Papers of

Lieutenant Jonathan S. England, USNR



1940 to 2004




6.0 cubic feet











Collection processed by

Cathy Kerns, Naval Historical Foundation

January 2008





Operational Archives Branch

Naval Historical Center

805 Kidder Breese Street SE

Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374





Lieutenant Jonathan Seiferth England was born on November 12, 1913 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Albert C. England.  Following graduation from Pittsfield High School in 1930, he entered Phillps Academy Andover in Andover, Massachusetts, before trans-ferring to Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  While at Harvard College, England was on the Varsity Lacrosse team (1933-1935) and Varsity Soccer team (1932-1934). As Captain of the Lacrosse team his senior year, he led Harvard to its first New England Championship. England earned All-American honors in both sports. In June of 1935, he graduated from Harvard with an A.B. cum laude in English.  He then attended Boston University Graduate School of Business Administration from 1935-1937.


Before entering the naval service England first worked for Filene's in Boston, Massachusetts and then for Dey Brothers and Company in Syracuse, New York.  He left this company to go to work as a personal assistant for the President of Iroquois China Company in Syracuse, New York.


England applied for a Navy commission on June 10, 1942 and was appointed an ensign in the Naval Reserve on June 25, 1942.   He reported for duty on July 27, 1942 to U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School, Abbott Hall, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. After graduation from this school he was assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center in Ports-mouth (Melville), Rhode Island, completing this training on November 28, 1942.  One notable classmate of his during this period was future President of the United States John F. Kennedy.


England then reported to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 9 and was assigned as PT Boat commander in the South Pacific from December 1942 to June 1944.  After Kennedy’s boat, PT-109, was cut in two by a Japanese destroyer during a wartime mission the crew was taken to Tulagi. At Tulagi, England assisted Kennedy by providing dry clothes and supplies.  During this period England was commended by Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific, for meritorious and efficient performance of duty as commanding officer of a motor torpedo boat operating in the Solomon Islands area. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his performance as captain of a PT Boat and Motor Torpedo Boat section leader during operations in the Solomons. On the night of February 11-12, 1944, he successfully landed a party of coast watchers on the south coast of Bougainville despite the presence of enemy observation posts and batteries know to be in the area. He was also credited with the sinking of enemy barges in the Solomons.


After his service in the South Pacific, England reported back to the United States for duty at Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  In November 1944 he reported for duty to the Washington, D.C. office of the Bureau of Ships. On December 30, 1945, following the end of World War II, Lieutenant England was discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve.


Jonathan England stayed in the Washington, D.C. area and became a successful businessman and a partner of Devlin Lumber Company, Rockville, Maryland. He and his wife Patricia had four daughters; Elizabeth (Betsy), Laurie, and twins Lenore (Norie) and Patricia (Penny).  Jonathan England died on December 30, 2005 and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.


Scope and Content


This collection of the papers of Lieutenant Jonathan S. England, USNR consist of  correspondence and material collected by Lieutenant England, photographs, official manuals and books on PT Boats.  Additionally, the Curator Branch has artifacts from Lieutenant England.


The paper collection comprises six series:  Naval Career, Correspondence, Material collected by Lieutenant Jonathan England, Photographs, and Publications.  The sixth series is a listing of the artifacts held by the Curator Branch.

Series I concerns his Naval Career:  Sub-series A is Lieutenant England’s paper work on applying to join the Naval Reserve.  These include selective service letter, application and appointment into the Naval Reserve, and letters of recommendations into the Navy.    Sub-Series B contains his Official Military Service includes documents of his official records and information on his duty stations at Motor Torpedo Boats Squadron Training Center, in Melville, Rhode Island; Commander South Pacific, Motor Torpedo Squadron NINE, and back to Melville, Rhode Island.  While in Melville, Lieutenant England was manger of the Navy PT School Night Raiders Football Team in 1944.  Included are photographs of the team and three official game day programs.  Sub-series C contain Other Information on his service.  This concerns his leaving active duty and information about his duty written later in his life.  Lieutenant England was featured in The Contractor talking about his World War II service on PT Boats.  This convention program is related to his business as a successful businessman and owner of a lumber company.


