The Geography and Map Division has processed the map collection of an American vice admiral who served in both Europe and the Pacific during World War II. The Morton L. Deyo World War II map collection consists of maps related to Deyo’s role as a naval task force commander, and these once secret materials show tactical details and strategic concerns.
In August of 1944, Deyo’s ships supported the Allied landings in southern France. The attack had the dual goal of opening a second front against the Germans and gaining control of port cities to increase the flow of supplies to northern France, where Allied forces had attacked German-held beaches on June 6 in Normandy.
Six maps from the collection illustrate amphibious landing intelligence in southern France along the Mediterranean coast. The maps, produced in 1944 by the American Seventh Army, depict coastal areas near the cities of Cannes and Nice. These were areas outside the immediate Allied landing zones but which were subjected to a feinted amphibious assault and later liberated by the Allied forces. The maps are highly detailed; scaled at 1:25,000, they contain information about the beaches, the depth of water, and defenses. Although the Allies did not land at Nice, the U.S. Navy bombarded German positions within the city to support the French Resistance. This once secret map depicts the German defenses in and around Nice.
In 1945, Deyo was transferred to the Pacific. He commanded the bombardment of the Japanese island of Okinawa and his task force provided protection for the landing ships. The Battle of Okinawa was the last major battle of the war. The now declassified map titled Annex B, Movement Plan, ComFIRSTCar TaskForPAC, OP-Order 2-45 plots the movement of Allied naval forces, including several way points and information on times of attack and resupply.
Differing from the tactical maps previously mentioned is a strategic map titled Flow of Essential War Materials to Industrial Heart of Japan. Created by the Allied Air Forces South West Pacific Area command, the map highlights the Japanese industrial heartland in red and shows how incredibly reliant the Japanese were on imported fuel, raw materials, and food. American submarines and air forces actively sought out and destroyed Japanese shipping in order to disrupt the supply chain.
Deyo’s maps complement the admiral’s papers, which are held in the Library’s Manuscript Division. Finding aids for the maps and collections are available online by following the highlighted links above.