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James E. Bassett Jr. Papers M213

Title:
James E. Bassett Jr. papers
Creator:
Bassett, James
ID:
M213
Date [inclusive]:
1929-1977, undated
Extent:
3.5 linear feet
Language:
English
Repository:
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Abstract:
The collection contains Bassett's letters (1940-63) from Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Theater as well as from the Nixon campaigns; literary drafts of published and unpublished books, short stories, and plays; photographs; records of his naval service; and Bowdoin College memorabilia.
Preferred Citation:

James E. Bassett, Jr., Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, brunswick, Maine

James E. Bassett Jr. (1912-78) graduated from Bowdoin Phi Beta Kappa in 1934. After graduation, Bassett worked on the Los Angeles Times, serving as a reporter from 1934-37; aviation editor from 1937-41; science editor from 1947-48; political editor in 1961; director of the editorial pages from 1963-71; and associate editor from 1971-77. He retired in 1977. Bassett also worked for the Los Angeles Mirror serving as political editor in 1948; city editor in 1954; and assistant managing editor in 1957.

In 1941, Bassett entered the Navy as a lieutenant junior grade and became public relations officer for Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey and the Third Fleet. He served in that capacity until 1945. Bassett received the Bronze Star and retired from the Naval Reserve as a Captain.

Bassett served as press secretary for vice president Richard Nixon's campaign in 1952, as public relations director of the Republican National Committee in 1954, as campaign director for the Nixon vice presidential campaign in 1956, and as planning director of the Nixon presidential campaign in 1960. In 1962, Bassett published Harm's Way based on his wartime experience; the novel was made into a movie. Bassett also published The Sky Suspended in 1961 and Commander Prince, USN in 1971.

Bassett married Wilma Moreland in 1936 and the couple had one daughter.

The collection contains Bassett's letters (1940-63) from Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Theater, and from the Nixon campaigns; literary drafts of published and unpublished books, short stories, and plays; photographs; records of his naval service, including documents, orders and letters (1941-56); and Mamaroneck [N.Y.] High School, Bowdoin College (including a 1930-34 scrapbook), and U.S. Navy memorabilia. The collection also includes a retirement book from his work on the Los Angeles Times, and a bound copy of The Life and Times of Los Angeles, a history of the first 100 years of the Los Angeles Times.

Series Description:

Contains Bassett's letters from various posts during WWII and during the Nixon campaigns of 1952, 1956 and 1960. The correspondence is primarily addressed to Bassett's wife.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

1940

Box 1 Folder 1

4 Apr 1942 - 31 Jul 1942 (Pacific Fleet)

Box 1 Folder 2

3 Aug 1942 - 9 Dec 1942 (Pacific Fleet)

Box 1 Folder 3

8 Jan 1943 - 10 Aug 1944 (Pacific Fleet)

Box 1 Folder 4

5 Jan 1945 - 27 Oct 1946 (Pacific Fleet)

Box 1 Folder 5

9 Jul 1952 - 15 Nov 1954, n.d. (Campaign letters)

Box 1 Folder 6

16 May 1960 - 15 Oct 1963 (Campaign letters)

Box 1 Folder 7

Series Description:

Contains the typed manuscripts of Bassett's books "Favorite Son" and "Ugly Year, Lonely Man: A Political Journal of 1956." Also included are manuscripts of his short stories and plays.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Biography

Box 1 Folder 8

Book Review - "Harm's Way"

Box 1 Folder 9

"Favorite Son" Chapter 1

Box 1 Folder 10

"Favorite Son" Chapter 2

Box 1 Folder 11

"Favorite Son" Chapter 2

Box 1 Folder 12

"Favorite Son" Chapter 3

Box 1 Folder 13

"Favorite Son" Chapter 4

Box 1 Folder 14

"Favorite Son" Chapter 5

Box 1 Folder 15

"Favorite Son" Chapter 6

Box 1 Folder 16

"Favorite Son" Chapter 6

Box 1 Folder 17

"Favorite Son" Chapter 7

Box 2 Folder 1

"Favorite Son" Chapter 7

Box 2 Folder 2

"Favorite Son" Chapter 8

Box 2 Folder 3

"Favorite Son" Chapter 8

Box 2 Folder 4

"Favorite Son" Chapter 9

Box 2 Folder 5

"Favorite Son" Chapter 9

Box 2 Folder 6

"Favorite Son" Chapter 10

Box 2 Folder 7

"Favorite Son" Chapter 10

Box 2 Folder 8

"Favorite Son" Chapter 11

Box 2 Folder 9

"Favorite Son" Chapter 11

Box 2 Folder 10

"Favorite Son" Chapter 12

Box 2 Folder 11

"Favorite Son" Chapter 12

Box 2 Folder 12

"Favorite Son" Chapter 13

Box 2 Folder 13

"Favorite Son" Chapter 13

Box 2 Folder 14

"Favorite Son" Chapter 14

Box 2 Folder 15

"Favorite Son" Chapter 14

Box 2 Folder 16

"Favorite Son" Chapter 15

Box 2 Folder 17

"Favorite Son" Chapter 15

Box 3 Folder 1

"Favorite Son" Chapter 16

Box 3 Folder 2

"Favorite Son" Chapter 16

Box 3 Folder 3

"Favorite Son" Chapter 17

Box 3 Folder 4

"Favorite Son" Chapter 17

Box 3 Folder 5

"Favorite Son" Chapter 18

Box 3 Folder 6

Short stories and plays - "Chasing the Wild Goose" and "?"