Series II is Correspondence.  Sub-series A is Lieutenant England’s correspondence with fellow PT Boaters and from two researchers conducting a study on what life was like for PT boat officers during World War II.  Included is a letter from William C. Battle, who in 1962 was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to be Ambassador to Australia and a personal hand-written letter from future president of the United States Jack Kennedy to Lieutenant England dated 22 Aug 1944.  Sub-series B includes information on reunion of PT Boaters, membership into PT Boats Inc., and the rosters of their members. 


Series III includes Material Collected by Lieutenant Jonathan England.  Sub-series A is original magazine clippings mostly from Life during the years 1942 to 1945 and newspaper clippings.  Lieutenant England arranged the magazine clippings in different categories of folders.  His original names for these are maintained. Sub-series B include original orders of PT Squadron NINE during the period of 1942-1943.  The officers from Flotilla ONE of the Motor Torpedo Boats put together a collection of handwritten songs and poetry. This collection does have some inappropriate language within.


Series IV contains Photographs.  Most are family pictures taken in 1941-1942.  A few show Lieutenant England during his naval service.  In this are official Navy Photographs from World War II, which are separated by year 1943 to 1945 and also photographs from World War II that are undated.  Several photographs show Lieutenant England attending a PT reunion in August 1978.


Series V includes publications and newsletters from official PT Boat associations.  Sub-series A are official government manuals from World War II.  Sub-series B are newsletters from different associations relating to PT Boats. Sub-series C has the original Victory Bond World Premiere program for the movie They were Expendable and original tickets for the show in Washington, D.C., held on 19 December 1945.  Also included is an article on the Discovery of Kennedy’s PT-109 found 59 years later below the surface of the Solomon’s Blackett Strait in 2002.  This series also has a lot of different items that Lieutenant England collected during his time in the service.  Some include a Map of the Solomon Islands, PT Boat Insignia Patches and PT Boaters Stickers.  Sub-series D are a collection of 20 books all about PT Boats.


Series VI is a listing of the artifacts held by the Curator Branch.


Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Lieutenant Jonathan S. England Papers, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.


Subject Heading (LCSH)

England, Jonathan Seiferth, 1913-2005

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 1917-1963

United States. Navy. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 9

Torpedo-boats--United States.

World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American.

World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Ocean.



This collection is unclassified.


