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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
Armed Forces Oral Histories: US Army Senior Officer Oral Histories
1971-1987, 1989
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
366 fiche


Name of creator(s)

US Army senior officers and the US Army Military History Institute (USAMHI).

Administrative / Biographical history

Senior officer oral histories were the central component of the ongoing oral history programme conducted by the US Army Military History Institute (USAMHI). Directed by the Chief, Oral History Branch, USAMHI, the objective of the programme was to interview senior US Army officers. Created in 1970 at the behest of Gen William Childs Westmoreland, then Chief of Staff, US Army, the programme was initiated to produce interviews that would serve the needs of historians as well as professional soldiers interested in leadership techniques. Interviewers were drawn from the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and were selected for their interests, education, and career patterns and the interviews were recorded on audio tape and then transcribed. Transcripts were then edited for continuity, readability, and accuracy.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

University Publications of America, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Armed Forces Oral Histories: US Army Senior Officer Oral Histories is a themed microfiche collection of 96 interviews of senior US Army personnel, 1971-1986. The interviews cover the entire career of the interviewee. As biographical interviews, they emphasise the significant events in which the subject took part and the personalities with whom the subject came into contact. Many of the interviewees had long careers that spanned World War Two, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. However, many of the interviews relate to non-combat roles, including the formulation of major doctrinal and policy programmes for the US Army. Included in the collection are interviews with Gen Mark Wayne Clark, relating to his service as Commander, US 2 Corps, and liaison duties with French forces in North Africa, 1942, his position as High Commissioner of Austria, 1945-1947, and his services as Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command in Korea, 1952-1953; Gen Lucius DuBignon Clay, relating to his service as Deputy Military Governor of Germany, Commander-in-Chief, US Military Forces Europe, and Military Governor of US Zone in Germany, 1947-1949; Gen William E Dupuy, relating to the establishment of US Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) following the Vietnam War; Gen Andrew Jackson Goodpaster, relating to his staff positions with Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), his services with US Special Forces in Vietnam and Laos, and his role as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR); Gen Lewis B Hershey, relating to the US selective service system operation during World War Two and the American debate over the draft; Gen Lyman L(ouis) Lemnitzer, relating to his position on the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1945-1947, his services as Commander-in-Chief, Far East, 1955-1957, and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1960-1962; Gen Matthew Bunker Ridgway, relating to his command of US 82 Airborne Div in Sicily, Italy, and Normandy, France, 1942-1944, his position as US Commander, Mediterranean Theater and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, 1945-1946, Commanding General US 8 Army, Korea, 1950-1951, and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR), 1952-1953; Gen Maxwell Davenport Taylor, relating to his service as US Military Representative to the President, 1961-1962, his views on counterinsurgency activities during the Vietnam War, US bombing tactics in North Vietnam, his role as US Ambassador to South Vietnam, and his views on Gen William Childs Westmoreland, Commander, US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, 1964-1965.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically according to interview subject.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies may be printed off the microfilm for research purposes and are charged at the cost to the Centre. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America Inc., 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD, 20814, USA

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Summary guide entry online and published detailed catalogue available in hard copy in the Centre's reading room, Margaret A Lynch (ed.), Armed Forces Oral Histories: US Army Senior Officer Oral Histories (University Publications of America, Bethesda, MD, 1989).

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

US Army Military History Institute, Oral History Branch, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, USA



Compiled Aug 1999

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

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