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Collection Number: 04907

Collection Title: Cyrus Aydlett Papers (#4907) 1918-1994 (bulk 1943-1945)

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Size About 400 items (1.0 linear feet)
Abstract Cyrus Aydlett (1909- ) was a native of North Carolina, who enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard as an ensign in 1942. He was a supply and coding officer for the Coast Guard and was sent to England in February 1944 on the U.S.S. Bayfield. He was involved in action at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Normandy, and southern France. Discharged as a lieutenant in January 1946, he returned to his wife Augusta in Elizabeth City, N.C., and established the Elizabeth City Finance Company. The collection includes correspondence, journals, ship documents, military and travel memorabilia, newspaper clippings, and photographs chiefly relating to the World War II military career of Cyrus Aydlett; a few photographs from after World War II; photographs, 1918-1932, of Nags Head, N.C.; and yearbooks, 1923 and 1926, from the seventh grade of the Elizabeth City Grammar School, Elizabeth City, N.C. Correspondence is mainly between Aydlett and his wife Augusta and concerns daily life, family news, and Augusta's pregnancy and their new child, as well as Aydlett's travels in Europe and daily military life. Aydlett's journals, 1944-1945, provide information about life aboard his ship, the U.S.S. Bayfield, sailing conditions, Aydlett's duties as supply officer, and Aydlett's feelings and fears about going into battle. They describe visits to European cities and the devastation found in the bombed areas. They include considerable detail on the days leading to and following D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Also included are photographs of European cities and people and various members of the Bayfield crew. There are several notable images of troops mobilizing at Iwo Jima.
Creator Aydlett, Cyrus, 1909- .
Language English.
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Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Provenance
Received from Lydia Aydlett of Carrboro, N.C., in January 1998 (Acc. 98020) and January 1999 (Acc. 98273).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Cyrus Aydlett (1909- ) was a native of North Carolina, who enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard as an ensign in 1942. He was a supply and coding officer for the Coast Guard and was sent to England in February 1944 on the U.S.S. Bayfield. He was involved in action at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Normandy, and southern France. Discharged as a lieutenant in January 1946, he returned to his wife Augusta in Elizabeth City, N.C., and established the Elizabeth City Finance Company.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, journals, ship documents, military and travel memorabilia, newspaper clippings, and photographs relating to the World War II military career of Cyrus Aydlett; a few photographs from after World War II; photographs, 1918-1932 of Nags Head, N.C.; and yearbooks, 1923 and 1926, from the seventh grade of the Elizabeth City Grammar School, Elizabeth City, N.C. Correspondence is mainly between Aydlett and his wife Augusta and concerns daily life, family news, and Augusta's pregnancy and their new child, as well as Aydlett's travels in Europe and daily military life. Aydlett's journals, 1944-1945, provide information about daily life on his ship, the U.S.S. Bayfield, sailing conditions, his duties as supply officer, preparations for D-Day, and Aydlett's feelings and fears about going into battle.

Documents from the U.S.S. Bayfield include daily plan sheets, the ship's newsletter, duty lists, and other official documents. Also included are photographs of European cities and people and various members of the Bayfield crew. There are several notable images of troops mobilizing at Iwo Jima.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1944-1945, 1991.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Chiefly letters, postcards, v-mail, and telegrams between Cyrus Aydlett and his wife Augusta Aydlett during World War II. Letters generally concern daily life, family news, and the progression of Augusta's pregnancy and their new child. Aydlett also described his travels and the sights he saw in Europe, daily military life, possible promotions, and plans to be carried out in case he was killed or taken prisoner. There is little information about Aydlett's locations or the role he was playing in the war because these letters were written in accordance with censors' regulations. There are also a few letters written after the war to Aydlett from wartime friends updating him on their lives and inviting him to ship reunions.

Folder 1-3

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

1944 #04907, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1944-1945, 1991. " Folder 1-3

Folder 4-6

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

1945 #04907, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1944-1945, 1991. " Folder 4-6

Folder 7

1991 #04907, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1944-1945, 1991. " Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse 2. Journals, 1944-1945.

