Thursday, June 23, 2011

At sea with Edward E. Oliver

Edward Oliver, Supply Officer on board the U.S.S. Lauderdale from 1944-1945, writes home to his friends stateside, "the bridge is an interesting place to be, especially when we are at sea, what with all the modern gadgets that all ships have now, gadgets that tell you everything except what Lana Turner -- had for dinner, of course." The Edward E. Oliver Collection includes copies of several of Oliver's letters home to family and friends, which include descriptions of the ship's locations, life onboard the ship, and anecdotes about Oliver's relations with the officers. The collection also includes memorabilia and several photographs of Oliver and his fellow officers onboard the U.S.S. Lauderdale.

Edward Oliver in his office on board the U.S.S. Lauderdale.
A photograph of Oliver's wife, Janet, is visible on his desk.
Photograph from the Edward E. Oliver Collection.
Edward Elliot “Ned” Oliver was born in 1911 in Syracuse, New York, to Francis and Lillian (Hempstead) Oliver. He graduated from Shaw High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1930 and graduated from Syracuse University in 1934 with a degree in finance. After finishing his schooling, he began working for General Electric’s district office in New York City. In 1943, he resigned from his position as a general manager to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Navy’s supply department; from December 1944 until his discharge in December 1945, he served as Supply Officer for the U.S.S. Lauderdale. Oliver rejoined General Electric in 1946, working in sales promotion and advertising in Schenectady until his retirement in 1974. Oliver was also actively involved in YMCA youth programs for over 30 years, including service as Camp Chingachgook committee chair from 1959-1975 and Schenectady YMCA President from 1976-1986. Oliver died in 1997 and was survived by his wife of over 50 years, Janet.

In addition to wartime photographs, letters, and memorabilia, the Edward E. Oliver collection includes photographs of members of the Oliver and Hempstead families. The collection includes photographs of Lillian Hempstead Oliver (1878-1967), mother of Edward Oliver; Edward Wright Hempstead (1855-1923) and Elthea Canfield Hempstead (1848-1923), maternal grandparents of Edward Oliver; Francis E Oliver (1867-1955), father of Edward Oliver; George Oliver and Amanda Hubbell Oliver, paternal grandparents of Edward Oliver.

A finding aid for the Edward E. Oliver Collection can be found here.

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