Guide to the John J. Cape, Jr. papers
Collection number: HMC-0812.
Creator: Cape, John J., Jr.
Title: John J. Cape, Jr. papers.
Dates: 1941-1942, 1944.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Papers of an 11th Fighter Squadron pilot killed in action near Dutch Harbor.
John Jarvis Cape, Jr. was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1918. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet at New York, New York, on February 7, 1941. He trained as a fighter pilot and graduated from the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Maxwell Field, Alabama, on September 26, 1941, when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Cape then served with the 11th Fighter Squadron in the Aleutian Islands under Major John S. Chennault. On June 4, 1942, while flying in a routine patrol near Dutch Harbor which came under enemy attack, he was killed in action while coming to the aid of a fellow flier who survived a crash landing. John J. Cape, Jr. was awarded the Posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross on August 1, 1942.
The collection consists of original and copied documents and newspaper clippings concerning the World War II service and death of U. S. Army Air Corps fighter pilot John J. Cape, Jr. The collection contains: a copy of Cape’s diploma and certificate of proficiency from the U. S. Army Air Corps Training Center, Advanced Flying School, Maxwell Field, Alabama (Sep. 26, 1941); Cape’s certificate of commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army Air Corps (Sep. 26, 1941); copies of two telegrams informing Cape’s parents of his death; two letters from Chief of Staff C. G. Marshall to Cape’s father informing him of his son’s disappearance and death (June 10, 15, 1942); an original copy of a two-page letter of condolence to Cape’s father by his commanding officer, Major John S. Chennault of the 11th Fighter Squadron (July 2, 1942); a copy of the Alaska Defense Command order awarding Cape the Posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross (Aug. 1, 1942); a copy of a letter of condolence to Mr. Cape from Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall (Sep. 23, 1942); a copy of a post card from Lt. Colonel John S. Chennault of the 343rd Fighter Group to Mr. Cape announcing the destruction of a Japanese aircraft and pilot by his son’s former unit (Oct. 21, 1942); a letter from Major General J. A. Ulio to Cape’s father informing him of the awarding of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart to his son (Nov. 14, 1942); a brief letter of remembrance on Memorial Day 1944 from General H. H. Arnold of the Army Air Forces; a telegram to Mr. Cape announcing the dedication of a Cape Air Force Pad for his son at Westover Air Force Base in Worchester, Massachusetts; an original newspaper clipping of an article with photograph entitled, “Cambridge Flier Gave Life for Pal: Lt. Cape’s parents Advised of Death,” by Bob Sibley; copies of other assorted newspaper articles concerning Cape’s death, training, and service in Alaska; a copy of a photo portrait of Cape; an original copy of Cape’s personnel file; a small date book; a membership card for the Flying Cadet Club (May 9, 1941); a garrison cap and four patches from Cape’s time as a flight cadet; and various metal service ribbons, rank insignia, and pilot’s wings. The personnel file contains copies of transitional flying instruction certificates, orders, individual flight records (Feb. 1941-June 1942), and memoranda.
Arrangement: The materials are in rough chronological order.
Rights note: The Archives holds rights to these materials.
Preferred citation: John J. Cape, Jr. papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the archives by Patricia Hatfield and Laurel H. Shuttleworth, nieces of John J. Cape, in 2005 and 2006. A deed of gift transferring rights to the materials was signed in 2007.
Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2005.