8 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Cyrus Aydlett's journals provide more detailed information about World War II and his role in it. The journals, kept from February 1944 through July 1945, describe daily life on the U.S.S. Bayfield, sailing conditions, recreational activities, Aydlett's duties as supply officer, and his feelings and fears about the war. They describe visits to European cities and the devastation found in the bombed areas. They also discuss training regimens and military drills, the use of military propaganda, speculations about military intelligence in various attacks, medical facilities for the wounded, and treatment of military prisoners. They detail ship deployments and observations during battles and raids and go into considerable detail on the days leading to and following D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Also included are typed transcriptions of several of the journal entries, particularly those written during battle.

Folder 8

February-September 1944 #04907, Series: " 2. Journals, 1944-1945. " Folder 8

Folder 9

6 June-10 July 1944 #04907, Series: " 2. Journals, 1944-1945. " Folder 9

Folder 10

7 November 1944-30 July 1945 #04907, Series: " 2. Journals, 1944-1945. " Folder 10

Folder 11

Typewritten account of D-Day and Normandy invasion #04907, Series: " 2. Journals, 1944-1945. " Folder 11

Folder 12

Typed copy of journals, July 1944-July 1945 #04907, Series: " 2. Journals, 1944-1945. " Folder 12

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945.

About 60 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Papers from the U.S.S. Bayfield include daily plan sheets (including one for D-Day); guidelines for supply officers; the ship's newsletter, "The Bayview," which describes daily activities, events, and itinerary of the ship; officers' rosters; duties lists; and letters from the commanding officer describing expectations for ship personnel on various occasions. Items from the ship's commissioning ceremony are included.

Also in this series are a maps relating to actions in which the Bayfield participated. These include a map of shore obstacles at Utah Beach, 1944 (as of 12 May); maps of the Gulf of Frejus and Rade D'Agay with panoramic beach sketches, water level silhouettes, and oblique perspectives of beaches 264a and 275a based on defense information as of 20 July 1944; and a map of Iwo Jima, 1944.

Folder 13

1941, 1943 #04907, Series: "3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945. " Folder 13

Folder 14

1944 #04907, Series: "3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945. " Folder 14

Folder 15

1945 #04907, Series: "3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945. " Folder 15

Folder 16

Undated #04907, Series: "3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945. " Folder 16

Folder 17

Military papers #04907, Series: "3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945. " Folder 17

Folder 18

Memorabilia #04907, Series: "3. U.S.S. Bayfield Documents and Other Military Papers, 1941-1945. " Folder 18

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Clippings and Newspapers, 1943-1945, 1984, 1994.

About 50 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Clippings and newspapers containing articles about Cyrus Aydlett, his wife, his ship, the U.S. Coast Guard, actions in which Aydlett was involved, or war news in the area where he was located. The clippings are focused on Aydlett, while the newspapers include papers Aydlett collected in Europe, most of which do not appear to contain articles directly related to Aydlett or to his ship. Some of these contain articles that are marked as being of particular interest. The undated newspaper is a special edition of The Independent (Elizabeth City, N.C.), entitled "The Albemarle at War," which contains many photographs and articles about wartime business and activities in the Elizabeth City, N.C., area.

Folder 19

Clippings #04907, Series: "4. Clippings and Newspapers, 1943-1945, 1984, 1994. " Folder 19

Folder 20

Newspapers, September 1943-March 1944 #04907, Series: "4. Clippings and Newspapers, 1943-1945, 1984, 1994. " Folder 20

Folder 21

Newspapers, April-May 1944 #04907, Series: "4. Clippings and Newspapers, 1943-1945, 1984, 1994. " Folder 21

Folder 22

Newspapers, June 1944 #04907, Series: "4. Clippings and Newspapers, 1943-1945, 1984, 1994. " Folder 22

Folder 23

Newspapers, July-September 1944, 1984, undated #04907, Series: "4. Clippings and Newspapers, 1943-1945, 1984, 1994. " Folder 23

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Pictures, 1918-1945, 1980.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of January 1999 (Acc. 98273).

2 items.

Two issues of The Neophyte, a yearbook published by the seventh grade of Elizabeth City Grammar School, Elizabeth City, N.C. The yearbooks contain photographs of students and teachers and other information relevant to student life.

Folder 24

Yearbook, 1923 #04907, Series: "Addition of January 1999 (Acc. 98273)." Folder 24

Folder 25

Yearbook, 1926 #04907, Series: "Addition of January 1999 (Acc. 98273)." Folder 25

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