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William Childs Westmoreland papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCL-MS-WCM
Spanning the twentieth century, this diverse collection of approximately seventy linear feet of the papers of William C. Westmoreland provides a critical perspective on three wars and other noteworthy events of the "American Century." The various materials document the General's military career; his personal and family life; his active schedule in the decades following his retirement; his libel suit against the CBS television network; and always above all, his staunch advocacy of veterans' concerns.

The collection is arranged in seven series: military papers, personal papers, speeches, audio/visual materials, clippings, miscellaneous materials, and ephemera. Where possible, Westmoreland’s original order has been retained, such as the convention of filing interviews with speeches. For clarity and ease of use, some files have been re-titled, interfiled, or rearranged.

I. Military Papers

Military papers (1936-1972) document Westmoreland’s career in the United States Army, 1936-1972. Series includes correspondence, memos, appointment calendars, orders, and other official papers generated in the completion of official duties. Materials generated during foreign and domestic tours of duty document WCW’s service in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and various posts around the United States.

Although all of WCW’s papers might be considered “Personal Papers,” some distinctions have been made to assist researchers. Military Papers include materials dealing with military and procedural matters. Given his extensive West Point contacts and a career marked by frequent promotions and reassignments, General and Mrs. Westmoreland developed and maintained close personal friendships with many of the military correspondents and their families represented in the collection. Many letters found in military papers include brief accounts updating the General on news of mutual friends and former associates. Many letters found in personal papers include observations regarding contemporary political or military concerns.

Military papers include WCW’s Jump Log 1958-1965, his Pilot Log from 1939-1940, and materials documenting service during World War II, Korea, and domestically at various posts. In 1960, WCW returned to his alma mater, the United States Military Academy, to serve as the 45th Superintendent at West Point. The Academy enjoyed an expansion of the enrollment and physical plant, and a modernization of the curriculum during his tenure. In addition to Military Papers – General, see the topical file, “Letters of Congratulation,” a category begun and maintained by WCW and preserved in this collection. Although many items are brief telegrams, the file includes more substantial letters as well.

Military papers filed titled “Calendars, 1960-1972,” includes lists of correspondents, dates of receipt and acknowledgement, and brief synopsis of content. These lists served as a “table of contents” for each folder of correspondence and were filed-as-received in reverse chronological order. These calendars document correspondence received during one- to two-year intervals. One item that includes similar information but was not typed using the standard form and was apparently compiled at a single point in time instead of over the course of months is item titled, "Index of Expressions of Public Support" (12 sheets). This file lists ninety-six letters, telegrams or resolutions, 21 Dec. 1966-28 Apr. 1968, and includes name and address of sender and date of reply. Although the General’s staff, the Army, or the Johnson administration most likely created this item for another purpose, it has been filed here due to the similar nature of the item in content and format.

A valuable resource discussing WCW’s time in Vietnam is the “Senior Officer Oral History Progam”, ca. 4 Aug. 196530 Apr. 1968, (Box 13). Journal entries document the routine and exceptional aspects of his duties, as well as the arrival of dignitaries, journalists, and other visitors.

Few materials held at SCL document WCW’s tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. (1968-1972). Researchers will find extensive materials documenting this period at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Materials from this period held by SCL chiefly consist of correspondence, commentary, and critiques of contemporary publications and of individual journalists. Two West Point professors discussed treatment of the Vietnam War by the media in "A Report on the 'Thirty-Three Books' Reviewed by the New York Times" (West Point, 1971). This rebuttal was written as an examination of allegations by Neil Sheehan in his article, “Should We Have War Crimes,” (New York Times Book Review, 28 Mar. 1971). Sheehan, known for The Pentagon Papers (1971) and other publications related to the Vietnam War, claimed that conduct of allied forces in Vietnam as reported may have violated the laws of the Geneva Convention. Professor Maj. John H. Moellering and Lt. Col. George K. Osborn researched this report to challenge Sheehan’s accusations. Topics addressed include discussion of the Vietnam War, and works of such authors as Noam Chomsky, Robert Drinan, and others. Volume includes bibliographic information and biographical sketches of the authors discussed.

A controversial book by Telford Taylor, Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy (1971) prompted extensive comment among WCW's correspondents. A letter dated 12 Feb. 1971 from Samuel Lyman Atwood "SLAM" Marshall (1900-1977), includes his reaction in a three-page essay written for publication by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post Syndicate. A more extensive rebuttal to Taylor's book appears attached to a letter, 24 May 1971, from WCW to Gen. Earle G. Wheeler. This unattributed document (32 pages followed by 8 pages of footnotes) was written to answer and refute Taylors’ charges and comparisons.

Other correspondence includes essays written by third parties, such as a letter, 2 Feb. 1967, from Henry Cabot Lodge that includes an essay by Col. Roger Trinquier, “The War in Indochina: An Officer’s Perspective,” [ca. 1967, 5 pages], re experiences of the French Army in Algeria and U.S. forces in Vietnam.

During Westmoreland's tenure as Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the name Col. Paul Miles frequently appears in military papers. Miles served as Aide-de-camp to WCW ca. 1969-1970, after which the General asked him to continue to serve on his personal staff. WCW discussed his long association with Miles, in a letter dated 23 Mar. 1989, to history professor, Lt. Col. James Rainey, USMA, written upon the retirement of Col. Miles.

In addition to U.S.A. Today
Spanning the twentieth century, this diverse collection of approximately seventy linear feet of the papers of William C. Westmoreland provides a critical perspective on three wars and other noteworthy events of the "American Century." The various materials document the General's military career; his personal and family life; his active schedule in the decades following his retirement; his libel suit against the CBS television network; and always above all, his staunch advocacy of veterans' concerns.

The collection is arranged in seven series: military papers, personal papers, speeches, audio/visual materials, clippings, miscellaneous materials, and ephemera. Where possible, Westmoreland’s original order has been retained, such as the convention of filing interviews with speeches. For clarity and ease of use, some files have been re-titled, interfiled, or rearranged.
I. Military Papers Military papers (1936-1972) document Westmoreland’s career in the United States Army, 1936- 1972. Series includes correspondence, memos, appointment calendars, orders, and other official papers generated in the completion of official duties. Materials generated during foreign and domestic tours of duty document WCW’s service in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and various posts around the United States.

Although all of WCW’s papers might be considered “Personal Papers,” some distinctions have been made to assist researchers. Military Papers include materials dealing with military and procedural matters. Given his extensive West Point contacts and a career marked by frequent promotions and reassignments, General and Mrs. Westmoreland developed and maintained close personal friendships with many of the military correspondents and their families represented in the collection. Many letters found in military papers include brief accounts updating the General on news of mutual friends and former associates. Many letters found in personal papers include observations regarding contemporary political or military concerns.

Military papers include WCW’s Jump Log 1958-1965, his Pilot Log from 1939-1940, and materials documenting service during World War II, Korea, and domestically at various posts. In 1960, WCW returned to his alma mater, the United States Military Academy, to serve as the 45th Superintendent at West Point. The Academy enjoyed an expansion of the enrollment and physical plant, and a modernization of the curriculum during his tenure. In addition to Military Papers – General, see the topical file, “Letters of Congratulation,” a category begun and maintained by WCW and preserved in this collection. Although many items are brief telegrams, the file includes more substantial letters as well.

Military papers filed titled “Calendars, 1960-1972,” includes lists of correspondents, dates of receipt and acknowledgement, and brief synopsis of content. These lists served as a “table of contents” for each folder of correspondence and were filed-as-received in reverse chronological order. These calendars document correspondence received during one- to two-year intervals. One item that includes similar information but was not typed using the standard form and was apparently compiled at a single point in time instead of over the course of months is item titled, "Index of Expressions of Public Support" (12 sheets). This file lists ninety-six letters, telegrams or resolutions, 21 Dec. 1966-28 Apr. 1968, and includes name and address of sender and date of reply. Although the General’s staff, the Army, or the Johnson administration most likely created this item for another purpose, it has been filed here due to the similar nature of the item in content and format.

A valuable resource discussing WCW’s time in Vietnam is the “Senior Officer Oral History Progam”, ca. 4 Aug. 1965–30 Apr. 1968, (Box 13). Journal entries document the routine and exceptional aspects of his duties, as well as the arrival of dignitaries, journalists, and other visitors.

Few materials held at SCL document WCW’s tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. (1968-1972). Researchers will find extensive materials documenting this period at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Materials from this period held by SCL chiefly consist of correspondence, commentary, and critiques of contemporary publications and of individual journalists. Two West Point professors discussed treatment of the Vietnam War by the media in "A Report on the 'Thirty-Three Books' Reviewed by the New York Times" (West Point, 1971). This rebuttal was written as an examination of allegations by Neil Sheehan in his article, “Should We Have War Crimes,” (New York Times Book Review, 28 Mar. 1971). Sheehan, known for The Pentagon Papers (1971) and other publications related to the Vietnam War, claimed that conduct of allied forces in Vietnam as reported may have violated the laws of the Geneva Convention. Professor Maj. John H. Moellering and Lt. Col. George K. Osborn researched this report to challenge Sheehan’s accusations. Topics addressed include discussion of the Vietnam War, and works of such authors as Noam Chomsky, Robert Drinan, and others. Volume includes bibliographic information and biographical sketches of the authors discussed.

A controversial book by Telford Taylor, Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy (1971) prompted extensive comment among WCW's correspondents. A letter dated 12 Feb. 1971 from Samuel Lyman Atwood "SLAM" Marshall (1900-1977), includes his reaction in a three-page essay written for publication by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post Syndicate. A more extensive rebuttal to Taylor's book appears attached to a letter, 24 May 1971, from WCW to Gen. Earle G. Wheeler. This unattributed document (32 pages followed by 8 pages of footnotes) was written to answer and refute Taylors’ charges and comparisons.

Other correspondence includes essays written by third parties, such as a letter, 2 Feb. 1967, from Henry Cabot Lodge that includes an essay by Col. Roger Trinquier, “The War in Indochina: An Officer’s Perspective,” [ca. 1967, 5 pages], re experiences of the French Army in Algeria and U.S. forces in Vietnam.

During Westmoreland's tenure as Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the name Col. Paul Miles frequently appears in military papers. Miles served as Aide-de-camp to WCW ca. 1969-1970, after which the General asked him to continue to serve on his personal staff. WCW discussed his long association with Miles, in a letter dated 23 Mar. 1989, to history professor, Lt. Col. James Rainey, USMA, written upon the retirement of Col. Miles.

In addition to
II. Personal Papers Personal papers (ca. 1900s-2000) document the interests and activities of WCW, and the public's continuing interest in the General. This file also includes materials documenting WCW’s personal life and interests outside of his public duties from childhood through retirement. Many letters give an account an interaction with WCW by the writer, as well as contemporary issues of the day, such as women in the military, veteran memorials, or popular depictions of veterans in cinema and television. Topics that mirror national news stories include letters and clippings, ca. Nov. 1976-Jan. 1977, re public opinion on President Jimmy Carter’s plans to adopt a policy of “blanket amnesty” for draft evaders and military deserters.

Extensive correspondence from the 1980s documents public opinion re the airing of CBS Reports: The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception, which aired 23 Jan. 1982. Letters from this period filed in general, veterans,’ and elsewhere includes extensive correspondence from friends and supporters, many of whom forwarded to Westmoreland copies of angry letters addressed to CBS, and offered support in his libel suit against the network.

Issues raised by the law suit prompted comment by the public for years after the settlement with CBS. One such correspondent was former college professor Leonard Magruder, founder of an organization called “University Liberation.” Magruder hoped this group would draw attention to treatment of Vietnam veterans and a perceived liberal bias in media coverage and reporting. Magruder sent packets of information, consisting of 20 to 30 pages, to WCW and others, dated 25 Apr. 1982 and 26 Feb. 1985. Magruder sent a letter, 7 Feb. 1996, to U.S.A. Today newspaper, members of the U.S. Congress, the national media, and WCW, protesting hostile treatment of Vietnam veterans in universities and in the media, and a liberal bias in the media.

General correspondence also includes a letter, 21 Dec. 1988, received from, Jean Van Der Spek, Brussels [Belgium] to WCW, enclosing letter, 25 Sept. 1921, from General John J. Pershing to Marshall [Philippe] Petain; having recently returned to Paris, Pershing writes to accept an invitation from Petain, resident of Les Invalides. Van Der Spek discusses Petain's career in World War I at the front, his contributions to the French Army and his treatment by the Front Populaire.

Family papers document activities of WCW's family and in-laws, including letters of Mrs. Katherine “Kitsy” Van Deusen Westmoreland, (b.1927). Earliest family papers document interests of WCW’s father, James Ripley “Rip” Westmoreland (1876-1964), including his extensive correspondence from South Carolina to his cadet son at West Point, N.Y. Other papers of Rip Westmoreland include speeches he delivered to various schools and organizations, dated ca. 1930s through 1942. Topics discussed include public health and social work at Pacolet Mills and elsewhere in South Carolina, [ca. 1935?], including health-care training of white and African-American women; and undated speech, [ca. 1930s?], re a loan to the "County Board" from the "bankers of the East" for 1.25 million dollars.

Speeches and other papers document Rip Westmoreland's long association with The Citadel, including an address, ca. 1942, to the Calliopean Society of The Citadel re his memories of cadet life in Charleston ca. 1900, including memorable faculty, and social activities at churches and theatres. Other items include a speech, ca. 1953, delivered at dedication of the Gen. Charles P. Summerall chapel; and papers re the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award, ca. 1945. A concurrent resolution, 16 Jan. 1957, re the voluntary retirement of Col. James Ripley Westmoreland from the Board of Visitors, includes a four-page essay, and a tribute, Oct. 1957.

Although Mrs. Westmoreland granted few interviews, several items document her many contributions and extensive service work, including her nursing training. The collection includes a draft of an essay on her life written for the alumnae magazine at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This eight-page essay is attached to a letter, 10 Oct. 1968, Washington, D.C., from Mrs. Ann C. Webb to Mrs. Trudy Atkins, Greensboro, N.C., and includes Mrs. Westmoreland's annotations and comments.

Journals of Mrs. Westmoreland’s father, Col. Edwin Russell Van Deusen. (1886-1981) are filed under Van Deusen Family. Observations of Col. Van Deusen, a West Point man (Class of 1909), fill one or more journals for every year from 1930-1945, and 1955-1980. Letters of Col. Van Deusen are filed in Westmoreland Family papers, except for several that deal with military matters and include forwarded, third-person correspondence. Van Deusen's letters dated Oct. 3, Sept. 19, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, 1969, are filed in Veterans Correspondence.

