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J. C. Wilson Papers, 1942-1955 (bulk 1944-1946): Finding Aid

Published in August 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
  • Call number: MS 510
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: J. C. Wilson Papers
  • Dates: 1942-1955
  • Bulk Dates: 1944-1946
  • Size: 1.88 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 half-manuscript box, 1 flat box
  • Creator: Wilson, J. C., 1924-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: J. C. Wilson was a Seaman First Class in the United States Navy. The J. C. Wilson Papers span from 1942 to 1955, with the bulk of the material having been produced between 1944 and 1946. The Wilson Papers are the product of, and primarily focus on, Wilson's service as an enlisted sailor aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet in the Pacific during World War II.

Biography of J. C. Wilson

J. C. Wilson was born on August 29, 1924 in Dawson County, Georgia and joined the United States Navy at Naval Recruiting Station Atlanta on August 18, 1943. After initial training at Naval Training Station Great Lakes, Wilson was attached to U.S.S. Hornet (Aircraft carrier: CV-12) for the duration of World War II, seeing action at Palau, the Marianas, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Wilson was honorably discharged from the Navy at Jacksonville, Florida on March 12, 1946, having attained the rank of Seaman First Class.

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Description of Contents

The J. C. Wilson Papers, comprising 1.88 linear feet of documentation, span from 1942 to 1955, with the bulk of the material having been produced between 1944 and 1946. The Wilson Papers are the product of, and primarily focus on, Wilson's service as an enlisted sailor aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet in the Pacific during World War II.

Included in the collection are certificates, clippings, pamphlets, photographs, and a scrapbook.

The centerpiece of the collection is the scrapbook compiled by Wilson regarding his service aboard U.S.S. Hornet. Consisting primarily of newspaper clippings and Navy Communiques, the scrapbook includes materials pertaining to kamikaze attacks (including those against U.S.S. Franklin (Aircraft carrier: CV-13)), Marc Mitscher, the Fast Carrier Task Force, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, air raids on Luzon, typhoon damage to the Hornet, the surrender of Germany, the invasion of Iwo Jima, U.S.S. Biloxi (Light cruiser: CL-80), U.S.S. Relief (Hospital ship: AH-1), Baka Bombs, the sinking of the battleship Yamato, the loss of U.S.S. Yorktown (Aircraft carrier: CV-5) at Midway, the fall of Mussolini, and the surrender of Japan. The scrapbook also contains the names and addresses of many of Wilson's shipmates.

The remainder of the collection consists of additional printed material pertaining to the wartime service of U.S.S. Hornet, as well as documents relating to Wilson's time in the Navy, such as photographs of Wilson and his shipmates, awards and certificates, and Wilson's discharge papers. The collection also includes a pictorial pamphlet about the Great Lakes Naval Training Station and a copy of Edward Steichen's US Navy War Photographs: Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Harbor.

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The J. C. Wilson Papers are arranged alphabetically by document type.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The J. C. Wilson 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 Sherry Wilson Rundell in September 1999. Accession No. 99-76.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material in this repository pertaining to U.S.S. Hornet (Aircraft carrier: CV-12) can be found in World War II Ship Action Reports, MS 415.

Materials Cataloged Separately

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

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

J. C. Wilson Papers, MS 510

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

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

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Aircraft carriers -- United States
  • Hornet (Aircraft carrier : CV-12)
  • Kamikaze airplanes
  • Wilson, J. C., 1924-
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, Japanese
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Pacific Ocean

Genre Terms

  • Certificates
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Manuscripts
  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Awards and Citations, 1944-1946, undated

Includes the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to Hornet.

Box 2[OS] Folder 1

Certificates, 1944

Crossing the line ceremony certificate.

Box 1 Folder 2

Certificates, 1955, undated

Includes a certificate from the White House for service during World War II and a State of Georgia On the Farm Training Certificate.

Box 1 Folder 3

Clippings, undated

Newspaper and magazine clippings regarding the Hornet's war record.

Box 1 Folder 4

Discharge Papers, 1946-1949

Also includes a life insurance certification.

Box 1 Folder 5

Identification Cards, 1951, undated

Box 1 Folder 6

Photographs, 1945, undated

Photographs of Wilson and his shipmates in Hawaii, Guam and aboard Hornet in San Francisco Bay.

Box 1 Folder 7

Publications - Great Lakes Naval Training Station, undated

Pictorial pamphlet.

Box 1 Folder 8

Publications - U.S.S. Hornet (Aircraft carrier: CV-12), 1945 (approximate)

Includes a pamphlet (The Tale of...The Hornet) and a cruise book (The United States Ship Hornet: First War Cruise) from the ship's 1943-1945 cruises during World War II.

Box 2[OS] Folder 2

Publications - US Navy War Photographs, 1946 (approximate)

Box 2[OS] Folder 3

Scrapbook, 1942-1945

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