Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
James O. Gawne Report Book, 1905-1906

Finding aid created by
Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: James O. Gawne report book
Creator: Gawne, J. O. (James Orville), b. 1883
Inclusive dates: 1905-1906
Extent: 1 volume
This manuscript contains Midshipman James O. Gawne's reports on machinery and activities aboard the USS Olympia and USS Cleveland between 1905 and 1906. The reports are made up of 22 pages of text, 4 diagrams, and 1 map. They include descriptions and illustrations of the ships' machinery; details about target practice exercises off Pensacola; and an account of temporary camp near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1996. M-3295.5 .

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

James O. Gawne Report Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


James Orville Gawne, son of Leverett and Elizabeth Gawne of Fredonia, New York, was born on October 4, 1883. He entered the United States Naval Academy in 1901 and graduated in the class of 1905. He served as a midshipman and assistant naval constructor before ending his career as a captain. In early 1905, Gawne was ordered to serve on the USS Olympia at Guantánamo, Cuba. Along with several other graduates, he traveled to the Caribbean on board the steamship Joseph di Giorgio . On arrival, he became midshipman aboard the Olympia . Gawne spent months on the ship, cruising around Cuba. In March 1906, he began service aboard the USS Cleveland . He was later stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York, and at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. He and his wife Jane had at least 2 children: Christian and James. James Orville Gawne died on August 22, 1977.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This manuscript contains Midshipman James O. Gawne's reports on machinery and activities aboard the USS Olympia and USS Cleveland between 1905 and 1906. The reports are made up of 22 pages of text, 4 diagrams, and 1 map. Most reports were approved by Gawne's commanding officers: H. G. O. Colby, J. D. Adams, or Edward Francis Qualtrough. Gawne composed the dated sections between June 30, 1905, and May 15, 1906.

J.O. Gawne wrote his reports on odd numbered pages, and added some diagrams and labels on even numbered pages. The first 2 pages consist of a "General Description of U.S.S. Olympia ," which provides information on the ship's physical specifications, cost and construction, and engines and other machinery (pp. 1-3). The next 3 pages (pp. 5-9) concern target practice, with instructions for calculating corrections when firing artillery in rough water. This section is accompanied by an example and a diagram (p. 6), as well as a description and diagram of the layout of a rifle range near Guantánamo, Cuba (p. 8). Gawne then reported on target practice near Pensacola, Florida (written from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, pp. 11-19). Gawne described several aspects of the exercise, including the performance of individual guns and the methods of firing them. He provided a labeled diagram of the sights used in the Olympia 's two-gun turrets (p. 19). Gawne next provided a technical overview of the Olympia 's evaporation system, with a labeled diagram (pp. 21-23).

On August 24, 1905, the crew of the Olympia arrived at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where they set up the temporary Camp Bradford. Gawne reported on the surrounding area, campsite, and life at the camp until it was dismantled on August 26 (pp. 25-31). He included a map of the camp, for which he provided a key (pp. 26-27). Pages 33-37 hold information on the Olympia 's ice machines, including mechanical details and a list of their constituent parts. Page 39 recapitulates the process of repairing the ship's condensers. The final report is a general description of the USS Cleveland , including its specifications, layout, guns, engines, and other operating machinery (pp. 41-49).


  • Page 6: Diagram of a method for finding correction, USS Olympia target practice
  • Page 8: Diagram of a United States Navy target range, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
  • Page 19: Diagram of gun sights/turrets, USS Olympia
  • Page 23: Diagram of evaporation system, USS Olympia
  • Pages 26-27: Map of Camp Bradford, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
Subject Terms

    • Bombing and gunnery ranges.
    • Cleveland (Cruiser)
    • Cruisers (Warships)--United States.
    • Evaporation control.
    • Guantánamo Bay (Cuba)
    • Marine engineering.
    • Monte Cristi Bay (Dominican Republic)
    • Naval gunnery.
    • Olympia (Cruiser)
    • Refrigeration and refrigerating machinery.
    • Steam-boilers, Marine.
    • United States. Navy--Target practice.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Bombing and gunnery ranges.
    • Camp Bradford (Guantánamo, Cuba)--Maps.
    • Evaporation control.
    • Firearms--Sights.
    • Target practice.
    • Adams, J. D.
    • Colby, H. G. O.
    • Qualtrough, Edward F. (Edward Francis), b. 1850.
    Genre Terms:
    • Maps.
    • Reports.
    • Technical drawings.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    James O. Gawne report book,  1905-1906 [series]
    Volume   1 Pages   1-3
    "General Description of U.S.S. Olympia "
    Volume   1 Pages   5-9
    "Preparation of data for 5" target practice"
    Volume   1 Pages   11-19
    "Target Practice 1905"
    Volume   1 Pages   21-23
    "Evaporating system of U.S.S. Olympia "
    Volume   1 Pages   25-31
    "Description of 'Camp Bradford' Guantanamo Bay, Cuba"
    Volume   1 Pages   33-37
    "Ice Machine"
    Volume   1 Page   39
    "Repairs to Condensers, January 12, 1906"
    Volume   1 Pages   41-49
    "General Description of U.S.S. Cleveland "
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library also holds papers of Robert Leo Irvine, another 1905 graduate from the United States Naval Academy.


    Furlong, William Rea. Class of 1905, United States Naval Academy. Annapolis: The Academy, 1930.

    "Gawne, James O. Capt. USN. (Ret.)." The Washington Post 24 August 1977: C4.

    Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1916