Box 3 Folder 7

Short stories and plays - "Justice is a Peeping Tom," "John Randall and the Public Life"

Box 3 Folder 8

Short stories and plays - "Miracle at Five-Mile Rock"

Box 3 Folder 9

Short stories and plays - "My Sister, Death," "Death Faces the Music"

Box 3 Folder 10

Short stories and plays - "Decline and Fall," "Occupation Dreamer," "This Side Sanity"

Box 3 Folder 11

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (drafts)

Box 3 Folder 12

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (prologue)

Box 3 Folder 13

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (prologue)

Box 3 Folder 14

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (February)

Box 3 Folder 15

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (March)

Box 3 Folder 16

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (April)

Box 4 Folder 1

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (May)

Box 4 Folder 2

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (June)

Box 4 Folder 3

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (July)

Box 4 Folder 4

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (February & March)

Box 4 Folder 5

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (April & May)

Box 4 Folder 6

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (June & July)

Box 4 Folder 7

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (August & September)

Box 4 Folder 8

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (October & November)

Box 4 Folder 9

"Ugly Year, Lonely Man" (epilogue & appendices)

Box 4 Folder 10

"The life and times of Los Angeles: candid history of a newspaper's first 100 years...," 1977

Volume 1-2

Series Description:

Contains naval records from Bassett's service during WWII. Also included are scrapbook items.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Naval Documents 27 Jan 1941 - 18 Nov 1943

Box 4 Folder 11

Naval Documents 4 Jan 1944 - 15 Aug 1956

Box 4 Folder 12

Series Description:

Contains photographs from Bassett's time in the Navy as well as when he worked on the Nixon Campaign. This series also contains a scrapbook of a Naval trip to Hawaii.

Arrangement:

Alphabetical by subject.

Bassett being decorated

Box 5 Envelope 1

Bassett - Navy portrait

Box 5 Envelope 2

Bassett - portrait

Box 5 Envelope 3

Bassett - portrait

Box 5 Envelope 4

Bassett - portrait (1950s)

Box 5 Envelope 5

Bassett - portrait reading

Box 5 Envelope 6

Bassett receiving award

Box 5 Envelope 7

Bassett w/Admiral Halsey

Box 5 Envelope 8

Bassett w/Admiral Halsey

Box 5 Envelope 9

Bassett w/B. Jones

Box 5 Envelope 10

Bassett w/Bill Henry, Waldo Drake & Walter Claussen (1942)

Box 5 Envelope 11

Bassett w/Buster Keaton (27 Jun 1956)

Box 5 Envelope 12

Bassett w/Commanding Officer and others

Box 5 Envelope 13

Bassett w/co-pilots

Box 5 Envelope 14

Bassett w/crew

Box 5 Envelope 15

Bassett w/James Roosevelt(?)

Box 5 Envelope 16

Bassett w/Richard Nixon (18 Feb 1959)

Box 5 Envelope 17

Bassett w/Richard & Pat Nixon & Group

Box 5 Envelope 18

Bassett w/shipmates (formal uniform)

Box 5 Envelope 19

Battleships at sea

Box 5 Envelope 20

Bosworth (Lt. Cmdr.) w/Bassett

Box 5 Envelope 21

Boyington, Gregory (Major) (29 Dec 1943)

Box 5 Envelope 22

Boyington, Gregory (Major) with airplane

Box 5 Envelope 23

Drake, W.W. - Navy portrait

Box 5 Envelope 24

Eisenhower, Dwight (1952) - autographed

Box 5 Envelope 25

Halsey, W. F. (Admiral) - autographed

Box 5 Envelope 26

Halsey, W. F. (Admiral) decorating Marine

Box 5 Envelope 27

Halsey, W. F. (Admiral)

Box 5 Envelope 28

Halsey, W. F. (Admiral) w/group

Box 5 Envelope 29

Halsey, W. F. (Admiral) in receiving line; Admrl. Carnly deboarding

Box 5 Envelope 30

Instrument of surrender (1/2)

Box 5 Envelope 31

Instrument of surrender (2/2)

Box 5 Envelope 32

Knox, Frank, w/C. W. Nimitz

Box 5 Envelope 33

MacArthur Signing the Instruments of Surrender

Box 5 Envelope 34

Moyer, A. J. (Capt.) w/Bougainville natives

Box 5 Envelope 35

Navigation officer of heavy cruiser 11 Dec 1943

Box 5 Envelope 36

Naval officers at event

Box 5 Envelope 37

Nixon, Richard and Pat, w/group

Box 5 Envelope 38

Nixon, Richard and Pat, w/group

Box 5 Envelope 39

O'Hare (Lieutenant) in Airplane

Box 5 Envelope 40

Parade (w/Admiral Halsey?)

