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Robert B. Carney Collection, 1912-1995 : Finding Aid

Published in November 2018

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 472
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Robert B. Carney Collection
  • Dates: 1912-1995
  • Size: 3.42 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes)
  • Creator: Carney, Robert Bostwick, 1895-1990
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Robert B. Carney was an admiral in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1916. The Robert B. Carney Collection spans from 1912 to 1995. The collection, assembled in part by Betty Carney Taussig during the preparation of Admiral Carney's biography, documents the U.S. Navy career of Robert B. Carney, with a focus on the commissioning of U.S.S. Reid, Carney's World War II duties as captain of U.S.S. Denver and Chief of Staff to Admiral William Halsey, his tours as Commander in Chief of United States Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and Allied Forces Southern Europe, and his service as Chief of Naval Operations.

Biography of Robert B. Carney

Robert Bostwick Carney was born in Vallejo, California on March 26, 1895 to Lieutenant Commander Robert Emmett Carney and Bertha V. H. Carney. Following schooling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Carney secured a nomination to the United States Naval Academy from President Howard Taft in 1912.

Upon graduation in June 1916, Carney was attached to U.S.S. New Hampshire (Battleship: BB-25), followed by service aboard U.S.S. Dixie (Destroyer tender: AD-1) beginning in October 1916 through the beginning of American operations in World War I. In July 1917, he was transferred to U.S.S. Fanning (Destroyer: DD-37), noted for the sinking of U-58 on November 17, 1917.

Following World War I, Carney held several sea commands, before being assigned to shore duty in the Division of Fleet Training and in the Shore Establishment Division of the Secretary of the Navy's Office, where he assisted in the coordination of the Navy's small craft program. During this time period, he also briefly served as the Naval Aid to the Crown Prince of Norway during His Royal Highness' visit to the United States in 1939. Beginning in February 1941, Carney was appointed Operations Officer and later, Chief of Staff, to Admiral Arthur L. Bristol, where he assisted in the creation of a Surface-Air Force to aid in the protection of convoys from submarine and air attacks.

In October 1942, Carney received command of the newly commissioned U.S.S. Denver (Light Cruiser: CL-58). During Carney's nine months in command, Denver participated in several notable operations, including the occupation of the Russell Islands and operations against the Islands of Kolombangara, Shortland, and Bougainville. Detached from U.S.S. Denver at the end of July 1943, Carney, newly promoted to Rear Admiral, was assigned to Admiral William F. Halsey as Chief of Staff. Remaining as Chief of Staff during Halsey's command of the Third Fleet, Carney took part in the campaigns against Palau, Leyte, Lingayen, and Okinawa. As World War II in the Pacific came to a close, Carney arranged for the entry of the Third Fleet into Tokyo Bay and accepted the surrender of Yokosuka Naval Base.

In 1946, Carney was promoted to Vice Admiral, after which he was appointed Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics, serving in that capacity until February 1950. On March 6, he assumed command of the Second Fleet. On October 2, 1950, Carney was promoted to Admiral, and one month later, was appointed Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. On June 18, 1951, Admiral Carney was announced as the first Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe, establishing the NATO command at Naples, Italy.

On May 13, 1953, Carney's selection as Chief of Naval Operations was announced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Sworn in on August 17, 1953, he served as CNO for two years until August 17, 1955, after which he retired from active service. In retirement, Carney served on numerous Boards of Directors, including those of Bath Iron Works, Bell International, and Nation-Wide Securities, as well as serving as the Chairman of the Naval Historical Foundation and President of the Naval Academy Alumni Association from 1967 to 1969.

Robert Bostwick Carney died on June 25, 1990 and was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Description of Contents

The Robert B. Carney Collection, comprising 3.42 linear feet of documentation, spans from 1912 to 1995. The collection, assembled in part by Betty Carney Taussig during the preparation of Admiral Carney's biography, documents the U.S. Navy career of Robert B. Carney, with a focus on the commissioning of U.S.S. Reid, Carney's World War II duties as captain of U.S.S. Denver and Chief of Staff to Admiral William Halsey, his tours as Commander in Chief of United States Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and Allied Forces Southern Europe, and his service as Chief of Naval Operations.

Included in the collection are clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, biographies, articles, speeches, correspondence, and certificates.

The Robert B. Carney Collection is organized into two series by document type. Series 1: Chronological and Subject Files, consists of scrapbooks, clippings, biographies, articles, speeches, and a Columbia University oral history documenting Carney's U.S. Navy career from his earliest duty stations through his time as Chief of Naval Operations and subsequent retirement. Series 2: Photographs, consists largely of black-and-white photographs, many of them copy prints from the National Archives, primarily depicting events from Carney's World War II service and time as NATO Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe in the early 1950s, as well as images from the Pribilof Islands earlier in Carney's career.

