Schmidt, Martin Frederick (1918-) Papers, 1940-1993

Held by The Filson Historical Society 

Creator:  Schmidt, Martin Frederick, 1918- 

Title:  Papers, 1940-1993 

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department. 

Size of Collection:  0.33 cubic feet 

Location Number:  Mss. A S353 

Scope and Content Note 

Collection is contained in seven folders in one box and pertains to Schmidt’s tour of duty with the Supply Corps during World War II. Correspondence from 1942-1945 describes his responsibilities with the 21st Naval Construction Battalion in the Aleutian Islands, the Navy’s Commissioning Detail at the Gulf Shipping Corporation in Alabama, and on board the U.S.S. Neville. Bound diaries and loose-leaf paper diaries from 1942-1943 reiterate his duties with the 21st in greater detail. A partial memoir, ca. 1993, offers recollections and commentary on Schmidt’s time with the 21st, in Alabama, and on board the Neville. It also mentions his tenure with the Navy’s Commissioning Detail at the Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Company Shipyard in Chicago. Other items of interest include Schmidt’s 1944 brief history of the Supply Corps in wartime, a list of the ships upon which the 21st worked while stationed in Alaska, issues of The Aleutian magazine, The Harbor newsletter, The Nevillogue newsletters, the 21st Naval Construction Battalion 1942-1943 Annual, and a booklet on the wartime contributions of the Waterman Steamship Corporation. 

Note of Separation: 

Photographs of Schmidt’s tour of duty in the Aleutian Islands and some family photographs are in the Filson Club’s Photographs and Prints Department. 

Biographical Note 

Martin Frederick Schmidt was born 26 September 1918 in Caruthersville, Missouri, and was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Tulane University with a degree Accounting and Business Administration, and from the United States Naval Supply Corps School at Harvard University. He married Havard Ewin on 21 February 1942 and the couple had a son, Martin, Jr., and a daughter, Havard. Prior to World War II, Schmidt was an accountant with his family’s Louisville franchise of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. 

Schmidt joined the United States Naval Reserve in December 1940 and was called to active service in March 1942 with the 21st Naval Construction Battalion. From October 1942 to November 1942, he and the 21st were stationed in the Aleutian Islands. As part of the Supply Corps, Schmidt held various positions while in Alaska, including Supply Officer, Disbursing Officer, and Receiving Officer. 

Upon returning to Camp Parks in California in late 1942, Schmidt was transferred to the United States Navy Disbursing Office, Escort Vessels in New York City at the beginning of 1944. In mid 1944 he was again transferred to the United States Navy Commissioning Detail at Gulf Shipping Corporation in Chickasaw, Alabama, where he served as Supply Officer. In April of 1945 he was transferred to the Commission Detail at the Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Company Shipyard in Chicago, Illinois, where he, again, served as Supply Officer for the U.S.S. Neville which was stationed in San Diego, California. 

After the war was over, Schmidt returned to Louisville and again went to work with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company from which he retired in 1967. He received his MLS degree from the University of Kentucky in 1968 and worked as a librarian with the Louisville Free Public Library from 1968-1973. At this time Schmidt became the librarian at the Filson Club Historical Society, and in July 1982 he became its Director. Schmidt resigned from this position in December 1983. 

Folder List 

1: Correspondence, 1942-1943

2: Correspondence, 1944-1947

3: Diaries, 1942-1943

4: Military Documents, 1940-1949

5: Partial Memoir, ca. 1993

6: Magazines, Newsletters, Booklets, 1942-1986

7: Miscellaneous 1942-1981