, base newspapers (specifically the The Indian from Guantanamo Bay and Sub Base Gazette from the U.S. Submarine Base in New London), a 1945 Christmas dinner program from the United States Naval Academy, a Baltimore city guide book, a New York City Subway map, luggage tags for transport to Guantanamo Bay, and Cuban cigar labels offer a brief glimpse into Swartz's military experiences. His training and responsibilities as a corpsman are evident from a Hospital Corps graduation program and list of duties for eye room officers and corpsmen. The scrapbooks also offer evidence of some of Swartz's affiliations through membership and identification cards, such as those for the National Jewish Welfare Board and American Legion.
In addition to the aforementioned documents the scrapbooks include numerous sketches by Swartz. Many of the drawings depict naval vessels, ordnance, and allied aircraft such as seaplanes, P-38 Lightnings, and British Spitfires. Also included are sketches of shipboard equipment, including firefighting equipment and breathing apparatus.