This collection contains scrapbooks, photographs, and correspondence documenting the World War II experience of Herman George Eiden, who served in the Pacific while in the United States Navy. Eiden was a Fireman First Class assigned to the U.S.S. Houston (CA-30), where he recorded his time at sea and in the Pacific theater with photographs and film. The digital collection includes three scrapbooks containing over 600 photographs and clippings.
Items in Eiden’s scrapbooks include magazine clippings of U.S. Navy cruisers, aircraft carriers, planes, and comic strips, as well as many photographs documenting his time spent in Naval training and in locations like Panama, Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, and China. Eiden spent several months in the Philippines, and his snapshots include street scenes and other depictions of local culture, natural landmarks such as Pagsanjan Falls and Pasig River, and the architecture and residents of Manila.
Eiden was born in 1922 to Clara and Peter H. Eiden. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Eiden graduated from du Pont Manual Training High School. Shortly after graduation, Eiden joined the U.S. Navy, and he completed his Naval training at the Great Lakes Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois. While Eiden was stationed on the U.S.S. Houston in the Pacific, on March 1, 1942, the Houston was attacked by Japanese war ships in the Battle of Sunda Strait and was sunk. Many perished in the attack, including Eiden, while those that survived were sent to Japanese POW camps.