Detachment 600 at East Carolina

East Carolina and the AFROTC

 

Source: Records of the Air Force ROTC Program

Joyner Library Special Collections, University Archives #UA25-15.

Digitized version available online in Joyner Library’s Digital Collections.

Staff Person: Brooke Tolar

Description: Today’s post features a Daily Reflector Press Release draft concerning the establishment of Detachment 600 at East Carolina.  Cadets are currently working with this collection to curate an exhibit commemorating the 70th anniversary of the detachment’s founding.  Visit Joyner Library’s Digital Collections page to view digitized images of items featured in this post.

 

The Air Force and the ROTC

The Air Force ROTC is a program that trains cadets to become Air Force Officers while simultaneously earning a college degree.  The establishment of the United States Air Force and ROTC programs overlap and intertwine at several points. Technically, military training at designated institutions of higher learning (which would later transition into ROTC programs) began with the Land Grant Act of 1862.  Several decades later, the National Defense Act of 1916 officially created and named the Reserves Officer Training Corps (ROTC).  The Air Force, on the other hand, can trace its earliest roots to the Army Signal Corps which established an Aeronautical Division in 1907 and began testing its first airplane in 1908.  As a result, the Army formed a unit dedicated exclusively to aviation in 1913, sending its first air combat unit to the Mexican border in 1916 (the same year that the ROTC was officially named).

Founding Detachment 600

Although U.S. servicemen conducted warfare from the skies during WWI (1914-1918) and WWII (1939-1945), the United States Air Force was not established as a separate military service until 1947.  East Carolina Teachers College President, Dr. John Decatur Messick, and Lt. Col William Brown formed Detachment 600 the following year.  Brown, subsequently, became the detachment’s first commander. Demonstrating the sense of excitement and support surrounding this new venture, the initial 76 cadets formed a Cadet Club, a Rifle Team, and held the first detachment military ball that year.

Success for Detachment 600

Press Release

Advanced ROTC students attended a 6-week training camp in Orlando, Florida.

This Press Release draft, dated May 1949, emphasized the detachment’s successful first year. It went on to announce that thirty-three advanced students would be attending a six-week training summer camp in Orlando, Florida.  East Carolina’s students were to join five hundred others from fourteen additional institutions of higher education.  Anticipating further interest, the press release instructed applicants to write to the the College Registrar for more information.

As expected, interest in Detachment 600 increased over the coming years.  Enrollment numbers, for example, skyrocketed from 76 to 286 by 1949.  Additionally, the detachment succeeded in more than enrollment numbers.  In 1950, the Fourteenth Air Force rated the detachment “highly satisfactory,” after a two-day inspection. Subsequently, enrollment numbers increased during the 1950s and the 1960s when the detachment averaged a registration of nearly 300 cadets.

In 1958, East Carolina began offering a Flight Instruction Program that provided 36.5 hours of flying time and thirty-five hours of academic instruction.  As a result, certain cadets enjoyed new learning opportunities, enhancing their skills and experiences. Cadets in this program flew a 100 horsepower PA-12.

Angels and Detachment 600

Martha Van Hoy becomes the first female to fully enroll in Detachment 600.

Beginning in 1955, female students were allowed to enroll in Corps classroom work at East Carolina, but were not permitted to take part in drill.  In 1969, Ms. Martha Van Hoy became the first female to join Detachment 600, making the detachment one of five in the nation to accept women at that time. Certainly, Martha Van Hoy’s enrollment marked a major change in Air Force ROTC history.  Similarly, the Air Force itself was undergoing changes. The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) who trained and served during WWII received official military service status in 1977.

Detachment 600 and the Archives

This year, Detachment 600 is collaborating with the University Archives to install a student-curated exhibit.  Select members of the detachment have been conducting research, selecting artifacts, and training to install their first exhibit that will commemorate the 70th anniversary to the detachment’s founding. The exhibit will be installed in March of 2018.

