Large leather-bound guest book from the presidential yacht USS Williamsburg from the estate of its captain James W. Hicks, 11.5 x 14.25, dated 1953, containing 44 signatures of politicians and their guests on the first four pages (signed back-to-back), including: Dwight D. Eisenhower (3), Mamie Doud Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Rene Mayer, Georges Bidault, Maurice Bourges-Maunoury, Livingston T. Merchant, Harold Stassen, Alexander Wiley, Douglas MacArthur II, Sam Rayburn, Charles Erwin Wilson, Henri Bonnet, Elivera M. Doud, Frances Doud Moore, Helen E. Eisenhower, Milton S. Eisenhower, Thomas E. Stephens (2), Edward L. Beach, Jr. (2), C. Turner Joy, and 17 others. Also includes a rare secretarial note sent by the office of Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of JFK’s assassination, matted and framed with memorial cards, a card for the funeral services of John F. Kennedy, and Hicks’s name clipped from the mailing envelope, showing how important he was to the president. Other items include a group of five photographs of JFK and the Honey Fitz yacht; a couple snapshots of Hicks; a shadowbox display of matchbooks from the Honey Fitz and Air Force One; a few official badges and blank pad of White House stationery; a group of yearbooks from the ships that Hicks served on; and various other ephemera. In overall fine condition.
James W. Hicks (1926–2012) enlisted in the US Navy in 1943, at the age of 16, and began serving on the USN West Virginia; he and his crewmen engaged in a number of important battles during World War II, including Midway and Coral Sea. Due to his stellar wartime service and vast knowledge of naval traditions, in the postwar years he was assigned as ‘Chief of the Boat’ for presidential yachts, including the USS Williamsburg, Honey Fitz, and Patrick J. In this position he served under presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, and following Kennedy’s tragic assassination he became an aide to President Johnson. This is an outstanding collection of the material he gathered throughout these years, highlighted by the presidential signatures held within the USS Williamsburg guest book.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.