Howard Bertram Aison Papers, 1942-1963
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Brief Description: 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.
Held at:
Special Collections and University Archives
Email: pbruce [at]
Record Series Number: 00/MG 61
Created by: Aison, Howard B. (Howard Bertram) (1920-1997)
Volume: 3.2 Linear Feet
Acquired: 06/22/1999.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sub-series C. Vietnam - Includes orders issued in 1962, and a certificate for the Bronze Star.

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.

Sub-series E. General Records - 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.

Series IV. Printed Material - Includes issues from Democracy Versus Communism Series, and the Foreign Service Log, military unit histories and yearbooks. Of note is a collection of language guides, and pocket guides of Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Series V. Maps - 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)

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.

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.

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restriction.
Subject Index
Aison, Howard B. (Howard Bertram), 1920-1997
Korean War, 1950-1953
Korean War, 1950-1953--Veterans
United States. Army
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans
World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945--Veterans
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Acquisition Notes: Gerald P. Gaidmore  Gift. Accession #A98-5
PreferredCitation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Lt. Colonel Howard Bertram Aison Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.