Finding Aids

Archives Highlights

For over fifty years, the Center for Pacific War Studies has accepted items to the Pacific Theater in World War II for inclusion in the archives. The Center contains thousands of manuscript collections, recordings, photographs, artwork, and publications that can be made available to researchers by appointment.

The Center for Pacific War Studies maintains a database of finding aids to assist researchers in locating materials. This database is updated regularly with new finding aids.

The following is an outline of material in the Center that have not yet been added to the finding aid database.

Veterans Collection

AA001 – (ongoing), Army

Photographs, letters, diaries, service records and other papers from individual service members. This particular collection is related to more than 220 veterans who served in the U.S. Army or Army Air Corps / Army Air Force and their constituent parts. Not all units are covered, but many are.

MA001 – (ongoing), Marines

Photographs, letters, diaries, service records and other papers from individual service members. This particular collection is related to more than 112 veterans who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Not all units are covered, but many are.

NA001 – (ongoing), Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine

Photographs, letters, diaries, service records and other papers from individual service members. This particular collection is related to more than 532 veterans who served in the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine. Not all ships and land units are covered, but many are.

CC01 to 04, Cryptologic Collection (22 linear feet)

During the Pacific War, efforts made by U.S. Navy cryptanalysts at Station Hypo (Pearl Harbor), Station Cast (Melbourne, Australia), and Station Negat (Washington, D.C.) significantly helped determine the outcome of the war. This collection consists of copies of reports and copies of radio traffic related to the activities of each of those stations and several other units tasked with intercepting and decoding Japanese radio traffic before and during the war. This material was donated by the U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association and included with it are transcribed interviews with cryptologists and issues of the association’s “Cryptolog” newsletter.

PH01, Pearl Harbor Collection (2 linear feet)

The museum is honored to preserve several small collections related to service members who were present during the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Those who served on U.S.S. Maryland (BB-46), U.S.S. Honolulu (CL-46), U.S.S. West Virginia (BB-48), U.S.S. Arizona (BB-39), U.S.S. Phelps (DD-360), U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23), U.S.S. Oklahoma (BB-37), U.S.S. Oglala (CM-4), U.S.S. Medusa (AR-1), U.S.S. Nevada (BB-36), U.S.S. Vestal (AR-4), U.S.S. Utah (BB-31) are currently represented. In addition, the archives contain 5 linear feet of photos and document copies related to all ships and small craft that were present during the attack. This collection comes from a Pearl Harbor survivor, Robert A. Varrill, who was a historian for the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and, later, the Pearl Harbor History Associates.

FC01, Women in War Collection (11 linear feet)

One of the most valuable aspects of this archives are the range of female voices it preserves. The primary representation of women in the NMPW archives comes from those who served in each branch of armed forces; the American Red Cross (A.R.C.), and the United Service Organization (U.S.O). Some highlights include the photo album and service records of Jane C. Kendeigh, first Navy flight nurse that landed at Iwo Jima to help evacuate the wounded; photos and letters related to Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, director of the W.A.A.C. / W.A.C.; photos and scrapbooks from U.S.O. entertainer Betsey Berkeley; an extensive collection of photos, letters and scrapbooks from W.A.V.E. recruiter Mable Morrison Alley and numerous collections of letters, photos, newsletters, scrapbooks, and training material related to several dozen women who served as nurses and A.R.C. workers throughout the Central and South West Pacific and in post-war Japan.

FC02, PT- Boat Collection (.5 linear feet)

PT boats played an important role engaging enemy transports, tankers, barges, and warships during the war and were also used as gunboats against inter-island transports and armored barges. The NMPW has one of the few surviving boats of this kind, a Higgins example, PT-309, that saw service in the Mediterranean Theater of the war. As a consequence, the museum has received several small collections of photos and documents related to PT-309 and multiple small donations of photos and documents related to the use of PT boats in the Pacific Theater.

PC01 to 11, Prisoner and Internee Collection (8 linear feet)

Items that help document the P.O.W. and internee experience is a strength of this archives. Highlights from this collection are the personal diary kept by Maj. Gen. Edward P. King, who surrendered the troops on Bataan; a diary and scrapbooks kept by Col. Nicoll Galbraith; artwork created by prisoner Frank Fujita, letters and photos related to ‘Angel of Bataan’ 1st Lt. Edith Shaklette plus postcards, photos, letters and memoirs related to several dozen additional P.O.W.s. The archives also contain 20 linear feet of material that came to the museum from Andrew Miller of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, and 2 linear feet of notes, photos and documents donated by historian and former P.O.W. Robert Martindale, who wrote The 13th Mission: Prisoner of the Notorious Omori Prison in Tokyo.

Material in the archives related to internees in the Philippines provides a variety of material for those interested in researching that topic. Some highlights are the photos, letters and documents related to Medal of Freedom awardee Nancy Belle Norton; papers and photos of the Carolyn F. Brush family; documents, photos, drawings and newsletters related to the Walter and Agnes Schoening family, and the documents, photos, and diary from Gloria Fay Korenblit. This collection also contains numerous privately published books and memoirs related to many of the women, children, and men who were interned at Santo Tomas, Los Banos, Baguio and other Philippine camps.