Sources:
  • Reflector Press Release, May 1949. Records of Air Force ROTC. UA25-15. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville,
  • ECTC News Bureau Press Release, May 2, 1950. Records of Air Force ROTC. UA25-15. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
  • News Bureau of East Carolina College Press Release, October 21, 1959. Records of Air Force ROTC. UA25-15. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
  • “Sky Pirates,” 1955. Records of Air Force ROTC. UA25-15. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
  • Photograph of Martha Van Hoy, 1969. Records of Air Force ROTC. UA25-15. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
  • “Overview.” Airforce.com.
  • “About AFROTC History.” Airforce.com.
  • “Air Force History.” Military.com.
  • “Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls.” National Public Radio Inc. March 9, 2010.

The Life of Senator Robert Morgan

Senator Morgan attending the presentation of a new Wind Generator

Source: Robert Morgan Papers #268

Staff Person: Sherry Cortes

Description: Senator Robert Morgan was a North Carolina native, born and raised in Lillington, N.C.  This collection contains personal papers, Senatorial documents, newspapers, photographs and correspondence spanning Morgan’s life.

Senator Robert Morgan was born in Lillington, North Carolina in 1925.  Following his public school education, he went on to attend the Wake Forest Law School, became a skilled trial lawyer and quickly rose from Clerk of Court to the position of President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina State Senate.  He began donating his papers to East Carolina University in the mid-1970s and continuously donated his personal and professional works until he passed away in 2016.  I started working on the Senator Robert Morgan Papers Processing Project in April, 2017 for East Carolina University’s Joyner Library.  As the project archivist for this collection, it has been an exciting opportunity to chronicle the life and accomplishments of such a prominent figure in North Carolina history.  Senator Morgan served as a North Carolina State Senator from 1955-1969, and as a one-term US Senator from North Carolina from 1975-1981, but his prolific career beyond the political arena put a mark on so much of the State’s history.

The Robert Morgan Papers is the largest collection of personal and professional documents amassed by East Carolina University and is currently housed in the Special Collections Division of Joyner Library at East Carolina University (ECU).  The collection holds information regarding the Senator’s professional and personal life.  The Morgan archives chronicle his service in the Vietnam and Korean Wars, his rise to North Carolina Attorney General and his role in creating landmark consumer protection measures, his tenure as an ECU University Trustee and his fight to establish a medical school at East Carolina University, his controversial stance on the Panama Canal, his leading role in the Energy Crisis, and his repositioning of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  These documents also shed light on his ideological metamorphosis from a “traditional Southern Democrat” to the national Democratic mainstream particularly in the area of desegregation.

Senator Morgan’s Papers include personal and family documents, legislative and campaign files, correspondence, North Carolina Attorney General and U.S. Senator files, ECU Board of Trustees and State Bureau of Investigations files.  Photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, speeches, books, films, audiotapes, diaries, microfilms and oversized materials are in our archives as well.  We hired two graduate assistants in May, 2017, Daniel Hemme and Martha Mihich who have been invaluable in completing the description and arrangement of the collection.  In addition to the graduate assistants, Special Collection Curator, Dr. Jonathan Dembo and volunteer Dick Wolfe have been helping to move the process along quickly.  Between the four of us we have currently completed describing 1012 boxes of the 1075 total in the collection.  I am also collaborating with Justin Borer to help in the digitization of audio tapes, manuscripts and photographs of interest.  Conservator Lawrence Houston has been providing conservation advice and assistance in handling damaged or fragile documents. We are all working as quickly as possible to digitize the chosen objects so they can be fully accessible in the online Digital Repository.

Once we have fully completed the processing of the paper and digital elements of the collection we will work on the exhibit which will be available for viewing on the 3rd floor of Joyner Library in

Graduate Assistant, Martha Mihich, hard at work

early 2018.  As work continues, we will be sharing updates about our progress on an ongoing basis and what we are finding.  There will be future posts to provide more information about Senator Morgan and some of the interesting items we find during processing.  Researchers will be able to locate the collection’s finding aid online if they are interested in accessing Senator Morgan’s Papers.

