Guide to the Edward A. Ferguson World War II correspondence,

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Ferguson, Edward A. (Edward Ammon), 1924-2012
Title: Edward A. Ferguson World War II correspondence
Dates: 1943-2007 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1 box (.5 linear ft. )
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 303
Summary: This collection contains the World War II correspondence of Edward A. Ferguson spanning the period of 1943 to 1946. This correspondence consists of approximately 300 letters of outgoing correspondence and 6 letters of incoming correspondence. Includes descriptions of kamikaze attacks.
Repository: Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Contact Information: Special Collections and Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Telephone: 435-797-2663
Fax: 435-797-2880
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

Edward Ammon Ferguson was born November 21, 1924 in Spanish Fork, Utah. He received his education in the common schools of the area and graduated from Payson High School in 1943. In June 1943 Ferguson enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Fort Douglas, Utah for preliminary military testing. Later that month he was transported to Fort Abbot, Washington to continue training and assigned to the 240th Engineers Construction Battalion. In September 1943 Ferguson was sent to Sacramento Junior College to study engineering and surveying where he remained until January 1944 when he was transferred to Fort Belvoir, Virginia to continue his studies. Following Ferguson's graduation from Army Engineers Surveying School on April 1, 1944 he was transferred back to Sacramento. The following month he boarded the USS General John Pope before arriving at Buna, New Guinea in June.

Ferguson was transferred to Finschhafen, New Guinea in July and in August he was transferred to Hollandia, New Guinea. Once in Hollandia, Ferguson was assigned to be the H&S Company surveyor and began plans to construct an airfield in the nearby jungle. In November 1944 Ferguson was transferred aboard a naval vessel to Leyte, Philippine Islands and in route his ship was attached by the Japanese Airforce. He arrived safely at Leyte and worked for the next month as an army surveyor while facing daily bombing raids and attacks from the Japanese. During December 1944 while in route to Mindoro, Philippine Islands, the convoy Ferguson was sailing with came under heavy attack at the Sulu Sea. Ferguson was on deck when a kamikaze attack hit his ship, the LST # 749, which caused it to sink. Ferguson had to dive overboard and swim to a nearby boat to be rescued.

Ferguson spent the next few months in various locations, including Mindanao, Cotabato, and Cagayen in the Philippine Islands. In November 1945 he was transferred to Japan and served as an occupying force in Yokahma. He remained in Japan for over two months before boarding the USS Gordon for transport back to the United States. Ferguson was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army February 3, 1946 at Fort Douglas, Utah.

On February 13, 1946 Ferguson married Jean Hiatt. Later that year he enrolled at Utah State University and graduated in 1949. He accepted a job with Utah Mortgage & Loan Corporation at Logan, Utah where he worked until his retirement. Ferguson passed away on June 14, 2012 in Logan, Utah.

Source: Ferguson, Edward A., "Reminiscences of War: The World War II Journal of Edward A. Ferguson," unpublished manuscript, 1995.

Content Description

This collection contains the World War II correspondence of Edward A. Ferguson spanning the period of 1943 to 1946. This correspondence consists of approximately 300 letters of outgoing correspondence and 6 letters of incoming correspondence. Ferguson's outgoing correspondence has been separated into letters written to his family and to his fiancé (and later wife) Jean Hiatt and then organized chronologically. Ferguson's incoming correspondence is from Latha Akers and spans the period of 1945 to 1946. Latha Akers was the wife of George "Red" Akers, a shipmate and close personal friend of Ferguson's who was killed when LST # 749 sank in the Sulu Sea in December 1944. This incoming correspondence was written in response to the letters Ferguson wrote to Latha Akers explaining the death of her husband. Overall, Ferguson's letters are descriptive and discuss numerous topics, including his perception of the war in the Pacific, food and housing conditions in the Philippine Islands and New Guinea, his duties as an engineer, surveyor, MP, and tower guard, his impressions of occupied Japan, and other similar topics.

Researchers further interested in Ferguson's wartime experiences should also see his approximately 500 page unpublished memoir entitled "Reminiscences of War: The World War II Journal of Edward A. Ferguson" (Special Collections call #: Book Coll 58, # 91).

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the Edward A. Ferguson World War II correspondence must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Edward A. Ferguson World War II correspondence, 1943-2007. (COLL MSS 303). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Grouped by addressee and arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information :  

The materials in this collection were donated to USU Special Collections by Edward A. Ferguson in 2006. Additional correspondence from Thomas Revelle, the son of LST #749’s cook, as well as an update to Ferguson’s memoir, were donated by Edwards’ son, Brad Ferguson, in 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Edward A. Ferguson's World War II Correspondence, 1943-2007.
1 1 Outgoing correspondence to family 1943 June-December
1 2 Outgoing correspondence to family 1944 January-June
1 3 Outgoing correspondence to family 1944,July-December
1 4 Outgoing correspondence to family 1945, January-July
1 5 Outgoing correspondence to family 1945 August - 1946 January
1 6 Outgoing correspondence to Jean Hiatt 1943 June-December
1 7 Outgoing correspondence to Jean Hiatt 1944 January-July
1 8 Outgoing correspondence to Jean Hiatt 1944 August-December
1 9 Outgoing correspondence to Jean Hiatt 1945 January-June
1 10 Outgoing correspondence to Jean Hiatt 1945 July - 1946 January
1 11 Incoming correspondence from Latha Akers 1945-1946
1 12 Incoming correspondence from Thomas Revelle
Includes photographs of the attack on LST #749.
2007 September 18
1 13 “The Sinking of LST #749 (an update 10-2-07)”
This is an update to Ferguson’s memoir, located in BOOK COLL 58 no. 91.
2007 October 2

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    • Personal Names :
    • Ferguson, Edward A. (Edward Ammon), 1924-2012--Correspondence.
    • Corporate Names :
    • United States. Army. Corps of Engineers--Employees--Correspondence.
    • Subject Terms :
    • World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, Japanese--Sources.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--New Guinea--Sources.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Philippines--Sources.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Sources.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Japan--History--Allied occupation, 1945-1952--Sources.

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