Frederick A. Edwards Papers, 1898-1991 (bulk 1920-1991): Finding Aid
Published in January 2020
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 549
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Frederick A. Edwards Papers
- Dates: 1898-1991
- Bulk Dates: 1920-1991
- Size: 5.84 linear feet
- Container Summary: 6 manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes
- Creator: Edwards, Frederick A. (Frederick Andrews), 1901-
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Frederick A. Edwards, Sr. was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1923. The Frederick A. Edwards Papers span from 1920 until 1991, with an additional document dating from 1898. Most of the collection is the product of Edwards' research into and writing on the history of American battleships, with the addition of a two-part scrapbook from Edwards' time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy.
Biography of Frederick A. Edwards
Frederick Andrews Edwards, Sr. was born in Troy, Ohio on July 19, 1901. Appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Ohio's 4th Congressional District, Edwards graduated as a member of the Class of 1923 (he would later receive a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in 1930). Edwards' first year of duty following graduation saw him assigned to additional instruction and the fitting out of U.S.S. West Virginia (Battleship: BB-48). In 1924, he was attached to U.S.S. Henshaw (Destroyer: DD-278), embarking on a career as an engineering officer. In addition to his early service aboard U.S.S. West Virginia, Edwards also served aboard the battleships U.S.S. Nevada (BB-36), U.S.S. New Mexico (BB-40, and U.S.S. North Carolina (BB-55), the latter of which Edwards fitted out and commissioned as Engineering Officer. During his career, he also fitted out U.S.S. Augusta (Heavy cruiser: CA-31) and U.S.S. Mahan (Destroyer: DD-364). His final sea duty was as Material Officer for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet from 1948 to 1950.
Ashore, Edwards completed tours as an instructor in the Naval Academy's Department of Marine Engineering and Naval Construction, as an Engineering Design Officers at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, as a Destroyer and Destroyer Escort Desk Officer at the Bureau of Ships, as Planning Officer at the New York Navy Yard, and as a Deputy Assistant Chief at the Bureau of Ships.
Edwards retired from the United States Navy in 1954 with the rank of Captain, after which he worked as a professional marine engineer and consultant in New York, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Edwards also conducted research on the history of American battleships with the intention of publishing such a history through the United States Naval Institute Press. Frederick Andrews Edwards, St. died on September 1, 1992 in Annapolis, Maryland. Following Edwards' death, the Captain Frederick A. Edwards, Sr., Class of 1923 Prize was established in his honor.
Description of Contents
The Frederick A. Edwards Papers, comprising 5.84 linear feet of documentation, span from 1920 until 1991, with an additional document dating from 1898. Most of the collection is the product of Edwards' research into and writing on the history of American battleships, with the addition of a two-part scrapbook from Edwards' time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy.
Included in the collection are manuscripts, clippings, notes, battle reports, and a scrapbook. The scrapbook itself is composed of clippings, photographs, postcards, ephemera, and memorandums.
The Edwards Papers are organized into two series by document type and topic. Series 1: Battleship Research and Writings, consists of Edwards research files, notes, and manuscripts for his proposed history of the American battleship, entitled United States Line-Of-Battle Ships. In addition to covering the overall history of the battleship, the manuscript includes individual histories for every American battleship ever built, as well as two classes that were cancelled prior to construction. Series 2: Scrapbooks, consists of a scrapbook kept by Edwards while he was a midshipman, covering Naval Academy training cruises and athletics, while also touching upon Edwards' early interest in battleships.
The Frederick A. Edwards Papers are organized into the following two series:
- Series 1: Battleship Research and Writings, 1898-1991
- Subseries 1a: United States Line-Of-Battle Ships Manuscript, 1954-1991
- Subseries 1b: Individual Ship Histories, 1898-1991
- Subseries 1c: Subject Files, 1929-1989
- Series 2: Scrapbooks, 1920-1923
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The Frederick A. Edwards 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.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Gift of Frederick A. Edwards, Sr. in February 1992. Accession No. 92-16.
Related Archival Material
Additional material in this repository pertaining to Frederick A. Edwards can be found in his Midshipman Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket, as well as the United States Naval Academy Class of 1923 Records, MS 430.
Materials Cataloged Separately
Thirty-four books were been removed from this collection at the time of accessioning and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
Frederick A. Edwards Papers, MS 549
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
Edwards, Frederick Andrews Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
United States Naval Academy Class of 1923 Records, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in January 2020. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in January 2020.