Box and Folder List


Box 1


Series I:  Naval Career


      Sub-Series A:  Applying for the Navy

1. Certificate of Birth                                                                                    

2. Selective Service System Letter                                                               

4 Jun 1942

3. Memorandum for Appointment in the U.S. Naval Reserve


4. Personal History Statement of Jonathan S. England


5. College Transcript – Harvard

9 Jun 1942

6. Letters of Recommendation into the Navy


7. Application and Appointment in the Naval Reserve

Jul 1942

8. Western Union Telegrams and letters congratulations on commission

Jul 1942

9. Five Year Diary

17 Jul 1942–5 Oct 1942

      Sub-Series B:  Official Military Service Records

10. Change of Duty Orders

Sep–Nov 1942

11. Motor Torpedo Boats Squadron Training Center, Melville, RI

Nov 1942

12. Certificate of Membership Domain of Neptunus Rex

Mar 1943

13. Change of Duty Orders

Apr–Nov 1944

14. Engineering Training Course, Melville, RI

Sep 1944

15. Navy PT School “Night Raiders” Football Team, Melville, RI


16. Massachusetts – Temporary Driving Permit

Jun–Jul 1944

17. Officer’s Qualification Report

Nov 1944– Nov 1945

18. Request for Leave of Absence

Apr–Aug 1945

19. Release from Active Duty Correspondence

Oct–Dec 1945

20. Travel and Mess Bill Claims

Apr–Dec 1945

21. Bronze Star Medal, Combat “V” Citation

13 Dec 1946

22. U. S. Naval Reservist Correspondence


23. Medical Records

1945 & 1952


Sub-Series C:  Other Information on his Service

24. Abridged Prayer Book for Jews in the Armed Forces                          


25. The Contractor – “Jon England, ABC Member Had PT Boat Background Too”

Oct 1962

26. England family members in the military from newspapers


27. Interview with Lieutenant England, “The War Years” by Neuberg Associates

6 Jul 2003

Box 2


Series II:  Correspondence



      Sub-Series A: Letters

1. Battle, William C.

15 May 1962

2. Cullman, Joseph

22 Feb 1999

3. Davidson, Robert L.D.


4. Edward, John H.

20 Jan 2002

5. Efland, Simpson L.

3 Jun 1993

6. Forrestal, James Secretary of the Navy

9 Feb 1946

7. Harllee, RADM John

10 Apr 1963

8. Hove, Duane T.

11 Apr 2001

9. Johnson, Alex

28 Feb 2001

10. Kennedy, Jack

22 Aug 1944

11.  Leeson, Dix

4 May 1994

12. Luson, Dip


13. Marshall, Stan B.

Nov 1996–Oct 2001

14. Munroe, Pat

Nov 1992–1994,  8 Jul 2002

15. Nussbaum, Rabbi Perry E.

15 Jun 1954

16. Newberry, Boats

2 Apr, 1945, 24 Jun 1961

17. Rosen, Fred W.

2 May 1963

18. Sermersheim, Denny M.

21 Jan 1972

19. Stern, Charles M.


20. Sutphen, Preston L.

18 Jun 1945

21. Thompson, James R.

1 Apr 1994

22. White, Bryon R.

1 Apr 1962, 3 Sep 1976, 19 Sep 1983

23. Wilde, Waldo De


24. Zaffiri, Samuel

Oct 2001

25. Personal Letters from Friends


26. Letter from Uncle Jon to Mother and Dad



Sub-Series B: Reunions, Membership and Museum, Rosters

1. Newberry Equipment Company – Museum

19 Oct 1961

2. Peter Tare Rosters

1998–99, 2002, 2004

3. PT Boat Historical Committee – Museum


4. PT Boats Inc., Membership

6 Sep 1983

5. PT Boat 25th Reunion Schedule

Sep 1967

6. PT Boat Reunion to Commemorate Congressman Torbert H. MacDonald

24 Oct 1976

7. Reunion Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons – Seventh Class

Aug 1988

8. Reunion – 1994 Peter Tare Reunion

28 Apr–1 May 1994

9. Reunion – Motor Torpedo Boat, Bethesda, MD (9 Photos)



Box 3


Series III:  Material Collected by Lieutenant Jonathan England



Sub-Series A:  Folders organized by Lieutenant England (maintained in original order)

1. “The Army, Navy and Marines – As We Saw Them” (Life Magazine)


2. “Articles That Made Us Think”


a. “Weather, The Air, Storm Details, Weather Plays a Part in War”


b. “The Oceans”


c. “It Makes Christians”


d. “The Rockets Weapons are Inaccurate, Inefficient”


e. “Pidgin English”


3. “Bamboo Ballads by Bosin Ben”


4. “Nicht für die Kinder”


a. “Speaking of Pictures … ‘Hollywood Girls are all things to Servicemen’”


b. “Chili Williams”


5. “Overseas Editions of the News”


6. “Pictures Tell the Story”


a. “Colorful Romance” [Sailors Wins his Girl]


b. “Fighting Family” [Roosevelt Family]


c. “South Sea Island


d. Newspaper articles


e. 5 pencil drawings [Life in the Tropics]


7. “PT Boats in Action”


a. “In the Dark of Solomon Moon,” Saturday Evening Post


b. Newspapers with pictures of PT Boats in Action


c. “Solomon Island Battle,” Life


d. “They were Expendable,” Life


8. “PT Boats in the Ads”


