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.

Juanita Worsley Williams

Source: East Carolina University Centennial Oral History Collection, 45-05-01-14:

Staff Person:  Lynette Lundin

Description:

Juanita Williams grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina she was one of 13 children. She graduated East Carolina Teachers College in 1932. She talks about her experiences during the depression and going to ECTC. This is one of 33 Centennial Oral Histories. You can find this in our digital collections at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/1270

Rise Stevens

  • Source:  University Archives Yearbook Collection, 1943 (UA50-01-1943-165).
  • Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson
  • Description:  This image from the University Archives features famed opera singer Rise Stevens. Born Rise Steenberg, 11 June 1913 in New York City, she studied at the Julliard School before moving to Vienna, Austria to pursue a career in opera.  In 1938, she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera where she caught the eye of Hollywood film executives who cast her in The Chocolate Soldier (1941) and Going My Way (1944).  For over two decades, Stevens performed as the Met’s leading mezzo-soprano, earning top billing on many successful productions.  Upon her retirement from the stage, she served as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Company while also serving as a coach for aspiring opera singers.  This image was taken during her visit to East Carolina during World War II.  Her visit provided some distraction of glitz and glamour to a student body faced with the daily specters of global war in Europe and the Pacific and examinations here on the home front.

1941 Homecoming

Teco Echo, October 3, 1941Source: East Carolina Teachers College, The Teco Echo, October 5, 1941.

Staff Person: Kacy Guill

Description: On October 18, 1941, East Carolina Teachers College held their first fall homecoming.  Entertainment at the homecoming included a football game between the Pirates of East Carolina and the Catamounts of Western Carolina Teachers College.  Plans were also made for “a colorful parade to precede the game, and several extra-curricular organizations are planning to enter floats.”  This would be the first annual homecoming parade held at ECTC.  The following year ECTC made the decision to cancel all homecoming activities until the end of the war. The next homecoming was not held until 1947.

Sophomore Wagon in 1941 Homecoming Parade.

Travel for Academic Credit

Source: Paul Ricks Papers, University Archives #UA90-02, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

Rick's Tour Bus

Rick's Tour Bus

Staff Person: Kacy Guill

Description:

In 1935, East Carolina Teachers College obtained the services of Paul T. Ricks as director of a new travel course designed to meet the needs of travel-hungry students. For the initial tour, more than a hundred students filled a large bus and several touring cars. The tours provided three hours of credit in geography, American literature, and history, and satisfied requirements for college electives or renewal credits for teacher certification. So great was the demand for these economical study-vacations that three separate three-week tours were operated the first summer and an expanded schedule of tours was arranged until the restrictions of World War II brought them to an end.

Click on the images to see an enlarged version.

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Field Trip Advertisement

Women’s 1915 Basketball Team

Source: University Archives, Call Number 55-01-0082

Women's Basketball Team

Women's Basketball Team

Staff Person: Kacy Guill

Description:

Between 1909 and 1932, the only organized sports teams at East Carolina Teachers College were women’s teams. Women’s basketball was by far the most popular sport until 1932, when the number of men on campus allowed for the organization of a men’s basketball team. The image of the 1915 women’s basketball team can be found in the University Archives photograph collection, Call Number 55-01-0082.

President Wright’s Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

Source: University Archives, Chancellor’s Office, Record Group CH1050, Series 2, Subseries 1, Box 1, Folder 6

Staff Person: Brian Johnson

Description:

The images below are from East Carolina Teachers College President Robert H. Wright’s “Chapel Talks” given to students every morning from 9:30 to 10:25 six days a week. Chapel Talks typically consisted of a reading from the Bible followed by Wright’s thoughts regarding the Bible passage or some other moral instruction for the students, along with any news, schedule changes, or other announcements. The subject of this address is the budgetary process and Wright’s concern over the lack of funds for ECTC.

This and other speeches may be found in the records of the Chancellor’s Office, Record Group CH1050, Series 2, Subseries 1, Box 1, Folder 6, in the University Archives.

Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

President Wright's Chapel Talk Concerning the Budget

Student Handbook

Source: University Archives, E.C. 378.756 Ea771k 1926-34

Staff Person: Brian Johnson

Description:

The images below are from the 1926-1927 Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College. Of particular interest in the handbook are the Social Regulations. A portion of these regulations are listed below.

1. Calling hours are from 3:30 to 5:45 p.m. on week days; on Sundays from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m.; in evenings from 8:00 to 10:15 p.m.

2. Students who expect company on Sunday (relatives or friends) must file their own names and room number, and the names of the people who are to come. These must be filed not later than Saturday.

3. When a student wishes to go calling, she must sign her name, the name and address of the person upon whom she wishes to call, and file in the office of the Lady Principal not later than 1:45 p.m. on the day she wishes to call. If she hears nothing further from the Lady Principal, it is understood that her request is granted.

4. After public entertainments students may converse with guests, but must bid them good night before leaving the Administration Building.

5. Students must not dine at restaurants, go to any office or to the rail road station without special permission from the Lady Principal.

6. Students may speak to young men on the street, but not carry on an extended conversation with them, or walk with them.

7. Students must wear hats when shopping or calling.

These handbooks were originally printed by the YWCA and are quite small, measuring 4 3/4″ x 3″. Some hyperlinked footnotes have been added to aid the reader.

The Student Handbook is available for researchers to use in the library in the North Carolina Collection, call number Joyner NC Reference LD1741 E44 A15x, and in the University Archives.

Citation for this excerpt is:

East Carolina Teachers College. YWCA. Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College. Greenville, N.C.: The College, 1926. pp. 37-48.

Click on each image belong to view the larger version

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

Hand Book of East Carolina Teachers College

New Year Message

Source: East Carolina Teachers College News, SL 2650 Series 1, Sub-series 1

East Carolina Teachers College News Vol. 1, No. 6

East Carolina Teachers College News Vol. 1, No. 6

Staff Person: Brian Johnson

Description:

This image is an excerpt from the January 7, 1924, Vol. 1, No. 6 issue of the East Carolina Teachers College News. The first article in this issue is a New Year message from College President, Robert Wright, containing some common sense advice given to the students on the first morning of the spring semester. Part of this advice was, “Don’t waste time regretting the past, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet in your grasp: only now is yours.”

This and many other University publications can be found in the University Archives http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/fa.cfm

To view an enlarged version of the image, click on the image itself.

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