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Donald Edward Jones Letters, 1945-1949: Finding Aid

Published in 1996

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 316
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Donald Edward Jones Letters
  • Dates: 1945-1949
  • Size: 0.17 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 4 folders
  • Creator: Jones, Donald Edward, 1929-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Donald Edward Jones was a non-graduate member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1951. The Jones Letters consist of letters written by Jones to his family while he was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, pertaining to academics, professional development, midshipman social activities, and Naval Academy traditions.

Biography of Donald Edward Jones

Donald Edward Jones was born on February 25, 1929 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Edward Jones, Director of the Springfield Taxpayers Association, and Pearl Agambar Jones. As a youth, Jones was a member of Pro Merito, his high school's scholastic honor society, an Eagle Scout, and a member of the Trinity Methodist

A graduate of Springfield Technical High School, Class of 1946, Jones completed a one year engineering course at Springfield Junior College with maximum honors. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from Massachusetts, and was admitted to the Academy as a member of the Class of 1951 on July 3, 1947.

While at the Academy, Jones received an award in sailing for the 1947-1948 season, and was one of seven midshipmen to receive a letter of commendation for bravery in rescuing seven people from drowning in the Chesapeake Bay. In 1947, Jones became business manager of Masqueraders activities. Jones' summer practice cruises saw him serve aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Macon in 1948 and aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Leyte in 1949.

Midshipman Jones voluntarily resigned from the Naval Academy on November 3, 1949 to pursue a vocation in the ministry, completing his education at Amherst College. As of 1967, Donald E. Jones was serving as Minister at the First Methodist Church in Framingham, Massachusetts.

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Description of Contents

The Donald Edward Jones Letters, spanning from 1947 to 1949, comprises a collection of 108 letters written by Jones to his family while he was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. The letters are both typed and handwritten.

The letters present a portrait of midshipman life in the late 1940s and deal with a range of subjects. With regards to academics and professional development, the letters touch upon classes and studies (including Russian and public speaking), grades and exams, scheduling, routines and duties (including standing watch), sailing (including yawls), and summer practice cruises aboard U.S.S. Macon (Heavy cruiser : CA-132) and U.S.S. Leyte (Aircraft carrier : CV-32). Jones' letters also pertain to social life on the Yard, including recreational activities and leave, extracurricular activities and sports, "dragging" (dating) including mention of a "bricking party," and specialized activities such as "church parties." Regarding Naval Academy traditions, the letters discuss plebe-upper class relations (including 100th day tradition) and include references to Naval Academy slang.

The collection also includes nine other papers dating from or relating to Jones' time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy, such as Naval Academy Special Orders, materials pertaining to practice cruises, and newspaper clippings. These additional materials span from 1945 to 1949.

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The correspondence within the Donald Edward Jones Letters is arranged chronologically, with undated or partially dated letters inserted in their approximate chronological sequence. Materials other than correspondence have been filed at the end of the collection.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Donald Edward Jones 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.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased in April 1996. Accession No. 96-27.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Donald Edward Jones in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library may be found in his Midshipman Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Donald Edward Jones Letters, MS 316

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1996. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1996 and revised by David D'Onofrio in February 2014.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Jones, Donald Edward, 1929-
  • Macon (Heavy cruiser : CA-132)
  • Midshipmen -- United States -- Conduct of life
  • United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
  • United States Naval Academy -- Social life and customs
  • United States Naval Academy -- Students -- Correspondence
  • United States Naval Academy. Class of 1951

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Orders (military records)
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Letters, 1947 August-1948 April Letters 1-38

Discussions of leniency for Jones' boat violations (August 5); upperclassmen, standing watch, boat violations (August 29); drawing course, joining the public relations committee, dorm room (September 13, 20); combat infantry training, USNA remodeling, uniforms (September 25); plebe summer, plebe-upper class relations (September 30, October 8); football game in Baltimore, dating (October 12); making football posters for upperclassmen, joining plebe sailing team (October 19); exhausting yawl race (November 2); "being on the bush" and "on the tree" regarding grades, first chemistry lecture in "super modern demonstration room" (November 7); making football posters, mention of "guarding Tecumseh" (a plebe rate) (November 23); handball, mention of "dark ages" (January 10); USNA "doesn't cater to midshipmen" (January 16); midshipmen march in Washington parade (January 27); failure to answer upperclassmen's questions (January 30); 100th day tradition - plebes and first class change places (February 26); treatment of wart on finger with silver nitrate from an ex-chemistry professor, first class-plebe question system, "blinker drill" (March 4); giving a speech in Russian (March 19); "slashing" - studying during free time (March 25); and mid watches described as "fun," approval of new English professor's teaching style (April 8).

Box 1 Folder 2

Letters, 1948 May-1949 February Letters 39-77

Includes discussions of "Dragging" (dating) (May 3); plans for upcoming summer cruise aboard U.S.S. Macon (May 18); beginning of June Week, visit by the President (May 29); summer training cruise aboard heavy cruiser U.S.S. Macon (June 5-August 22); and Army-Navy football game and festivities (November 28).

Box 1 Folder 3

Letters, 1949 March-October, undated Letters 78-108

Includes mentions of a "bricking party" (March 8); Jones' aptitude assessments (March 20); USNA entertains a Spanish vessel, selling tickets for Musical Club show, work as Musical Clubs manager (April 30, May 7); Dilbert Dunker test (airplane cockpit), choosing rooms and roommates (May 24); schedule for summer cruises (May 29); roommate selection (June 4); midshipman personal trip - excellent treatment at Terminal Island Navy Base (June 13-24); aboard aircraft carrier U.S.S. Leyte (July 22); training at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Virginia (August 9); assignment of plebes to second class members instead of first class members, brief description of church parties, dorm room diagram (September 24, October 2); and status of resignation from the Naval Academy (Monday, undated).

Miscellaneous, 1945-1949, undated

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 1

Map to Jones' house, undated

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 2

USNA Customs of the Service, 1945

Pamphlet issued "for the purpose of acquainting the members of the Fourth Class with the customs of the service."

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 3

Newspaper clippings, 1947 (approximate)

Includes announcement of Jones' passing the Naval Academy's entrance examinations.

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 4

United States Naval Academy Special Order No. 29-47: Christmas Leave for Midshipmen, 1947 November 14

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 5

United States Naval Academy Special Order No. 30-47: Method of Travel for Midshipmen going on Christmas Leave, 1947 November 14

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 6

U.S.S. Macon (CA-132): Midshipmen's Practice Cruise June 8,1948-August 24, 1948, 1948

15 page memento of cruise. Illustrated by W.J. Ipardee, United States Naval Academy Class of 1951.

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 7

Program of Land Tours: United States Naval Academy Midshipmen's Practice Cruise, Summer 1948, 1948

American Express Travel Service pamphlet.

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 8

Relative Standing and Marks, 1949 February 10

Report of Jones' marks for term ending January 29, 1949. Includes cover letter.

Box 1 Folder 4 Item 9

United States Naval Academy Special Order No. 6-49: Midshipman Cruises and Summer Schedule - Itinerary, Designation of Classes of Midshipmen; Annual Leave, 1949 April 7

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