Awards include information on military promotions, medals and stars, as well as honors received in private life, such as honorary degrees, certificates, etc. As with Speeches series, military and civilian awards have been combined for ease of use. Chart and photograph, "Decorations and Ribbons-Full Set," 3 Apr. 1970, and "Index of Foreign Awards," [ca. 3 Apr. 1970] identify title, rank, and date of decorations now located at Patriots' Point in Charleston.

Biographical file includes biographical sketches and timelines of achievements. This file includes volumes documenting discrete periods in WCW’s life. This file holds concise biographical sketches used for press releases ca. 1940s-1990s. Additional biographical material appeared with release of WCW’s autobiography in Clippings--Soldier Reports.

CBS Libel Suit files document WCW’s libel suit brought against the Columbia Broadcasting System television network for accusations made during its telecast,CBS Reports: The Uncounted Enemy, which aired 21 Jan. 1982. The program featured carefully chosen witnesses and selective editing to claim that WCW underestimated enemy forces in Vietnam prior to the Tet offensive of January 1968 and deceived President Lyndon Johnson in order to exaggerate prospects for victory.

File CBS Libel case holds affidavits, statements, and correspondence from lawyers and other directly associated with the case. This file includes copies of correspondence not held in Military Papers, which were copied from originals at the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library for use as evidence. Many papers used during the trial bear markings of multiple numbering and filing systems. Where possible, this sort of material is filed chronologically.

General correspondence of this time period documents public opinion on the matter. Files include extensive third-person correspondence exchanged between WCW and his legal team, Capital Legal Foundation. For public opinion on the case, see Personal Papers--General, and Veterans'--General correspondence. Many veterans and other supporters sent WCW supportive letters after the telecast, and included copies of angry letters sent to CBS.

See Veterans' Correspondence during this period for extensive comments re the trial, and related issues. Various organizations joined WCW’s cause, including Accuracy in Media, and numerous veterans’ groups. Years after the settlement of the trial, letters continued to mention the libel suit and the issues raised, including a letter, 12 Apr. 1989, from Tom Patterson, Minnesota News Council, (filed in General Correspondence; see Audio-visual series for recording). Circa June 1986, the General recorded a public service announcement on behalf of the Minnesota News Council, endorsing its continued service as a mediating body on issues of journalistic ethics, which might prevent "some other important national case from going through the legal arena."

From 1982-1985, the trial generated more than 20,000 pages of transcripts, 30,000 pages of depositions and affidavits, and 30,000 pages of documentary exhibits. The Westmoreland papers contain only an incomplete portion of those court records. This file includes affidavits, depositions, interrogatories, transcripts of portions of the trial, related legal documents generated in the course of the litigation; and supporting documents and copies of the full text of interviews conducted for “CBS Reports: The Uncounted Enemy.” This file includes the “Benjamin Report,” the findings of the internal CBS investigation. Authored by senior journalist Burton Benjamin, this report criticized the research methods, interview techniques, and editing procedures that CBS followed in producing the show.

The file Exhibits (ca. 1960s-1970s) includes photocopies of interviews, correspondence, and “confidential military documents,” assembled as evidence for the trial. Incomplete runs of these materials in WCW’s papers at USC represent the General’s personal copies. These materials appear scrambled and incomplete, and show identification numbers from various classification schemes. No scheme of original order can be determined, so these materials have been filed in chronological order from original creation date [i.e. ca. 1960s, not by 1980s date when consulted or cited as evidence]. This file include military communications, and many items that would otherwise be identified as Clippings, such as a published transcription of WCW's appearance, 19 Nov. 1967, on Meet the Press (Vol. XI : No. 47) 19 pages. Appearing with the General was Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker.

Researchers may study complete transcripts of the trial and related materials at the Texas Tech Vietnam Archive. Exhibits file includes military papers, memos, and transcripts from such events as the "Life [magazine] Symposium," which included panel discussions and interviews dated 31 Oct. 1964 and 14 Nov. 1964.

For more about the trial and WCW’s opinions on the matter, see the Speeches series from the 1980s, including a talk delivered to the National Press Club soon after the settlement. Clippings series provide a more organized and complete view of WCW's legal actions and related lawsuits, including litigation brought against lawyer and author Renata Adler associated with publication of her book, Reckless Disregard (1986), an account written from her study of transcripts of the proceedings originally published in the New Yorker.

Education file documents WCW’s associations with The Citadel, the United States Military Academy, and Harvard. This file includes materials from WCW’s undergraduate education at West Point, his academic record, and documentation of class ranking or "standing" within various disciplines. WCW remained active in the Academy's alumni activities throughout his career and following retirement.

Early materials in the Education-General file include an essay written by twelve-year-old WCW discussing the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter that won an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Later material in the Education-General file documents WCW's visits to colleges and high schools. Tabbed packets, ca. 1967-1969, document itineraries followed and programs presented during this period.

Although he attended The Citadel for one year before receiving his commission to West Point, few papers document this period. Papers of the 1950s and beyond include numerous references to The Citadel, and document the long association between the military college and WCW’s father, James Ripley Westmoreland. Education--Citadel documents the long association of the Westmoreland family with the Military College of South Carolina, from WCW’s one year of enrollment to the career of WCW’s father, James Ripley “Rip” Westmoreland (1876-1964). One month following his father’s death, WCW summarized his father’s contributions to The Citadel, at which “over a period of 65 years he was associated with the institution--as a cadet, for two years as President of the Alumni Association and for many years a member of the Board of Visitors, and finally, as Chairman of the supervisory body. Also, by special act of the State Legislature, he was designated as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Visitors” (letter, 12 Jan. 1965, Gen. WCW to Cadet John Grimball). Other references to activities at The Citadel appear in Westmoreland family correspondence.

Class of 1936 file, 1954-1998, begins as the USMA alumni began planning for their 20th reunion. At this time, the class only had one remaining representative in the West Point area and there was a need for a new permanent secretary. Given a sense among members that the "center of gravity" of the class then resided in the Washington, D.C., area, WCW and others became more involved in the planning of class activities. Letters discuss preparations for reunions and other events. In addition, many letters in this file comment on general news of the Academy, as well as plans specific to the class. A mass letter to the class of 1936 from Bill Connor dated 21 July 1955, discusses plans for the 20th reunion, as well as potential impact of creation of service academies for the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, and the future of the tradition of formal recognition and gifts from the group to sons of class members.

This file also includes Academic Record, 1932-1936, written in the hand of WCW, in which he recorded his progress and grades. [Class] Standing Reports, 1932-1936, lists WCW's ranking among his peers in various subjects at regular intervals during each semester. Few of WCW’s outgoing letters from his days as a cadet survive. However, upon his arrival at the Academy, his father James Ripley "Rip" Westmoreland wrote daily letters that reply to WCW's accounts of current events at the Academy. Researchers will find these letters filed in Westmoreland Family papers. WCW’s education continued throughout his career, including a three-month course in advanced management at Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1954.

Financial file includes tax returns, investment portfolios, flood insurance information, and records of donations to and from WCW to such organizations as Accuracy in Media, American Spectator, etc. Other financial information appears under Gubernatorial Campaign--Financial, and CBS Libel--Financial. WCW’s brother-in-law, Heyward Clarkson, handled his financial affairs in South Carolina, including settlement of his parents’ estates, trusts, etc. Clarkson’s comments and reminders re various financial matters appear regularly in letters that discuss activities of the Westmoreland family. These letters are filed in Westmoreland family correspondence.

File for Governor’s Task Force on Economic Development includes Talking Papers, a collection of topical files, ca. 1973-1974, documenting goals and projects undertaken by the task force. Correspondence in this file includes WCW's letter from his old friend Gerald R. Ford, 4 May 1973, who reported no industrial expansion from Michigan furniture concerns. These files include lists of dates documenting when WCW addressed certain groups and which topic he discussed. Talking papers, numbered and arranged alphabetically, discuss such concerns as completion of Interstate 77 (no. 27), celebration of U.S. Bicentennial (no. 17), proposed foreign trade zone-free port (no. 31), a tourist project for Myrtle Beach (no. 32), revenue sharing from power generated by hydro-electric dams (no. 25), etc. Some talking papers include copies of relevant correspondence from legislators or local officials, such as the county-level assessment of "Areas of Opportunity" for development (no. 4).

On 24 March 1974, WCW announced his bid for governor on the Republican ticket. The Gubernatorial Campaign file documents WCW’s activities during the primary and several months after the day of the primary election, 16 July 1974. Letters of thanks and appreciation continue through December 1974. One item, a resume ca. 1988, significantly post-dates this period and bears the letterhead of S.C. Senator John Courson (Republican from Richland County, S.C.). This overview of the "S.C. Republican Party Gubernatorial Primary," ca. 1988, lists total votes cast, historical data, and his nine-point critique and overview of the campaign. Courson also lists his positions held in the Republican Party, ca. 1976-1988, including his service as "special-assistant to the Westmoreland for Governor Campaign in late spring to midsummer 1974." The file also includes volume, "South Carolina Survey of Public Opinion" (120 pages, May 1974) produced by Decision Making Information of Santa Ana, Calif., includes charts, comparisons, and text regarding public opinion of WCW and other S.C. politicians of the day.

Invitations Accepted file includes several elaborate invitations dating to 1940s, when WCW served with the Occupation forces in Germany. Original, hand-painted invitations were created by persons living in the camps for "Displaced Persons," which were organized along linguistic and/or ethnic lines. Invitations to musical or other entertainments reflect this, such as the card summoning WCW to the Polish camp, which includes original images of a man and a woman in traditional dress. This file also includes calendars of WCW's engagements maintained by the military in a similar fashion to the correspondence calendars. [some appearances apparently not documented-see itineraries listed in Talking Papers-Governor's Task Force 1972-74]

Veteran Activities file includes extensive correspondence from soldiers discussing accounts of campaigns in Vietnam and elsewhere, post-war experiences, POW issues, veteran poetry (primarily from Vietnam vets), and accounts of interactions with WCW. This file includes commentary on contemporary events in politics and popular culture, such as the release of the Oliver Stone motion picture, Platoon (1986), which prompted commentary on the accuracy or agenda of war movies in general.

The Veteran Activities file also includes materials re veteran organizations in which WCW served as an active member [i.e. 187th Airborne Rakkasans, et al], and the advocacy groups on whose behalf WCW worked, documenting such groups as the National Veterans’ Chamber of Commerce, the World Veterans Unity Conference, the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Commission, and others.

Groups represented include the Ninth Infantry Division, whose file begins with two printed items, Constitution and Bylaws, 19 June 1945, Ingolstadt, Germany, and resumes 1955, with regular correspondence re issues and concerns, such as plans for monuments and memorials, and submission of opinion pieces and other items for publication in Octofoil, the regimental newsletter. File re the Membership Controversy, 1968-1995, documents efforts by members from Vietnam-era to find acceptance in the organization by veterans of earlier conflicts. An illustrated unbound volume, "9th Infantry Division: Unparalleled and Unequalled," ca. 1993 (66 sheets), documents efforts of the 9th to receive a Presidential Citation for actions in Vietnam during winter and spring of 1969. Includes comments of Gen. Bruce Palmer, and WCW, ca. 1990s, and Creighton Abrams, 1969, "Remarks…at the change of command ceremony of the Ninth Infantry Division, Dong Tam, Vietnam, 2 Apr. 1969"; also includes discussion of tactics, statistics, supporting data, and photocopies of photographs showing members of the 9th in the field in Vietnam.

Veterans' correspondence includes war stories, short anecdotes, and longer essays. Such writings include letter, 3 July 1985, from Lawrence J. Seavy-Cioffi, New York, N.Y., to F.P. Anthony, Dept. of the Navy, which includes a 68-page memoir re his experience at the Battle of Khe Sanh, 8 Feb. 1968, titled Our Victory for Alpha One: Action Report of 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. Essay is illustrated with two diagrams mapping the Company's bunker, and is identified as a "revised copy." An undated, unsigned essay discusses fellow soldiers and battles in Vietnam, from D.M.Z., Con Thien, ca. Sept. 1968, to July 1968, Khe Sanh, and undated memoir [ca. 1990?] of Lacy Otha Davis, Jr. (b. 1948), of C Company, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized). Davis served, Aug. 1968-Aug. 1969, in 5th Infantry Division (Mech). In this 17-page essay, Davis discusses combat, Sept. 1968, in D.M.Z., Con Thien, and July, 1969, at Khe Sanh, Vietnam.) Essay ends with "death" of Davis [apparently the author's expression of the war's impact on the man he was before Vietnam; as of Feb. 2002, Davis was living in Alabama].

This file also includes letters from Australian and New Zealand veterans of Vietnam, including 25 Feb. 1985, Bob Gibson, Sydney, Australia, to WCW. Other topics discussed include posttraumatic stress disorder, incarceration, accounts of various battles or campaigns, and frequently biographical information as well, in which veterans discuss their own life experiences and memories of their interactions with WCW.

Many veterans presented Westmoreland with gifts of books, including 22 May 1989, David L. Hartline to WCW, re the fifth printing of his memoir, What a Soldier Gives; and 23 May 1980, from Greg Gianas, re a four-page essay titled, “The Man He Killed,” re manipulation of film footage by journalists which had been edited to appear as if Gianas was filmed burning a Vietnamese village.

File Veteran Activities—Memorials documents organizations, fundraising, etc. for memorials around the United States for various U.S. conflicts, including correspondence re creation of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Washington, D.C. and its traveling replica exhibit, the “Moving Wall.” Other commemorative activities are represented, including letters, 27 Oct. 1990, re Guadalcanal; and 11 June 1995, re the General Omar Bradley Memorial.

This file also includes requests for appearances by WCW at reunions, parades, memorial dedications, etc. The General maintained a full schedule and made every effort to attend events in cities large and small. However, not all requests could be accommodated. Such declined invitations would normally be discarded, however, such letters have been retained in this file to document these veteran organizations.

Memorials file documents many commemorative efforts, chiefly ca. 1980s-1990s, as well as two earlier projects from 1967 and 1972. A letter dated 28 Dec. 1967, from Francis R. Carroll of Vernon Hill Post 435, American Legion, Worcester, Mass., discusses plans to fund a memorial hospital clinic in South Vietnam to honor eighty-four soldiers who never returned to Worcester, to be built under direction of Dr. Jim Turpin; WCW accepts title of honorary Chairman of the project and even appeared in Worcester, 13 Apr. 1969, at a fund-raiser on behalf of the project. Dr. James W. Turpin founded Project Concern, Inc., circa 1962. By 1967, the charity operated four out-patient clinics in Hong Kong and offered various services in South Vietnam, including rural hospitals and out-paitent clinics in 15 villages, and self-help medical training for Montagnard tribesmen in the central highlands.

