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

Frank Edgar Havens Letters, 1926-1956 (bulk 1945-1953): Finding Aid

Published electronically in February 2014

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 260
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Frank Edgar Havens Letters
  • Dates: 1926-1956
  • Bulk Dates: 1945-1953
  • Size: 0.42 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 manuscript box
  • Creator: Havens, Frank Edgar
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Frank Edgar Havens was a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy shortly after World War II and during the Korean War. Havens' letters, addressed to his family, are largely personal in nature, but also pertain to his experiences in boot camp, medical indoctrination training, and aboard U.S.S. Repose during the Korean War. Included with the letters are several photographs and news clippings.

Biography of Frank Edgar Havens

Frank Edgar Havens, the son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Edgar Havens of Dodge City, Kansas and, later, Los Angeles, was a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy shortly after World War II and during the Korean War. Havens did his initial training at the United States Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois just as World War II was coming to a close in Europe. In June 1945, Havens proceeded on to Hospital Corps School in Farragut, Idaho. Following his training at Farragut, he was attached to the hospital ship U.S.S. Repose (AH-16), stationed at Shanghai. Presumably, Havens was deactivated or resigned some time in mid to late 1946 or 1947. In late spring to early summer of 1951, Havens returned to active duty with the Navy for the Korean War. Once again, Havens was assigned to U.S.S. Repose, which was stationed in Korean and Japanese waters, making calls at Inchon, Pusan, Sasebo, and Yokosuka. Havens was scheduled to return to the United States in September 1952.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

The Frank Edgar Havens Letters, comprising 5 linear inches of documentation, span from 1926 to 1956. The collection consists almost entirely of letters written by Havens to his family during his career as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman during the time periods of April 1945 through May 1946 and October 1951 through August 1952.

The letters begin in April 1945 with Havens' boot camp training at the U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois. The correspondence continues with his medical indoctrination course at the Hospital Corps School, Farragut, Idaho, and his work at the United States Naval Hospital in Farragut and at Camp Bennion. The correspondence from Havens' first tour in the Navy concludes with his transfer to the Receiving Station in Shoemaker, California in January 1946 and service aboard the hospital ship Repose in May of that year.

The correspondence resumes, in June of 1951, with Havens' apparent return to active Naval service during the Korean War. His letters offer an account of his return to and service aboard Repose, and include reflections on Pusan, Korea, as well as Sasebo and Kamakura, Japan.

In addition to the letters written by Havens, the collection includes a small number of miscellaneous items, such as materials pertaining to his parents' wedding and photographs.

Back to Top


The Frank Edgar Havens Letters are arranged chronologically. Materials other than Havens' correspondence are filed at the end of the collection.

Back to Top

Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Frank Edgar Havens 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.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Books and Collections in July 1990. Accession No. 90-39.

Back to Top

Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional accounts of U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen in the closing days of World War II in this repository are available in the Robert W. Swartz Papers, 1944-1946, MS 353.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Frank Edgar Havens Letters, MS 260

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

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

Back to Top

Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Havens, Frank Edgar
  • Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Medical care -- United States
  • Repose (Hospital ship : AH-16)
  • Sailors -- United States -- Correspondence
  • United States. Naval Training Station (Farragut, Idaho)
  • United States. Naval Training Station (Great Lakes, Ill)
  • United States. Navy -- Hospital corpsmen
  • United States. Navy -- Medical Corps

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Havens Letters, 1945 April-May

United States Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois: boot camp, training, Service Week, barbers, food, busy schedule, activities, gunnery practice drills, swimming, and other tests. Includes brief mention of men's reaction to news of German surrender in letter of May 1.

Box 1 Folder 2

Havens Letters, 1945 June-August

Hospital Corps School Farragut, Idaho: medical indoctrination course, classes, grades, studies, viewing of autopsies, graduation. Choir membership, dust problem at Farragut.

Box 1 Folder 3

Havens Letters, 1945 August-December

United States Naval Hospital, Farragut, Idaho, including Camp Bennion extension: hospital duties and activities, kings of patients. Havens' efforts for promotion. Includes Havens' personal comments on Japanese surrender in letter of August 14.

Box 1 Folder 4

Havens Letters, 1946 January

Leaves Farragut for 3rd Battalion Receiving Station, Shoemaker, California: service ship selection, preparation for ship duties, procedures for naval "drafts."

Box 1 Folder 5

Havens Letters, 1946 February-April

From Shoemaker, California to Treasure Island and San Francisco: transport aboard Warhawk (APA-168), whose ports of call included Pearl Harbor. Brief mention of plane hops in Asian area, including Guam, on way to U.S.S. Repose (AH-16) at Shanghai.

Box 1 Folder 6

Havens Letters, 1946 May

U.S.S. Repose, Shanghai: multiple murderer in neuro-psychiatric ward, maintenance department (janitorial) assignment, medical corpsman's work. Remarks on the Chinese.

Box 1 Folder 7

Havens Letters, 1951 June-September

Naval Receiving Station, San Diego and Corona, California.

Box 1 Folder 8

Havens Letters, 1951 October-December

From Receiving Barracks, Yokosuka, Japan, to Sasebo, Japan, to service aboard U.S.S. Repose, anchored off Pusan, Korea. U.S.S. Repose travels from Pusan to Sasebo, and back to Pusan. Life aboard Repose, medical corpsman's duties, food. Impressions of Pusan and Sasebo.

Box 1 Folder 9

Havens Letters, 1952 January

U.S.S. Repose at Pusan, then Yokosuka: temporary evacuation of patients, medical corpsman's duties. Korean tent show, impressions of Kamakura, Japan.

Box 1 Folder 10

Havens Letters, 1952 May-August

Return to sea journey to the Far East, life and duties at sea. U.S.S. Repose at Inchon, Korea, then Yokosuka, Japan, then return to Inchon: air alert, "water hours," medical corpsman's duties, evacuation of patients.

Box 1 Folder 11

Havens Letters, 1952 December, 1953 March

Havens' assumed discharge and return to the U.S., income tax matters.

Miscellaneous, 1926-1956

Box 1 Folder 12 Item 1

News clipping regarding Betty Thomson - F. Edgar Havens marriage, 1926

Box 1 Folder 12 Item 2

Thomson-Havens marriage announcement, 1926

Box 1 Folder 12 Item 3

Letter from Archie to Aunt Rebecca and Family, 1945 February 24

Mention of Archie's 26 months in Quartermaster Corps, South Pacific.

Box 1 Folder 12 Item 4

Letter from Ann Havens to parents, 1956 March 11

Regarding social life and travel in Europe while employee of the American Dependent School.

Back to Top

Box 1 Folder 13

Photographs, undated

Likely of Havens family and/or friends.

Back to Top