DW01 to 25, Documenting the War Collection (38 linear feet)

Photographers, journalists and artists, often trained by the military and imbedded with land units or ship crews, documented all major events and many of the minor happenings that took place during the war. This created collection consists of multiple photograph collections, news reporter collections, service branch periodicals, newspapers, home front periodicals, drawings, sketches, paintings; unit, ship and base newsletters; newspapers, and service branch newspapers.

NC01 to 07, Nimitz Collection (28 linear feet)

The majority of items in this collection were generously donated to the museum by members of the Nimitz family. The remainder came to museum from close associates of Adm. Nimitz and numerous individuals from all walks of life that encountered him. The collection contains hundreds of personal photographs, taken by and of the Nimitz family, that are dated from the 1840’s to 1966 as well as hundreds of official photos dated 1905 to 1972. This collection also contains various papers, personal letters and scrapbooks related to the early life and pre- and post-W.W. II life of Chester W. Nimitz.

Pacific War Historian Collections

Roger Pineau Collection (15 linear feet)

After receiving his commission, Capt. Roger Pineau was trained at the Navy Japanese Language School at Boulder, Colorado and worked in cryptanalysis during W.W. II. After the war he was assigned Adm. Samuel E. Morison’s staff and played a vital role in the creation of Morison’s writings about the history of the Pacific War. Much of the material in this collection concerns Pineau’s work with Morison and his own work as a Pacific War historian in later years and consists of correspondence, manuscripts, photographs and books related to his research and writing.

James D. Hornfischer Collection (35 linear feet)

The James D. Hornfischer Collection consists of research, correspondence, notes, interview recordings, rough drafts and other material associated with James D. Hornfischer’s writing career. The focus of this collection is on his critically acclaimed historical works related to the Pacific War titled The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (2004), Ship of Ghosts (2006), Neptune’s Inferno (2011), and The Fleet at Flood Tide (2016).

Robert C. Mikesh Collection (14 linear feet)

The Robert C. Mikesh Japanese Aviation Collection consists of drawings, photographs, photograph negatives, periodical articles (Japanese and English), correspondence, analyses, assessments, and color samples. These materials were accumulated by Mikesh, a former director of the National Air and Space Museum, from 1944 to the early 2000s.

William L. McGee Collection (6 linear feet)

The William L. McGee Research Collection contains copies of brief ship histories, copies of several ship logs, copies of action reports, photographs, veteran questionnaires, taped interviews, veteran newsletters, and correspondence. These materials were gathered during the research and writing of McGee’s Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in World War II trilogy and the Bluejacket Odyssey, 1942-1946.

AVG / Flying Tigers Association Collection (16 linear feet)

This collection contains materials related to members of the 1st American Volunteer Group (1941-1942), also known as the Flying Tigers. Included are copies of diaries, biographical data and photographs made by and of members of the AVG, as well as research files and audiovisual materials compiled by the AVG Association historian and other scholars.

U.S.S. LCI National Association Collection (17 linear feet)

Items in the U.S.S. LCI National Association Collection came to the NMPW from the historian of that organization, Dennis Blocker. In 2007, Mr. Blocker, who had thoroughly researched his grandfather’s wartime experience on LCI (G) 449, was asked to be the historian for the association. Begun at his home in San Antonio, Texas the collection grew immensely during the next several years. During 2013, it was determined that this collection would be better preserved and made available to researchers at the NMPW. It consists of documents, photographs, correspondence, memoirs and other writings related to nearly all LCIs produced during W.W. II.

U.S.S. LSM / LSM(R) Association (16 linear feet)

Comparable in size to Landing Ship, Tank and the Landing Craft, Infantry, there were 558 Landing Ship Mediums constructed for use by the U.S. Navy during World War II. This collection consists of ship histories, ship logbooks, photographs, anecdotes, audiovisual recordings, digital files and other material accumulated by the historian of the LSM / LSM(R) Association. Almost all LSMs and LSM(R)s are covered.

George Nelson (305th Inf. Reg., 77th Inf. Div.)

Dallas W. Isom (Japanese aviation / Battle of Midway)

James H. Sharp (U.S. Navy destroyers)

Collections Donated by Other Veteran’s Organizations

U.S.S. Black Hawk (AD-9)

U.S.S. Brazos (AO-4) / U.S.S. Hocking (APA-121)

U.S.S. Conyngham (DD-371)

U.S.S. Northampton (CA-26)

U.S.S. Minneapolis (CA-36)

U.S.S. Clinton (APA-144)

U.S.S. Liscome Bay (CVE-56)

U.S. LST Association (Texas Chapter)

U.S.S. LST-454

22nd Bomb Group

40th Bomb Group Association

58th Bomb Wing

65th Troop Carrier Squadron

507th Fighter Group

1st Air Commandos





1st Armored Amphibious Battalion

2nd Marine Division Association (Texas Chapter)

U.S. Navy Radio Operators

Additional questions or concerns can be submitted to the archives email address at