9. “Souvenirs of Indoctrination and Training – 1942”


a. Regulations Governing the U. S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL


b. Miscellaneous documents from U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s School, Northwestern University


c. Information on Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center, Portsmouth, RI


d. “Rickenbacker Rescue” Life


e. Maneuving Board problem from school


f. “Their Shields were Plywood,” New York Times Book Review



Box 4


10. “Those D______ Japs


a. “Life – Prisoners of Japan: ‘Death was part of our Life’ ”


b.  “How Strong is Japan?”


c. “P-38”


d. “Your War with Japan


e. “Inside Wartime Japan


11. “The War as I Saw It – A War of Equipment”


a. “New Georgia Offensive”


b. “Experience by Battle” a 32 portfolio of six American artists assigned to the various land, sea, and air fronts


c. “Guadalcanal Shores


d. “Spring Offensives”


e. “Sicily Invasion Goes Well”


f. “The Landing at Lai”


g. “Landing Crafts” (Photos)


h. “Munda Airfield”


i. “The Battle of Arundel Island”  


j. “The Allied Whirlwind Sweeps the Ruhr


k. “Closer to Tokyo


l. “Allies Advance in South Pacific”


m. “Sea Bombardment”


n. “Allies Bomb Rabaul” and “Bougainville”


o. “Navy Artist – Jamieson Paints Embarkation”


