Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

Service Anecdotes, 1921-1950: Finding Aid

Published in 1990

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 254
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Service Anecdotes
  • Dates: 1921-1950
  • Size: 0.08 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 4 folders containing 200 leaves
  • Creator: Guthrie, Harry Aloysius, 1898-1971
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Harry Aloysius Guthrie was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1921. Guthrie's unpublished memoir includes anecdotes pertaining to his education at the Naval Academy, service aboard submarines and as Assistant Naval Attaché in Berlin, the U.S.S. Yorktown and the Battle of Midway, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Biography of Harry Aloysius Guthrie

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Harry Aloysius Guthrie was born in 1898. Guthrie was admitted to the United States Naval Academy from Tennessee on July 20, 1917 and graduated as a member of the Class of 1921. After his mandatory two years at sea, he was temporarily assigned to the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, followed by submarine instruction aboard U.S.S. Chewink (AM-39) in early 1923. Shortly thereafter, Guthrie was attached to U.S.S. S-24 from her commissioning in August 1923, serving aboard her until June 1925.

After his tour aboard S-24, Guthrie returned to Annapolis for postgraduate study, and later went on to study at Columbia University, where he received a Master's degree in 1927. Returning to sea service, Guthrie was ordered to U.S.S. Holland (Submarine tender : AS-3) for a year, after which he was attached to U.S.S. S-28, where he served as Division Engineering Officer for Submarine Division 11.

After serving two years in the Bureau of Engineering, Guthrie received command of U.S.S. S-20. In February 1935, he received further instruction, and thereafter was appointed Assistant Naval Attaché to Berlin. Following his tour in Berlin, Guthrie was attached to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in December 1937. In April 1938, he was attached to U.S.S. New Orleans (Heavy cruiser : CA-32). After a three year tour aboard New Orleans, Guthrie was appointed Damage Control Officer on the staff of Commander Cruisers, Scouting Force.

In April 1943, Guthrie was ordered to duty at the Cramp Shipbuilding Company in connection with the conversion of U.S.S. Euryale to a submarine tender. Upon her commissioning, Guthrie assumed command of Euryale in December 1943. Toward the end of World War II, Guthrie was assigned to the Division of Naval Intelligence, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, in January 1945, where he served as Deputy to the Intelligence Officer on the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe. In September of that same year, he received command of the Naval Training and Distribution Center at Shoemaker, California.

In 1946, Guthrie become Commanding Officer of the Naval Disciplinary Barracks at the Naval Base in San Pedro, California. Three months later, he reported to Bethlehem Steel Company in Quincy, Massachusetts, where U.S.S. Rochester was fitting out, with orders to assume command upon her commissioning in December 1946. Following his tour as Commanding Officer of Rochester, Guthrie reported to his final post as a Member of the Board of Inspection and Survey for the 12th Naval District. Rear Admiral Harry Aloysius Guthrie retired from the U.S. Navy in June 1950 and died on April 28, 1971 in San Mateo, California.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

Service Anecdotes is an unpublished, two hundred leaf memoir by Rear Admiral Harry Aloysius Guthrie. The memoir spans from Guthrie's graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1921 until his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1950.

Guthrie's stories frequently concern his experiences with submarines and his service as a submariner, as well as his work and life as Assistant Naval Attaché in Berlin. Specific anecdotes include those concerning Guthrie's ship and the attack on Pearl Harbor (pages 7-8); submarine training drill conducted for the midshipmen at Annapolis (pages 44-45); Guthrie's reminiscences of U.S.S. Yorktown and the Battle of Midway (pages 51-56); and reminiscences of Guthrie's life as a midshipman at the Naval Academy (pages 136-142).

Back to Top


Service Anecdotes is organized into the following 4 files:

  • File 1: Service Anecdotes: Pages 1-49, 1921-1950
  • File 2: Service Anecdotes: Pages 50-102, 1921-1950
  • File 3: Service Anecdotes: Pages 103-150, 1921-1950
  • File 4: Service Anecdotes: Pages 151-200, 1921-1950
Back to Top

Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

Service Anecdotes is 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.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Harry Aloysius Guthrie in 1968.

Back to Top

Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Guthrie's time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy may be found in his Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Service Anecdotes, MS 254

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

"Harry Aloysius Guthrie '21," Shipmate. Annapolis: United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, 1971.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1990. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1990 and revised by David D'Onofrio in January 2014.

Back to Top

Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Guthrie, Harry Aloysius, 1898-1971
  • Midway, Battle of, 1942
  • Military Attachés -- United States
  • Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
  • United States Naval Academy -- Students
  • United States. Navy -- Submarine Forces
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval Operations, American

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Memoirs
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Service Anecdotes: Pages 1-49, 1921-1950

Chapter titles: What Is He Like?; Old Characters; Walking on Water; Submarine Duty; Navy Doctors; Tall Timbers; and In the Bag.

Box 1 Folder 2

Service Anecdotes: Pages 50-102, 1921-1950

Chapter titles: A Good Medico; The Three Striper; Gold In Them Thar Hills; My Commendation; Pay Day; The Clown Prince; and Midshipmen In Town.

Box 1 Folder 3

Service Anecdotes: Pages, 1921-1950

Chapter titles: The Minister; What Is Inside; Pacifist; The Black Book; Swedish Navy Yard; Sailing Lesson; and Oslo.

Box 1 Folder 4

Service Anecdotes: Pages, 1921-1950

Chapter titles: The King's Ball; Promotion; Old Berlin Friends; A Reaction to Submarines; The S-24; Strange Things; and Perlas Islands.

Back to Top