Box 5 Envelope 41

Pearl Harbor - Admiral on boat

Box 5 Envelope 42

Pearl Harbor - Admiral on boat

Box 5 Envelope 43

Pearl Harbor - Airplane

Box 5 Envelope 44

Pearl Harbor - Airplane

Box 5 Envelope 45

Pearl Harbor - Airfield

Box 5 Envelope 46

Pearl Harbor - Airplane wreckage

Box 5 Envelope 47

Pearl Harbor - Battleship

Box 5 Envelope 48

Pearl Harbor - Battleship

Box 5 Envelope 49

Pearl Harbor - Battleship

Box 5 Envelope 50

Pearl Harbor - Battleship w/crew

Box 5 Envelope 51

Pearl Harbor - Battleships

Box 5 Envelope 52

Pearl Harbor - Battleships

Box 5 Envelope 53

Pearl Harbor - Battleships

Box 5 Envelope 54

Pearl Harbor - Bow of Ship w/Aircraft Carrier in Background

Box 5 Envelope 55

Pearl Harbor - Crew

Box 5 Envelope 56

Pearl Harbor - Japanese plane

Box 5 Envelope 57

Pearl Harbor - Japanese plane on boat

Box 5 Envelope 58

Pearl Harbor - Japanese submarine HA 19

Box 5 Envelope 59

Pearl Harbor - Japanese submarine HA 19

Box 5 Envelope 60

Pearl Harbor - Japanese submarine HA 19

Box 5 Envelope 61

Pearl Harbor - Ship at dock

Box 5 Envelope 62

Pearl Harbor - Ships

Box 5 Envelope 63

Pearl Harbor - Ships and Airplane

Box 5 Envelope 64

Pearl Harbor - USS Arizona

Box 5 Envelope 65

Pearl Harbor - USS Downes

Box 5 Envelope 66

Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma

Box 5 Envelope 67

Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma

Box 5 Envelope 68

Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma w/USS Maryland

Box 5 Envelope 69

Pearl Harbor - USS Pennsylvania, Destroyers Cassin & Downes.

Box 5 Envelope 70

Pearl Harbor - USS West Virginia

Box 5 Envelope 71

Pearl Harbor - USS West Virginia

Box 5 Envelope 72

Pearl Harbor - USS West Virgina w/USS Tennessee

Box 5 Envelope 73

Pearl Harbor - View of sky w/airplane

Box 5 Envelope 74

S. Pacific Force Commander w/Bassett & group; Senators Plane

Box 5 Envelope 75

Shea, D.F.J. (Lt. Cmdr.) w/Cmdr. Leland P. Lovette

Box 5 Envelope 76

Shea, D.F.J. (Lt. Cmdr.) w/Cmdr. Leland P. Lovette

Box 5 Envelope 77

Silver Foxes Poster - autographed

Box 5 Envelope 78

Supply ships arriving at Bougainville 22 Nov 1943

Box 5 Envelope 79

Unidentified

Box 5 Envelope 80

USS Kidd, destroyer 11 Dec 1943

Box 5 Envelope 81

View of Seabee's 24th Construction Battalion Camp

Box 5 Envelope 82

Wounded Marine 11 Nov 1943

Box 5 Envelope 83

Album of Naval trip to Hawaii, 1967

Volume 1

Series Description:

Series includes scrapbooks documenting Bassett's time as a student at Bowdoin (1930-34) and a naval officer in the Pacific during World War II (1945), as well as Bassett's travels to the Indies (1940) and participation in the "Trans World Airlines Super G Constellation California to Europe Preview Flight" (1955).

Certificate of Commendation from Los Angeles, California, 1963

Box 5 Folder 84

Diary 1929

Volume 1

Inaugural materials (Eisenhower)

Box 5 Folder 85

Los Angeles Times (27 Aug 1945)

Box 5 Folder 86

Mamaroneck High School annual 1930

Box 5 Folder 87

Map of anchorages in the Solomon Islands

Box 5 Folder 88

Scrapbook "Bowdoin Quill," 1932-1934

Volume 2

Scrapbook of Bowdoin College, "collected and Owned by James Basset, Jr.," 1930-1934

Volume-folio 3

"The Bowdoin Bugle, 1935; published in Junior Year by the Class of 1935"

Volume 4

Scrapbook of WWII in the Pacific Theater, 1945

Volume-folio 5

Scrapbook, 1977

Volume-folio 6

Scrapbook: "To the Indies," August 10 - September 19, 1940

Ovsz-Box 7

Scrapbook: "Trans World Airlines Super-G Constellation California to Europe Preview Flight, Oct 23 - Nov 3, 1955"

Ovsz-Box 8
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