Letter written by Wickham, January 9, 1940.
Letter written by Wickham, January 9, 1940.

Guide to the Williams C. Wickham Papers, 1905-1944

MS 406

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: Liz Coelho

May 2010

Descriptive Summary

Purchase. Accession No. 07-03.
1 linear foot.
Access to the Williams C. Wickham Papers is unrestricted.
The Williams C. Wickham 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:
Williams C. Wickham Papers, MS 406
Special Collections & Archives Department
Nimitz Library
United States Naval Academy

Biographical Sketch

Williams Carter Wickham was born July 17, 1887 in Hanover County, Virginia and graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1909. Credilla Miller was born April 17, 1890, and married Williams on April 22, 1912. Together they had three children: Williams, known as "Billy," Laurence, known as "Whoppy," and Credilla, known as "Dale" or "The Red Head." Laurence later served as a Marine lieutenant during the Second World War.

Wickham served aboard many ships during his career, including the destroyers, USS Reid, USS Shaw, USS Crowninshield, USS Litchfield, USS Dent and USS Pillsbury, and the heavy cruisers, USS Chester, USS Minneapolis and USS Houston. From 1939 to 1940 he commanded the heavy cruiser, USS Quincy, and in 1941 was assigned as Commandant of the Georgia Tech Naval ROTC Station in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1944 Captain Wickham was a patient at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

Credilla Wickham died in January 1965 and Williams C. Wickham on July 11, 1985. They are buried together in the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery.

Scope and Content Note

The Williams C. Wickham Papers, comprising 1 linear foot of documents, primarily spans Wickham’s career from 1918 through 1944. It is composed mainly of correspondence between Wickham and his wife Credilla during periods of deployment, and treats mainly of personal domestic matters. The couple discusses the difficulties of moving households and raising children and the loneliness and tedium of long separations. Several of the children’s letters to both parents are included, as is a letter to Credilla from her father prior to her marriage. Several letters to Wickham from fellow officers address their endorsement of him for membership in the New York Yacht Club. There is a small collection of business correspondence regarding banking, real estate, taxes and billing for household repairs and services.

Series Descriptions

The Wickham Papers are organized into four series by date/ship or station on which Wickham was assigned and document type. U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY contains correspondence related to the appointment of Wickham to the Academy by Senator Thomas S. Martin of Virginia. PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE contains letters between husband and wife, and includes letters from their three children, a letter to Credilla from her father, and a letter to Credilla from her friend "Jane." In cases where other materials were enclosed with the letters, such as business correspondence, they are left in situ. PROFESSIONAL CORRESPONDENCE contains correspondence concerning the recommendation of Wickham for membership in the New York Yacht Club and a Naval Signal telegram. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE includes financial documents, bills, tax assessments and real estate transactions.

Container List

Box Folder  
1 USNA Appointment, 1903

Correspondence related to Wickham’s appointment to the Academy by Senator Thomas S. Martin of Virginia.

2 Letter to Credilla from her Father, 1904
3 USS Reid, [ca. 1908]
4 USS Shaw, 1918
5 USS Shaw, January - March 1919
6 USS Shaw, April 1919

Also inlcudes USS Dent and Royal Naval Barracks Portsmouth.

7 USS Shaw, May 1919

Also inlcudes USS Dent and Royal Naval Barracks Portsmouth.

8 USS Shaw, July 1919

Also inlcudes USS Dent and Royal Naval Barracks Portsmouth.

9-10 USS Shaw, August 1919
11 USS Crowninshield, 1920
12 USS Crowninshield, 1921
13 USS Pillsbury, 1922
14 USS Pillsbury, 1925
15 USS Pillsbury, USS Litchfield, 1926
16 USS Litchfield, 1927
17 Newport, Rhode Island, 1928
Box Folder
2 1 USS Chester, 1932
2 Letter to Credilla from Dale, 1934
3 USS Chicago, USS Minneapolis, 1935
4 USS Chicago, 1936
5 USS Houston, 1937
6 USS Quincy, 1939
7 USS Quincy, 1940
8 Georgia Tech ROTC, Atlanta, Georgia, 1941
9 Fitzsimons General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, 1944
10 Letter from Son Laurence to Credilla, 1944
11 Letter from "Jane" to Credilla, 1944
12 "Naval Signal," 1919

Telegram on luncheon with CINC.

13 New York Yacht Club Membership References, 1931
14 Fuel oil Ration Calendar, 1944
15 Utilities and Services, 1944
16 Real Estate and Banking, 1922-1944
17 Insurance, 1944
18 Tax Assessments, 1943-1944
19 Miscellaneous Family Expenditures, 1919-1944