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Robert Chambliss Light Papers, 1944-1967 (bulk 1944): Finding Aid

Published in June 2019

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 506
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Robert Chambliss Light Papers
  • Dates: 1944-1967
  • Bulk Dates: 1944
  • Size: 0.63 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box)
  • Creator: Light, Robert Chambliss, 1922-1996
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Robert Chambliss Light was an officer in the United States Navy and a World War II submariner. The Robert Chambliss Light Papers span from 1944 to 1967, with a majority of the documents produced in 1944. The papers are predominantly the product of Light's training in submarines at Submarine Officers School in New London and his follow-up trainings at Fleet Sonar School, Communication School, Ship Identification School, and Torpedo Fire Control School.

Biography of Robert Chambliss Light

Robert Chambliss Light was born on February 18, 1922 in Scottsville, Virginia. Following his graduation from the University of South Carolina with a degree in electrical engineering in February 1944, Light was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy on February 26. After attending Submarine Officers School in New London from April to June of 1944, Light served on a series of submarines from 1944 through 1953, including U.S.S. Thresher (Submarine: SS-200), U.S.S. Dace (Submarine: SS-247), U.S.S. Cutlass (Submarine: SS-478), U.S.S. Sea Owl (Submarine: SS-405), and U.S.S. Atule (Submarine: SS-403), culminating in his command of U.S.S. Bluefish (Submarine: SS-222). Late in 1953, he was assigned to shore duty at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Portsmouth, Virginia where he served as Commanding Officer.

In July 1956, Light returned to duty at sea as Executive Officer and Navigator of U.S.S. Beale (Destroyer: DD-471) and member of the staff of Commander Destroyer Squadron 26. In May 1958, he assumed command of U.S.S. Darby (Destroyer escort: DE-218). While under Light's command, Darby served as the escort vessel for the Newport to Bermuda Yacht Race. Light was then assigned to the Enlisted Performance Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel in March 1959 for roughly two years before assuming command of U.S.S. Haynsworth (Destroyer: DD-700) in July 1961. Under Light's command, Haynsworth operated in the Mediterranean and provided flood relief in Kenya.

Light detached from U.S.S. Haynsworth in November 1963. The remainder of his career in the U.S. Navy was spent in a research capacity at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in White Oak, Maryland: first with the Undersea Warfare Research and Development Planning Council and ultimately with the Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems Project. Robert Chambliss Light retired from the United States Navy on November 1, 1967 and died on July 7, 1996.

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Description of Contents

The Robert Chambliss Light Papers, comprising 0.63 linear feet of documentation, span from 1944 to 1967, with a majority of the documents produced in 1944. The papers are predominantly the product of Light's training in submarines at Submarine Officers School in New London and his follow-up trainings at Fleet Sonar School, Communication School, Ship Identification School, and Torpedo Fire Control School.

Included in the collection are handwritten notes, memoranda, examinations, instructional materials, mechanical drawings, and newspapers.

The Robert Chambliss Light Papers are arranged alphabetically by duty station, document type, and topic. The overwhelming majority of the materials are the product of Light's early training as a United States Navy submarine officer at Submarine Officers School during World War II. These materials cover his studies in submarine electrical systems, diesel engines, communications systems, ship identification, and weapons systems, especially torpedoes. Additional training materials and notes are the product of Light's follow-up studies at Fleet Sonar School, Communication School, Ship Identification School, and Torpedo Fire Control School, with a focus on torpedo firing spreads. The collection also includes several photographs from Light's service aboard U.S.S. Dace (Submarine: SS-247) and U.S.S. Bluefish (Submarine: SS-222), the latter of which includes photographs of a visit by actress Terry Moore. Light's service aboard the Dace is also represented by a sample of the ship's letterhead.

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Arrangement

The Robert Chambliss Light Papers are arranged alphabetically by duty station, document type, and topic.

