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James W. Caywood Papers

Identifier: MS 00277

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Scrapbook pertaining to James W. Caywood's service in the United States Navy during World War II while in Hawaii as part of the 26th Special Naval Construction Battalion. The bulk of the scrapbook contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and drawings kept by Caywood while serving in Hawaii. Some of the photographs document the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and depict Caywood and other African-American sailors in everyday life on the island, as well as local Hawaiian women. Newspaper material includes clippings mentioning work done by the Seabees and copies of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin issues announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt's death, and the surrender of Germany and Japan.

The scrapbook also contains songs and poems written by Caywood and his fellow sailors and a list of all the ships he served on in 1944.


  • Creation: circa 1941-1949
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1944-1945


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

James W. Caywood was born in Arkansas in 1923, the youngest of five children of Cora and Theodore Caywood. Caywood joined the U.S. Navy in 1941 and served in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was a "SeaBee" in the 26th Special Naval Construction Battalion, Company A. After the war, Caywood worked as a tailor. He died in Tennessee in 1995.


2 Linear Feet

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

The fragile nature of this material may limit handling.

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2014.089 was received by Special Collections in April 2014.

Related Materials:

World War II Resources in the Special Collections Research Center. Information about related materials is available at:

Separated Materials

The accession previously included photographs of airplane machinery which may have been used by Caywood during his training. Photographs are stamped by the Bureau of Aeronautics from October to November 1944.

Processing Information:

Accessioned and minimally described by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in July 2014. Scrapbook resleeved, Karen King, February 2019.

Guide to the James W. Caywood Papers
Steven M. Bookman, University Archives Specialist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository