A Guide to the Papers of Lt. Colonel Howard Bertram Aison Aison, Howard Bertram (Lt. Colonel), Papers 1942-1963. MG 61

A Guide to the Papers of Lt. Colonel Howard Bertram Aison 1942-1963.

A Collection in
Special Collections and University Archives
Collection Number MG 61


Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University

Special Collections
Perry Library
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
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© 2000 By Rector and Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections and University Archives Staff

Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University
Collection number
MG 61
Papers of Lt. Colonel Howard Bertram Aison 1942-1963
Physical Characteristics
4 linear feet; 8 document cases and 2 oversize boxes

Administrative Information


Open to researchers without restriction.

Use Restrictions

Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Papers of Lt. Colonel Howard Bertram Aison, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gerald P. Gaidmore, June 1999

Biographical/Historical Information

Howard Bertram Aison was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 7, 1920. He served almost his entire life in the United States Army, serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He attended Georgetown University, graduating in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service. He also participated in ROTC. On June 4, 1942, Aison was drafted into the United States Army. Although he had taken ROTC courses in college he chose to remain an enlisted man, feeling that he was not prepared to be an officer. He served in the 77th Ordnance Depot Company taking part in the Allied campaigns in North Africa, Italy, Southern France, and Germany.

After the war, Aison returned to civilian life, married, and began working as a salesman. He did not enjoy civilian life, however, and chose to reenlist in the Army, this time as an officer. He was commissioned a second Lieutenant in the Ordnance Department on August 6, 1948. On March 7, 1951, he was promoted to first Lieutenant in the Infantry and, a year later, was ordered to Korea. Aison was first assigned as a United Nations liaison officer with the 2nd Infantry Division, 8th Army. He was responsible for acting as the liaison between the U.S. Division and the United Nations' units serving with it. He then became a platoon leader in a weapons platoon, and then a rifle platoon. On July 6, 1952, he was awarded a Bronze star for actions during a patrol. He was transferred to Civil Assistance in the 2nd Division, where he took an active role in the formation of the "Friendship Home," an orphanage for Korean children. On July 31, 1953 he was promoted to Captain and returned home from Korea in September.

From March 1962 to March 1963, Aison served as senior advisor to the 6th Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, I Corps, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. On October 21, 1963, he was awarded a Bronze star with first Oak Leaf cluster for "meritorious duty against hostile forces." He retired from the United States Army in 1969 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He resided in Virginia Beach where he worked in imports and exports and invested in real estate. In 1974, he separated from his wife, but never divorced. On August 28, 1997, Lt. Colonel Howard Bertram Aison (ret.) died in Virginia Beach.

Scope and Content Information

The Papers of Howard B. Aison, dating from 1942 to 1963, contains correspondence, photographs, military training manuals, orders, diaries, recollections, unit histories, commendations, printed material, artifacts, and maps. The bulk of the collection documents his service in the United States Army and his participation in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Also, includes papers accumulated during his years as a student at Georgetown University.


The collection is arranged into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Military Records; III. Student Papers; IV. Printed Material; V. Maps; VI. Photographs; VII. Oversized materials; VIII. Artifacts.

Contents List

Series I: Correspondence

Contains letters, dated from August 1951 to September 1953, that Aison sent his wife. Documents his experiences training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (August - December 1951) and Camp Gordon, Georgia (January 1952), and his service in Korea (March 1952 - September 1953). Discusses a variety of topics including training and drilling, army food, the weather, a soldier's social life, weaponry, military equipment and clothing, living quarters, the slowness of the mail, an assessment of the military situation in Korea in 1952, Korea's geography and climate, life at the front, the differences between what American soldiers collected as souvenirs to that of other United Nations' forces, French and British fighting forces, the bombing of enemy lines, bunker construction, interaction with soldiers from the Republic of Korea, supply problems, dealing with guerillas, the black market, Korean National Policemen, characteristics of the fighting in Korea, R & R in Japan, "The Friendship Home," Korean orphans, peace talks, South Korea's attitude toward the peace talks, demonstrations against peace talks, Sygman Rhee, troop entertainment by Mickey Rooney, Frances Langford, and Jon Hall, dealing with rodents and scavenging animals including a tiger, and Chinese propaganda. Several letters deserve special note. A letter dated April 2, 1952 includes surrender leaflets fired into enemy lines. A letter dated July 6, 1952 recounts the patrol for which he was awarded a bronze star including citation, map of patrol, and interrogation of prisoners. A letter dated March 22, 1953 discusses the exploits of Courtney Mansfield, an African- American soldier.

  • Box 1, Folders 1-4
    Fort Leonard Wood August-December 1951
    4 folders
  • Box 1, Folder 5
    Chinese People's Volunteers Christmas Card 1951
  • Box 1, Folders 6, 7
    Camp Gordon, Georgia January, 1952
    2 folders
  • Box 1, Folder 8 - Box 2, Folder 8
    Korea March 1952-September 1953
    18 folders
Series II: Military Records

This series is divided into four subseries: A. World War II; B. Korea; C. Vietnam; D. Training.

  • Sub-Series A: World War II

    Includes an induction notice, promotion certificates, orders, customs declarations for war trophies, a diary, and recollections. The diary records his service during the war for the year 1945. The recollections detail Aison's service in Anzio, Italy and Southern France. Other material of note are instructions for the treatment of the enemy, instructions for the conduct of U.S. troops in North Africa, and a history of the 77th Ordnance Depot Company.

    • Box 2, Folder 9
      Timeline and Notes of Service 1942-1945
    • Box 2, Folder 10
      Draft Induction; Promotion Certificate; FDR Form Letter
    • Box 2, Folder 11
      Orders Feb. 1943-Feb, 1944
    • Box 2, Folder 12
      Diary 1945
    • Box 2, Folder 13
      Recollections - Anzio
    • Box 2, Folder 14
      Recollections - Italy
    • Box 2, Folder 15
      Recollections - Southern France
    • Box 2, Folder 16
      History of the 77th Ordnance Depot Company
    • Box 2, Folder 17
      Home Address of the 77th Ordnance Depot Company
    • Box 2, Folder 18
      Certificates, Affidavits, and Custom Declarations - War Trophies
    • Box 2, Folder 19
      Vital Information on Conduct of U.S. Troops; Instructions for Treatment of Enemy
  • Sub-Series B: Korea

    Includes orders, training bulletins, commendations, recommendations for bravery and promotions, and standard operating procedures for Civil Affairs. Of note are the training bulletins relating to patrol actions, the combat leaders guide, and general orders for sentinels, and an ID card and pass issued to Korean civilians.

    • Box 2, Folder 20
      Orders 1951-1953
    • Box 2, Folder 21
      Recommendations and Commendations for Heroism, Promotion, and Superior Service
    • Box 2, Folder 22
      Financial Documents
    • Box 2, Folders 23, 24
      2nd Infantry Division Civil Affairs
      2 folders
    • Box 2, Folder 25
      Staff Director - 2nd Infantry Division September 1, 1953
    • Box 2, Folder 26
      The Friendship House
    • Box 2, Folder 27
      Security Codes
    • Box 2, Folder 28
      Training Bulletin; Patrol Plan 1952
    • Box 2, Folder 29
      General Orders for Sentinels; Combat Leaders Guide
    • Box 2, Folder 30
      Employee ID Card and Pass
  • Sub-Series C: Vietnam

    Includes orders issued in 1962, and a certificate for the Bronze Star.

    • Box 2, Folder 31
      Award of Bronze Star Medal
    • Box 2, Folder 32
      Orders November 21, 1962
  • Sub-Series D: Training

    Includes training material collected from various training schools such as: The U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Manpower Control Officers Course at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. Noteworthy is the syllabi, course descriptions, and training manuals from the U.S. Army Special Warfare School.

    • Box 2, Folder 33
      U.S. Army Infantry School - Ft. Benning, Georgia
    • Box 2, Folder 34 - Box 3, Folder 7
      Manpower Control Officers Course 1961
      10 folders
    • Box 3, Folder 8
      U.S. Army Special Warfare School - Syllabi 1964
    • Box 3, Folder 9
      U.S. Army Special Warefare School - Counterinsurgency Operations Officers Course 1964
    • Box 3, Folder 10
      "Pre-requisites for Resistance Movements and Guerrilla Operations" Counter Insurgency Dept., U.S. Army Special Warefare School
    • Box 3, Folder 11
      "Communist Ideology Strategy and Tactics" Counter Insurgengy Dept., U.S. Army Special Warfare School
    • Box 3, Folder 12
      "Readings in Guerrilla Warfare" U.S. Army Special Warfare School (Fort Bragg)
    • Box 3, Folder 13
      "Readings in Psychological Operations" Table of Contents
    • Box 3, Folder 14-21
      "Readings in Psychological Warfare"
      8 folders
    • Box 4, Folder 1
      Certificates of Completion
  • Sub-Series E: General Records

    Contains promotions, 1948-1961.

    • Box 4, Folder 2
      Promotions 1948-1961
Series III: Student Papers

Includes essays and notes relating to courses in international law, and exporting. Of interest are notes pertaining to hypnotism, and a list of the Dewey Decimal System.

