Robert B. Carney Collection, 1912-1995 : Finding Aid
Published in November 2018
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 472
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Robert B. Carney Collection
- Dates: 1912-1995
- Size: 3.42 linear feet
- Container Summary: 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.
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.
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
Access and Use
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.
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.
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.
Processing and Other Information
Where possible, the donor's arrangement and folder titles were retained.
Robert B. Carney Collection, MS 472
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in November 2018. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in November 2018.
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
- Biographical sketches
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Oral histories (literary works)
- Speeches (documents)
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.
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.
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.
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.