Saudi Arabian Guests February 12-14, 1945

Saudi Guests 1945

Saudi Arabian Guests February 12-14, 1945 Aboard the USS QUINCY

Source: David L. Byrd Papers (#734.1.c)

Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

On his return from the Yalta Conference in February 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, met King Saud [Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman al Faisal al Saud] of Saudi Arabia to establish a postwar alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis needed to find a new ally to replace the rapidly weakening Royal Navy, which had protected Saudi independence for decades. The Americans wanted to ensure a growing and reliable source of oil to ensure the postwar recovery of the world economy. The meetings took place, during 12-14 February, aboard the American cruiser USS QUINCY (CA-71) which lay at anchor in the Great Bitter Lake portion of the Suez Canal. Despite the dissimilarities between the sides, the agreements which emerged have proved highly successful. The US agreed to defend Saudi independence and the Saudis agreed to be a reliable source of energy for the world. The agreement hammered out at the QUINCY meetings remain in effect to this day, despite serious misgivings on both sides, and recurrent tensions over the policies of each nation.

The attached document, headed “Saudi Arabian Guests February 12-14, 1945”, lists the members of the entourage which accompanied King Saud during his stay aboard the QUINCY. It was published to help the ship’s crew check the identity of the visitors. The list was preserved by David L. Byrd, who was a member of the US Naval Academy’s class of 1941 and junior officer aboard the QUINCY. He donated the David L. Byrd Papers to East Carolina University in 1996.

The King’s named entourage makes very interesting reading. It includes several expected members: the King’s brother and sons; his ministers and counsellors, his chaplain, and his physicians, various tribal representatives, and their various assistants, interpreters, and specialists. However, the list also has a medieval quality in that it includes the King’s astrologer and fortune-teller, his food-taster and caterer, his chamberlain and valet, the Royal purse-bearer, and two ceremonial coffee-servers. Even more interesting, however, are the unnamed members of the entourage, which included 10 guards armed with sabres and daggers, 3 valets, one for each of the royals, and “9 Miscellaneous slaves: cooks, porters, scullions” a total of 48 individuals. Reading the list, one has to wonder what the QUINCY’s crewmen, especially the African Americans among them, might have thought about the proceedings. Nearing the end of a great World War to defeat enemies whose stated goal was to enslave the world, the American president was welcoming slaves aboard an American warship, making an alliance with their masters, and then permitting the slaves to be taken off the ship, without making any effort to free them.

Chart of Beaufort Harbor, 1857

Source: North Carolina Map Collection, NCC Maps G3902 B42 P5 1857 U67

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: This chart was part of a large survey done by the Hydrographic Office of the U.S. Navy just prior to the Civil War. The survey was conducted by Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867) Superintendent, and under the local supervision of John Newland Maffitt (1819-1886). Using these charts Maffitt, later in the Confederate Navy, was known as the “Prince of the Privateers” for his extraordinary success as a blockade runner and commerce raider. Maffitt also commanded the CSS Albemarle which dominated the Roanoke River for a time during the war. Of special interest on this chart is Carolina City, NC which was a rival to a development to the east by John Motley Moreland called Shepard’s Point. Both developments were merged into Morehead City. For more information on Carolina City please visit:


WWI Draft Notice

Source: Roy S. Fisk Papers, #1209

Staff Person: Nanette Hardison

The draft notice shown here that is dated June 17, 1918, was issued to Roy S. Fisk to induct him into the United States military service. The notice informs Fisk that he is to report to his local draft board on June 26, 1918. Fisk served during the latter half of World War I as an Army cook with Company C, 131st Engineers, American Expeditionary Forces and was stationed in Le Mans, France.

Flight Certificate

  • Source:  University Archives, Charles Price Papers (UA90-32-01-001)
  • Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson
  • Description:  This item from the University Archives served as notice that Charles Lewis Price was deemed fit to pilot aircraft in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  Price was born in 1923 in Charlotte, NC where he attended King’s Business College before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1942.  Trained as a Naval Aviator, Price served as an active and reserve Marine Corps officer until 1953.  He joined the faculty of East Carolina College in 1957, teaching in the Department of History until his retirement in 1983.  He was honored that same year with the granting of emeritus status for his years of dedicated service.

Charles Price flight certificate

Peter Stuart Ney

Source: William E. Elmore Collection (EC Manuscript Collection #39.1.f)

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: Michel Ney, 1st Duc d’Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa, popularly known as Marshall Ney was a eighteenth and nineteenth century French military commander. After service during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, Ney fell out of favor and was arrested and condemned to death for treason in December of 1815. In January of 1816 Peter Stuart Ney arrived at Charleston, SC., where he subsequently disappeared. In 1821 he appeared in Mocksville, NC where he assumed the position of a school teacher. He also worked as a teacher in Hillsborough, Salisbury and Mecklenburg county before returning again to Mocksville. He died there on 15 November 1826 and is buried at the Third Creek Presbyterian Church. This document typed in August of 1908 at Roaring River, NC, relates the life of Peter Stuart Ney, the Great Marshall of France. In the relation Peter Stuart Ney’s grandson, E. M. C. Neyman of Saltillo, IN, states that his grandfather was in fact the Michel Ney. This document is signed by James H. Foote, born 8 November 1825 and “is taken as proof that the old Tar Heel Teacher was the Great Marshall of France.” At the bottom the relation is noted as being done “at the request of my friend, Judge Allen.” A pencil notation on the first page states “copyied and sent to the Historical Society.”

