1943 ORIGINAL ARCHIVE OF MANUSCRIPT LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS DETAILING THE WWII SERVICE OF A US NAVY SAILOR AND SURVIVOR OF THE ILL FATED USS LEEDSTOWN

By: FRANK A. JACKSON

Price: $3,255.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good +


On offer is a unique WW2 archive containing over 64 documents placed in 82 sheet protectors, including fascinating personal letters, photos, training certificates, receipts, passes, USS launching cachets, official correspondence, newspaper clips, etc. Most documents are in excellent condition. The archive belonged to Frank Andrew Jackson from Devon, Connecticut and covers the period from 1940 to 1946. After having attended drills with the 20th division USNR (Naval Reserve) for five months, in March 1941 Frank requested to be ordered for active duty on USS Goldcrest, but he was ordered to the Naval Training Station at Norfolk instead. In January 1942 he attended New London Air Raid Warden School in Connecticut, where some of the classes were taught by Yale professors. The archive includes printed program and handwritten notes and exams from the School. The same year he received Coxswain and Boatswain assistant's certificates, and started his service on board of USS Leedstown that was commissioned in late September 1942. Almost immediately she crossed the Atlantic to Belfast, Northern Ireland, and joined a force preparing for Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa. On November 9 the German submarine hit her with two torpedoes and she sank bow first off the Algerian coast with the loss of eight men out of more than 500 aboard. In one of the letters Frank mentions this event: "Nov. 11, 1943: Well Bill, it's a year ago today that the Leedstown went to the bottom. This night a year ago we were in a miserable state. Wringing wet and covered with oil…." Personal letters are the most interesting part of the archive. One is from Frank's mother of October 1942, three weeks before the ship was sunk: "Dear Son - a very pleasant bit of news today, Sunday, a wire to let me know you are safe. That lifted a load from my heart", another of July, 1941 addressed to Frank and signed "Joe", a friend who served on a USS Catbird, a letter to Fred Jackson. Most letters [34 pages] are written by Frank to Bill Jackson, probably his brother living in East Weymouth in Massachusetts. These letters describe in detail Frank's service on destroyer escort ships, encounters with submarines, storms, places they pass, intercepting enemy messages, spending time ashore, and even hunting in Curacao. Below are some excerpts from the letters: "Hello Bill, Just finished four days and three nights at sea riding a tail end of a hurricane. Sure did some rolling for a while. Rolled as much as 40 degrees. Sure had a lot of sick hands aboard….These trips send [] up the tax payers money. Not doing a bit of good as far as the war is concerned… I better wait and mail it when we hit the states, otherwise it wouldn't pass the censors" [September 1943]. One of the letters he was writing from October 19 to November 29, 1943, adding information several times before he could send it. "Well here we are off to the race again. This time as flagship. We are now taking a convoy down to Curacao again….We have seven DE's in our division….Guess by look of things we'll take them up to Ireland after we leave Curacao. Got a bottle of Tabu perfume for Lill the last time down there. Going to get her Chanel #5 this trip. Going out tonight to look for silk stockings. Nothing is rationed here". He describes how he had several ribs broken, and after having them taped goes ashore: "Well uniform for liberty is white so must get cleaned up and go ashore. I hobble around like a woman with a tough corset. Ha Ha."; "Everybody to the dance last night…Met a Scotch sailor who just came back from Russia. I swapped a Dutch gulden for a Russian ruble. I've got more money in foreign currency than I have of my own"; But white uniform, dances, hunting and souvenirs are soon replaced by severe storms in the North Atlantic, watching for submarines and preparations for a possible gas attack: "Had a Radar contact. Enemy plane on the horizon. Shortly after that we intercepted on enemy message from a sub which was shadowing the convoy. They were waiting for us to take out after them, then blow hell out of these ships"; "Been stormy ever since we left. Lost one man overboard from one of the DE's last night. Guess he got smart and went out on the weather deck. Seems every trip we lose a man from one of the ships by being washed overboard or else they bury him at sea" [Dec, 1943]. In his letter of September 1944 describes their stay in North Africa, Oran and Bizerte, and his encounters with local population. At one place he says: "Seems awful long this four year hitch. Guess I'll be lost when I get home". The latest letter was written in 1945. The archive also includes several family photos with names on the backside, photos of USS Rodman, a printed text describing a day on the state pier authored by J. McGregor (probably another sailor), and mentioning Frank, and January 1946 issue of Our Navy journal with an article about USS Rodman and a handwritten note: "One of my older ships". This archive with its wealth of details can be an excellent source of information for a naval or military historian.

Title: 1943 ORIGINAL ARCHIVE OF MANUSCRIPT LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS DETAILING THE WWII SERVICE OF A US NAVY SAILOR AND SURVIVOR OF THE ILL FATED USS LEEDSTOWN

Author Name: FRANK A. JACKSON

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: USS LEEDSTOWN MEDITERRANEAN, 1940

Book Condition: Good +

Type: Document Archive

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0008127

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, UNITED STATES, 20TH CENTURY, 1940s, SECOND WORLD WAR, WW2, US NAVY, CONNECTICUT STATE DEFENSE COUNCIL, CONNECTICUT AIR RAID WARDENS, FRANK ANDREW JACKSON, WILLIAM JACKSON, US NAVY, USS RODMAN, USS GOLDCREST, USS OTTER, FIRST NAVAL DISTRICT, USS CATBIRD, DEFENSE FORCE SECTION BASE STATE PIER, NEW LONDON CONNECTICUT, USS MASSACHUSETTS, J. MACGREGOR, NAVY TRAINING COURSES, WARTIME LETTERS, WARTIME CORRESPONDENCE, USS SAN JUAN, LAUNCHING CACHETS, OUR NAVY MAGAZINE, WARTIME PHOTOS, NAVAL OPERATING BASE IN NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, LION & EAGLE CLUB, LONDONDERRY, US FORCES IN IRELAND, NORTH AFRICA, DESTROYER ESCORT DIVISION 62, DE'S, THE BATTLE FOR THE ATLANTIC, ANTI-SUBMARINE WARSHIPS, HARTFORD, BRIDGEPORT, NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT, MASSACHUSETTS, CARIBBEAN CONVOYS IN WW2, NORTH ATLANTIC CONVOYS, CURACAO IN WW2, CONVOY ROUTES, NAVAL HISTORY, MILITARY HISTORY, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL