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Roger Pineau papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSC-212

Content Description

The collection is divided into ten series. Series One, Biographical Information, contains Pineau’s vita and biographical information, while Series II, Civilian and Naval Papers, has personnel and retirement papers, 1965–1972, as well as his naval orders and fitness reports, 1943–1978.

Correspondence, both letters sent and received, is one of the largest components of the collection and it is arranged by last name and topic for the years 1942–1993. Prominent correspondents include Hanson Baldwin, Captain Edward Beach, CDR Masatake Chihaya, James Fahey, Goro Nakano, the U.S. Naval Institute, Jurgen Rohwer, Robert Sherrod, and the Smithsonian Institution. A second segment of correspondence contains letters to and from individuals for whom he performed appraisals.

Series Four holds speech notes and speeches that Pineau gave between 1965 and the early 1990s. In addition, there are speeches given by other individuals. Captain Pineau was a prolific writer on military topics, especially World War II. Included in Series Five, Writings, are his articles and book reviews, as well as articles and book reviews of others on military topics. Prominent among these are the works of Robert Sherrod.

An oral history interview with Robert D. Ogg in 1983 is in Series Six. Subject files form Series Seven. Topics covered include research materials for And I Was There, ballooning, the Panay incident, Pearl Harbor, Silas Talbot, the Quasi-War with France, and White House military and naval aides.

Series Eight houses photographs of combat art from Japan, Samuel Eliot Morison, ships, and people. Slides of ships and exhibits are in this series as well. Miscellaneous material is found in Series Nine. Booklets, clippings, magazines, exhibit catalogs, pamphlets, programs, certificates, and note cards are located here. Series Ten contains the correspondence of Samuel Eliot Morison regarding the publication of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, his articles, book reviews of his works, biographical and autobiographical articles, obituaries, and reflections on his work as well as the launching and commissioning of the USS Samuel Eliot Morison (FFG 13).


  • Creation: 1864 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to all researchers, unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Material in this collection is in the public domain, unless otherwise noted.

Biographical Note

Roger Pineau was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 17, 1916 to Auguste and Olga Erickson Pineau. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1942 and joined the Navy on July 1, 1942, where he received instruction in the Japanese language at the University of Colorado for a year. He was commissioned ensign in the Naval Reserve in 1943 and assigned to the Naval Communications Annex in Washington, D.C., where he worked on codebreaking operations. As a result of the unit’s work, the military was able to read Japanese diplomatic and naval codes. Once the war ended, he joined the Strategic Bombing Survey as an interpreter and analyst.

Pineau worked with Samuel Eliot Morison on the History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II and remained with this project until he was released from active duty in 1950. He continued his employment with the Naval History Division until he was appointed chief of Far East Current Intelligence in the Department of State in 1957. He worked briefly with the Institute for Defense Analysis and in 1962 returned to the State Department as Social Science Officer for Cultural and Educational Affairs. In 1965 he joined the Smithsonian as managing editor of its press.

During the nineteen fifties, sixties, and seventies, Pineau was recalled to active duty on a number of occasions, as assistant to the naval aide to President Eisenhower and with the Bureau of Naval Personnel, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was promoted to captain in the Naval Reserve in 1965. In 1972 he was appointed director of the Navy Memorial Museum, from which he retired in 1978 to write, lecture, and appraise works of art.

Captain Pineau died on November 22, 1993 at age seventy-six in Bethesda, Maryland. His survivors include his wife, Maxine, three daughters, and one son. He was a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Naval Reserve Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, and the Presidential Service Badge.


53 boxes

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Repository Details

Part of the Naval War College Archives Repository

US Naval War College
686 Cushing Rd
Newport RI 02841 US