Two other projects honoring Vietnam veterans that predate the Wall in Washington, D.C., that are mentioned in this file include a memorial in Bristol, Conn., discussed in a letter dated 31 Aug. 1972, and a memorial in Atlanta, Ga., unveiled by WCW, discussed in letter dated 14 June 1979.

Veterans' Poetry file primarily documents works written by veterans of Vietnam era, but file includes a few works from World War II. Booklet, with cover title: "Anthology of Patriotic Poems by Fran Espositio, U.S. Army 1941-1945 : These are times that try men's souls," includes poems re Buna Beach, Solomon Islands, and Guadalcanal, "composed on location 1943." A poem titled "Accident in the Allied Camp (after (long after) Robert Browning)" honors events, ca. 8-24 March 1945, during which the WCW and the 9th U.S. Infantry Division took and held the Remagen [Ludendorff] Bridge. Many poems of Vietnam veterans include cover letter expressing memories of Southeast Asia, the impact of a visit to the memorial in Washington, or other concerns. Ernie Meis, a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, excerpted poems from his book, Contrails, for a booklet titled, Requiescat / May They Rest in Peace and Remain in Memory, [ca. 1985] which includes a dedication by WCW, and commentary by Meis condemning the CBS libel suit and treatment of Vietnam veterans in general. This volume is illustrated with views of the Three Servicemen sculpture by Frederick Hart.

This file includes another volume, A story of Life and Death in Poetry [ca. 1985], by Joseph C. O'Hara US Army Ret: This [ca. 70 page] volume of poetry includes ca. 20 pages of text in which this Massachusetts native discusses experiences during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

File titled POW/MIA Issues includes many letters thanking WCW for his "welcome-home" letters sent to released POWs, as well as programs from around the country documenting public ceremonies for POWs. A letter dated 23 Mar. 1973 from WCW to Staff Sergeant Richard R. Perricone, in which WCW welcomes Perricone back after his release, and reports "I have been wearing a bracelet inscribed with your name and am now happy to remove it!" Many letters from returned POWs in this file include photographs and biographical sketches of military service and family news.

Later items in this file include correspondence from organizations and individuals working on behalf of families of those who did not return home, such as Project Freedom For All American POWs/MIAs of Woodgate, N.Y., whose correspondence dates to ca. 1981, and National League of POW/MIA Families of Washington, D.C., [ca. 1984?]. Correspondence, ca. 1986, of Frank D. Simons, LTC U.S. Army Ret., to President Ronald Reagan and with WCW discusses his belief that POWs remained alive in Laos, and his concern over inadequacy of present levels of intelligence gathering, written 1 May 1986 after his return from several weeks of research along the border of Laos and Thailand, "…our intelligence methods have decayed…I no longer suspect a 'cover-up' but instead an assembly of stupid mistakes and misuguided policies…"

Majority of letters concern those missing from Vietnam War, although a letter dated 18 Aug. 1989 from Steve Johnson, a reporter for the Seatttle Times, to WCW, discussed research of Vietnam veteran John M. Brown, who was convinced that thousands of American troops remained as POWs in the Soviet Union following World War II. This file also includes text of a lecture by former POW Col. Benjamin H. Purcell, delivered, 8 Jan. 1974, at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., re his captivity in various areas of North Vietnam, 8 Feb. 1968- Apr. 1973 (55 pages). Purcell discusses solitary confinement, the tap-code, interrogation, the Code of Conduct, and questions of mingling of military and civilian detainees. The transcript concludes with questions from the audience.

Requests for assistance file, 1967-1997, includes correspondence from strangers, acquaintances, soldiers, and veterans. Earlier letters request letters of recommendation for promotion or admission; later correspondents discuss post-traumatic stress disorder, and difficulty navigating military, medical or legal systems. Many letters include war stories of service in Vietnam, and requests for corroboration of events for which the records were lost or unavailable.

File Veterans For Westmoreland documents fundraising efforts to support WCW's libel suit against CBS. According to the letterhead, this organization was based in Locust Valley, N.Y., by two fellow veterans of the 101st Airborne Division, Tony Bliss, Jr., a Vietnam veteran, and Bernie Palitz, a veteran from World War II. Includes correspondence and itemized lists of contributions listed by "Major Units Cumulative Through…" both 30 June 1984 and 28 Feb. 1985; along with lists of contributions from graduates of West Point.

Vietnam and Vietnamese Community file includes correspondence with or about expatriates from and current residents of Vietnam, and persons of Vietnamese descent, many of whom shared some association with WCW and/or his family during the 1960s. File also documents issues of Amerasians, and other interactions between Vietnamese persons and U.S. citizens, veterans, and others. Materials dating from 1996 document ceremonies marking the beginning of the Westmoreland Scholar Foundation, an organization that arranges for short-term study and humanitarian service in Vietnam and opportunities for young Vietnamese exchange students to study in the United States. Candidates must be Vietnamese-American and born after April 30, 1975. Other materials related to Vietnam and her citizens appear in General papers, both Personal and Military series, especially ca. 1963-1968.

Westmoreland family materials include correspondence by or about the immediate and extended family and in-laws, including data on WCW’s parents, James Ripley “Rip” Westmoreland (1876-1964) and Eugenia Childs Westmoreland (1886-1967), and certain Childs and Westmoreland family relations. WCW received regular correspondence from attorney Heyward Clarkson, husband of WCW's sister, Margaret. Clarkson managed financial and legal concerns for WCW from his home in Columbia, S.C. Extensive correspondence from 1960s documents settlement of the estates of WCW’s parents. These letters often include extensive family news in addition to financial information, and therefore are filed among family papers instead of in Financial. Other letters of interest include several from Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower to Mrs. Westmoreland, including 23 Feb. and 18 June 1970, and 30 Sept. and 1 Dec. 1971.

This file includes items re WCW’s wife, Mrs. Katherine “Kitsy” Van Deusen Westmoreland, and the Van Deusen family, including her father, Col. Edwin Russell Van Deusen (1886-1981), and her mother Katherine “Kay” Van Deusen. Papers of Mrs. Westmoreland include appointment calendars, correspondence, and clippings. For efficient storage, blank pages from calendars have been discarded. Two letters, 6 and 9 July 1971, exchanged between Vivian Irving and Mrs. Westmoreland mark an exception to this arrangement as these items discuss the Sylvanus Thayer office at West Point and filed under Personal Papers—USMA--General.

Extended family correspondence in this file includes letter, 26 Jan. 1974, from cousin Margaret Childs, an elderly relative living in the Methodist home in Orangeburg, S.C., who includes a small devotional book given to WCW's mother as a young girl. Also including small amount of correspondence from South Carolinians who relate insights and anecdotes about Westmoreland’s parents, sister, etc., in which correspondents typically address WCW as “Childs.” A four-page biographical sketch of WCW’s father, James Ripley Westmoreland, appears among notes recorded for Soldier Reports.

Writings file includes opinion and essay columns written for publication by WCW, and background files for the General’s memoirs. This file documents the life cycle of the manuscript from correspondence and rough notes to galley proofs to publication. Correspondence with publisher Doubleday, includes editorial suggestions and continues after publication with information re publicity and promotions for the book.

Research files for Soldier Reports include transcripts of interviews (ca. 1-4 pages) in which WCW discusses memories of his interactions with significant people and events. These accounts appear in several generations of the notes, but many stories did not appear in the final version as published. With the assistance of military historian Dr. Charles Brown MacDonald, WCW solicited accounts of life in Vietnam from former colleagues.

This period of the creation of Soldier Reports generated ca. 0.5 linear ft. of correspondence from friends and associates. Letters note memories of life in Vietnam, including the special concerns of raising a family in Saigon during this period. This correspondence is found in Writings-- Soldier Reports--General. More extensive interviews by Charles B. MacDonald with WCW and others are available at the LBJ Presidential Library.

The collection includes essays written by Westmoreland in preparation for the book discussing his involvement in various events and with such persons as Maxwell Taylor, Douglas MacArthur, etc. Research for the book also included reminiscences contributed by friends and colleagues who mailed in accounts of memories of Vietnam.

Notes recorded for the memoirs include anecdotes and observations that did not appear in the final version as published. Correspondents include Mary Donovan, [ca. Feb. 1973], whose letter includes an extended essay of two dozen handwritten pages re her experiences in Vietnam, and an original mimeographed newsletter, Jan.-Mar. 1967 issue of the 85th Evacuation Hospital Newsletter. This file also includes letter, 17 Jan. 1974, from Thomas M. McNish, Captain, USAF, written 10 months after his return to the United States, re his life as a POW. Another letter from this period, 14 January 1974, from a veteran who served on Westmoreland's staff in Saigon from 1965 to 1968, reported on an event that had upset the General. Betty Reid, MSG, U.S. Army, recalled-"I only heard you swear once during those 4 years and that was when you first heard that term 'Body Count'-you were so furious after a briefing that you came out and told Col. Tullman, Mr. Montgomery and me that it just made you sick. To you, you said, those 'bodies' were our men-individuals with faces and names dying out there-not 'just bodies.'"

Westmoreland reviewed his correspondence from the Vietnam era while researching his memoir. Many letters of the 1960s include annotations from the 1970s, in which WCW added notes and context explaining his relationship with the correspondent or commenting on later events. One such letter, 10 July 1964, Charles O. Herron, Bethesda, Md, to WCW, congratulating him, “It is a tough, tough job but you have what it takes and you can do it,” closing with, “you know I cut my eye teeth on jungle warfare in the Philipines…I did not like it much but I did what had to be done” to which WCW added a line noting his admiration for Herron, who represented WCW’s “ideal as a young officer of a senior commander,” adding that Herron “commanded Hawaii Dept. in 1939-1941 when I was stationed there; USMA Class of 1899.” In another letter, 29 May 1964, New Delhi, John E. Kelly, Major General, US Army, US Military Supply Mission India, Kelly congratulates WCW on his assignment to Saigon, and reports on success enjoyed by his son Johnny, then in his second year at West Point. WCW’s annotations identify the correspondent as a West Point classmate, and comment that Kelly’s son died in Vietnam. Although WCW and MacDonald consulted these earlier letters in the course of writing the memoirs, such letters remain in the general correspondence and are not part of the notes for Soldier Reports.

In the years following publication of his memoirs, WCW received many letters commenting on the book particularly from veterans. A letter from a London professor dated 3 July 1979 commended the author on his work. P.J. Honey, lecturer at the University of London, praised the book, vowing that it would number among his "list of essential books to be read by my graduate students." Dr. Honey wrote that he appreciated the balance and accuracy of Soldier Reports, based on his extensive knowledge of Vietnamese history, fluency in the language, his record as a resident of the country, and as a consultant and colleague to Henry Cabot Lodge and Ellsworth Bunker in Saigon, and Robert McNamara and others in Washington.

After publication of Soldier Reports, sources quoted WCW re his plans to write a second book discussing first amendment issues, press responsibility, and the impact of reporters on foreign policy and the military. Such a project did not reach publication, but extensive clippings beginning during 1970s document his interest in these issues.

This file also includes the topic Editorial Assistance, in which WCW critiqued the writings of others, as many authors and students sought the opinion of WCW for monographs, dissertations, and other works. Time constraints limited the number of manuscripts that WCW accepted, but the collection includes numerous letters in which he consents to read unsolicited manuscripts or seminar papers written by veterans, scholars, and students. No stranger to Vietnam himself, Admiral Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt, praised Westmoreland in a letter of 9 February 1994 for his untiring assistance to those wanting to learn more about America's longest war-"You are the absolute 'Vatican' for Vietnam research."

Correspondence and essays, whether commentary or rebuttal, are included here. Writings-- General includes writings about WCW, and correspondence and planning for publications that may or may not have reached completion or publication. This file includes a draft of Richard Clurman’s account of WCW’s litigation against CBS, which was published in 1988 as Beyond Malice: the Media's Years of Reckoning. Originally titled …Media's Years of Torment, this manuscript includes annotations and comments by WCW.
III. Speeches Speeches series (1944-1996, [1990s]) include addresses delivered as both an officer and civilian. To simplify processing and access, speeches are arranged chronologically. This series documents WCW’s speaking engagements as West Point Superintendent, Head of the Chief Joints of Staff, gubernatorial candidate, commencement speaker, and on the lecture circuit.

Westmoreland filed a number of interviews (1964, 1966-1998) with his speeches, since an interview represented a public statement of his opinions. WCW also filed a small amount of correspondence pertaining to speaking engagements with his interviews. Honoring his original order, there are a number of interviews and related letters filed in the Speeches series.
IV. Audio / Visual Audio / Visual materials include a range of formats: audiotapes on reels and cassettes, phonograph records, film, and an extensive collection of photographs mounted in scrapbooks or filed in folders. This series also includes original works of art, portraits, and caricatures.

Audio Tape Collection (1964-1987) Audiotape files are arranged chronologically. Audiotapes include speeches presented at various honorary and commemorative ceremonies and commencement exercises, including West Point, or as WIS television’s South Carolinian of the Year. Other recordings of note include an appearance on the Larry King Show, 23 May 1980; and a recording of WCW’s appearance, 20 May 1987, on an Australian radio program in honor of Anzac Day.

Reel-to-Reel Tapes (1964-1972):

1964 Jan. 19 - - Address to Class of 1964, USMA, West Point,
(ca. 60 min.) WCW compares U.S. military strength to the site at West Point, a strongly fortified position that dominated the region. During the American Revolution, the British never attacked it; the U.S. should also remain strong to ensure that no one will attack it.

Other topics include leadership and energy of will; foresees that the biggest problem with his new position in Vietnam will be to convince the Vietnamese to tell him the truth and provide facts about the situation; within U.S. Army, a soldier tends to tell his officer what he wants to hear.

1967 Nov. 22 - - “Military Briefing at Pentagon - Reel 2” (ca. 27 min.) Tape of a question-and-answer session following a briefing. Questions focus on progress in South Vietnam. Tone suggests that American people do not realize the gravity of the war; WCW states that the South Vietnamese should be prepared to shoulder responsibility for majority of battle in two years. [Does not include information re a reel #1 on it.]