Certificate for Captain Leo W. Jenkins for completion of Special Services reserve training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1949.

Source: Leo Jenkins Papers, Manuscript # 360

Staff Person:  Dale Sauter

Description:  Certificate for Captain Leo W. Jenkins for completion of Special Services reserve training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1949. Jenkins served as a Major in World War II where he saw action at Guadalcanal, Guam and Iwo Jima. For his military service, Jenkins received the Bronze Star and two Presidential Citations. In 1947 Jenkins joined the faculty of East Carolina Teachers College, where he served as Dean until being elected as President of the college in 1960. He eventually was named Chancellor, and retired in 1978. date: 1949; creator: U.S. Marine Corps

Virgil “Gus” I. Grissom


Source: Oscar David MacMillan Papers (#548.3 Photo 548/15) 

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin


Virgil Ivan Grissom (April 3, 1926 to January 27, 1967) was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts.  He was one of 110 military test pilots who were asked to be tested for the space program.

 Grissom endured many physical and psychological tests, and was chosen as one of the seven Mercury astronauts. Six others received the same notification: Lieutenant Malcolm Scott Carpenter, U.S. Navy; Captain LeRoy Gordon Cooper, Jr., U.S. Air Force; Lieutenant Colonel John Herschel; Glenn, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps; Lieutenant Commander Walter Marty Schirra, Jr., U.S. Navy;  Lieutenant Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., U.S. Navy; and Captain Donald Kent Slayton, U.S. Air Force

 This photo shows Grissom dressed for his flight on July 21, 1961, he was the second pilot for Mercury-Redstone 4, commonly known as Liberty Bell 7. The flight lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds. It reached an altitude of more than 118.26 miles and traveled about 300 miles. Photo NASA original  61-MR4-62 (8) taken on July 19, 1961 in Hanger S at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Grissom is shown with Walter Shirra. Photo is signed by Grissom on the date of  the Liberty Bell 7 launch.

 After splashdown, emergency explosive bolts unexpectedly fired and blew the hatch off, causing water to flood into the spacecraft.  Grissom was nearly drowned.  The spacecraft filled with water and was lost. Grissom was accused of opening the hatch by the press. Grissom repeated his account. “I was just laying there minding my own business when, POW, the hatch went. And I looked up and saw nothing but blue sky and water starting to come in over the sill.” (Turner Home Entertainment, Moon Shot (Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 1994).

 “We tried for weeks afterwards to find out what had happened and how it had happened. I even crawled into capsules and tried to duplicate all of my movements, to see if I could make the whole thing happen again. It was impossible. The plunger that detonates the bolts is so far out of the way that I would have had to reach for it on purpose to hit it, and this I did not do. Even when I thrashed about with my elbows, I could not bump against it accidentally.” (Carpenter et al., p. 227.)

 The hatch is opened by hitting the plunger with the side of your fist, which would leave a large bruise, but Grissom had no such bruising.  Because of this controversy, Mercury astronaut Wally Schirra, at the end of his flight stayed inside his spacecraft until it was aboard the ship, and then blowing the hatch, and bruising his hand.

Gus said “It was especially hard for me, as a professional pilot. In all of my years of flying – including combat in Korea – this was the first time that my aircraft and I had not come back together. In my entire career as a pilot, Liberty Bell was the first thing I had ever lost.”( Ibid, p. 227.)

Grissom was killed along with astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a  test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Quote from Gus: “If we die, we want people to accept it. We’re in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.” (John Barbour et al., Footprints on the Moon (The Associated Press, 1969), p. 125.)

He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1981

Vaisseau de 90 Canons "Le Suffren" 1829

Source: Rare Books Vault V13.F82 P37 1883 plate 48

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: A vessel of 90 canons named “Le Suffren” in the French Navy in 1829.  Le Suffren was named after the French  Admiral Pierre Andre Suffren de Saint Tropez (1729-1788), the third son of the marquis de Saint Tropez. From 1776 to 1783 Admiral Suffren fought British Naval Forces in American, European and Indian waters. In 1783 at the Battle of Culladore, Suffren forced the English admiral Sir Edward Hughes to retire, thereby preventing a re-supply fleet from reaching the colony of India. Several subsequent French naval vessels were named after Admiral Suffren: a pre-dreadnought in 1899, a heavy cruiser in 1927 and frigate class laid down in 1962. This print is from a book of reproductions of maritime models held by the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Le Suffren was laid down on 21 August 1824 and launched 27 August 1829. Renamed Le Ajax as a hulk on 8 August 1865, she was scrapped in 1874. Le Suffren displaced 4,000 tons and had a length of 60 meters and a beam of 16 meters. She was one of the largest wooden warships of her day.

