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|Size||0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 600 items)|
|Abstract||Career naval officer; aide to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, 1918-1921; commander of the U.S.S. "Arkansas," 1931-1933; senior inspector of shipyards in four states during World War II. Foote is best known for his heroic command of the U.S.S. "President Lincoln," which was torpedoed in 1918. The collection includes letters of commendation, writings, clippings, photographs, and other items, chiefly relating to Percy Wright Foote's activities in European waters during World War I. This collection is particularly rich in photographs relating to Foote's career in the Navy.|
|Creator||Foote, Percy Wright, 1879-1961.|
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Percy Wright Foote was born 13 August 1879 in Roaring River, Wilkes County, North Carolina, the son of James Henry Foote, a founder of Wake Forest College, and Susan Hunt Foote.
Foote, a 1901 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, saw his first action in the United States Navy as an ensign aboard the U.S.S. Baltimore , which had been sent to protect American interests in Shanghai in 1905. Foote was able to use his considerable organizational and technical skills to advance his naval career. He is particularly remembered for his heroic command of the U.S.S. President Lincoln, a troop transport that was torpedoed on 31 May 1918 and sank within eighteen minutes. Largely due to the emergency drills that Foote had initiated, only 28 of the 700 persons aboard the President Lincoln were lost. In recognition of his role in the President Lincoln incident, Foote received a special commendation from Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels, the Silver Star for gallantry in action, and the Distinguished Service Medal.
From 1918 to 1921, Foote served as aide to Secretary Daniels, and, from 1931 to 1933, was commander of the battleship Arkansas, which was sent, during this period, to California to assist in the cleanup of earthquake torn Long Beach. He was chief of staff of the Fourth Naval District, headquartered at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, from 1934 to 1936. Due to certain technicalities, Foote's promotion to rear admiral was rejected by the Navy and won only through legislative action. It was, however, as rear admiral that he retired in 1936. At the request of Governor George H. Earle, Foote remained in Pennsylvania and spent the next two years lobbying for highway safety in that state. In 1938, he and his family returned to North Carolina to take up residence in Chapel Hill.
In May 1942, however, Foote was recalled to duty as senior inspector of the Eighth Naval District, covering Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. He retired for a second time after World War II, and settled in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he died on 23 June 1961.
Foote was married to Genevieve Clary of Great Falls, Montana, on 1 October 1910. His son Thomas also pursued a military career (in the Army), and his daughter Diana married a Marine Corps brigadier general.
(SOURCE: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, volume 2, p. 217)Back to Top
The collection includes letters of commendation, writings, clippings, photographs, and other items, chiefly relating to Percy Wright Foote's activities in European waters during World War I. This collection is particularly rich in photographs relating to Foote's career in the Navy.Back to Top
Correspondence, including a 1920 commendation from Josephus Daniels, then Secretary of the Navy.
Speeches and other writings, chiefly on patriotic themes and wartime ship building.
General clippings about Foote, materials relating to his fight for promotion to the rank of rear admiral, and other items connected with his duties in the United States Navy.
(see also Series 4)
U.S.S. Arkansas 1933 (pages from a scrapbook entitled "San Diego, 1933") #00259, Series: "3. Other Items, 1918-1961." Folder 9
(see also Series 4)
Chiefly photographs that were removed from albums. Two albums have been preserved.
|Image Folder PF-259/1|
|Image Folder PF-259/2-3|
|Image Folder PF-259/4|
|Image Folder PF-259/5|
|Image Folder PF-259/6|
|Oversize Image OP-P-259|
|Photograph Album PA-259/1|
|Photograph Album PA-259/2|
Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, December 1988
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top