1968 Aug. 10 - - Bob Hope USO Ceremony (Anaheim, Calif.); (ca. 15 min.) Includes banter between WCW and Hope during ceremony honoring Hope for entertaining U.S. troops during years of United Service Organizations (USO) programs.

1968 Nov. 11 - - Westmoreland Day / Veterans’ Day Parade (Columbia, S.C.); (ca. 32 min.)

1968 Nov. 11 - - Westmoreland Day Luncheon (Spartanburg, S.C.); (ca. 32 min.) WCW discusses his appointment to West Point and Sen. James F. Byrnes (1882-1972.); receives lifetime membership in American Legion Post 98.

1969 Jan. 14 - - Speech and Franklin Award, Printers Week (New York City); (ca. 32 min.) WCW expresses admiration and gratitude to the soldiers that served him in Vietnam; discusses past, present and future goals of U.S. Army, which exists to serve American people; Army has bought time for South Vietnam to grow strong enough to defeat the Communists.

1969 Apr. 9 - - Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kan.); (ca. 62 min.) WCW discusses generation gap and increasing polarizing effect of Vietnam War on American society; what Army can and can not do; role of Army in society; and the Army’s “Well Springs of Capabilites.”

1969 May 18 - - Valley Forge Military Academy (Wayne, Pa.) WCW discusses strong character and judgement of various U.S. military leaders (Washington, Grant, Lee, Eisenhower, Marshall, Ridgway, etc.), many of whom are represented in the chapel’s stained glass windows; WCW spoke at dedication of the windows 5 May 1963.]

1969 May 24 - - Military Convocation, Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.) (40 min) WCW discusses growing violence in U.S., how citizen-soldier and the military protect U.S. way of life; receives honorary Doctorate of Military Science.

1969 June 4 - - Speech and Commencement Ceremonies, USMA (West Point, N.Y.)

1969 June 4 - - Speech and Commencement Ceremonies, USMA (West Point, N.Y.) (42 min.) WCW discusses Army capabilities; how military needs support of the people, etc.

1969 July 8 - - Welcome Home for 9th Div. Troops (McChord AFB, Seattle, Wash.) (ca. 24 min.) WCW praises the 9th Division, for stopp advance of North Vietnamese Army in South Vietnam, allowing South Vietnam opportunity to build up forces and improve outlook for the war.

1970 Jan. 31 - - Lincoln Academy of Illinios (Springfield, Ill.) Receives Order of Lincoln Award; in his speech, WCW states that at time of the Revolution, the thirteen colonies recognized the need for the Armed Forces; by the people, of the people, for the people; Duty, Honor, Country.

Mentions oath taken by soldiers to defend the U.S. and discusses his concerns that the attitude of American people toward the Army is taking a negative turn. He reminds the audience that without the support of the people, the army can not succeed in its endeavors; notes that the civilian government makes policy, not the Army; also discusses weapons systems in development, such as night vision.

1970 June 11 - - Promotion of Col. Anna Mae Hays to Brigadier General (ca. 25 min.) Ceremony for first woman to achieve rank of Brigadier General.

1971 Jan. 26 - - Dedication of MacArthur Postage Stamp (Norfolk, Va.) (ca. 25 min.) WCW introduced by Sen. Harry Byrd, on 91st anniversary of birth of Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964); observes that MacArthur would be proud of today’s soldiers; the struggle for freedom is eternal, and is the responsibility of each generation, but there is no freedom without the Army.

1971 May 5 - - Speech, TRICAP Ceremony (Ft. Hood, Texas) (ca. 20 min.) WCW discusses development of 1st Air Cavalry Division, which had spent the previous six years in Vietnam, but was headed for Europe; battlefield mobility of the TRICAP unit, but that the soldier on the ground is still the most important weapons system of the United States.

1971 July 18 - - Peden Family Reunion (in Upstate S.C.) (audio reel, ca. 60 min.) WCW expresses pride in his birth as a native South Carolinian; discusses erosion of American values; patriotism now unfashionable.

1969 June 4 - - Speech and Commencement Ceremonies, USMA (West Point, N.Y.) (42 min.) WCW discusses Army capabilities; how military needs support of the people, etc.

1969 July 8 - - Welcome Home for 9th Div. Troops (McChord AFB, Seattle, Wash.) (ca. 24 min.) WCW praises the 9th Division, for stopp advance of North Vietnamese Army in South Vietnam, allowing South Vietnam opportunity to build up forces and improve outlook for the war.

1970 Jan. 31 - - Lincoln Academy of Illinios (Springfield, Ill.) Receives Order of Lincoln Award; in his speech, WCW states that at time of the Revolution, the thirteen colonies recognized the need for the Armed Forces; by the people, of the people, for the people; Duty, Honor, Country.

Mentions oath taken by soldiers to defend the U.S. and discusses his concerns that the attitude of American people toward the Army is taking a negative turn. He reminds the audience that without the support of the people, the army can not succeed in its endeavors; notes that the civilian government makes policy, not the Army; also discusses weapons systems in development, such as night vision.

1970 June 11 - - Promotion of Col. Anna Mae Hays to Brigadier General (ca. 25 min.) Ceremony for first woman to achieve rank of Brigadier General.

1971 Jan. 26 - - Dedication of MacArthur Postage Stamp (Norfolk, Va.) (ca. 25 min.) WCW introduced by Sen. Harry Byrd, on 91st anniversary of birth of Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964); observes that MacArthur would be proud of today’s soldiers; the struggle for freedom is eternal, and is the responsibility of each generation, but there is no freedom without the Army.

1971 May 5 - - Speech, TRICAP Ceremony (Ft. Hood, Texas) (ca. 20 min.) WCW discusses development of 1st Air Cavalry Division, which had spent the previous six years in Vietnam, but was headed for Europe; battlefield mobility of the TRICAP unit, but that the soldier on the ground is still the most important weapons system of the United States.

1971 July 18 - - Peden Family Reunion (in Upstate S.C.) (audio reel, ca. 60 min.) WCW expresses pride in his birth as a native South Carolinian; discusses erosion of American values; patriotism now unfashionable.

1971 Oct. 7 - - Award dinner honoring Major General John Condon, UAFR (ret.), (Ft. Hamilton, N. Y.); (ca. 40 min.) WCW discusses needs of the Army, perceived growing criticism of the Army in American society; concern that anti-war should not turn into anti-military, given that Army is necessary for national security.

1971 Dec. 30 - - Speech, Isthmian Chapter, AUSA (Ft. Amador, Canal Zone, Panama) Poor quality tape of speech in which WCW discusses current status of Amy, importance of public support, reports that Army’s mission in Vietnam is virtually accomplished, but it is a very complex mission; duties of the regular army stretched thin around the world with Southeast Asia a priority. The one-year combat tour of duty has cost the Army dearly, with drastic turnover; 30% of experienced soldiers are lost each year.

[ca. 1971] - - National League of Families of Prisoners and Missing in S.E. Asia (Washington, D.C.) (ca. 30 min.) WCW tells families to be proud of their loved ones serving their country, and cautions the group to discount the recently reported unofficial POW reports so as to avoid false hopes.

1972 May 20 - - Commencement, Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.) WCW discusses increased responsibilities for Army officers; also draft evaders; destructive elements within the armed forces; commends the students for choosing military school; notes importance of citizen soldiers.

1972 June 7 - - Commencement, USMA (West Point, N.Y.) WCW notes that U.S. inherited the mantle of world leadership after WWII, but country must be strong to lead and be free; these graduates of West Point are the only true security for nation, and represent our best weapons system.

1972 June 21 - - Farewell Address during retirement ceremonies (Washington, D.C.)

1972 June 28 - - Speech before Army Policy Council WCW discusses three major concerns of the army at that time: race relations; the drug problem that caught Army command by surprise; and the poor housing situation for soldiers stationed in Europe.

Cassette Tapes ([1975]-1987)

[ca. 1975?] – Letter, WCW to CIA director William Egan Colby. (ca. 4 min.) WCW dictates letter to William Egan Colby (1920-1996), director of the CIA, 1973-1975, noting recent criticism of CIA in media, and commending Colby on his performance under pressure.

1976 January 23 – Interview, WCW on the Tomorrow Show, NBC (ca. 66 min.) WCW on television program hosted by Robert McNeal and Peter Arnett; interview topics include: Vietnam War; legitimacy of US involvement; belief that JFK wanted to pull out; what WCW has said to parents of a fallen soldier; cost of the war; lesson learned in Vietnam; and TET offensive.

[Amateur recording by John O’Donnell (World War II Veteran who served under WCW in the 9th Infantry). O’Donnell speaks to WCW during commercial breaks and at end of side A.]

1976 December 16 - Interview, Mike Miller Radio Program; WDO, Orlando, Fl. (ca. 23 min.) Recording of WCW on Mike Miller Radio Program; topics include: opening of CIA files from Vietnam era; WCW’s knowledge of highly classified material; a veteran recalls jump of 101st Airborne which resulted in the death/injury of several soldiers ca. late 1950s; and discussion of communism and democracy.

[Interview seems to be second portion continued from another tape which is not in the collection].

1980 February 18 – Speech at Rotary Club (Jacksonville, Fla.) (ca. 64 min.) WCW speaks at Rotary Club 75th Anniversary Luncheon; Master of Ceremonies is former Florida Governor Wayne Davis.

WCW introduced by Bryant Skinner, who wrote a poem about the General for the occasion; WCW asks for a copy of poem “because Kitsy won’t believe it when I tell her about it”

[Poem not in collection; this particular speech is apparently not in speech file but is most likely a variation of “An Appraisal of the International Environment of the 1980s.”]

1980 May 23 – Interview on Larry King Show (ca. 60 min.) WCW interviewed on radio station WTOP – Washington D.C.; interview promotes publication of paperback edition of A Soldier Reports; first hour only of a three-hour interview and call-in show. [Interview begins 12 minutes into tape.]

Topics discussed include: • WCW’s relationship with President D.D. Eisenhower • Popular designation of Vietnam as an unwinnable war • Vietnam vets – the “forgotten veteran” • Pride in being a soldier • Knowing that a military decision will/might cost the lives of men and coping with that decision • War and cinema: “The Deer Hunter” etc. • WCW’s association with USMA, West Point, N.Y. • Women at the service academies • Value of education received at the service academies • Motivation to write Soldier Reports, to tell the story of his involvement in 20th century wars and the technological transformation of the US Armed Forces • WCW in WWII – in North Africa against Gen. Erwin Rommel • WCW in the Korean War • Parachuting and combat jumps • Combat fighting in Vietnam – “a war with no lines” • Value of studying military history • Value during Vietnam War of sending servicemen to Tokyo, Seoul, etc., and keeping down inflation rate in South Vietnam • Comments on Iranian hostage crisis and helicopter crash of unsuccessful rescue • WCW’s thoughts on Soviet invasion of Afghanistan • Portrayal, perception of US as a weak nation

[ca. 1981 April] Howard K. Smith interviewed on USAF Academy student radio (ca. 7 min.) Interview with Howard K. Smith (former ABC newsman) by Cadet 2nd Class Don Shields; topics addressed include the media in Vietnam and the television system in America.

[No audio of WCW]

1982 January 23 – Audio of CBS Reports: A Vietnam Deception: The Uncounted Enemy (ca. 67 min.) Recording of controversial broadcast that prompted WCW’s libel suit; includes comments by the creator of the tape re content of the show.

1983 - - Richard Peet, The Nam that I Remember (30 min.) Alternating songs and poems re memories and emotions of a veteran; professionally produced tape.

[ca.1984?] - Rick Simpson, One Vietnam Vet’s Salute to Others (ca. 93 min.)

Produced by Rick Simpson at Vietnam Flashback Productions. Mr. Simpson refers to himself as being an alumni of the “University of South Vietnam, School of Warfare, class of 1968-69”

Tape is a “musical expression of the Vietnam era.” Mr. Simpson’s way of expressing his feelings about the Vietnam War and the 2,481 POW/MIA’s still unaccounted for. [Note: number of POW/MIA’s is that which is given by Mr. Simpson and is not an official figure] It is a mix of music, poetry, monologue, and various clips.

Tape includes music by , and songs by veterans Michael Martin and Tim Holiday, as well as professional musicians Billy Joel, Country Joe and the Fish, Charlie Daniels, the Moody Blues, the Doors, Allen Parsons Project, Asia, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

Tape also includes Vietnam era clips from Armed Forces Radio and various news reports, as well as clips from film, Apocalypse Now, the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC, and comedy routine of a Vietnam veteran.

Tape is not personalized to/for WCW and was professionally recorded.

[ca. 1984] - - Documentary rebuttal to Vietnam: A Television History (1983) (ca. 58 min.) Audio documentary produced for radio by Hal Lion and written by Dick McGowan; topics discussed include: creation of a panel set up by Accuracy in Media against the PBS documentary, “setting the record straight” about Vietnam, the power of the media in destroying the effort in Vietnam, the power of visual images, and the lasting image of the Vietnam veteran.

Tape includes comments by various professors, journalists, and “Reed Irvin” and "Senator Simms” [spelling uncertain].

[Tape was professionally manufactured for wide scale distribution]

1986 November 19 – Interview, KFYI - Radio (Phoenix, Az.) (ca. 57 min) WCW interviewed on Jami McFerren Show; Ed Walsh, KFYI news director, joins McFerren for the interview; topics discussed include: • Favorite job – superintendent of West Point • Favorite place to live – Hawaii • Family life in Army: General and Mrs. Westmoreland lived in 33 different houses, 7 states, 3 foreign countries, and spent almost 4 years apart during WCW’s service in Korea and Vietnam. • WCW’s time in Vietnam • Most difficult campaign – TET Offensive • WCW’s service in North Africa and Sicily during WWII • WCW’s thoughts on Iran/Contra Affair, National Security Council, and National Security Advisor • Lessons learned in Cambodia during the Vietnam War (i.e. conducting secret operations without consulting Congress) and how that applies to the Iranian issue • The CBS lawsuit and why the General decided to settle out of court: lack of funds; endless appeals which would have caused further financial drain; “Sullivan Rule” (admission of hearsay testimony) and its effect on a jury (according to his jury watcher); succeeded in exposing the practices of CBS when making such a special, and concerns about the verdict • MIA/POW issue – WCW believes that there are a few men still being held in South East Asia and it is obligation of Vietnamese Government to return any and all earthly remains of US soldiers; also believes that a few servicemen listed as MIA have “gone native” and should be labeled as deserters. • Women in combat – “not in the combat zone, but support areas are OK”



1987 May 20 - Australian radio programs celebrating "Anzac Day" (ca. 92 min.) Anzac Day is Australian equivalent to Memorial Day in the US; consists of various programs recorded by Bob Gibson, an Australian Vietnam Veteran who was one of six “diggers” to march in the Chicago Welcome Home Parade. Topics include: • Introduction by Bob Gibson • Interview with Sam Davis (US Vietnam veteran awarded Medal of Honor) and Tom Stack (US Vietnam veteran who received two Silver Stars); re film Platoon, the Chicago parade, the Australian Vietnam Welcome Parade (3 Oct. 1987), and awarding of medals. • Song, “Your Son in Vietnam” performed by Evan Jones, Australian Vietnam veteran. • Interview with Vietnam veterans Evan Jones and “Normie,” re Australian Vietnam veterans leading the Anzac Day parade in Sydney, Vietnam veterans who choose not to march in any parades, and their service in Vietnam. • Coverage of the 1987 Anzac Day parade in Sydney • Interview with John Row (author of Australian version of the Time/Life series on Vietnam War) and Sir William Key (President of Returned & Services League of Australia or RSL), re Australian attitude toward Vietnam veterans, Chicago parade, and debate re admission or non-admission of Vietnam veterans into the RSL. • Two songs discussed by Bob Gibson in his concluding remarks at end of tape.

