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John Edward Stavast Jr. collection., 1965-2016

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Series I: Manuscripts
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/1 Civilian papers, 1983-1987
MS01: Correspondence relating to Miller vs. Nestande, et al., a lawsuit filed by Edison W. Miller against more than 200 defendants who signed a prisoner of war (POW) letter stating that Miller had cooperated with the enemy.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/1 Civilian papers, 1997
MS02: Medical records relating to a 1997 exam by the Naval Operational Medical Institute as part of the repatriated POW program.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/2 Clippings, 1967-2004
MS03: Brief notices listing Stavast as missing or captured; article about Fran Masterson, the wife of a missing airman (January 12, 1972); list of POWs to be freed (03/13/1973); photos of Stavast leaving the Philippines and greeting his wife in California (1973); "Col. Stavast asserts America more beautiful than I recall" (April 24, 1973); "The Stavast story: How a youthful desire to fly led him to an Air Force career and assignment to Vietnam" (May 2, 1973); obituary (2004).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/3 Correspondence, 1967-1974
Digital content available
MS04: Official correspondence from the Air Force to Stavast and his wife, concerning his status as missing and captured, inquiries by the FBI into the Cora Weiss Group, also known as the Committee of Liaison, analysis of letters received from Stavast, and analysis of patterns in the POWs being allowed to receive mail. Also included is a letter that appears to be to the families of POWs, from a writer identified only as "Sgt Stilt."
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/4 Correspondence, 1972
Digital content available
MS05: Correspondence from Stavast to his wife and parents, written while he was held as a prisoner of war (POW). Also includes a Valentine's Day card sent to Mrs. Stavast by proxy. Topics covered include: reassurances about Stavast's well-being; hopes for the future; the holiday season of 1972.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/5 Correspondence, 1972
Digital content available
MS06: Correspondence from the Committee of Liaison with Families of Servicemen Detained in North Vietnam. One letter includes copies of two letters from Stavast to his wife, dated April 1972. Correspondence from the Air Force (MS04) indicates that the Committee of Liaison, also known as the Cora Weiss Group, was being investigated by the FBI as a suspected communist front organization.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/6-7 Correspondence, 1973
Digital content available
MS07: Correspondence relating to Stavast's homecoming, including a letter to Mrs. Stavast from a friend, offering advice before Stavast arrived at home; a form letter from Stavast to his friends, updating them on his condition and thanking them for their support; letters relating to events honoring Stavast; letters welcoming Stavast home from various people and organizations, including William Westmoreland, James L. Buckley, Bowie Kuhn, and Richard Nixon; letters thanking him for political support from Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; letter from the IRS regarding his tax returns for the years 1967-1972; and a group of welcome home letters from Stavast's niece and her classmates.
BOX-FOLDER OVZ-186/1 Correspondence, 1973
Digital content available
MS07 continued
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2721/8-10 Correspondence, 1975-1990
Digital content available
MS08: Stavast's personal incoming correspondence. Includes letters of thanks from organizations that asked him to speak, invitations to change of command and retirement ceremonies, requests for appearances, correspondence with elected officials regarding veterans' issues as well as economic issues. Also included are a small number of personal papers, (a resume, a written anecdote about a rough landing) that were filed with the correspondence by Stavast.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/1 Correspondence, 1975-1990
Digital content available
MS08 continued
BOX-FOLDER OVZ-321/1 Correspondence, 1975-1990
Digital content available
MS08 continued
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/2 Correspondence, 1989-1991
Digital content available
MS09: Stavast's personal outgoing correspondence. Topics covered include: customer service complaints, letters of thanks to people who wore his POW bracelet, arranging a "Freedom Flight" for a fellow POW.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/3 Correspondence, 1990-2015
Digital content available
MS10: Letter from Spike Naysmith soliciting stories from former POWs, with Stavast's responses (May 1, 1990); Email to the donor from Bob Barnett, a fellow POW of Stavast, providing background information about their imprisonment, and the rosters created by Stavast (December 13, 2015).
BOX OVZ-288 Creative Works, 1970
Digital content available
MS11: "In His Country's Service," depicting a prisoner in front of a wall with names carved in it. Signed original drawing by Maxine McCaffrey.
BOX OVZ-288 Creative Works, 1973
Digital content available
MS12: "Last day at the Hanoi Hilton," depicting guards and a prisoner; "Come on, we're going home," depicting a released prisoner and airman walking towards a plane. Two signed original drawings by Maxine McCaffrey on one page.
BOX OVZ-288 Creative Works, 1973
Digital content available
MS13: "Leaving Clark AB, Philippines," depicting an airman receiving gifts from a group of children as adults look on. Signed original drawing by Maxine McCaffrey.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/4 Diaries and journals, 1969
Digital content available
MS14: Christmas card to Stavast, signed "Mom and Dad, Jeanne and John and family (1969). Eight flattened cigarette packages with French grammar rules and a list of translations were stored inside the card.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/5 Diaries and journals, 1969
Digital content available
MS15: Christmas card to Stavast from his mother. On the back of the card Stavast has listed the names and addresses of sixty-six fellow prisoners.
BOX-FOLDER OVZ-251/1 Diaries and journals, 1969
Digital content available
MS16: Christmas card to Stavast from his wife (1969). A hand-drawn plan for a house, drawn on the back of cigarette packaging was stored inside the card.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/6 Diaries and journals, 1973
Digital content available
MS17: Duty roster written on the back of a page from a copy of the 1973 Treaty of Paris. Duties include "chow," "sweep yard" and "coal balls." Roster covers February 8-March 17, 1973. March 14 is circled, as this was the day they left the prison.
