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Benjamin S. Custer papers, 1912-2000

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BOX 8-10 Photographs, 1912-1956
The Photographs series contains navy, family, and personal photographs, although it is heavily weighted toward the navy photographs. Particularly strong are photographs of the Norton Sound, the U.S. Naval Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field, portraits of Custer and other naval officers, and photographs from the 1948 ordeal when he and a small group were lost in the Saskatchewan wilderness.
Material types include black and white photoprints, both large and small formats.
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
BOX 8 Croatan (escort carrier), 1943-1945
BOX 8 Family and personal, circa 1912-circa 1955
BOX 8 Lexington (aircraft carrier), 1935-1936
BOX 8 Miscellaneous ships, 1943-1944, undated See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 8 Naval attaché, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
BOX 8 Lost for twelve days in the Saskatchewan wilderness, 1948 See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 8 Miscellany, 1948-1950 See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 8 Naval miscellany, circa 1931-1956
BOX 8 Norton Sound (seaplane tender), 1943-1950 See also Container OV 1, same heading
(5 folders)
BOX 9 Portraits of Benjamin S. Custer, 1942-1951 See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 9 Portraits of miscellaneous naval officers, 1936-1953, undated See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 9 United States Navy airplanes, undated See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 9 U.S. Naval Air Station, Floyd Bennett Field, New York, N.Y.
BOX 9 General, 1950-1953, undated See also Container OV 1, U.S. Naval Air Station
(5 folders)
BOX 9 Orientation cruise to Pensacola, Fla., 1952
(3 folders)
BOX 10 Photograph album A, 1950-1953
(3 folders)
BOX 10 Photograph album B, 1950-1953
(3 folders)
BOX 10 Visit of Winston Churchill, 1952
BOX 10 U.S. Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla., circa 1930-1941
BOX 10 Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, 1941
BOX 10-12 Speeches and Writings, 1932-1974
The Speeches and Writings series primarily consists of writings by Custer: book reviews, speeches, and articles, both published and unpublished. Naval themes provide the most common subject matter. Also in the series is a collection of speeches by others, a file of story ideas, lecture notes, and a file of unidentified writings that may be Custer's.
Material types include published and unpublished articles and book reviews, speeches, lecture notes, story idea notes, and unidentified writings.
Arranged alphabetically by type of writing.
BOX 10 Book reviews
BOX 10 1949-1953
(2 folders)
BOX 11 1955-1957, undated
BOX 11 Miscellaneous and unidentified writings, 1933, 1957, undated
BOX 11 Naval Academy speeches, lectures, and notes, 1940, circa 1940
BOX 11 Published articles, 1938-1949
(2 folders)
BOX 11 Speeches and speaking engagements, 1943-1958, 1974, undated For additional material see Jefferson Davis Memorial Lecture
(4 folders)
BOX 11 Speeches by others, 1949-1958, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 11 Story ideas and notes, 1948-1953, undated
BOX 12 Unidentified writings, perhaps by Custer, 1954, undated
BOX 12 Unpublished writings
BOX 12 Chronological file, 1932-1958, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 12 "An Emancipated Southerner Looks at Segregation," 1954
BOX 12 "Joint Operations in California 1846, Army, Navy, and Fremont," 1948
BOX 12 "When Morning Comes, or Heroes Don't All Get Medals," undated
BOX 12-18 Subject File, 1920-1986
The Subject File gathers together topical material that falls outside the purview of the other series. Family papers and material from Custer's student days and youth form an important part of the subject file as do Custer's financial records. After leaving the navy, Custer ventured into the business world, taking a management job at the Drackett Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. He only stayed one year, apparently discovering he preferred academia to a career in business. In 1958, he took an administrative job at Columbia University. He had previously worked at Princeton University during his final years in the navy. Files for his teaching at Princeton and his graduate studies at Georgetown University are in the Subject File.Very little in the collection dates from after 1958 when he began working at Columbia. The series also includes topical material about naval aviation, including an unpublished memoir written by naval aviator E. F. Johnson covering the very beginnings of naval aviation.
Material types include correspondence, writings, financial records, clippings, scrapbooks, reports, and printed matter.
Arranged alphabetically by topic.