For more information on Senator Morgan’s Papers and the continuing progress of the project, please contact Sherry Cortes, Project Archivist at cortess17@ecu.edu or (252) 328 – 0276

Father Maurice Tew and Children, 1961

Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection East Carolina Manuscript Collection #741.26.a.7

Staff Person: Maury York

Description: Father Maurice Tew came to Greenville from West Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1935 to assist the priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Charged with the responsibility of ministering to African Americans in the city, Father Maurice spearheaded the construction of a mission church on West Fifth Street. Named in honor of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, the church was dedicated on March 1, 1936. In 1956 the church built a school for African American children. The nuns who taught the eight grades lived in a convent across the street. Of the 170 students who enrolled in the school initially, most were not members of the Catholic Church. A man with good sense of humor, Father Maurice endeared himself to many, as this photograph would indicate. He employed both radio and television broadcasts as a means of outreach to the broader community. (Source: Greenville Times, June 26-July 9, 1991).

Father Maurice with Children

Pitt County Bookmobile

Source: Daily Reflector Image Collection (East Carolina Manuscript Collection #741.10.e.14)

Staff person: Matt Reynolds

Description:
This is an image of Pitt County’s second bookmobile from the spring of 1956.  Essentially operating as mobile libraries, bookmobiles were used to deliver books and other materials to areas that did not have traditional library buildings.  These programs were especially effective in granting access to rural and housebound people. This particular bookmobile was manufactured by the Gerstenslager Company.

Image of the Pitt County Bookmobile

The New Era: Washington, N.C. Occupied March 1862

Source: North Carolina Collection (Uncataloged Rare Materials)

Staff Person:     Fred W. Harrison 

Description:      War officially reached the port town of Washington in March 1862, with the arrival of Federal troops escorted by the gunboat Picket. According to one account, “two companies and a band marched from the wharf to the courthouse playing national aires.” 

As evidenced by this rare edition of a Yankee newspaper dated June 25, 1862, and operating in Washington, Union forces quickly assumed control of business activity and general functions of the town. James H. Turner and A.W. Hahn are listed respectively as editor and printer of the paper.  Found within the four pages are reports of Rhode Island’s presentation of a magnificent sword to Gen. Ambrose Burnside and a speech by  Edward Stanley, Provisional Governor of North Carolina, appointed by President Lincoln.  Stanley delivered an address to the citizens of the state in Washington on June 17, 1862.

The Lost Children a poem by Randall Jarrell

 

 

Source: #1169.5 Wright Collection/ Randall Jarrell Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin 

Description: 

The Randall Jarrell Papers are dated 1913 to 1989. The manuscript collection includes correspondence, essays, manuscripts, printed poems, notes, original art, AV materials and books. He was an American poet of distinction, author and educator. Some of his notable instructors in college were Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, and John Crowe Ransom.

The newspaper article is from The Carolinian, dated October 22, 1965. The review was written by Dr Robert Watson of Jarrell’s book “The Lost World.” The article has excerpts from the book and the poem “The Lost Children and a brief biography.

Thanksgiving at ECTC

Source: UA50.05.01 – East Carolina Teachers College News, December 8, 1924.

Staff Person: Kacy Guill

Description:  In the 1920s, East Carolina Teachers College students were only given one day off from classes for the Thanksgiving holiday and most students spent the day on campus.  Special events for students usually included a Thanksgiving service, special readings, music, and a basketball game.

Hurricane Donna Damage

Source:  Daily Reflector Negative Collection #741
Staff Person:  Martha Elmore

Description:  According to NOAA, Hurricane Donna is the only hurricane on record to produce hurricane-force winds along the entire Atlantic Coast of the U.S.  The 1960 hurricane reached Eastern North Carolina on September 11th when it made landfall at Topsail Island.  Although the Outer Banks took the brunt of the storm, damage was experienced as far inland as Goldsboro and Greenville.  The photograph below was taken either September 12th or 13th in the W. 10th Street area in Greenville.

 

Imperial Tobacco Company Factory Employees

Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection #741.11.a.7

Staff Person:  Martha Elmore

Description:  In this August 1956 image taken for the Greenville, N.C., Daily Reflector newspaper,  African American women are sorting tobacco at the Imperial Tobacco Company factory.  Many other images related to tobacco production from the field, to the barns, to the warehouse, and finally to the factories can be found in the Daily Reflector Negative Collection.

1 2