BOX OVZ-362 Diaries and journals, 1973
Digital content available
MS18: Roster including the names of 113 prisoners of war, with type of aircraft and date shot down, written on rough brown paper that was provided as the prisoners' toilet paper. Veteran recited this list each night in order to memorize it. Notation of "no-show" means the person did not survive being shot down.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/7 Maps, 1966-1967
Digital content available
MS19: Navigation maps showing locations in the western United States, compiled/assembled during Stavast's training at Mountain Home Air Force Base (AFB), Idaho, just before his deployment to Southeast Asia.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/8 Military Papers, 1965-1974
Digital content available
MS20: Officer effectiveness reports (1965-1967); report of casualty placing Stavast in a captured status rather than Missing in Action (1971); article submitted to the Air War College, "Problems of command in a prisoner of war situation, or Lancer to Charlie, Charlie," by John E. Stavast (February 1974); article submitted to Airman magazine, "Air Force support for the MIA/POW family," by John E. Stavast (March 1974).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/9 Military Papers
MS21: Strategic Air Command pass and identification, March Air Force Base (AFB) VIP.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/10 Printed Matter, 1973-2004
Digital content available
MS22: Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association insignia; booklet with images of an airman and a prisoner, urging public support for POWs; coasters from the Udorn Officers' Open Mess; White House event program (February 12, 1973); invitation to a reception at the Department of State (May 24, 1973); White House dinner menu (May 24, 1973); Program, Claremont Republican Women's Club dinner honoring Stavast (July 3, 1973); National Freedom Tree dedication program (October 24, 1973); memorial program (2004).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2722/11 Transcript, 1984
Digital content available
MS23: Transcript of an oral history interview conducted by Ted Gittinger at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2725/1 Military Papers, 1946-2016
MS24: Copies of discharge forms; copy of awards entitlement form.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2804/1-3 Military Papers, 1944-1980
MS25: Personal administrative records including photocopies of Officer Effectiveness Reports, which detail community service work, billet assignments, duties and accomplishments as deputy wing/base commander for resource management (1979-1980); Officer Effectiveness Reports, which detail POW work as a Senior Ranking Officer and cell block commander responsible for "initiating and maintaining contact between cellblocks," describe how he encouraged fellow POWs to exercise and eat, also describes how he lived in semi-solitary confinement, and pressured North Vietnamese captors to ensure Geneva Convention rules upheld (1971); course work reports from professional military education courses attended; company grade officer effectiveness reports, including from his time stationed in Japan (1954-1955); enlistment record; list of assignments (1944-1965); physical examination records; commissioning paperwork; promotion orders; award citations; and retirement paperwork.
Series II: Photographs
BOX-FOLDER OVZ-353/1 Original Photographic Prints
Digital content available
PH01: Print of an aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Hanoi Hilton prison camp, North Vietnam.
BOX-FOLDER OVZ-287/1 Original Photographic Prints
Digital content available
PH02: Print of an aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Hanoi Hilton prison camp, North Vietnam.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2723/1-3 Original Photographic Prints, 1967-1996
Digital content available
PH03-PH04: Prints of aerial reconnaissance photographs of the Plantation prison camp, North Vietnam.
PH05: Print of an aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Hanoi Hilton prison camp, North Vietnam.
PH06: Print of an aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Dogpatch prison camp, North Vietnam.
PH07: Print of an aerial reconnaissance photograph of the Zoo prison camp, North Vietnam.
PH08: Portrait of Stavast in uniform.
PH09-PH10: Stavast and an unidentified pilot, possibly a Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilot, undergoing training.
PH11: Unidentified group of Air Force officers.
PH12: Stavast with other officers of the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Thailand (1967).
PH13: Stavast (left) and his weapon systems operator, Gerald Venanzi (1967).
PH14: Portrait of Stavast's weapon systems operator, Gerald Venanzi, in uniform.
PH15-PH26: Prints of images taken from a film of a Christmas church service held by prisoners in the Hỏa Lò Prison (Hanoi Hilton) (December 1969).
PH27-PH77: "Welcome Home" event held in Stavast's honor in Claremont, California (1973).
PH78: Stavast with his wife, Shirley.
PH79: Stavast seated on a couch.
PH80-PH83: Stavast arriving at March Field, California (1973).
PH84: Stavast meeting George Wallace.
PH85: Stavast in front of an airplane, speaking into microphones.
PH86-PH90: Stavast before and after a "champagne flight," Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas (1974).
PH91: Stavast receiving the first and second Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star, plus the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star, presented by Major General Larry M. Killpack, Bergstrom Air Force base (AFB), Texas. Stavast received these awards for his actions while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Also pictured, Congressman Jake Pickle (left).
PH92: Portrait of Stavast in uniform.
PH93: Shirley Stavast with an unidentified man and woman.
PH94: Shirley Stavast standing next to a "freedom tree," Claremont, California.
PH95-PH98: Collages of images of Operation Homecoming, showing prisoners returning to US control. Stavast does not appear in any of the images (1973).
PH99: Stavast shaking hands with another officer (1973).
PH100: Stavast with Robert A. "Bob" Hoover, former air show pilot and United States Air Force test pilot and fighter pilot (1996).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2723/4 Negative, 1973
PH101: 3.5 inch x 5 inch negative of PH99.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2723/5 Photocopy of photographic print
Digital content available
PH102: Stavast in a flight suit later in his life.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2804/4 Photocopy of photographic print, 1975
Digital content available
PH103: Stavast official photograph in dress uniform wearing medals (January 3,1975).

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