BOX 12 Admiral George Dewey Memorial, dedication ceremony, New York, N.Y., 1972-1974
(2 folders)
BOX 12 B-36 investigation, 1949
BOX 12 Bellah, James W., 1957-1965
BOX 13 Biographical material, circa 1943-circa 1958
BOX 13 Brockington, Leonard W., 1948-1957 See also Container OV 1, same heading
BOX 13 Calvin Bullock Forum, 1955
BOX 13 Canada, 1955-1957, undated
BOX 13 Clubs, 1957-1958, undated
BOX 13 Columbia University, New York, N.Y., 1945, 1953-1958
BOX 13 "A Confederate Catechism: The War of 1861-1865," 1930
BOX 13 Contact lists, 1950-1957, undated
BOX 13 Drackett Co., Cincinnati, Ohio
BOX 13 Correspondence, 1955-1958
(3 folders)
BOX 13 Expense account, 1958
BOX 13 Miscellany, 1957-1958, undated
BOX 13 Organizational charts, 1954-1956, undated
BOX 13 Education, 1947-1958, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 14 Family papers, circa 1930-circa 1975
(2 folders)
BOX 14 Financial records
BOX 14 Insurance, 1933-1957
BOX 14 Investments, 1953-1955
BOX 14 Miscellaneous, 1933, 1949-1957
BOX 14 Stocks, 1947-1958
(2 folders)
BOX 14 Taxes, 1933-1938, 1951-1957
(3 folders)
BOX 15 Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., graduate studies, 1947-1948, undated
BOX 15 Indian Hill Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1956-1957
BOX 15 Jefferson Davis Memorial Lecture, 1960-1961, 1970-1974
BOX 15 Miscellany, circa 1928-circa 1955 See also Container OV 2, Map of new U.S. bases
BOX 15 Naval aviation, circa 1940-circa 1955
BOX 15 Poetry collection, circa 1926-1933, undated
(2 folders)
BOX 15 Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
BOX 15 Correspondence, 1953-1956, undated
BOX 15 Miscellany, 1941, 1952-1960, undated
BOX 16 Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp (NROTC), 1953-1956
BOX 16 Printed matter, miscellaneous, 1929-1958, undated
BOX 16 Royalston Academy, Royalston, Mass., 1966-1971
(2 folders)
BOX 16 Scrapbook A, circa 1920-circa 1926
BOX 17 Scrapbook A, circa 1920-circa 1926
(3 folders)
BOX 17 Scrapbook B, circa 1920-circa 1929
(2 folders)
BOX 17 Stevenson, Adlai E., 1952-1956
BOX 18 Student notes and papers, undated
BOX 18 Unpublished memoir of naval aviator E. F. Johnson, "Some Navy Years, 1903-1919," 1963, 1985-1986
(3 folders)
BOX 18 Writings by others, 1943-1954, undated
BOX 18-26 United States Navy, 1920-2000
The United States Navy series includes official navy correspondence and documents from Custer's time as a midshipman to his retirement as a rear admiral in 1957. Many of the files are organized by duty station, be it on ships (Croatan, Houston, Lexington, Norton Sound) or shore duty (Tenth Naval District Headquarters, San Juan, Puerto Rico; U.S. Naval Air Station, Floyd Bennett Field; naval attaché, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). Printed and mimeographed training manuals are organized by title. Material from Custer's work with the Strauss Commission on Incentive, Hazardous Duty, and Special Pays is in this series.
Material types include correspondence and memoranda, official navy orders, navy training material, regulations, manuals, United States Navy publications, aviator flight log books, scrapbooks, reports, navy awards, citations, medical records, and reprimands.
Arranged alphabetically by duty station, topic, or material type.
BOX 18 Albion, Robert, Makers of Naval Policy, Custer manuscript review, 1951
BOX 18 Aviator flight log books, 1927-1956
(2 folders)
BOX 18 Awards, citations, commendations, 1945-1957, 1985, undated
BOX 19 Correspondence, 1924-1958, 2000, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 19 Croatan (escort carrier)
BOX 19 "History of the Croatan," unpublished manuscript with photographs, 1943-1945, undated
(3 folders)
BOX 19 Miscellany, 1953, undated
BOX 19 Operational orders and memoranda, 1943-1945
BOX 19 Scrapbook, 1943-1944
(4 folders)
BOX 20 USS Croatan: The Story of a Week's Cruise Aboard the U.S. Navy Aircraft-Carrier, by G. Y. Loveridge, 1945
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