p. 3 Map Sketches


q. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron NINE Equipment List



Sub- Series B:  Documents collected during World War II



1. “His is a Courageous Role on the High Seas,” The Washington Post Parade

18 Mar 1945


2. “Time Can’t Slay the “Green Dragons,’” The Washington Post Potomac

25 Mar 1962



Sub- Series C:  Documents collected during World War II



1. Orders of PT Squadron NINE, Nov 1942 – Nov 1943



a. Orders for Sentries

11 Nov 1942


b. Orders for the Duty Officer

11 Nov 1942


c. Boards – Appointing of

11 Nov 1942


d. Ships log; writing of

16 Nov 1942


e. Watch Standing and Liberty

20 Nov 1942


f. Squadron Uniform Regulations



g. Readiness and Security Measures while Based on Taboga

4 Jan 1943


h. Alert Procedures while Based on Taboga

4 Jan 1943


i. Officer’s Mess Bills – payment of

25 Nov 1943


j. Auditing Board – Officer’s Mess

7 Dec 1943


2. Songs and Poetry of the PTs



3. “Wood’s Weekly,” informal publication for PT Boats

11, 18 Dec 1943


Box 5


Series IV:  Photographs



1. Crew of PT 157 – Ron 9 Photograph


2. Family Photographs (39)


3. Motor Torpedo Boat Maneuver on the Potomac (20)

17 Dec 1945

4. Official Navy Photographs World War II 1943 (35)

Feb–Dec 1943

5. Official Navy Photographs World War II 1944 (13)

Jan–Dec 1944

6. Official Navy Photographs World War II 1945 (6)

Jan–Mar 1945

7. Official Navy Photographs World War II Undated (26)


8. World War II Photographs Snapshots (3x4) (63)



 Box 6


Series V:  Publications



Sub-Series A: Official Manuals



1. Basic Field Manual, War Department



2. Blue Jacket Manual, United States Naval Institute



3. Castaway’s Baedeker to the South Seas

Sep 1943


4. Going Back to Civilian Life, U. S. Navy

Aug 1945


5. How to Display and Respect the Flag of the United States, U.S. Navy



6. Know Your PT Boat



7. Life of a PT Man at -- Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center, Melville, RI., U.S. Navy



8. Military Malaria Control in the Field

Sep 1943


9. Motor Torpedo Boat Manual, U. S. Navy



Box 7


10. Motor Torpedo Boats – Tactical Orders and Doctrine, U.S. Navy      


11. Navy Training Courses, U.S. Navy


12. Shipment of Household Effects, U.S. Navy


13. The Last Word on Life Insurance for Men Discharged from the Navy, U.S. Navy


14. The 4 M-2500 Packard Marine Engine Manual, U.S. Navy


15. Watch Officers Guide, U.S. Navy



Box 8


Sub- Series B: Newsletters



1. The PT Boater

Feb, Nov 2001, May 2002


2. Peter Tare Newsletters

Jan–Apr 1954, Feb 1962, Jan–Mar 1963, Dec 1964, Aug 1976


3. Peter Tare Newsletter

Jan 1994, Sep 2001, Jan 2002, Oct 2003, Oct 2004


4. Nimitz News



5. All Hands (PT Boat Squadron, Base, Tenders)

Feb, May 2003; May, Nov 2004


6. The Naval Reservist



7. The Skeeter, Melville, RI



Sub- Series C:  Miscellaneous



1. Decommissioning of the PT Boats



2. “Discovery of Kennedy’s PT -109,” The Washington Post



3. Do you know the Navy Quiz



4. Eulogy on ADM H.G. Rickover

14 Jul 1986


5. Japanese War Magazine



6. Jewish War Veteran of the United States Certificate

26 Mar 1944


7. Knights of the Sea, RON 12, 21, and 39



8. Map of the Solomon Islands

Apr 1940


9. Membership into United States Naval Institute



10. Newspaper clippings on PT Boats, World War II



11. PT Boat Insignia Patches



12. PT Boaters Stickers



13. PT Squadron Patch Drawing



14. Post Card, Candy Wrapper, Match Book cover



15. Spouting Rock Beach Association



16. “The PT Boater’s Roll of Honor”



17. U.S. Navy Motor Torpedo Boat Insignias of World War II Operations



18. Victory Bond Program

19 Dec 1945


19. WW II’s Forgotten Hero – The Story of the PT Boat

Jul–Aug 1998


20. Wooden Boat – PT Boat Design and Development

Mar–Apr 1996


Box 9


Sub-Series D:  Books on PT Boats

1. How to be a Naval Officer, Rear Admiral Yates Stirling, Jr., USN


2. Hot, Straight and True, View of PT Boats in WW II, Russ Hamachek


3. Long Were The Nights, Hugh B. Cave


4. Night Work – Story of TF 39, Fletcher Pratt


5. Devil Boats – PT War Against Japan, William Breuer



Box 10


6. At Close Quarters – PT Boats in the United States Navy, Captain Robert Bulkley, Jr.


7. PT Boats – Bob Reed Wins his Command at Melville, Henry B. Lent


8. PT Patrol, Commander Edward I. Farley


9. PT Boats Officer – Stories from 50 years Ago, Lt. Ted Meredith, USNR


10. PT 109 – John F. Kennedy in WW II, Robert J. Donovan


11. PT Boats, Bryan Cooper


12. PT – Boats of WW II in Action, Frank D. Johnson


13. Sea Battles in Close up: WW II, Martin Stephen


14. Tales of Tulagi, Commander John M. Searles, USNR


15. The Coast Watchers, Eric Feldt



Box 11


16. They Were Expendable, W.L. White


17. The Wonder Book of the Navy, Ward, Lock & Co.


18. War at Sea, Nathan Miller


19. What’s that Plane, Walter Pitkin, Jr.


20. Psychology – For the Fighting Man, Infantry Journal


21. Early Elco Pt Boats, Bob Ferrell and Al Ross


22. Patrol Guerrilla Motor Boats, U.S. Naval Institute




Series VI:  Artifacts Held by Curator Branch


1.   Plaque – MTB Ron Eight

2.   Binoculars and Case – Used on PT Boat during World War II

3.   Pair of Lieutenant Shoulder Boards

4.   Wooden Ornamental Spear Head from the South Pacific

5.   Telegraph Signal Training Board

6.   Canteen and Cover – Used on PT Boat during World War II