Also including a commercially produced educational tape set created in 1971 by CBS News, titled, Audio History Series: Vietnam A Study in Politics, Leadership, Public Opinion, and Values which is described as “PrimarySource Material on the Vietnam Controversy.” (1971; 5 cassettes + guide). This box set includes audio of WCW on topic, “Communist aggression is from without” (tape #4).

Video Tapes Video cassette tapes consist of interviews, most in the context of a documentary, and public appearances at parades, anniversaries, awards, or other ceremonies.

I. Documentaries / Interviews : Video 1 A&E Biography of WCW, 1995 (46 min.) Westmoreland reads from a letter he wrote dated 16 Apr. 1945 describing his reaction upon entering a liberated concentration camp [this letter not among materials donated to SCL]. Majority of the program devoted to Vietnam years [ca. 10 minutes on the first fifty years of his life, 25 minutes on Vietnam, and 8 minutes on libel suit against CBS].

Persons interviewed for the program include: Ernest B. Furgurson (biographer), Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr. (military historian), Walt Rostow (National Security Advisor, 1966-68), Stanley Karnow (author and journalist), Mike Wallace of CBS, and Sydney Shaw (author). [SCL holds two copies.]

Video 2 One Hundred First Airborne reunion (Omaha, Neb.) 1988 Aug.; (45 min.) WCW delivers address comparing his service in World War II and Vietnam; also includes anecdotes told by other veterans of the 101st.

Video 3 BRAVO Productions, A look at Patriots Point [Charleston, SC.], ca. 1992 - (30 min.) WCW discusses naval support during the Vietnam War; includes a look at the General Westmoreland exhibit, which is a part of the Vietnam support base recreation.

Video 4 “Hollywood’s Welcome-Home Desert Storm Parade” (Hollywood, Ca.), 1991 May 19 (180 min.) Television coverage Parade honor’s veterans from World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm; includes two interviews with WCW, one during the pre-parade show and one during the parade. Westmoreland leads the Vietnam veterans in the parade.

Video 5 River Patrol: The Gamewardens of Vietnam [ca.1993] (54 min.) WCW interviewed about efforts by the US command to prevent the supplying of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) through the Mekong Delta with the use of US Navy river patrol units.

Video 6 Vietnam: The Call of Duty, ca.1990 (50 min.) WCW interviewed re role and strategic interests of U.S. in Vietnam and South East Asia. Includes footage of a veteran relating the story of a comrade’s death to the son of that fallen soldier.

Video 7 Vietnam Reconciliation Group [documentary] 1993 Oct. 23 (44 min.) Home video footage including candid footage of WCW pre- and post-interview, at Citadel, and at two sites on the Patriots Point complex (Charleston, S.C.): at recreation of a Vietnam support base on board USS Yorktown, and at Medal of Honor Museum.

“Rough-cut of Vietnam Reconciliation: A Final Healing”: six former POW’s discuss internment in the “Hanoi Hilton”; footage of American vets presenting gifts and meeting with Gen. Giap [Võ Nguyen Giáp (b. 1912)], who speaks through an interpreter.

Video 8 World War II: A Personal Journey, 1945, ca.1991 (46 min.) Final show of four-part series in which WCW relates two stories concerning his service in World War II: the battle for Remagen Bridge (an engagement later dramatized in film) and memories of a liberated concentration camp.

Several other veterans of World War II also share their experiences.

II. Public Appearances / Ceremonies

Video 9 Award from Sovereign Order of St. Stanislas; Mrs. Westmoreland Awarded Order of the Palmetto (Charleston, S.C.), 1994 Jan. 14 (115 min.) Ceremonies at the Citadel, WCW awarded the Order of the White Eagle by his Serene Highness Prince Juliusz Nowina Sokolnicki; Mrs. Westmoreland awarded the Order of the Palmetto at the same ceremony. Footage includes a review of the Citadel cadets and a reception at home of General Watts.

Video 10 Dedication of Vietnam Women’s Memorial (Washington D.C.), 1993 Nov. 11 (55 min.) Several service women discuss experiences in Vietnam and their thoughts about the memorial. General Westmoreland shares two stories re women in Vietnam: first, the replacement of women nurses with men at field hospitals near the fighting and second the promotion of the first women general, Colonel Anna Mae Hays, Chief, Army Nurse Corps was promoted to the grade of brigadier general. On 11 June 1970 Hays became the first woman in the history of the U.S. Army to earn that rank.

Video 11 Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge (Chicago, Ill.) 1994 Dec. 20 (50 min.) Master of ceremonies Col. Kenneth Plummer, Ret., introduces speaker seated behind the podium. WCW’s speech discusses his World War II service and the Battle of the Bulge. WCW and others place wreaths at Chicago’s eternal flame.

Video 2 One Hundred First Airborne reunion (Omaha, Neb.) 1988 Aug.; (45 min.) WCW delivers address comparing his service in World War II and Vietnam; also includes anecdotes told by other veterans of the 101st.

Video 12 Public Service Announcement on behalf of the Minnesota News Council, 1986 June 4 (30 seconds) Organization founded in 1971 mediate disputes between the public and the press; WCW joined several other high-profile personalities, such as Hodding Carter and Harrison Salisbury, to record spots for broadcast on television and radio.

Video 13 Sixth Anniversary of the Illinois Vietnam War Memorial (Springfield, Ill.) 1994 May 6th and 8th (300 min.) Home video footage of three days of events, featuring shots of WCW at the first annual “The Night the Stars Came Out” dinner, on May 6th, and on the following day in uniform at the Illinois Vietnam War Memorial, where he places a wreath.

WCW delivers two addresses: on May 6th, “stout hearted men” speech; on May 7th, he discuses role of US in the preservation of democracy in the world and recognition of the man who answered the call of the country.

Several news segments featuring WCW attached to the end of the tape (beginning circa 280 minutes into the tape). A reporter asks WCW about President Clinton’s decision to re-establish trade relations with Vietnam in two different segments; also includes two news segments with Dominick Caputo, who is the wounded soldier being decorated by Westmoreland in an image published in A Soldier Reports (opposite page 254).

Photographs World War II photographs include views of North Africa including Thala, Kasserine Pass, and vicinity, where WCW and his men fought ca. Jan.-Apr. 1943; an image of General D.D. "Ike" Eisenhower visiting WCW and his men in the field [possibly at Buetgenbach near Belgian border, Nov. 1944?]; 3 images of corpses and civilians digging graves, Apr. 1945, Nordhausen, Germany; and "60th Inf[antry]" in the field, "Germany, 1945"; and images of leisure activities in Ingolstadt and vicinity after the Armistice.

Photographs from WCW's tour as COMUSMACV in Vietnam include views of the General in the field, and at various events, including the Dec. 1967 COMUSMACV Christmas party, when the guests included Bob Hope and Raquel Welch. Stateside photographs from this period include images of WCW addressing the U.S. Congress, and several images taken in Columbia, S.C., during 1967, including a visit by WCW, and a local billboard encouraging residents to "adopt a division" and R.S.V.P. which stood for "Rally Support Vietnam Personnel," which includes an image of WCW.

Scrapbooks contain photographs, clippings, and other visual materials. A number of scrapbooks arrived at USC in an unbound condition. Unbound scrapbooks document WCW's numerous trips within the United States and abroad during his final years as Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When possible, each unbound scrapbook has been saved in one or more folders as a unit.

Unbound scrapbooks stored in folders include photographs from WCW's August 1971 visit to Alaska, and his attendance, 6 Apr. 1972, at Homecoming festivities at Ft. Campbell, Ky., including photographs, clippings, text of WCW's remarks, an enlistment brochure promoting the 101st Airborne Division, and a division history of the "Screaming Eagles" by Maj. Gen. John H. Cushman. Foreign tours documented include visits to Taiwan (July 1970); Japan, (September 1970); Korea (September 1970); Ethiopia (February 1971); India (February 1971); Belgium (May 1971); Indonesia (ca. 1971); and the Netherlands (May 1972).

Oversize scrapbooks consist of photographs, clippings and ephemera.

Oversize scrapbook, 1958 Mar. - 1960 June, of 101st Airborne (Fort Campbell, Ky.) [41 x 58 cm.], includes photographs, newspaper clippings of military and social activities of WCW and the Screaming Eagles; most persons and events identified and dated.

Oversize scrapbook, 1966 Sept. 7-9, [Visit to Korea, 30 x 45 cm.] Cover Title: “General WCW, Commander, US Forces – Vietnam, Presented by Kim Sung Eun, Minister of National Defense, Republic of Korea”; consisting of wooden boards, lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay of temple bell, anchor, animals, etc.; photographs only, none identified.

Set of 5 oversize scrapbooks, all labeled “Chief of Staff, U.S. Army,” all bound in blue; consist of 2 photo albums and 3 albums of clippings.

Oversize scrapbook: 1968 May 29 – 1969 Dec., “Chief of Staff, U.S. Army: Photographs Vol. I “ [39 x 59 cm.]; Pictures dated, persons identified; includes images of Gen. and Mrs. Westmoreland; President and Mrs. Johnson in White House, at LBJ Ranch; awards; visits to Taiwan, Germany, etc.

Oversize scrapbook, [1968 June 7 – 1972 June 30 (NOT “1970 – 1972” date span as printed)] , “Chief of Staff, U.S. Army: Photographs Vol. II”. [39 x 59 cm.], consisting of images of departure from Vietnam, inspecting troops, visiting hospitals, state functions, leisure activities, etc. NOTE: INCORRECT DATES printed on cover: “1970 – 1972”; includes clipping, 1968 Aug. 10, re WCW’s attendance at a USO benefit show, where he was awarded USC Distinguished Service Medal by Bob Hope; following a press interview at El Toro U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, WCW meets with retired U.S. Army Col. Jim Boyle of Fountain Valley, Calif., who had “virtually saved the life of Gen. Westmoreland in 1953 in Korea when a mortar round landed near the General and Boyle took the impact of the explosion”

Two oversize scrapbooks documenting visit to Italy: “Vista in Italia : 9-14 Sept. 1971” [blue binding] Large, color photos of Rome, Vatican, Tomb of Unknown Soldier, Infantry School, and Tivoli

“Vista in Italia : 9-14 Sept. 1971” [red binding] Large color photos of Pompeii, Capri, Venice, and “Exercise ‘La Varedo’ ” (war games at high elevation in Dolomite mountains. Northern Italy; Tre Cime di Lavaredo AKA Three Peaks of Lavaredin)

[Visit to Indonesia] 1972 Feb. 1-3 Unbound scrapbook [sold as “magnetic” page variety in 5 legal size folders; oversize pages.

Vinyl Record Albums The collection includes two vinyl record albums available at the Music Library.

[ca. 1968?] - - Hershel Gober. The Proud American Dermott, Ark.: Patriot Records, [1968?] 1 sound discs : 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in.

Original songs, written and performed by Gober, including such titles as "Saigon Warrior," "Six Klicks," and "Tropic Rain"; sleeve includes photo of Gober playing guitar and singing for Gen WCW and President Johnson at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam [Dec. 1967]; "The songs were written in Vietnam, where Hershel has served twice as a combat soldier."

Gober served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (1994-2000) and Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2000) during Clinton Administration.

Ca. 1982 - - Jimmy Case. Tribute to the Vietnam Veteran Charlotte, N.C.: Music Masters, Ltd. Records 2 sound discs : 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in.

Sleeve includes map of Vietnam and photos of Case performing in Vietnam and elsewhere, also appearing with Bob Hope, Loretta Lynn, Matha Raye, and others; includes songs such as "Bunker Number Three," and "Fightin' Side of Me," along with standards such as "Ring of Fire," "Okie from Muskogee," etc.; sleeve reprints letter, 17 Sept. 1982, from Loretta Lynn endorsing the album and promising that $3.00 from sale of each record will go to scholarship fund for the musical education of children of VN war veterans.
V. Clippings Clippings series (1920-2000) materials are filed chronologically. Certain subjects merit topical files, such as the CBS lawsuit, and the gubernatorial campaign. International Relations file includes items re policy matters which interested WCW, whether in preparation for speaking before Congress or researching material for his public speaking engagements.

Clippings mounted in oversized scrapbooks include: Oversized scrapbook, 1964 Jan. – 1968 ca. June, “COMUSMACV 1964-1968" [ca. 69 x 73 cm], consisting of clippings from newspapers around U.S., Viet Nam, Stars and Stripes, etc.; includes commentary and political cartoons. This volume includes clipping from Pacific Stars and Stripes, 15 May 1965, "WCW makes 121st Jump" while accompanying Maj. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense, who was making his final qualifying jump."

Westmoreland family material in this volume includes brief article re Mrs. Westmoreland (Washington Post, [ca. 27 Apr. 1967]), "Mrs. Westmoreland Snaps off the Spotlight" by Winzola McLendon, and coverage of the death of WCW’s mother and his return to S.C. for services.