Missouri State Pension for Ex-Confederate Soldiers

Source: Carl Woodrow Thurman, Jr. Collection #15.1.a
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

Description: James T. Thurman, aged 72, and still suffering from a Civil War wound to his thigh, “weak lungs” and a “chronic cough”, submitted this pension application, on 18 June 1913, to the Adjutant General’s Office, in Jefferson City, Missouri. After a long life of physical labor, he could do no more.  His physical condition, he said, made it impossible for him “to do manual labor” any more and he needed financial assistance. Like many Confederate soldiers, Thurman was illiterate and required the assistance of Notary Public Hemmit Dale to complete the application form. His “mark” is visible between the J. and T. of his “signature.” The application is marked “approved & service papers returned” and dated 9 July 1913. Thurman’s pension application is accompanied by two documents: a “Memorandum of Service” and an Adjutant General’s certificate authenticating his Civil War service. The documents indicate that Thurman was a resident of Bloomington, Macon County, Missouri and had enlisted as a private in Company B, 5th Missouri Regiment Infantry Volunteers in Springfield, Missouri, on 11 January 1862. Thurman had previously served in Company F, 4th Regiment, 3rd Division of the Missouri National Guard.

The document may be more significant for what is doesn’t say.  It doesn’t say how Thurman served honorably throughout the war until he was paroled after the surrender in April 1865. The 5th Regiment, under the command of Col. James McCown, Lt. Col. Robert S. Bevier, and Maj. Owen A. Waddell, was involved in nearly continuous combat during the war. It fought at Iuka (19 Sept. 1862) and Corinth, Mississippi (3-4 Oct. 1862), Lexington, Tennessee (18 Dec. 1862) and at Pea Ridge [Elkhorn Tavern] Arkansas (7-8 Mar. 1862), where it was part of Brig. Gen. John S. Bowen’s command. Thurman got his thigh wound from a shell fragment at Pea Ridge. It participated in the  simultaneous battles of Grand Gulf (29 April, 3 May 1863) and Port Gibson, Mississippi (30 April – 1 May 1863) while defending Vicksburg.  A few weeks later the regiment fought at Champion’s Hall, also known as Baker’s Creek (16 May 1863).  The 5th was captured en masse, on 4 July 1863, when Vicksburg fell to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s forces and spent several months as prisoners of war.  The harshness of the siege and subsequent captivity can only be guessed.  Gen. Bowen never recovered from the effects and died on 13 July 1863. After an exchange of prisoners, the understrength 5th joined Brig. Gen. Francis M. Cockrell’s Brigade and was consolidated with the 3rd Regiment, and served with General John Bell Hood’s army in Tennessee (Nov. 1864-Jan. 1865) and during the Atlanta Campaign (1 May – 8 Sept. 1864) where it fought at Allatoona (5 Oct. 1864).  Transferred to  to the defense of Mobile (17 Mar. – 12 April 1865) it participated in the Battle of Fort Blakely, Alabama (1-9 April 1865).

The 5th, which mustered 476 men in May 1862, suffered staggering casualties during the war. It lost 6 killed, 62 wounded, and 19 missing at Corinth; 4 killed, 49 wounded and 37 missing at Champion’s Hill;  20 killed and 52 wounded during the siege of Vicksburg; the combined 5th/3rd Regiment lost a total of 128 casualties (killed and wounded) during the Atlanta Campaign (18 May – 5 September 1864) alone. It lost hundreds more by disease and desertion. By the end of the war there were few left to surrender.  The survivors of the bloodbath, including James T. Thurman, then faded from history.

Russian Phrase Book

4 April 2012

Source: Special Collections Reference Collection PG2689 .U56 1943

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: This restricted World War II publication by the War Department “contains the Russian words and expressions you are most likely to need.” It was designed for use by Allied service personnel serving in the Soviet Union. The book contains such useful phrases as “Help”, “I am lost”, “I am poisoned”, “He was bitten by a snake” as well as “The U.S. Government will pay you” translated into Russian. One section on communications contains the phrases “reverse the charges” and “Will you speak to anybody at that number?” Designed as handy little helps for service personnel the book was designed to be shown to the person speaking Russian, and no doubt came in handy when “in-country.” While the publication was restricted, it could be shared with “persons of undoubted loyalty and discretion.” This Army Technical Manual as well as a number of others were given to Joyner Library by Professor Larry Babits of the History Department.

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