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Russell Knowles, Jr. Cold War correspondence

 Collection — Box: Cold War 3, Folder: 3-4, Folder: 1-2
Identifier: 2015-069-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains 38 correspondence written by Lieutenant Russell Knowles, Jr., United States Navy Reserve to his family during the Cold War.

Knowles’ letters describe his time in training on the USS Energy in Long Beach and San Diego, CA. The USS Energy went on a tour to Newport, Oregon and to Seattle for the World Fair. His letters mostly concern his family and what they are doing back home. At first he is writing about buying a ring and getting engaged to a woman named Jennie, but he eventually breaks the engagement off. Later he is engaged to be married to a woman named Louisa, or Weeza. He moved to Monterey to go to school to study meteorology and oceanography. Letter dated May 27, 1962: Knowles describes watching a press conference with the “second astronauts.” He says, “We are really amazing animals. Think about having people in space. That is a really great technical achievement.”

Letter postmarked November 1962: Knowles describes what it was like during the Cuban missile crisis (he said it was no different than any other day) and gives his opinions about Castro. He also says he is planning to vote straight Republican and encourages his family to do so to defeat Ted Kennedy.

He refers to California as “Democratic California.”


  • 1961 August 20 - 1962 December 17

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Captain Russell Knowles, Jr., United States Navy Reserve (1934 - 1998) was born in New Bedford, Connecticut and served in the Nuclear Submarine Corps, chosen by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. He later served as chief of staff to the commander of submarine forces in the Atlantic and retired in 1987. He passed away in Norwich, CT in 1998 at the age of 63. Obituary:


0.15 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains 38 correspondence written by Lt. Russell Knowles, Jr. to his family during the Vietnam War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Joan K. Bullard and Russell Knowles III.
Finding Aid for the Russell Knowles, Jr. Cold War correspondence
Lauren Menges
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States