  • Box 4, Folder 3
    Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service - International Law
  • Box 4, Folder 4
    School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University - Exporting I-304
  • Box 4, Folder 5
    Government Export Policies
  • Box 4, Folders 6, 7
    2 folders
  • Box 4, Folders 8, 9
    Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service - Staple Commodities of World Trade
    2 folders
  • Box 4, Folder 10
    Notes on Hypnotism
  • Box 4, Folder 11
    Dewey Decimal System
Series IV: Printed Material

Includes issues from Democracy Versus Communism Series, and the Foreign Service Log, military unit histories and yearbooks, cartoons from Bill Mauldin and Dick Wingert, an article on the "Friendship Home" published in the Pittsburgh Press, a Life issue dated January 25, 1963, a Pacific Stars and Stripes regarding the Korean War, and an issue of the Times of Viet Nam regarding the Battle of Phuoc Chau. Of note is a collection of phrase books, language guides, and pocket guides of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, North Africa, and Russia.

  • Box 4, Folder 12
    Democracy Faces Communism Series No. 1-10
  • Box 4, Folder 13
    Foreign Service Log, Vol. III, No. 1-3, 5-14 October 1940 - May 1941
  • Box 4, Folder 14
    Foreign Service Log, Vol. IV, No. 1, 4-6, 8 October 1941 - April 1942
  • Box 5, Folder 1
    "Second to None" A Short History of Second Infantry Division, 1918-1952
  • Box 5, Folder 2
    "Blood and Fire" Victory in Europe 63rd Infantry Division
  • Box 5, Folder 3
    "Don't Be a Sucker in Germany" Special Orders for German-American Relations Deutsche Flugzeuge
  • Box 5, Folder 4
    "A Pocket Guide to Italy;" "Soldier's Guide to Italy"
  • Box 5, Folder 5
    "Russian Language Guide"
  • Box 5, Folder 6
    "The Airborne" - Classbook Airborne Class 12 June 29, 1956
Series V: Maps and Overlays

Contains maps and overlays of regions and countries throughout the world. Appear to be used for military strategic studies purposes for Division Operations, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (Ft. Leavenworth)

  • Box 6, Folder 1
  • Box 6, Folder 2
    Austria (Amstetten - Wieselburg)
  • Box 6, Folder 3
    Austria and Italy
  • Box 6, Folder 4
  • Box 6, Folder 5
    Germany (Erfurt - Weissenfels)
  • Box 6, Folder 6
    Germany (Essen - Bochum)
  • Box 6, Folder 7
    Germany (Hof - Plauen)
  • Box 6, Folder 8
    Japan (Chitese - Iwanizawa)
  • Box 6, Folder 9
    Poland and Germany
  • Box 7, Folder 1
    Puerto Rico (Ponce)
  • Box 7, Folder 2
    South Africa
  • Box 7, Folder 3
    Southwestern Asia
  • Box 7, Folder 4
    Southwest Asia (Damascus - Moussa Ler)
  • Box 7, Folder 5
    United States (Oklahoma City - Wichita Falls)
  • Box 7, Folder 6
    Western United States (Kansas)
  • Box 7, Folder 7
    Maps and Overlays (No geographic distinction)
  • Box 7, Folder 8
    Item Inventory
Series VI: Photographs

Documents Aison's service in the military, primarily during World War II and Vietnam. Many of the photographs from World War II are labeled. Of note are two scrapbooks containing photographs of his service in Vietnam. Also of interest are postcards of Paris and Constantine, Algeria, and five panorama photos. Two of these panoramas are from his father's service in the military: Camp Grant, Officers 161st Depot Brigade, November 20, 1917; and Provisional Medical Regiment, U.S. Army Fort Snelling, Minnesota, July 1924. The others are: Georgetown University, 143rd Annual Commencement, May 25, 1942; 77th Ordnance Depot Co., "1st Anniversary Overseas," Caserto, Italy, November 1943; Assoc. Inf. Co. Officers Course No. 2, 24th Co., 1st Stu. Regt., March 26, 1954 - November 18, 1954, Fort Benning, Georgia.

  • Box 8, Folders 1-4
    World War II
    4 folders
  • Box 8, Folders 5, 6
    2 folders
  • Box 8, Folder 7
  • Box 8, Folder 8
    Holiday Greetings
  • Box 8, Folder 9
    Postcards - Constantine, Algeria
  • Box 8, Folder 10
    Prints - Paris
  • Box 8, Folder 11
    Prints - Miscellaneous
  • Box 8, Folder 12
  • Box 9
    Scrapbooks - Vietnam
    Oversize Box
  • Box 9
    Panorama Photographs
    Oversize Box
Series VII: Oversized Materials

Includes promotional posters for bullfighting events in Spain dated 1919, 1947, and 1958, a color sketch of a young boy, certificates and diplomas for military training, certificates and diplomas from Bryn Mawr School and Hirsch High School in Chicago, and Georgetown University, and a certificate of confirmation dated 1935.

  • Box 9
    Certificates, Diplomas, Posters
    Oversize Box