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Collection Title: U.S.S. Biloxi Collection

Collection Number: M353

Dates: 1944 - 1945; 1999

Volume: .25 cubic foot

Provenance: Materials in this collection were donated By Thomas J. White on July 8, 1999.

Restrictions: Available for research use by the serious student and scholar.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).


Biographical/Historical Sketch:

The CL-80 U.S.S. Biloxi, the only United States Navy ship named for a Mississippi City, was present during every major military operation in the Pacific during World War II, from January 1944 to May 1945, and was awarded nine battle stars for her service.

The Biloxi was a Cleveland Class Light Cruiser, built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia. The ship, which was sponsored by Mrs. Louis Braun, was launched on February 23, 1943 and commissioned on August 31, 1943. The Biloxi's captain was Daniel M. McGurl, and the vessel reported to Cruiser Division 13, Pacific Fleet.

During her tenure, the ship screened fast carrier task forces, bombarded shore installations, and covered amphibious landings, seeing action in battles at Iwo Jima, Formosa, Leyte Gulf, Saipan and the Philippines. On April 27, 1945, the Biloxi withdrew from the fighting area for overhaul, returning in time to participate in the attack on Wake Island on July 18. When the war was over, the Biloxi was one of the first ships dispatched to Nagasaki (Japan) to evacuate allied prisoners of war.

Despite being constantly placed in harm's way, the ship made it through World War II without losing a single man, although it incurred slight damage on March 27, 1945, from a kamikaze plane. On that day, the vessel encountered four of the Japanese suicide bombers, shooting down three and disabling the fourth to the point that it crashed into the ship. Fortunately, the bomb it was carrying did not explode. The crew later retrieved the bomb, disarmed it, resealed its head, and placed it on the quarter deck as a souvenir.

In addition to its military prowess, the ship survived three typhoons, one of which sank three destroyers. Because of her heavy involvement in battle and her uncanny ability to dodge disaster, the Biloxi's crew gave the ship two nicknames -- "The Busy Bee" and "The Double Lucky."

The U.S.S. Biloxi was decommissioned in 1946, and as of 1999, her metal superstructure resided in Guice Park at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, Biloxi, Mississippi.

Sources:

Contents of the Collection

Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. I, 1964, Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division, Washington, D.C. (Printed from website:www.hazegray.org/danfs/cruisers/c180.txt)

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of materials that document the service of the U.S.S. Biloxi during World War II and provide insights into life aboard a U.S. Navy vessel in wartime. Of particular interest is an article titled "On the Road to Tokyo", which is a brief rundown of the Biloxi's movements from January through April, 1945. Also of interest is a series of the ship's newsletter, "The Busy Bee." One of the undated issues contains an open letter to the crew dated April 5, 1944, written by a former shipmate who was discharged because he was underage -- he was fourteen.

This collection should be of interest to researchers of World War II, especially those focusing on naval action in the Pacific.

Series:

Series I: Original Materials
Series II: Photocopies of Original Materials

Related Collections:

M275 Fike (Claude E.) World War II Diary
M278 Bullock (Pat H.) World War II Papers
M281 Hill (Chester W.) World War II Memoirs
M283 Okinawa World War II Photographs

Box and Folder List

Series I: Original Materials
   
Folder 1 Photograph of Crew Members Aboard the U.S.S. Biloxi (ca. 1945)
Folder 2 Menu for U.S.S. Biloxi's First Anniversary Dinner (August 31, 1944)
Folder 3 Article: "On the Road to Tokyo, With the U.S.S. Biloxi in the Pacific (January - April 1945)
Folder 4 Article: "A message for the Returning Heroes From the Executive Officer (ca. 1945)
Folder 5 Radio Press News: U.S.S. Biloxi, CL-80 (April 16, 1945)
Folder 6 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 3 - 1944)
Folder 7 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 4 - May 17, 1944)
Folder 8 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 5 - July 11, 1944)
Folder 9 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 6 - August 1944)
Folder 10 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 7 - Sept. 26, 1944)
Folder 11 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Vol. III, No. 1 - March 8, 1945)
Folder 12 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (Incomplete Copy - ca. 1944)
Folder 13 U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter: "Busy Bee" (One Page - ca. 1944)
Folder 14 Newspaper Clippings (1944, 1945 & 1999)
   
Series II: Photocopies of Original Materials
Folder 15 Photocopy: Photograph of Crew Members Aboard the U.S.S. Biloxi (ca. 1945)
Folder 16 Photocopy: Menu for U.S.S. Biloxi's First Anniversary Dinner (8/31/44)
Folder 17 Photocopy: Article - "On the Road to Tokyo, With the U.S.S. Biloxi in the Pacific (January - April 1945)
Folder 18 Photocopy: Article - "A Message for the Returning Heroes From the Executive Officer" (ca. 1945)
Folder 19 Photocopy: Radio Press News - U.S.S. Biloxi, CL-80 (4/16/45)
Folder 20 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 3 - 1944)
Folder 21 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 4 - 5/17/44)
Folder 22 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 5 - 7/11/44)
Folder 23 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee" (Vol. II, No. 6 - August 1944)
Folder 24 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee"(Vol. II, No. 7 - 9/26/44)
Folder 25 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee(Vol. III, No. 1 - 3/8/45)
Folder 26 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee" (Incomplete Copy - ca. 1944)
Folder 27 Photocopy: U.S.S. Biloxi Newsletter - "Busy Bee" (One Page - ca. 1944)
Folder 28 Photocopies: Newspaper Clippings (1944, 1945 & 1999)

 


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