Charles P. Amos Letters, 1942-1945: Finding Aid
Published in 1990
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 258
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Charles P. Amos Letters
- Dates: 1942-1945
- Size: 0.63 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box
- Creator: Amos, Charles P.
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: The Charles P. Amos Letters consist of letter written by Amos to his fiancée, Dorothy Fretz, while Amos was serving with the 18th Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) during World War II. The letters include descriptions of training, recreation, rations and supplies, camp life, and several of Amos' posts, such as Guadalcanal, New Zealand, Tinian, and Hawaii.
Biography of Charles P. Amos
Charles Powell Amos (born 1900) was a Lieutenant with the U.S. Naval Reserve assigned to the Navy Construction Battalions (Seabees) during World War II. While Amos was attached to the 18th Battalion, the Battalion served at Noumea, Guadalcanal, New Zealand, Tarawa, Hawaii, Saipan, and Tinian, before returning to the United States to be transferred to inactive status in 1945. The Battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its efforts on Tarawa. Although the 18th, like all Construction Battalions, was organized to function as a self-sufficient unit, it was assigned for a time to the Marines under the title 3rd Battalion, 18th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. For a time, the 18th Battalion was also a part of the Fifth Amphibious Group.
Description of Contents
The Charles P. Amos Letters are a collection of World War II letters written by Charles "Chick" Powell Amos to his fiancee, Dorothy Fretz of Doylestown, PA. The letters cover the time period of July 1942 through March 1945, a period when Amos was serving with the U.S. Navy Construction Battalions (a.k.a. the Seabees).
The letters begin with Amos's Seabee training at the U.S. Naval Construction Training Center, Camp Allen, Norfolk, VA and include his troop transport journeys across the Pacific and within the Pacific region. The manuscripts primarily chronicle Amos's life and activities as a member of the 18th Naval Construction Battalion serving in the Pacific. The letters conclude with the Lieutenant's plans for his imminent return to the United States.
Although written under the constraints of wartime censorship, Amos's letters provide a picture of everyday Seabee life, from training through assignments in the Pacific. The letters include information on camp life, work, recreation, leave, and the local environs of Amos's Pacific posts, especially Guadalcanal, New Zealand, Tinian, and Hawaii.
Amos's letters are enhanced with details concerning pets and mascots, liquor and food rations, diseases and medical care, equipment and supplies, military uniforms worn, scarcities, and weather. Travel aboard the troop transports is also described. Much of the content of Amos's letters is also of a romantic personal nature.
The collection consists largely of holographic letters, as well as occasional V-Mail letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and an event program.
The Charles P. Amos Letters are arranged chronologically.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The Charles P. Amos Letters 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.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Books and Collections in December 1989. Accession No. 89-42.
Related Archival Material
There are no other known collections of papers of Charles P. Amos.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection.
Processing and Other Information
Charles P. Amos Letters, MS 258
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
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 October 2013.
Name and Subject Terms
- Amos, Charles P.
- Sailors -- United States -- Correspondence
- United States. Navy. Construction Battalion, 18th
- United States. Navy. Construction Battalions
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Northern Mariana Islands -- Tinian
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Engineering and construction
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Hawaii
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American
- World War, 1939-1945 -- New Zealand
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Pacific Ocean
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Solomon Islands -- Guadalcanal Island
- Clippings (information artifacts)
Charles P. Amos Letters, 1942 October-1943 January
Letters 21-30. Description of wartime Crossing-the-Line ceremonies and International Dateline crossing, arrival and description of ports, arrival and life at Guadalcanal, "Washing Machine Charlie," Henderson Airfield, and Japanese nighttime air attacks. Also includes a V-Mail Christmas card satirizing Japan.
Charles P. Amos Letters, 1943 May-July
Letters 61-70. Includes praise of the Red Cross, discussion of unloading supplies to shore, and the salvaging of ships. Also includes newspaper clippings regarding the Kinugawa Maru and supply operations, and a dedication program for the Second Marine Division recreation hall.