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Arrangement

The Robert B. Carney Collection is organized into the following two series:

  • Series 1: Series 1: Chronological and Subject Files, 1936-1995
  • Series 2: Series 2: Photographs, 1912-1983
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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Robert B. Carney Collection is 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

Gift of Betty Carney Taussig in March 1996, February 1998, and April 1998. Accession Nos. 96-09, 98-09, and 98-21.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Robert B. Carney in this repository includes his Midshipman Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

Publications Citing These Papers

Material in this collection was used in the publication of A Warrior for Freedom by Betty Carney Taussig.

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Processing and Other Information

Where possible, the donor's arrangement and folder titles were retained.

Preferred Citation

Robert B. Carney Collection, MS 472

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in November 2018. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in November 2018.

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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

  • Admirals -- United States -- Biography
  • Allied Forces Southern Europe
  • Carney, Robert Bostwick, 1895-1990
  • Denver (Light cruiser : CL-58)
  • Halsey, William F. (William Frederick), 1882-1959
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- Mediterranean Region
  • Reid (Destroyer : DD-369)
  • Taussig, Betty Carney
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American

Genre Terms

  • Articles
  • Biographical sketches
  • Certificates
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Oral histories (literary works)
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Speeches (documents)
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Contents List

Series 1: Chronological and Subject Files, 1936-1995 Boxes 1-4 [OS]

Series Description

Documentation of Robert Carney's career in the United States Navy. Duty stations heavily represented in the materials include Carney's command of U.S.S. Reid (Destroyer: DD-369), his World War II tours as captain of U.S.S. Denver (Light Cruiser: CL-58) and Chief of Staff to Admiral Halsey, his commands of United States Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and Allied Forces Southern Europe in the early 1950's, and his appointment as Chief of Naval Operations beginning in 1953. Included in the series are clippings, biographies, scrapbooks, articles, speeches, certificates, correspondence, and an oral history. The series also includes articles and speeches written by Carney during the latter part of his career and his retirement.

Many of the files in the series appear to have been assembled by the donor, Betty Carney Taussig, in preparation of her biography of Carney entitled A Warrior for Freedom, an inscribed copy of which is available in this series.

The oral history was conducted by John T. Mason, Jr. as part of Columbia University's Naval History Project. The oral history, which is 768 pages in length, covers Carney's family background, Naval Academy experiences, first cruises, World War I convoy duties, instruction duty at the Naval Academy, War Plan Orange, Support Force Operation duties under Admiral Arthur Bristol, services as Chief of Staff to Admiral William Halsey, Third Fleet operations in the Central Pacific, Japan's surrender at the end of World War II, services Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics, problems of command and staff training, the postwar Navy and proposals for a unified service, and impressions of various military figures.

Series Arrangement

Partially arranged chronologically by duty station; thereafter by document type.

Box 1 Folder 1

U.S.S. Reid/U.S.S. Sirius (1936-1938), 1936-1981

Primarily clippings regarding the commissioning of U.S.S. Reid (Destroyer: DD-369).

Box 3 [OS] Folder 1

U.S.S. Reid/U.S.S. Sirius (1936-1938), 1936-1938

Album pages of clippings regarding the commissioning of U.S.S. Reid and U.S.S. Sirius (Cargo Ship: AK-15) towing Crane Ship No. 1 (formerly U.S.S. Kearsarge.

Box 1 Folder 2

Command of U.S.S. Denver (October 1942-July 1943), 1943-1995, undated

Includes reminiscences of crew members, reunion materials, clippings and articles on Denver's early engagements, and an Arleigh Burke Little Beavers certificate.

Box 1 Folder 3

Chief of Staff to Admiral Halsey (July 1943-September 1945), 1943-1957

Primarily clippings and articles pertaining to Halsey's Third Fleet and the Allied occupation of Japan. Includes a scrapbook with several clippings from Carney's time as CNO.

Box 1 Folder 4

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (1946-1950), 1948, undated

Box 1 Folder 5

CINCNELM/CINCSOUTH (1950-1953), 1951-1952, undated

Clippings of Carney's time as Commander in Chief U.S. Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and Commander in Chief of NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe. Includes coverage of the dedication of the U.S. Roll of Honour at St. Paul's in London.

