John A. Watkins Papers, PC.5292


John A. Watkins Papers, PC.5292


John A. Watkins was an aviator active on the Outer Banks in the late 20th century. In addition to his personal papers, this collection includes records for Coastal Patrol Base No. 16 of the Civil Air Patrol, which operated in Manteo, N.C., during World War II under the command of Watkins' father, Major Allen Harrison Watkins. Included are pilot reports, a base log, the base's S-2 journal, and Allen Watkins' personal notebook describing disciplinary violations of the soldiers under his command as well as other routine matters.

Descriptive Summary

John A. Watkins Papers
Call Number
Watkins, John Adams, 1934-2015
1941-1998 and undated
2.610 cubic feet
Outer Banks History Center

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Audiovisual materials may be inaccessible pending reformatting. Contact the Outer Banks History Center for more information.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by the United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying these materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], PC.5292, John A. Watkins Papers, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, NC, U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The John A. Watkins Papers, 1941-1998 and undated, are arranged into two series: Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Base 16 (Manteo, N.C.) Records (1941-1943 and undated) and Personal Papers (1962-1998 and undated)

The largest series in the collection is the Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Base 16 (Manteo, N.C.) Records, 1941-1943 and undated. The bulk of this series consists of pilot reports for planes departing from and/or arriving to Base 16. These reports include the pilot's name, mission symbol, serial number, gas and oil levels, records of mechanical checks, weather, takeoff and landing times, and other information about the flight. One folder exclusively describes flights completed by Allen H. Watkins on his plane, NC12329. The pilot reports are organized by the aircraft's serial number. Also included are photocopies of Base 16's log and S-2 journal, as well as copies of memoranda and orders affecting the camp. Additionally, Major Allen H. Watkins' "black book," an alphabetized notebook largely containing records of disciplinary violations committed by the soldiers under his command, as well as personal notes, memoranda, and a small number of letters received by Watkins, is included. These records describe life in the camp in minute detail, including events attended by the soldiers stationed there, changes in rules and regulations, and descriptions of day-to-day operations.

The second series, Personal Papers, 1962-1998 and undated, includes clippings and research material collected by John A. Watkins on shipwrecks and German U-boats off the North Carolina coast (with a special focus on U-701), as well as VHS recordings related to Base 16 and aviation on the Outer Banks. Also included are several folders of color slides created by Watkins, primarily consisting of beach scenes, air shows, aerial photographs and other Outer Banks scenes. Several sheets comprising a slide index are included, but the index does not appear to be complete, and the slide numbers do not match the numbers listed on the index.

Arrangement Note

Folders within each series and video recordings are arranged alphabetically. Pilot reports are arranged numerically by aircraft serial number. Slides are arranged chronologically.


John Adams Watkins was born 28 November 1934 in Greensboro, North Carolina. His parents were Major Allen Harrison Watkins and Elizabeth Adams Watkins. He had two brothers: Allen H. "Buddy" Watkins, Jr. and David Watkins. Watkins vacationed to the Outer Banks as a child and eventually moved there permanently after serving in the United States Air Force. He was an avid pilot, and he was interested in shipwrecks and salvage efforts related to German U-boats active off the coast of North Carolina during World War II, particularly U-701. Watkins died 29 March 2015

Much of this collection consists of records from Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Base 16, located on the north end of Roanoke Island during World War II. These records passed to Watkins upon the death of his father, who served as the base commander for Base 16.

Contents of the Collection

1. Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Base 16 (Manteo, N.C.) Records, 1941-1943 and undated

Allen H. Watkins Notebook, 1943
Box 1
Base Log, July 1942-February 1943 (Photocopy), undated
Box 1
Memoranda and Orders, 1942-1943 (Photocopy), undated
Box 1

Pilot Reports, 1941-1943

NC781M, 1942-1943
Box 1
NC12329 (A.H. Watkins), 1942-1943
Box 1
NC12473 [2 folders], 1942-1943
Box 1
NC18286, 1943
Box 2
NC22044, 1942-1943
Box 2
NC36076 [3 folders], 1942-1943
Box 2
NC36721 [folders 1-2 of 3], 1942-1943
Box 2
NC36721 [folder 3 of 3], 1942-1943
Box 3
NC36728 [3 folders], 1942-1943
Box 3
NC39460 [folder 1 of 3], 1941-1943
Box 3
NC39460 [folders 2-3 of 3], 1941-1943
Box 4
NC39469 [3 folders], 1942-1943
Box 4
NC39488 [4 folders], 1942-1943
Box 5
S-2 Journal, March 1943-September 1943 (Photocopy), undated
Box 5

2. Personal Papers, 1962-1998 and undated

Clippings: Shipwrecks (contains photocopies of original documents dated 1931-1973), undated
Box 6
Clippings: U-Boats, 1971-1982
Box 6
Outer Banks Magazine feature on John A. Watkins, 1993
Box 6
U-701, 1980-1982 and undated
Box 6
Slide Index, undated
Image Box 1
Slides [4 folders], 1966-1984
Image Box 1
Photograph of Kill Devil Hills After the Ash Wednesday Storm, 1962
Folder Photograph of Kill Devil Hills After the Ash Wednesday Storm

Video Recordings, 1984-1998

50th Anniversary of Dare County Airport Ceremony and Air Show [VHS], August 1992
AV Box 1
CAP Base Manteo (from Original 16mm Film Taken by A.H.W., Sr.) [VHS], 1992
AV Box 1
CAP Memorial Ceremony and Monument with A.H.W., Sr. at Manteo [VHS], 27 April 1997
AV Box 1
The Cape Hatteras Light [VHS], 1998
AV Box 1
Colington Harbour from the Air [VHS], 8 January 1984
AV Box 1
Colington Harbour, Sea Ranch Erosion [VHS], 1984
AV Box 1
Dare County Regional Airport Then and Now [VHS], [1992?]
AV Box 1
First Flight Ceremonies at Wright Memorial [VHS], 1992
AV Box 1
The Graveyard of the Atlantic, Part 1 [VHS], 1997
AV Box 1
October-November Storm Video [VHS], circa 1990s
AV Box 1
Shipwrecks: Diamond Shoals, N. Shore Oregon Inlet [VHS], circa 1990s
AV Box 1
U-85, U-352, and U-701 [VHS], January 1995
AV Box 1
Wright Brothers, The Outer Banks with Ken Mann [VHS], 17-Dec-92
AV Box 1

Subject Headings

  • Watkins, Allen Harrison, 1906-2003
  • Coastal Patrol Base No. 16 (Manteo, N.C.)
  • U-701 (Submarine)
  • World War, 1939-1945--North Carolina--Outer Banks
  • Manteo (N.C.)--History--World War, 1939-1945
  • Outer Banks (N.C.)--Aerial photographs
  • United States--Civil Air Patrol--History
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by David Watkins on behalf of the John A. Watkins Estate, September 2015.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Samantha Crisp, June 2019.