Oversize scrapbook: 1968-1969, “Chief of Staff, U.S. Army: “News Clippings Vol. I “ [blue binding ; 39 x 59 cm.]. Volume includes letter, 30 Aug. 1968, from President Lyndon B. Johnson, expressing thanks for a birthday telegram, and clippings from newspapers around USA and abroad; documents both official visits and social functions and speaking engagements; in addition to clippings, includes ephemera and typescript sheets, press releases: “Press Interview at Ministry of Defense,” (London, 15 Sept. 1969); translations of clippings from South American newspapers, 23-24 Sept. 1968, during Conference of American Armies (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); and letter, 30 July 1968, WCW to E.N. Henney, Moraga, Calif., in which WCW thanks Henney for a World War II-era printed program, 17 Nov. 9 [1947], for football game between 60th Infantry and the 47th Infantry at Huemmer Field in Pfaffenhofen, Germany. This illustrated 8-page booklet includes portraits of WCW and others in 1947; clippings note protest activities, including, 10 Apr. 1969, re efforts by student protesters to disrupt speech by WCW at Kansas State University;

South Carolina materials include clippings from newspapers in Counties of Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg and elsewhere; Veterans Day, 11 Nov. 1968, WCW returned to South Carolina where one stop included “Westmoreland Appreciation Dinner” at the Township Theatre in Columbia, S.C.; dignitaries and guests included by Bob Hope, Gov. Robert McNair, Strom Thurmond, and Master of Ceremonies, J. Willis Cantey (a cousin of WCW).

Feature story on family background, “Gen. Westmoreland…has Fountain Inn Background” (Greenville News, 5 Jan. 1969); and portion of a newsletter from Spartanburg, S.C., Lint-Head News, Mar. 1969, re WCW’s attendance at a function in NYC, also documented by full-color program, 7-8 Mar. 1969, 18th Annual Lint Head Festivities, held at University Club in New York.

Oversize scrapbook: 1969 [ca. Nov. 7]-1970 [ca. Dec. 17] , “Chief of Staff, U.S. Army: “News Clippings Vol. II “ [blue binding ; 39 x 59 cm.]. This volume includes coverage by foreign media of trips abroad, complete with typescript translations documenting trips to Asia, South America, etc.; interviews; troop reviews; includes negative news items such as My Lai controversy; protesters; transcript, 25 Jan. 1970, of television broadcast new item re anti-war opinions of the “children of nine Nixon administrations policy-makers”

Includes three clippings re WCW receiving his Army Aviator Wings, 1970 Sept. 21: Completes helicopter flight training, awarded wings and the Army aviator designation (Fort Rucker, Ala.); first Army Chief of Staff to wear Army aviator wings. (see Army Times, 7 Oct. 1970; and Newsweek, 12 Oct. 1970)

South Carolina related materials note visit to Spartanburg, S.C., 1970 Jan. 22, to address annual Palmetto Boy Scout Council; and as part of Tri-centennial festivities; an awards ceremony at Dentsville High School (Columbia, S.C.), 17 Apr. 1960, honoring WCW and other S.C. natives.

Oversize scrapbook: 1971-1972 , “Chief of Staff, U.S. Army: “News Clippings Vol. III “ [blue binding ; 39 x 59 cm.]. Volume documenting trips to Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, etc.; attendance at USMA graduation ceremonies (7 June 1972), and retirement ceremonies. Topics documented include volunteer army; death of James F. Byrnes; reactivation of 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis (Tacoma, Washington); aid for Cambodia; war effort; war protests and protestors, and social events. This volume also includes essay re Mrs. Westmoreland, “The General’s Lady,” by Gwen Moseley (New Zealand Herald, 10 Feb. 1972).

News items pertaining to S.C. include coverage of WCW’s visit to North Augusta, S.C., 22 Jan. 1972, to speak at the Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.
VI. Miscellaneous Miscellaneous series (1972-1993) includes other materials that did not logically fall under the above categories. Research Papers file holds miscellaneous research papers, most related to Vietnam, that discuss WCW or other wars/campaigns with which he was involved, but for which he was not personally interviewed. Papers in which the author consulted with or received commentary from WCW are filed under Topical--Writings--Editorial/Commentary.

Although a number of these essays appear to have been presented at the same symposium, the research papers are filed by author. Students wrote many of these papers, but a number of essays may be identified as the product of veterans and /or faculty, including “Problems in Low Intensity Conflict” (1986), written by W.G. McMillan, who served in Viet Nam from 1966-1969 as Science Advisor (MACSA) to Westmoreland and Creighton Abrams
VII. Artifacts / Realia Aartifacts / realia includes includes awards, medals, plaques, bust, and souvenirs presented to WCW.

Artifacts include a walking stick with a stag’s head with multiple points which was presented to WCW by the members of the H’Mong people of the highlands of Vietnam. Other items include a bumper-sticker, ca. 1968, from the "Columbia RSVP program," an acronym for "Rally Support for our Vietnam Personnel." This Columbia, S.C., program arranged for "adoption" of military units and hospitals in Vietnam by Stateside organizations, and in 1968, won a George Washington Honor Medal award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pa.

Related Materials Researchers will find two other significant groups of related documents at two repositories in Texas. Papers documenting Westmoreland’s tenure as Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (1964-1968), and as U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (1968-1972) are held at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library at University of Texas-Austin.

The Texas Tech Vietnam Archive (Lubbock, Texas) collects materials related to the conflict and its aftermath. This collection includes a complete transcript of the trial documenting the libel suit brought by Gen. Westmoreland against CBS in 1984.

Dates

  • ca. 1900-2005

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact The South Caroliniana Library.

Extent

113 Linear Feet

General William Childs Westmoreland Timeline

General William Childs Westmoreland Timeline

1914 Mar. 26: Born in Saxon, Spartanburg County, S.C., to James Ripley “Rip” and Eugenia Childs Westmoreland; WCW spends childhood years in Pacolet, S.C.

1929 June 24 – Sept. 8: Travels through France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, England, and Scotland and attends World Boy Scout Jamboree (31 July – 13 August) at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, England.

1931 June 5: Graduates from Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg, S.C.

1931 Sept.: Enrolls at The Citadel (Charleston, S.C.), and attends for one year.

1932 Aug.: Accepts appointment to the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., secured by Sen. James F. Byrnes.

1935 June 14: Honored as Regimental Commander and First Captain (highest cadet rank) for senior year at USMA.

1936 June 11: Graduates from West Point number 112 in class of 276; awarded Pershing Sword, presented to cadet with highest level of military proficiency.

1936 June 12: Commissioned into United States Army as a Second Lieutenant; assigned to 18th Field Artillery Regiment (Fort Still, Okla.), as a Battery Officer upon reporting in August.

1936 June-July: Spends two-month furlough in Ecuador, followed by brief visit with family in South Carolina.

1936 Aug.: Reports for active duty, Fort Sill, Okla.; in 1937, completes classes in Japanese.

1939 Mar.: Assigned to the 8th Field Artillery Regiment at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

1939 June 12: Promoted to First Lieutenant.

1940 Sept. 9: Promoted to Captain.

1941 May: Assigned to newly organized 9th Infantry Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

1942 Feb. 1: Promoted to Major.

1942 July 1: Appointed Battalion Command of the 34th Field Artillery Battalion.

1942 Sept. 25: Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

1942 Dec. 24: Arrives with his unit, the 34th Field Artillery, in Casablanca, Morocco.

1943 May 13: All of North Africa under Allied control; WCW awarded Legion of Merit for his actions at Thala, Kasserine Pass, and El Guettar.

1943 July 10: 34th Field Artillery is attached to 82nd Airborne and 39th Infantry Regiment during invasion of Sicily, and serves with these units in the subsequent military operations during Sicilian campaign.

1944 Apr. 13: Appointed Executive Officer of the 9th Infantry Artillery Division.

1944 June 10: Lands with his 9th Infantry Division at Omaha Beach four days after D-Day, and will advance through France, Belgium, and Germany.

1944 July 28: Promoted to Colonel.

1944 Oct. 13: Appointed Chief of Staff of 9th Infantry Division.

1945 Mar. 8-24: WCW and members of the 47th Infantry Regiment of the 9th U.S. Infantry Division capture [Ludendorff] bridge at Remagen, the last remaining bridge across the Rhine River; WCW and men of the 47th hold the crossing for two weeks against continuous enemy bombardment; Allied capture and defense of the bridge allowed time for construction of three Allied bridges across Rhine, a feat later cited by military historians as among the more decisive actions in hastening end of war in European theatre.

1945 May 8: V-E Day, World War II ends in Europe.

1945 June 12 – 1946 Jan.: Appointed Regimental Commander of the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division; headquartered in Bavarian town of Ingolstadt, where WCW’s responsibilities include management of refugee camps for displaced persons.

1945 June 19: Helps to establish 9th Infantry Division Association.

1946 Jan. 30: Appointed acting Chief of Staff of the 71st Infantry Division.

1946 Feb. 14: Appointed Division Commander of the 71st Infantry Division.

1946 May 16: Appointed Assistant Chief of Staff of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

1946 May 27: Attends TIS School at Fort Benning, Ga., as a student officer.

1946 July 20: Earns Parachutist and Gliderman Badges from TIS School, Fort Benning, Ga.

1946 July 21: Appointed Regimental Commander of the 504th Parachute Infantry, Fort Bragg, N.C.

1947 May 3: Marries Katherine “Kitsy” Stevens Van Deusen, in Fayetteville, N.C.

1947 June 30: Reverts to rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

1947 Aug. 13: Appointed Chief of Staff of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

1950 Apr. 10: Awarded Senior Parachutist Badge.

1950 Aug. 1: Appointed instructor at Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

1950 Oct. 7: Appointed instructor at the newly organized Army War College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

1951 June 29: Promoted to Colonel for second time.

1951 June 30: As a member of the faculty, relocates with Army War College to Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pa.

1952 July 29: WCW arrives in Taegu, Korea; on Aug. 1st, assigned Regimental Commander of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in Korea.

1952 Nov. 7: Promoted to Brigadier General; at age 38, one of the youngest in the U.S. Army.

1953 July 27: North Korea signs cease-fire agreement, 27 July 1953, at Panmunjom.

1953 Sept. 14: Awarded the Master Parachutist Badge.

1953 Oct.: WCW and Mrs. Westmoreland leave Japan for U.S.

1953 Nov. 29: Appointed Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, for Manpower Control, at the Pentagon.

1954 Sept. 15 - Dec.: Attends the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University School of Business, Boston, Mass.; graduates from 3-month program in Dec.

1955 July 14: Appointed Secretary of the Army General Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

1956 Dec. 1: Promoted to Major General; at the time, the youngest MG in the Army.

1958 Apr. 2: Appointed Commander of 101st Airborne Division “Screaming Eagles,” Fort Campbell, Ky.

1959: Faced with Army budget cuts, WCW creates Operation High Gear at Fort Campbell, designed “to get more production from cooperative civilian employees on fewer dollars” and Operation Overdrive, which was intended to enhance efficiency and economy of both civilian and military operations (Nashville Tennessean, ca. Aug. 1964 in oversize COMUSMACV scrapbook)

1960 July 1: Appointed 45th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. by President Dwight Eisenhower; during his tenure (1961-1963), WCW doubled enrollment and initiated a major expansion and modernization program.

1963 July 15: Appointed Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps, “The Sky Dragons,” and the Army’s Strategic Ready Force, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

1963 July 31: Promoted to Lieutenant General.

27 January 1964: Appointed Deputy Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV).

1964 Apr. 25: President Johnson announces that Gen. Paul D. Harkins will retire 1 Aug. 1964 and will be replaced by his deputy, WCW.

1964 June 20: Appointed Acting Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.

1964 Aug. 1: Appointed Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and Commanding General, United States Army, Vietnam.

1964 Aug. 7: Signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; U.S. involvement in Vietnam expands with increased military aid and support.

1965 Feb. 19: WCW appears on cover of Time magazine, “Escalation in Vietnam.”

1965 Mar. 2: Operation “Rolling Thunder” officially begins; the bombardment continues until 31 October 1968.

1965 May 11: WCW makes 121st parachute jump; he accompanies Maj. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, Vietnamese deputy prime minister and minister for defense, who was making his final qualifying jump (Pacific Stars and Stripes, 15 May 1965).

1965 July 7: Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii; WCW confers with Adm. U.S. Grant Sharp, U.S. Commander in Chief of the Pacific.

1966 Jan.: Named Time Magazine’s 1965 Man of the Year.

1966 Apr. 5: Thomas F. Jones, President of USC, informs WCW that the Board of Trustees voted to award him an honorary doctorate degree at commencement.

1966 Aug. 13-14: WCW visits LBJ Ranch in Texas for brief 18-hour stay; holds press conference with President Johnson.

1966 Sept. 7-9 : Trip to Korea; meets with Kim Sung Eun, Minister of National Defense, Republic of Korea.

1966 Dec. ca. 14 - 15: WCW meets with top Phillippine defense officials in Manila; flies ca. 100 miles north to Fort Magsaysay to inspect home base of the 2000-man Filipino contingent then serving under his command in Vietnam.

1967 Mar. 19: WCW and U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge fly to Guam to meet with LBJ.

1967 Apr. 29: Addresses the United States Congress, Washington D.C., the first general to address a joint session of Congress since Douglas MacArthur in 1951; on this same trip to U.S., WCW addresses the South Carolina General Assembly (Columbia, S.C.)

1967 July 9: WCW’s mother, Eugenia Westmoreland, dies at age 81 in Columbia, S.C.; General and Mrs. Westmoreland return to Columbia for services held Wednesday, July 12th; WCW flies to Washington, D.C., at 9:00 pm that evening to meet with LBJ.

1967 Nov.: WCW testifies in Congress before House Armed Services Committee, followed by a public address to National Press Club, in which he discusses "four phases" approach to continue process of "Vietnamization" (i.e. shifting responsibility for the fighting of the war from U.S. troops to South Vietnamese troops).

1968 Jan. 21: Siege of Khe Sanh begins; ends 8 April 1968.

1968 Jan. 30: Vietcong begin Tet Offensive.

1968 May 29: Briefly visits Korea, followed by trip to LBJ Ranch in Texas.

1968 June ca. 7-11: Farewell ceremonies at various sites as WCW leaves Vietnam, June 11th, departing from Ton Son Nhut.

1968 July 3: Sworn in as 25th Chief of Staff of the United States Army in Washington, D.C.; brother-in-law, Lt. Col. Frederick F. Van Deusen (1931-1968; USMA ‘52), dies in Vietnam within hours of the swearing-in ceremony when Viet Cong shoot down his helicopter in the Mekong Delta.

