Francis W. McCann Letters, 1923-1924: Finding Aid
Published in March 2019
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 485
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Francis W. McCann Letters
- Dates: 1923-1924
- Size: 0.02 linear feet (1 folder)
- Creator: McCann, Francis W., 1905-1977
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Francis W. McCann was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1927. The Francis W. McCann Letters, comprising a single photocopied typescript compilation of letters, span from July 1923 to July 1924. The letters, written by McCann to his parents and sister, are the product of and describe McCann's experiences as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, namely Plebe Summer and his Third Class summer practice cruise.
Biography of Francis W. McCann
Francis Wyllie McCann was born on August 1, 1905 in Chelsea, Massachusetts to Mr. and Mrs. P. Francis McCann. Receiving an appointment from Representative Charles Lee Underhill, McCann was admitted to the United States Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1927. Upon graduation, he was assigned to a brief course of aviation instruction before being ordered to the U.S.S. Raleigh (Light cruiser: CL-7). Following duty aboard the Raleigh, McCann attended formal flight training in Pensacola, which he completed in 1930. After earning his wings as a Naval Aviator, McCann remained in aviation for several years, serving tours with scouting squadron VS-5S of the Scouting Force and patrol squadron VP-4F at Pearl Harbor. In June 1934, he returned to surface warfare duty aboard U.S.S. Leary (Destroyer: DD-158). In May 1936, he was attached to Fleet Air Base Pearl Harbor, but returned to sea in January 1938 aboard the converted minelayer U.S.S. Sicard (Destroyer: DD-346), operating in the waters around Hawaii, followed by duty aboard U.S.S. Litchfield (Destroyer: DD-336).
At the time Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941, McCann was attached to U.S.S. Northampton (Heavy cruiser: CA-26), serving aboard her until she was sunk at the Battle of Tassafaronga on the night of November 30, 1942. Duty as an instructor in seamanship and navigation at the Naval Academy followed from 1943 to 1944, after which McCann reported aboard U.S.S. Gosper (Attack transport: APA-170) during the Okinawa Campaign. Following World War II, McCann's assignments included tours as Assistant Port Director at Pearl Harbor and duty aboard fleet oilers during the Korean War. From 1956 until 1958, he served court martial duty at Pearl Harbor and San Diego, the latter of which as president. Francis Wyllie McCann retired from active duty in June 1958 and on December 6, 1977.
Description of Contents
The Francis W. McCann Letters, comprising a single photocopied typescript compilation of letters, span from July 1923 to July 1924. The letters, written by McCann to his parents and sister, are the product of and describe McCann's experiences as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, namely Plebe Summer and his Third Class summer practice cruise.
Included among the letters are copies of postcard views of the Naval Academy, the 1923 summer training schedule, a mess hall menu, and a daily bulletin of U.S.S. Delaware (Battleship: BB-28).
The McCann Letters are arranged in two chronological sequences with independent pagination. The first sequence, spanning from July through September 1923, is primarily the product of McCann's experiences during Plebe Summer. Throughout the letters, most of which are brief, McCann addresses such topics as daily routine, drills, weapons instruction, inoculations, gifts from home, sailing qualifications, rifle training, and the lyrics of several Naval Academy songs, as well as offering a description of classmates Jim Rice and Morton Cressy.
The second sequence, spanning from June through July 1924 is the product of McCann's first summer training cruise aboard U.S.S. Texas (Battleship: BB-35) with port calls in England and France. In these letters, McCann discusses shipboard labor in the coal gang, notebook work, the architecture of Torquay, and shore leaves in London and Brest.
The Francis W. McCann Letters are arranged chronologically.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The Francis W. McCann 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.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Gift of John C. McCann in April 1989. Accession No. 89-13.
Location of Originals
The disposition of McCann's original letters is unknown.
Related Archival Material
Additional material in this repository pertaining to Francis W. McCann includes McCann's midshipman personnel jacket and alumni jacket.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
Francis W. McCann Letters, MS 485
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
McCann, Francis W. Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
McCann, Francis W. Midshipman Personnel Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1930-1941.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in March 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in March 2019.
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
- McCann, Francis W., 1905-1977
- Midshipmen -- Conduct of life
- United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
- United States Naval Academy -- Students -- Correspondence