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A. John F. Kelley Interwar and Second World War personal accounts, photographs and documents

 Collection — Box: WWII 21, Folder: 15-18, Folder: 1-4
Identifier: 2018-161-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains four typed and two long, handwritten articles written by CCM A. John F. Kelley, USN during the Interwar period and during the Second World War. Also included are photographs of sailors with one negative, two commissary documents, one page of photocopied clippings, and a photograph and file pertaining to the USS Macon airship. Also included at the request of the donor are one service record created on a spreadsheet by the donor and one email exchange between the archivist and the donor.

More materials, including photographs, clippings and written histories of Kelley's service were added on April 29, 2019. See individual series for specifics.


  • 1928 - 1945 April 24

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.

Biographical / Historical

Chief Carpenter's Mate Alfred John Franklin Kelley, United States Navy (12/17/1895 - 10/6/1951) was born in Georgia as the oldest of ten children, though only five brothers and one sister survived to adulthood. He lived in Griffin, GA working in a cotton mill when he decided to join the Navy just prior to the United States entering the First World War, September 15, 1916, at the age of 20. He served on the USS Vestal during that war as a seaman and was discharged as a coxswain in San Diego on November 24, 1919.

He reenlisted in the Navy and served as a carpenter throughout the Interwar period, travelling through the Pacific and working on the USS Macon. On January 25, 1936 he married Wanda Wardrip in Grant's Pass, Oregon and they had a daughter, Johnette (donor). The family lived in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked and the ladies were immediately shipped out, with CCM Kelley rejoining them in Oregon later.

CCM Kelley served aboard the USS Pinkney in the Pacific during the war and saw multiple island invasions. From the donor: "The Pinkney was hit by a kamikaze. John Kelley had arranged for movies to be shown in the mess hall, so most of the crew were there instead of in their quarters where the most damage was done. As Chief Carpenter, he was among those responsible for making the repairs that enabled the Pinkney to return to San Francisco."

He retired from service on August 1, 1948 and accepted an offer to return to the Philippines under the American Baptist Foreign Mission Board to help rebuild a college that had been bombed during the war. After returning to the States, he passed away from a brain tumor at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland on October 6, 1951 at the age of 55. Naval doctors called it a service-connected death, [from donor] "probably because he had served in both world wars and they didn't know what caused the cancer." CCM A. John F. Kelley is currently interred at Arlington National Cemetary.


0.05 Linear feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains articles, photographs and documents from the service of CCM A. John F. Kelley, USN during the Interwar and Second World War periods, from 1928 to 1945. Included are personal accounts of travelling the Pacific in peace time and fighting in the Pacific during the Second World War, as well as documents pertaining to the USS Macon.


This collection is arranged by material type and chronologically:

  • Series 1, Personal accounts
  • Series 2, Photographs
  • Series 3, Military Documents and other materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Johnette Orpinela.

Finding Aid for the A. John F. Kelley Interwar and Second World War personal accounts, photographs and documents
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States