Name and Subject Terms
- Battleships -- United States
- Edwards, Frederick A. (Frederick Andrews), 1901-
- Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Naval operations, American
- United States Naval Academy -- Buildings and grounds
- United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
- United States Naval Academy -- Sports
- United States. Navy -- History -- 20th century
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Histories (literary works)
Subseries 1a: United States Line-Of-Battle Ships Manuscript, 1954-1991 Box 1Subseries Description
Typewritten drafts of many of the chapters for Edward's proposed monograph United States Line-Of-Battle Ships, intended for publication by the United States Naval Institute Press. The manuscript, which traces the development of the battleship from the age of sail through the Iowa Class battleships of World War II, is divided into seven parts: Evolution of the Line-of-Battle Ship; Ships' Data; Ship Histories; Principal Battleship Operations; Treaties Affecting Battleships; Roles of the Battleship; and Decline and Future of the Battleship. Included with, and in some places instead of, the manuscript are handwritten notes and reference materials in the form of magazine and journal articles.
Individual ship histories, intended to serve as Part III of the monograph, are filed in Subseries 1b.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged by part and chapter number.
Subseries 1b: Individual Ship Histories, 1898-1991 Boxes 1-5Subseries Description
Operational histories, similar in style to those published in the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, of every American battleship, originally intended to serve as Part III of Edwards' United States Line-Of-Battle Ships. The histories begin with U.S.S. Maine and continue through the Iowa Class and the cancelled Montana Class battleships, highlighting each ships' involvement in major conflicts, such as the Veracruz Incident, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Included with many of Edwards' histories are copies of histories prepared by the Division of Naval History's Ships' Histories Section, and to a lesser extent, magazine and newspaper clippings.
Files on the Iowa Class battleships include copies of Korean War era war diaries and action reports.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged by hull number.
Subseries 1c: Subject Files, 1929-1989 Boxes 5-6Subseries Description
Reference materials and notes compiled by Edwards in researching his manuscript, United States Line-Of-Battle Ships. Consisting primarily of articles from publications such as United States Naval Institute Proceedings and Shipmate, the materials focus on such topics as American naval history, battleship development, the reactivation of Iowa Class battleships in the 1980's, naval terms, and the biographies of prominent American battleship commanders. In addition to clippings, the subseries includes notes, battle reports, and pamphlets.
Among the files are two World War II battle reports on the use of convoys and the capture of Iwo Jima. Also included in the subseries is a copy of The United States Fleet by Frederick Edwards and a highly abridged version of Tora, Tora, Tora! by Gordon Prange.Subseries Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by topic.
Rodman, Hugh, undated
Includes a copy of C. G. Halpine's "The Pacific Comes into Its Own: Being a History of the Memorable Cruise Made by the United States Pacific Fleet under Admiral Hugh Rodman, U.S. Navy, from Hampton Roads, Virginia to San Diego, California, July 19 to August 7, 1919."
Series 2: Scrapbooks, 1920-1923 Boxes 7-8Series Description
A single scrapbook, housed in two parts, kept by Edwards while a midshipman as a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1923. The scrapbook focuses primarily on Naval Academy training cruises, Naval Academy grounds, athletics, and imagery of American battleships. Included in the scrapbook are clippings, photographs, postcards, and ephemera, as well as several memorandums and art prints.
The clippings in the first half of the scrapbook focus on such topics as Army-Navy Baseball, American naval involvement in the Greco-Turkish War, a naval parade in Halifax, Navy Football, battleship launchings, and the inauguration of Warren G. Harding. Also among the clippings are a series of letters about Naval Academy life by Edwards published in local newspapers. The photographs and postcards focus primarily on life at the Naval Academy and summer practice cruises, namely the 1920 cruise. Images of the Naval Academy include those depicting Academy buildings and grounds (including shop spaces and temporary officer quarters), dress parades, the Razz Parade, Bill the Goat, submarines at the Academy, and the original Chapel dome at night. Images form the practice cruises include the Panama Canal, various battleships, Honolulu, Seattle, Lisbon, Oslo (referred to as Kristiania), Morocco, Trinidad, and Halifax.
The clippings of the second half of the scrapbook focus on the construction of the airship U.S.S. Shenandoah, the sinking of U.S.S. Iowa (Battleship: BB-4) as a target, the launching of U.S.S. Maryland (Battleship: BB-46), and fleet maneuvers off Panama. Photographs in the second half of the scrapbook include additional summer practice cruise images from Norway, California, and Lisbon (including bull fights, street scenes, and Belem Tower). Much of the scrapbook however, is composed of halftone postcards depicting views of the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Panama, the Panama Canal, Honolulu, Seattle, Oslo (referred to as Kristiania or Christiania), San Francisco, San Diego, Santiago de Cuba, Gibraltar, and New York City.Series Arrangement
Arranged in two parts.