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

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, 1917-1932 (bulk 1925-1932): Finding Aid

Published in August 2013

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 363
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters
  • Dates: 1917-1932
  • Bulk Dates: 1925-1932
  • Size: 0.08 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 5 folders
  • Creator: Fairfield, Arthur Philip, 1877-1946
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Arthur Philip Fairfield was an Admiral in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1901. The letters originate from Fairfield's tours as Commander of Destroyer Division 27, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and Commander of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Chester and focus on the Syrian crisis of 1925, the Chester's European cruise of 1930, and Fairfield's service in World War I.

Biography of Arthur Philip Fairfield

Vice Admiral Arthur Philip Fairfield, the son of Rufus Albert and Frances Patten Fairfield, was born in Maine, 29 October 1877. Fairfield served as a naval cadet in the Spanish-American War and was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1901. He served at the Naval Academy during the periods 1912-1915 and 1919-1922. During World War I, his service included command of the U.S.S. McDougal (Destroyer: DD-54), a destroyer assigned to convoy duty. Fairfield won the Navy Cross for his ship’s 1917 action in repelling an enemy submarine's attempted convoy attack.

During the 1920's and 1930's, Fairfield commanded Division 27 in European waters then served as Commander Destroyer Squadron 9. He fitted out and was first commander of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Chester (Heavy cruiser: CA-27). In 1935, he took command of Cruiser Division 7, Scouting Force, followed by command of Squadron 40-T operating in European waters. He also served as a General Board Member, Commander, Battleship Division Three, Battle Force, and Assistant Chief of Naval Operations. Vice Admiral Fairfield retired in 1941, but was recalled during the Second World War to serve as a Maritime Commission adviser. He died 14 December 1946 and was buried at Arlington Cemetery. His wife Nancy Duval Fairfield survived him.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

The Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters were written by then Captain Fairfield during the period 1925 through 1932. Most of the letters are official naval correspondence (with enclosures) and cover Fairfield’s tours as Commander of Destroyer Division 27, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (1925-1926) and Commander of the newly-commissioned heavy cruiser U.S.S. Chester (1930-1932).

Fairfield’s letters report on the Division’s largely diplomatic mission to visit major ports and show the flag along the European and North African coasts. The letters also relate the Division’s training, practice and other matters. Fairfield observed and reported at length on the politically turbulent Syrian crisis (October-December 1925). The Flagship of Destroyer Division 27 was the U.S.S. Lamson (Destroyer: DD-328). The1926 letters include Fairfield’s attempts to verify his successes against World War I enemy submarines.

Many of the papers from aboard Chester concern the new ship’s 1930 European cruise to Barcelona, Naples, Constantinople, Phaleron Bay, Gibraltar and back to Chester, PA.

Back to Top


The Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters are arranged chronologically by year.

Back to Top

Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Arthur Philip Fairfield 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


Back to Top

Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Arthur Philip Fairfield's military personnel file may be available at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, MS 363

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 2004. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 2004 and edited by David D'Onofrio in August 2013.

Back to Top

Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Anti-submarine warfare -- History -- World War, 1914-1918
  • Chester (Heavy cruiser : CA-27)
  • Fairfield, Arthur Philip, 1877-1946
  • Lamson (Destroyer : DD-328)
  • McDougal (Destroyer : DD-54)
  • Syria -- History -- Insurrection, 1925-1927
  • United States. Navy. Destroyer Division 27
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Naval operations, American
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Naval operations, submarine

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Orders (military records)
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, 1925

From U.S.S. Lamson: Correspondence largely pertaining to the Syrian revolt led by Sultan Al-Atrash against the French, as well as the conduct of Fairfield's crew while at ports of call in England and France. Includes a copy of the U.S. Naval Forces, Europe itinerary and three political memoranda from the American Consulate General in Beirut.

Box 1 Folder 2

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, 1917-1918, 1926

From U.S.S. Lamson: Correspondence pertaining to the Syrian revolt led by Sultan Al-Atrash against the French, long and short range battle practice, a French aircraft that crashed into Lamson, and attempts by Fairfield to verify the sinking of a German submarine by U.S.S. McDougal during World War I. Includes copies of entries from McDougal's war diary from 1917-1918.

Box 1 Folder 3

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, 1930

From U.S.S. Chester: Correspondence pertaining to Chester's assignment to Istanbul, Barcelona, Naples, Athens, and Gibraltar. Includes Fairfield's orders to report to Chester for her fitting out.

Box 1 Folder 4

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, 1931

From U.S.S. Chester: Correspondence pertaining to leave requests and the transfer of John T. Tuthill, Jr. Includes an invitation to the unveiling of the British Memorial to American Naval Cooperation in the World War in Brooklyn, New York.

Box 1 Folder 5

Arthur Philip Fairfield Letters, 1932

From U.S.S. Chester: Correspondence pertaining to the Protestant Sunday Schools of Brooklyn, a visit by an Engineering Mechanics class from Yale, congratulations of other officers, and Fairfield's impending detachment.

Back to Top