1968 July 12: Awarded second oak leaf cluster to the Distinguished Service Medal by President Johnson at White House.

1968 Aug. 10: Attends USO benefit show, awarded USC Distinguished Service Medal by Bob Hope; following a press interview at El Toro U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, WCW meets with retired U.S. Army Col. Jim Boyle of Fountain Valley, Calif., who had “virtually saved the life of Gen. Westmoreland in 1953 in Korea when a mortar round landed near the General and Boyle took the impact of the explosion” (caption in oversize photo album, “Chief of Staff…Vol. II: Photographs”)

1968 Sept. 7-9 : Visit to Korea.

1968 Sept. ca. 21: Visit to Panama Canal Zone.

1968 Sept. ca. 23-28: Visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Conference of American Armies.

1968 Nov. 11: Veterans Day visit to S.C., for “Westmoreland Appreciation Dinner” at the Township Theatre in Columbia, S.C.; guests included Bob Hope; earlier in the day, WCW also visits Spartanburg, S.C.

1969 Jan. ca. 9-12: Tour of U.S. Army installations in Europe includes visits to Belgium and Germany.

1969 Apr. 8: Awarded diploma from the Command and General Staff College (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas); WCW is “first officer to receive a diploma under a new Army program” granting credit to officers serving in Vietnam who “demonstrate professionalism equating to that expected of graduates…at the CGSC” (Leavenworth Times, 9 Apr. 1969)

1969 May 24: Awarded honorary doctorate degree from Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.)

1969 Sept. ca. 11-16: Visits Switzerland and United Kingdom.

1970 Jan. 22: Returns to Spartanburg, S.C., to address annual Palmetto Boy Scout Council.

1970 Mar. 17: Attends annual Hibernian Society banquet in Charleston, S.C.

1970 July ca. 8-21: Visits Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Okinawa, Formosa/Taiwan) and Hawaii; his arrival in Saigon, July 12, marks his first return to Vietnam since 1968.

1970 Aug. 31- Sept. ca. 10: Visits Alaska, Korea, and Japan.

1970 Sept. 21: Completes helicopter flight training, awarded wings and the Army aviator designation (Fort Rucker, Ala.); WCW becomes first Army Chief of Staff to wear Army aviator wings. (see Army Times, 7 Oct. 1970; and Newsweek, 12 Oct. 1970)

1970 Oct. 16-26: Visits Europe; observes ca. 32,000 troops engage in NATO war games: Reforger in West Germany, and Deep Express in Greece and Turkey, followed by visit to Italy.

1971 Feb. 4-16: Visits Ethiopia, first stop on four-nation swing continuing in India (ca. Feb. 5- 13), Iran (ca. Feb. 14-15), and Thailand, plus “a surprise stop in Spain, where he talked with Spanish Chief of Staff Franco” (Army Times, 17 Feb. 1971).

1971 May 7-11: Visits Belgium.

1971 May ca. 14-15: Visits Germany.

1971 July ca. 15: Visits Vietnam.

1971 Aug. ca. 16-19: Visits Alaska.

1971 Sept. ca. 9-14: Visits Italy; observes war games in Dolomite mountains of Northern Italy

1971 Dec. 29 – ca. 1972 Jan. 2: Visit to Panama.

1972 Jan. 22: Visit to North Augusta, S.C.; WCW speaks at Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

1972 Jan. ca. 25-30: Visits Vietnam, meets with all U.S. commanders and top South Vietnamese officals; his first visit to Vietnam in 18 months includes brief trip to Cambodia.

1972 Jan. ca. 31: Visit to Singapore.

1972 Feb. 1-3: Visit to Indonesia.

1972 Feb. ca. 3-10: Visit to Australia and New Zealand.

1972 Feb. 18: Awarded French Legion of Honor, Degree of Commander at French Embassy.

1972 Mar. ca. 24-26: Visit to Puerto Rico.

1972 May 2-4: Visit to Netherlands.

1972 May ca. 6: Visit to Norway.

1972 June 7: Delivers graduation address at USMA (West Point, N.Y.)

1972 June 26: President Nixon awards WCW the Distinguished Service Medal (3d OLC)

1972 June 30: Retirement ceremonies honoring WCW, Fort Meyer, Va.

1972 July 1: Retires from active duty after serving 36 years in the Army and maximum four year term as Army Chief of Staff.

1972 Sept. 29: Appointed by South Carolina Gov. John C. West to head the Governor’s Task Force for Economic Development; family settles in Charleston; WCW serves in this capacity until March 1974.

1974 Mar. 24: Announces campaign to for governor in S.C. Republican primary.

1974 May: Governor’s Task Force for Economic Development terminates activities.

1974 July 16: S.C. Sen. James B. Edwards (b. 1927) defeats WCW in S.C. Republican Primary; Edwards elected governor in November.

1975 Jan. 3: WCW suffers heart attack while at home of Bob Hope, enjoys complete recovery.

1976 Jan.: Publishes his memoir, A Soldier Reports.

1980 May: A Soldier Reports published in paperback.

1982 Jan. 23: CBS broadcasts: The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception.

1982 Jan. 26: WCW holds press conference in Washington, D.C., disputing the charges and identifying inaccuracies in Uncounted Enemy.

1982 Summer – Dan M. Burt, President of Capital Legal Foundation offers his council to WCW on a pro bono basis; David Boies represents CBS during the trial.

1982 July 19: CBS issues apology.

1982 Sept. 13 – Files libel suit against CBS, and Mike Wallace, George Crile, and Samuel A. Adams, seeking $120 million in damages.

1983 Dec. 27 -- Files suit with U.S. District Court in New York City; holds press conference in Washington, D.C., discussing affidavits and other evidence supporting his case.

1984 Sept. 24 – Judge denies CBS’s motion (378 pages) to dismiss the libel suit. CBS believed that there was “no general issue of material fact” to be decided.

1984 Oct. 9: Libel trial begins.

1985 Feb. 18: WCW and CBS issue joint statement re termination of the court action.

1986 Feb. 7: WCW inducted into South Carolina Hall of Fame. In the decades that followed, WCW continued his very active retirement with a full schedule of travel, and frequent speaking engagements, during which he consistently acted as a staunch advocate for the needs and concerns of his fellow veterans.

2005 July 18: WCW passes away in Charleston, S.C., at age 91. On July 23rd, the General’s remains were interred at the West Point Cemetery, United States Military Academy.

Westmoreland Family Timeline

Westmoreland Family Timeline

1913 Mar. 25: Marriage of James Ripley Westmoreland (8 Oct. 1876--15 Dec. 1964) and Eugenia Talley Childs (4 Mar. 1886-9 July 1967), at the Columbia, S.C., home of the sister of the bride, Mrs. James Burwell Urquhart.

1914 Mar. 26: Birth of William Childs Westmoreland in Saxon (Spartanburg County, S.C.).

1916 Dec. 1: Birth of sister, Margaret Rush Westmoreland.

1924: General Assembly elects James Ripley Westmoreland to Board of Visitors of The Citadel, a position he will hold until his voluntary retirement, 30 June 1957; J.R. Westmoreland will serve as Chairman of the Board, 1949-1957.

1926: WCW wins "gold medal prize" from Daughters of the American Revolution (Spartanburg County Chapter), for an essay on the 1861 bombardment of Fort Sumter that began the Civil War.

1927 Feb. 5: Birth of Miss Katherine “Kitsy” Stevens Van Deusen, daughter of Colonel Edwin R. Van Deusen (1886-1981), U. S. Army, and Mrs. Katherine Van Deusen (d. 1984).

1929 June-Aug.: WCW, at rank of Eagle Scout, attends World Boy Scout Jamboree in Birkenhead, England; voyage includes 45-day tour of France, Germany, Belgium, and Scotland.

1945 ca: WCW's parents relocate to Columbia, S.C. from Spartanburg County, S.C.

1947 May 3: WCW marries Katherine “Kitsy” Stevens Van Deusen in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

1948 Dec. 17: Birth of first child, Katherine Stevens Westmoreland, in Fayetteville, N.C.

1952-1953 ca. : While Brig. Gen. WCW commands the 187th Airborne Combat Team in Beppu, Japan, and its unit fights in Korea, Mrs. Westmoreland works in dispensary on the base and organizes volunteers to assist her.

1954 July 31 : Birth of second child, James Ripley Westmoreland.

1955 Dec. 14 : Birth of third child, Margaret Childs Westmoreland.

1958 - mid 1960 : While Maj. Gen. WCW commands 101st Airborne Division (Fort Campbell, Ky.), Mrs. Westmoreland volunteers in Army hospital as a Grey Lady.

1960 July - early 1963: Family lives at West Point, N.Y. following WCW’s appointment as 45th Superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy; Mrs. Westmoreland completes 260 hours of course work to become nurses' aid, enabling her hospital volunteer work to include more sophisticated technical duties; works as nurses’ aid in Academy Hospital.

1963 July : While Lieut. Gen. WCW commands the XVIII Airborne Corps, and the Army’s Strategic Ready Force and Fort Bragg, N.C., Mrs. Westmoreland works as a nurses’ aid in the emergency room of the Post Hospital.

1964 Jan. 27: WCW Reports to duty at the U. S. Military Assistance Command, Saigon, Vietnam, and is designated Deputy Commander.

1964 Feb. 17: Arrival in Saigon of Mrs. Westmoreland, Rip, and Margaret; Stevie completes school term Stateside and joins family in June. During her year in Vietnam, Mrs. Westmoreland works as a nurses’ aid in local hospitals, and acquires equipment to set up an emergency hospital in her guest house which was put was put to timely use after a bomb detonated in a local hotel. She organizes the wives of senior Vietnamese officials into Red Cross Grey Ladies volunteer organization.

1964 Dec. 15: Death of WCW’s father, James Ripley "Rip" Westmoreland; WCW returns to Columbia, S.C. for the funeral.

1965 Feb. 16: Evacuation of more than 1800 American dependents, including Mrs. Westmoreland and the children, who relocate to Hawaii; Pres. Lyndon Johnson orders the evacuation as he initiates Operation Rolling Thunder, a series of air attacks by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces against selected North Vietnamese military targets, which was officially set to begin 2 Mar. 1965.

1965-1966 : Mrs. Westmoreland works as nurses’ aid at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

1966 Jan. 11: Documentary re WCW and his family airs on WIS-TV (Columbia, S.C.), from 8:00-8:30, featuring footage of WCW and interviews with his mother, Eugenia Talley Childs Westmoreland, and sister, Margaret Westmoreland Clarkson.

1966 May: Mrs. Westmoreland appears on the Ed Sullivan show.

1966 Aug.: WCW relocates family from Hawaii to Clark Air Force Base, Philippines; Mrs. Westmoreland works as nurses’ aid in the Air Force Base Hospital; during Tet offensive, she works around the clock in the MEDEVAC receiving station; during her time in the Philippines, Mrs. Westmoreland completes several trips to Saigon on U.S. Air Force MEDEVAC transport, working with the patients en route; during a trip to Japan on MEDEVAC transport, Mrs. Westmoreland visits every patient in every U.S. Military Hospital in Japan.

1967 Apr.: WCW addresses AP Managing Editors in New York; WCW and Mrs. Westmoreland fly to Columbia, S.C. to see Mrs. Mimi Westmoreland, his 81 year old mother; WCW delivers address to S.C. General Assembly, a task promised to S.C. Gov. Robert McNair; Pres. Johnson arranges for WCW to address U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C.

1967 July 9: Death of WCW’s mother, Eugenia Talley Childs Westmoreland, at age 81; WCW and family return to South Carolina for funeral services.

1967 Nov. 14: Called to Washington by Pres. Johnson, WCW stops in Philippines where he is joined by Mrs. Westmoreland and Margaret; family stops in Hawaii for short visit with Rip, a student at Hawaii Preparatory School.

1968 Jan. 14: Interview with Mrs. Westmoreland appears in Parade, the Sunday newspaper magazine; Lloyd Sheaver is author of this cover-story.

1968 June 9: WCW leaves Vietnam, flying to Philippines where he is met by Mrs. Westmoreland and Margaret; the family boards U.S.S. Wilson stopping in Japan and Hong Kong en route to Hawaii.

1968 June 26: Westmoreland family arrives at Honolulu, Hawaii, meeting Rip, who has completed sophomore year of high school; family flies directly to Washington, D.C., for reunion with Stevie, a recent graduate of Bradford Junior College in Massachusetts.

1968 July 2: Westmoreland family arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

1968 Nov. 11: WCW celebrates Veterans Day in S.C., which is designated “Westmoreland Appreciation Day”; festivities include function at the Township Theatre and dinner at Wade Hampton Hotel in Columbia, S.C.; guests included Bob Hope; earlier in the day, WCW also visits Spartanburg County, S.C.

1968-1972 : While WCW serves as Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mrs. Westmoreland continues her hospital volunteer work, frequently visiting patients at Walter Reed and Bethesda Military Hospitals.

1972 July 1: WCW retires from active duty after serving the maximum four year term mandated by law as Army Chief of Staff; WCW’s distinguished career spans 36 years and three wars.

1972 Summer: General and Mrs. Westmoreland, and Margaret relocate to Charleston, S.C.; construction of permanent home on Tradd Street “south of Broad” begins Oct. 1973.

1984 July: Red Cross awards Mrs. Westmoreland the Harriman Award for her years of contributions; featured in its organizational magazine, The Good Neighbor.

1994 Jan. 14: Sovereign Order of St. Stanislas, a Polish heritage organization, awards WCW the Order of the White Eagle during ceremony at The Citadel; State of South Carolina awards Mrs. Westmoreland the Order of the Palmetto, in recognition of her many contributions to the community, including her service on the Boards of Trustees of Converse College and the Spoleto Arts Festival.

Biographical Note

"My pride and confidence in you and the job you are doing was redoubled by my visit to Vietnam. When you told me that no Commander-in-Chief ever commanded a finer armed force, I could not help thinking that no army ever took the field under finer leadership than yours. President Eisenhower feels the same." Thus wrote President Lyndon B. Johnson in a letter of 17 November 1966 to South Carolina native Gen. William Childs Westmoreland, the "soldiers' soldier" and "inevitable general" who by the end of his thirty-six-year military career would come to be considered the outstanding warrior of his generation. Born in 1914 to James Ripley "Rip" Westmoreland (1876-1964) and Eugenia Talley Childs Westmoreland (1886-1967), young "Childs" and his sister Margaret grew up in the town of Pacolet Mills. During the summer of his fifteenth year, WCW shipped out for his first foreign tour in the uniform of an Eagle Scout: he attended the 1929 World Boy Scout Jamboree in Birkenhead, England. His itinerary included a tour of England, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, and France. Later recalling the impact of the trip, he wrote Harry D. Thorenson, Jr., on 21 September 1978, "It was my first trip overseas, my first exposure to foreigners, and my first venture as an Eagle Scout. I was proud to wear the uniform of my country in a foreign land. I was eager to do it again. My pride to serve as a boy was fully sustained as a man."

