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Buck Donaldson Memoir

Identifier: MS-1978

  • Staff Only

Buck Donaldson begins his memoir (entitled He Leads Me: Oh Blessed Thought!) with an account of his childhood in small towns in northern Louisiana, including descriptions of his father's work as a physician and of his own education in Louisiana's public schools and at Louisiana State University. Donaldson then recounts his decision to leave LSU in order to join the U. S. Navy and study radar in December of 1942. He trained as a radioman and later as a signalman before being assigned to guard duty on Treasure Island (near San Francisco), California. Donaldson remembers spending only a short time on Treasure Island before being assigned to the Liberty Ship Casper S. Yost, which was assigned to transport supplies and eventually circumnavigated the globe. Donaldson next describes his return to Treasure Island and assignment to the Cape Canso, which transported troops in the Pacific Theater and participated in the invasion of the Palau Islands. He returned to San Francisco in November of 1944, where he remained until being assigned to the Liberty Ship Cyrus Alder in May of 1945. Donaldson ends his memoir with an account of his return to the United States and his joy at the war's end.

Interested researchers may also wish to consult MS.3265: Buck Donaldson Oral History, 2002 October 21 for more information about Donaldson's life.


  • undated

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0.1 Linear Feet


In this memoir, Buck Donaldson recounts his childhood in rural Louisiana and his service in the U. S. Navy during World War II.

Biographical/Historical Note

Buck Donaldson Jr. was born to Buck and Freddie Mae (Moore) Donaldson on August 23, 1925 in New Verda, Louisiana. He was educated in Louisiana's public schools and briefly attended Louisiana State University before joining the Navy to study radar. He was trained as a radioman and as a signalman before being sent to Treasure Island for deployment. He sailed on three different ships during World War II: the Casper S. Yost, the Cape Canso, and the Cyrus Alder. All three served in the Pacific Theater, although the Casper S. Yost transported supplies all around the world. After the war ended, Donaldson served on the Suison before being honorably discharged in 1946.

After his discharge, Donaldson began studying medicine at Louisiana State University but left school to attend a Baptist seminary. He was ordained a minister and served as a missionary in Tanzania and Nigeria during the 1960s and 1970s. He and his wife eventually settled in Knoxville, Tennessee.


This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

Buck Donaldson donated this collection to the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections on April 11, 2008.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA