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William Hosford Letters, 1914-1919: Finding Aid

Published in July 2007

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 370
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: William Hosford Letters
  • Dates: 1914-1918
  • Size: 2 linear inches (4 folders)
  • Creator: Hosford, William
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: William Hosford was an enlisted sailor in the U.S. Navy during World War I, serving aboard submarine chasers. The William Hosford Letters span the period of 1914 through 1919, with a majority of the letters having been written by William Hosford to his wife during the period of August 1918 through May 1919 while Hosford was a U.S. Navy enlisted man serving aboard Submarine Chaser No. 301.

Biography of William Hosford

William Hosford of Brooklyn, New York, was an enlisted sailor in the U.S. Navy during World War I, serving aboard submarine chasers. His earliest known date of service is 1914, and he was demobilized circa May 1919.

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Description of Contents

The William Hosford Letters span the period of 1914 through 1919, with a majority of the letters having been written by William Hosford to his wife during the period of August 1918 through May 1919 while Hosford was a U.S. Navy enlisted man serving aboard Submarine Chaser 301. The letters are mostly personal in nature, pertaining to personal finances, homesickness, the daily routine of Hosford's wife, and Hosford's growing distaste for the U.S. Navy, with some remarks on ports visited and an occasional statement on ship or naval matters. Postmarks and letter contents indicate that Hosford’s submarine chaser cruised on the east coast of the United States (mainly New England), then sailed to Bermuda, St. Thomas and Guantanamo, before transiting the Panama Canal to the western coast of the United States. A few of the letters contain enclosures and photographs.

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Arrangement

The William Hosford Letters are arranged chronologically into a single series with no subdivisions.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The William Hosford 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

Custodial History

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased in March 1999. Accession No. 99-35.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

There are no other known collections of papers of William Hosford.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

William Hosford Letters, MS 370

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 July 2013.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Hosford, William
  • Sailors -- United States -- Correspondence
  • Submarine chaser no. 301
  • Submarine chasers
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Naval operations, American

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

William Hosford Letters, 1914-1918 September

Includes discussions of shore leaves to Lexington and Boston, the Spanish Influenza, Liberty Bonds, and the activities of Hosford's wife. Also included is a photograph, presumably of Hosford.

Box 1 Folder 2

William Hosford Letters, 1918 October-December

Includes discussions of personal finances, the Spanish Influenza, repairs to the ship while in Boston and New London, Liberty Bonds, and locals' reactions to U.S. Navy exercises in the Caribbean. Also included are two fabric samples.

Box 1 Folder 3

William Hosford Letters, 1919 February-March

Includes discussions of the ship's itinerary, a warehouse fire in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, disgust with Naval service, personal finances, and preparations to transit the Panama Canal.

Box 1 Folder 4

William Hosford Letters, 1919 April-June

Includes discussions of homesickness, the ship's itinerary along the West Coast, an explosion aboard Submarine Chaser 297 in April, arrival in Bremerton, Washington, and Hosford's impending discharge from the U.S. Navy. Also included are several photographs of Sub Chaser 301's equipment and the locks of the Panama Canal.

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