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Access and Use

Access

Access to any potentially classified material is restricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Robert Chambliss Light Papers 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

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Robert Chambliss Light, Jr. in December 1997. Accession No. 97-77.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

There are no other known collections of papers of Robert Chambliss Light.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Robert Chambliss Light Papers, MS 506

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in June 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in June 2019.

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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

  • Light, Robert Chambliss, 1922-1996
  • Naval education -- United States
  • United States. Navy -- Submarine forces -- Training of
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Submarine

Genre Terms

  • Design drawings
  • Examinations (documents)
  • Manuscripts
  • Notes
  • Student projects

Additional Creator/Author

  • Submarine School (Naval Submarine Base (Groton, Conn.))
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

U.S.S. Bluefish (Submarine: SS-222) - Photographs, 1953, undated

Includes portraits of the submarines' officers and a visit by actress Terry Moore.

Box 1 Folder 2

Communication, Ship Identification, and Torpedo Fire Control School - Instructional Material, 1944 October

Primarily materials on torpedo spreads.

Box 1 Folder 3

Communication, Ship Identification, and Torpedo Fire Control School - Notes, 1944 October

Box 1 Folder 4

Communication, Ship Identification, and Torpedo Fire Control School - Orders and Memoranda, 1944 October

Box 1 Folder 5

U.S.S. Cutlass (Submarine: SS-478) - Ship's Newspaper, 1947 August-September

Box 1 Folder 6

U.S.S. Dace (Submarine: SS-247) - Letterhead, undated

Box 1 Folder 7

U.S.S. Dace (Submarine: SS-247) - Photograph, 1945 July

Group photograph from Midway Island.

Box 1 Folder 8

Fleet Sonar School, undated

Box 1 Folder 9

Resume and Personnel, 1967

Box 1 Folder 10

Submarine Division Forty-Five - U.S.S. Devilfish Sound Monitoring Report, 1944 December 19

Box 1 Folder 11

Submarine Division One Hundred One - Underway Voycall Work, undated

Box 1 Folder 12

Submarine School - Communications, 1944 April-June

Lessons in call signs, radio equipment, and flare usage.

Box 1 Folder 13

Submarine School - Diesel Engineering, 1944 April-June

Lessons and laboratory work in Fairbanks Morse, General Motors, and Nelseco diesel engines, fuel pumps, and injectors.

Box 1 Folder 14

Submarine School - Electrical Engineering, 1944 April-June

Lessons and notes on submarine batteries, wiring, and gyro compasses.

Box 1 Folder 15

Submarine School - Guns and Gun Mounts, undated

Box 1 Folder 16

Submarine School - Kleinschmidt Distillers, 1944 May

Box 1 Folder 17

Submarine School - Maneuvering Board Problems, undated

Box 1 Folder 18

Submarine School - Memoranda, 1944 April-June

Box 1 Folder 19

Submarine School - Schedules and Section Lists, 1944 January-July

Box 1 Folder 20

Submarine School - Ship Identification (American), undated

Box 1 Folder 21

Submarine School - Ship Identification (Japanese), undated

Box 1 Folder 22

Submarine School - Submarine Department, 1944 April-June

Includes assignments on and drawings of O-Boat systems and general characteristics.

Box 1 Folder 23

Submarine School - Tanks and Capacities, 1944 April, undated

Box 1 Folder 24

Submarine School - Torpedoes, 1944 April-June

Lessons and notes on Mark 10, Mark 14, Mark 15, and Mark 18 torpedoes, as well as torpedo gyroscope guidance, torpedo tubes, and erratic performance.

Box 2 Folder 1

Submarine School - Watch Lists, 1944 April-June

Box 2 Folder 2

Training Pamphlets, undated

Pamphlets on the duties of a submarine torpedo and gunnery officer, the submarine commissary officer, and submarine engineering officer.

Box 2 Folder 3

U.S. Naval Submarine Base, Balboa - Periscoop, 1947 October

Navy Day issue.

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