Following graduation from Spartanburg High School in 1931, WCW enrolled at his father's alma mater, The Citadel, where, after the completion of one year, he received from Sen. James F. Byrnes an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy. Here he joined a talented class that produced many outstanding leaders, including three Army Chiefs of Staff; numerous commanders prominent in NATO, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; the first African-American general; a member of the Manhattan Project; and the originator and first commander of the Green Berets. Even among this august company, cadets and faculty recognized WCW as an exceptional soldier, as his leadership skills earned him promotions to First Captain and Regimental Commander. At graduation ceremonies in 1936, WCW received the Gen. John J. Pershing sword, an honor awarded annually to the cadet who most excelled in all aspects of military training. Although his papers contain relatively few items that pre-date 1940, the collection includes weekly letters written by James "Rip" Westmoreland offering advice and encouragement to his cadet son at West Point.

Following graduation, WCW was commissioned second lieutenant of Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Okla. In Mar. 1939, he was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. In May 1941, as a captain, he was assigned to the newly organized 9th Infantry Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. During World War II, WCW led men in combat in North Africa, Sicily, and Germany. In Apr. 1942, he assumed command of the 34th Field Artillery Battalion and moved with it later that year to Morocco, North Africa. He commanded the battalion in combat in Tunisia and Sicily. Following operations in Tunisia, his battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding combat action.

During the campaign in Sicily, Gen. Westmoreland’s battalion was successively attached to the 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Infantry Division before returning to its parent division. After staging with the 9th Infantry Division in southern England, he at Utah Beach on 10 June 1944, and fought through France, Belgium, and into Germany. In Oct. 1944, he was named chief of staff of the division, serving in that capacity from the German border to the Elbe River, where his division met the Russian army.

In March 1945 he and members of the 47th Infantry Regiment of the 9th U.S. Infantry Division captured and held the bridge at Remagen, the last bridge standing on the Rhine River. WCW and his men defended it for two weeks, despite continuous bombardment. This daring feat allowed time for construction of three Allied bridges across the Rhine. Military historians have cited the taking of the bridge at Remagen as one of the most decisive actions in hastening the end of war in the European theatre. From June 1945 to Jan. 1946, WCW commanded the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division in Bavaria, as part of the Allied Occupation Forces in Germany.

Returning stateside, WCW earned his parachute and glider badges at Fort Benning, Ga., and in July 1946 assumed command of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. While in North Carolina, he renewed his acquaintance with Katherine "Kitsy" S. Van Deusen, whom he had known as the "friendly but sassy" young daughter of Col. Edwin R. Van Deusen, the post executive officer at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. By 1946 Kitsy Van Deusen had transferred from Cornell University to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The couple became engaged early that winter and were married in May 1947. In Aug. 1947, WCW was named chief of staff of the 82nd Airborne Division, and served in that capacity for the next three years.

In Aug. 1950, WCW was appointed an instructor at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Later that year, he was designated an instructor at the newly organized Army War College, also at Fort Leavenworth. In June 1951, WCW and the Army War College relocated to Carlisle Barracks, Pa. WCW served as a member of the faculty until July 1952. On 1 Aug. 1952, WCW assumed command of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in Korea and Japan. While under his command, the unit was twice committed to combat and during the interim was deployed to Japan as theatre reserve. WCW relocated his wife and toddler daughter to Beppu, Japan. On 7 Nov. 1952, the Army promoted WCW to brigadier general while only age 38. Although he made 121 parachute jumps during his career, a jump in Korea nearly proved fatal when his chute failed to open. Westmoreland later recalled-"I was finally able to shake out the foul chute when I was approximately 100 feet from the ground but landed safely although I lost my watch in the process."

Following the Korean War, in late Nov. 1953, WCW received an appointment as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, for Manpower Control. This Pentagon assignment required regular appearances before Congress. During frequent meetings with congressional committees, WCW made a number of influential friends, including Lyndon B. Johnson and Gerald R. Ford, letters from whom appear in the collection. WCW became acquainted with many other regular correspondents when he enrolled in the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School, a three-month program during Autumn semester of 1954.

Upon receipt of his second star in 1956, the forty-two-year-old became the youngest major general in the Army. His career remained on the fast track, which required frequent relocations. Westmoreland relied on his brother-in-law, Columbia attorney N. Heyward Clarkson, Jr., to manage his affairs in the Palmetto State. Clarkson's letters discuss financial concerns, family news, and local and national events, including the outcome of the 1952 presidential election in which Dwight D. Eisenhower failed to carry the state and South Carolina cast her eight electoral votes for Adlai Stevenson, with a scant 50.72% majority. In a letter of 11 December 1952 Clarkson acknowledged his regret-"I was as much disappointed as you were that we could not carry the state for General Ike. However, it was a very, very difficult feat to accomplish under all the existing circumstances and I think the close margin was a most excellent result."

In July 1960 President Eisenhower appointed WCW as Superintendent of West Point. Announcement of the General's return to the Academy prompted a deluge of congratulatory letters, many of which predicted greater achievements in his future. In a letter of 16 May 1960, John W. MacIndoe observed-"Way back in 1945 many of us said that you would be the top man some day and Sundays' Stars and Stripes even stated that many of the top brass considered that you would be the chief of staff some day." During his tenure at the Academy, from 1960 to 1963, Westmoreland doubled the school's enrollment, expanded and improved the physical plant, and odernized the curriculum.

In 1963 Westmoreland received orders from President Johnson to report to Southeast Asia. Arriving in Vietnam on 27 January 1964, he was promoted to Commanding General, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), in August. In this capacity, Westmoreland directed the operations of troops from the United States, South Vietnam, and other Allied nations. When he assumed command in Vietnam, Westmoreland inherited a difficult military situation as well as an unstable political one. Correspondence during his first year in Saigon records his impressions of the country and the task before him. A letter to Gen. Edward P. Smith, 23 February 1964, advises-"This is a fascinating country and we have here a most complex but interesting job. It is everything that I thought it would be and more so. The problems are legion but we are hopefully expecting a trend favorable to our cause." Writing to Capt. S.R. Woods, Jr., 29 March 1964, prior to Woods' arrival in the country, WCW described Vietnam as a "fantastic place" and added-"to say that it is different from any other military situation that we have found ourselves in is an understatement." In a letter of 18 May 1964 to Col. David E. McCuen, Greenville, WCW confided-"I have no idea how long I will be on duty in this critical area. I do know that our country will probably be involved here for many years to come."

Westmoreland's family joined him in February 1964 when Mrs. Westmoreland arrived in Saigon with their three children, Katherine Stevens "Stevie," age 15, James Ripley "Rip," age 9, and Margaret Childs, age 8. Attempting to rear children and maintain a normal family life in Vietnam challenged all the military dependent families. Children attended schools protected by armed guards. Bombs hidden in various recreational facilities curtailed leisure activities and forced the closing of the cinema, the baseball field, and the swimming pool. In August 1964, Mrs. Westmoreland wrote to her parents and in-laws describing a recent bombing-"Margaret was spending the night at a friend's house the night of the last blast. Their house was only a block away and it was a tremendous blast. All the children were herded back to the maid's room and Margaret's eyes are still a little bit bigger than usual. They seem to take it as part of being over here, though, and let it go at that. We have tightened up a great deal, seems the better part of valor."

Mrs. Westmoreland's training as a nurse's aid served her well in Vietnam, where she logged many hours caring for the sick and wounded. Although she had volunteered as a Red Cross "Grey Lady" in hospitals since 1952, Mrs. Westmoreland completed the intensive 260-hour course in 1962 while at West Point. In Vietnam Mrs. Westmoreland worked at a nearby hospital and organized a Vietnamese Red Cross Grey Ladies volunteer program in which she trained more than 200 Vietnamese women in the care of the injured. General Westmoreland credited his wife's charm and finesse with improving relations and smoothing interactions in his dealings with Vietnamese officials-"Mrs. Westmoreland was extremely effective in working with the Vietnamese ladies, and in addition to helping me to establish a rapport with the senior military and political officials, she was principally responsible for getting a voluntary Red Cross program started in Vietnam and getting wide-spread participation by the ladies of the senior officials."

With an escalation of the Allied war effort, President Johnson ordered the eighteen hundred remaining American dependents to evacuate South Vietnam in early 1965. Westmoreland's family left for Hawaii on 16 February 1965 after a year of living dangerously. Mrs. Westmoreland recalled her reluctance at leaving her husband behind in Vietnam-"We were miserable. Those who had been afraid had left long ago. We were willing to take our chances to keep our families together."

At Westmoreland's home, the company around the dinner table regularly included a combination of writers and journalists, congressmen and governors, junior and senior officers, as well as entertainers such as Martha Raye and Bob Hope. The collection includes extensive correspondence from many such visitors to Vietnam, including Hubert H. Humphrey, whose 3 March 1966 letter warmly praised his host-"In two short weeks I traveled a great distance and talked with many people. Nothing I saw or heard impressed me more than your own professional competence, your steady confidence in the success of our efforts and the high morale and evident readiness of our forces under your command. I only wish it were possible for all Americans to have the opportunity I did to talk with you and to see our troops. It would not fail to be for them, as it was for me, an inspiring experience."

Among the more prominent writers to share a meal with WCW in Saigon was John Steinbeck, who, along with his wife, dined there on Christmas night 1966. In a letter dated 26 December 1966, Steinbeck expressed his appreciation for being allowed to cover Westmoreland's "Christmas tour" and included a pre-publication copy of his newspaper column describing his favorable impressions of Vietnam and his support of the work of the Allied forces-"On the plane you said that you welcomed observation of the new and perhaps amateur eye. Perhaps mine is too amateur, but...it reflects a considerable amount of feeling and I think should be said."

Steinbeck requested permission for the use of a firearm, explaining his plans to visit the 25th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta to study the "patrol and ambush business." He explained- "The only way to learn is to sit in with them....Since the V.C. does not observe the Geneva convention and since I meant that about not being a pigeon, I wonder if I could have permission to carry a weapon (borrowed of course)....I'm sure you will understand that at night in the paddys, an unarmed man must feel kind of naked." Westmoreland politely refused, citing rules of the Geneva Convention that forbade the carrying of weapons by non-combatants.

In 1968 members of the Westmoreland family were living in the United States, Hawaii, and the Philippines. Correspondence regarding birthdays or school events sometimes included news of a more serious nature, such as this description of the Tet offensive in a 4 February 1968 letter from WCW, in Saigon, to his son, Rip, in Hawaii-"I've been spending every night at the headquarters, because things are happening every minute. The VC have launched a 'do-or-die attack' but are being defeated everywhere. The battles are not over and will be raging for a number of weeks, but so far we're doing very well. This is the most excitement we've had since the days when your mother, you, Stevie, and Margaret were with me here in Saigon and had to be evacuated because of the heavy fighting and danger in Saigon."

In July 1968 President Johnson shifted Westmoreland from combat command in Vietnam to the most powerful role in the Army, that of Chief of Staff of the Army. Johnson wrote to Mrs. Westmoreland on 23 March 1968 about the return of her husband to the Pentagon-"I have just dictated a letter to Westy, telling him of my great happiness that he is coming home to act as Army Chief of Staff and my strong right arm. Mrs. Johnson and I know how eagerly you have awaited this day. I only wish it could have come sooner."

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1968 to 1972, Westmoreland served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. During his tenure in Washington, WCW worked to reform, modernize, and defend the Army. His final year of service included a visit to the troops in Vietnam, prompting a letter of thanks, 21 February 1972, from Australian soldier Lt. Col. Colin Kohn-"As a junior officer in the Australian Army, I would like you to know how much we soldiers who had served in South Vietnam appreciated your visit. You have long been admired by us all as 'our' Commander in Vietnam and we who had heard so much about you sincerely welcomed the opportunity of seeing and meeting you."

Westmoreland retired on 1 July 1972, upon completion of the maximum four-year term set by law for a Service Chief of Staff. The Westmorelands relocated to Charleston but they did not retire from public life. In November 1972, Gov. John C. West appointed WCW chairman of the Governor's Task Force for Economic Development. Serving in that capacity until March 1974, WCW promoted current and potential manufacturing, forestry, and agricultural activities for South Carolina. After returning to Charleston, WCW received encouragement from many quarters to run for governor of South Carolina. He consulted with Strom Thurmond, Gerald Ford, Lee Atwater, and others, including Ronald Reagan, who wrote on 30 January 1974, "I'm aware that you have a decision to make. I know that many people at the dinner were hoping that it would be 'yes.' Having faced a similar decision several years ago, for whatever it's worth, I never regretted the course I took."

Westmoreland ran unsuccessfully on the Republican ticket at a time when the Palmetto State remained a Democratic stronghold. Although unsuccessful, the candidate discussed his thoughts on the state's political culture in his concession speech-"I'm not a politician, but I hope I made some small contribution to help this state have a viable two-party system."

With publication of his memoirs in 1976, and the libel suit filed against CBS television during the 1980s, WCW remained in the public eye. During the following decades, Westmoreland continued his very active retirement with a full schedule of travel, frequent speaking engagements, and other activities during which he consistently acted as a staunch advocate for the needs and concerns of soldiers, military families, and his fellow veterans. Decades of letters in the Westmoreland papers document the admiration and respect felt for the General by his former troops and acknowledge his contributions.

On 18 July 2005, the General passed away in Charleston, S.C., at age 91. On July 23rd, his remains were interred in the West Point Cemetery, at the United States Military Academy. General Westmoreland's thirty-six years of military service stand as a matchless record of achievement at every level of military command.

Finding Aid for Papers (ca. 1900-2005) of General William Childs Westmoreland

Finding Aid for Papers (ca. 1900-2005) of General William Childs Westmoreland

Series: I. Military Papers (1936-1972) General Office Records Topical II. Personal papers (1900-2000) General Topical III. Speeches (1944-[1990s]) General Interviews Speech Material IV. Audio / Visual (1900-1998) Audio Tapes Film Original Art Photographs Scrapbooks Video Tapes Vinyl Record Albums V. Clippings (1920-2005) General Topical VI. Miscellaneous (1972-1993) General Research papers VII. Oversize Boxes Framed Volumes VIII. Artifacts / Realia (1920s-1990s) General Insignia / Awards Realia

Repository Details

Part of the South Caroliniana Library Repository

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