Box 1 Folder 6

Articles and Speeches, 1946-1986

Includes articles on Pearl Harbor, Miles Browning, education, defense organization, sea power, the dedication of Halsey field, and statements before Congress. Also includes a Naval Historical Division finding aid for Carney's personal papers.

Box 1 Folder 7

Biography - A Warrior for Freedom, 1995

Inscribed biography of Carney by Betty Carney Taussig.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 2

Certificate - Council of American Master Mariners, 1966

Box 1 Folder 8

Clippings - U.S.S. Carney (Guided Missile Destroyer: DDG-64), 1991-1995, undated

Press clippings regarding the ship's keel laying and launching.

Box 1 Folder 9

Correspondence - Miscellaneous, 1968-1985, undated

Includes a copy of a letters from President Ronald Reagan and the Oman Department of Development.

Box 1 Folder 10

Honorary Degree - Loras College, 1955

Box 1 Folder 11

Obituaries and Biographical Sketches, 1956-1990, undated

Box 1 Folder 12-13

Oral History by John T. Mason, Jr. (1964), 1963-1995

Box 2 Folder 1-4

Oral History by John T. Mason, Jr. (1964), 1963-1995

Box 4 [OS] Folder 1

Scrapbook, 1944-1955

Includes clippings regarding Carney's Navy Cross, command of the Second Fleet, command of NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe, war games in the Mediterranean, and his appointment as Chief of Naval Operations. Also includes clippings regarding Mrs. Carney.

Box 4 [OS] Folder 2

Scrapbook, 1944-1953

Includes clippings regarding Carney's and Halsey's role in the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, Carney's service as the head of Halsey's "Dirty Trick Department," the Japanese surrender ending World War II, the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean under Eisenhower, and Carney's command of NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe. Includes photographs of William Halsey and of Carney with General Dwight Eisenhower.

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Series 2: Photographs, 1912-1983 Boxes 2-3 [OS]

Series Description

Photographs, largely black-and-white, depicting Carney and events from several of his duty stations, especially his service during World War II and as Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe. The photographs focus on, in part, the Japanese surrender ending World War II, Carney's war decorations, the tenth anniversary of Allied Forces Southern Europe, a boar hunt held on the grounds of the Italian Presidential Estate, and scenes from the Pribilof Islands. Also depicted in the series are the dedication of King Hall and the aftermath of the Honda Point Disaster.

Series Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 3

Album, 1918-1931, undated

Primarily photographs of St. George and St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Also includes photographs from Carney's service during World War I.

Box 2 Folder 5

Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) - Castelporziano, 1953 September 1

Photographs of a wild boar hunt on the grounds of the Italian Presidential Estate.

Box 2 Folder 6

Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) - Joint Maneuvers Painting, 1953

Box 2 Folder 7

Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) - Miscellaneous Events, undated

Box 2 Folder 8

Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) - Tenth Anniversary, 1961

Box 2 Folder 9

Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) - Tenth Anniversary (Album), 1961

Includes images of and a signed letter from Charles R. "Cat" Brown.

Box 2 Folder 10

Carney Park, undated

Signage and dedication plaque from NSA Naples, Italy.

Box 2 Folder 11

Honda Point Disaster, undated

Images of the destroyer wreckage.

Box 2 Folder 12

Portraits (Groups), 1912-1944, undated

Includes portraits of USNA entrance examinees, a group of midshipmen outside Reina Mercedes, and the officers and crew of U.S.S. Reno. Includes a note from and portrait with William Halsey.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 4

Portraits (Groups), 1965, undated

Primarily portraits of former Chiefs of Naval Operations.

Box 2 Folder 13

Portraits (Individual), 1916-1972, undated

Includes portraits of Carney hunting. Includes an autographed portrait of Sir Lewis Bayly.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 5

Portraits (Individual), undated

Box 2 Folder 14

Ships - U.S.S. Kearsarge vs C.S.S. Alabama, undated

Photograph of painting by Edouard Manet.

Box 3 [OS] Folder 6

Ships - U.S.S. Reid, 1940

Inscribed by the ship's captain.

Box 2 Folder 15

United States Naval Academy - King Hall Dedication, 1981

Images also feature Arleigh Burke.

Box 2 Folder 16

World War II - Awards Ceremonies, 1942, undated

Images feature William Halsey.

Box 2 Folder 17

World War II - Japanese Surrender Negotiations and Ceremonies, 1945 August-September

Includes surrenders at Yokosuka and aboard U.S.S. Missouri.

Box 2 Folder 18

World War II - Japanese Surrender Swords, 1983

Box 2 Folder 19

World War II - Miscellaneous, undated

Images feature William Halsey.

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