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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-5350
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The Papers of Howard B. Aison


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.


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.


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.

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


Donated by Gerald P. Gaidmore, August 1998.


Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.


4 linear feet; 8 document cases and 2 oversize boxes


MG 61


Series I. Correspondence

Box 1

Folder 1: Fort Leonard Wood, Aug. 1951
Folder 2: Fort Leonard Wood, Sept. 1951
Folder 3: Fort Leonard Wood, Oct. 1951
Folder 4: Fort Leonard Wood, Nov.-Dec. 1951
Folder 5: Chinese People's Volunteers Christmas Card, 1951
Folder 6: Camp Gordon (Georgia), Jan. 1-15, 1952
Folder 7: Camp Gordon, Jan. 16-31, 1952
Folder 8: Korea, Mar. 1952
Folder 9: Korea, April 1952
Folder 10: Korea, May 1952
Folder 11: Korea, June-July, 1952
Folder 12: Korea, Aug. 1952
Folder 13: Korea, Sept. 1952
Folder 14: Korea, Oct. 1952
Folder 15: Korea, Nov. 1952
Folder 16: Korea, Dec. 1952
Folder 17: Korea, Jan. 1953

Box 2

Folder 1: Korea, Feb. 1953
Folder 2: Korea, Mar. 1953
Folder 3: Korea, Apr. 1953
Folder 4: Korea, May 1953
Folder 5: Korea, June 1953
Folder 6: Korea, July 1953
Folder 7: Korea, Aug. 1953
Folder 8: Korea, Sept. 1953

Series II: Military Records

Sub-Series A: World War II

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

Sub-Series B: Korea

Folder 20: Orders, 1951-53
Folder 21: Recommendations and Commendations for Heroism, Promotion, and Superior Service
Folder 22: Financial Documents
Folder 23: 2nd Infantry Div. Civil Affairs (I)
Folder 24: 2nd Infantry Div. Civil Affairs (II)
Folder 25: Staff Director - 2nd Inf. Div., 1 Sept. 1953
Folder 26: The Friendship Home
Folder 27: Security Codes
Folder 28: Training Bulletin; Patrol Plan, 1952
Folder 29: General Orders for Sentinels; Combat Leaders Guide
Folder 30: Employee ID Card and Pass (Korean and English Language)

Sub-Series C: Vietnam

Folder 31: Award of Bronze Star Medal
Folder 32: Orders, 21 Nov. 1962

Sub-Series D: Training

Folder 33: U.S. Army Infantry School - Ft. Benning (Georgia)
Folder 34: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (I)
Folder 35: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (II)
Folder 36: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (III)

Box 3

Folder 1: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (IV)
Folder 2: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (V)
Folder 3: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (VI)
Folder 4: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (VII)
Folder 5: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (VIII)
Folder 6: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (IX)
Folder 7: Manpower Control Officers Course, 1961 (X)
Folder 8: U.S. Army Special Warfare School - Syllabi, 1964
Folder 9: U.S. Army Special Warfare School - Counterinsurgency Operations Officers Course, 1964
Folder 10: "Pre-Requisites for Resistance Movements and Guerrilla Operations" Counter Insurgency Dept., U.S. Army Special Warfare School
Folder 11: "Communist Ideology Strategy and Tactics" Counter Insurgency Dept., U.S. Army Special Warfare School
Folder 12: "Readings in Guerrilla Warfare" U.S. Army Special Warfare School (Fort Bragg)
Folder 13: "Readings in Psychological Operations" - Table of Contents
Folder 14: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section I "Famous Propaganda Documents"
Folder 15: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section II "The Nature of Psychological Operations"
Folder 16: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section III "Target Analysis"
Folder 17: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section IV "Psychological Operations Intelligence and Propaganda Analysis"
Folder 18: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section V "Propaganda Development"
Folder 19: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section VI "Psychological Operations Planning"
Folder 20: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section VII "Propaganda Media"
Folder 21: "Readings in Psychological Warfare" - Section VIII "Communism and Communist Propaganda"

Box 4

Folder 1: Certificates of Completion

Subseries E. General Records

Folder 2: Promotions, 1948-1961

Series III. Student Papers

Folder 3: Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service - International Law
Folder 4: School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University, Exporting I-304
Folder 5: Government Export Policies
Folder 6: Essays (I)
Folder 7: Essays (II)
Folder 8: Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service - Staple Commodities of World Trade (I)
Folder 9: Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service - Staple Commodities of World Trade (II)
Folder 10: Notes on Hypnotism
Folder 11: Dewey Decimal System

Series IV: Printed Material

Folder 12: Democracy Faces Communism Series No. 1-10
Folder 13: The Foreign Service Log Vol. III, No. 1-3, 5-14 Oct 1940-May 1941
Folder 14: The Foreign Service Log Vol. IV, No. 1, 4-6, 8 Oct 1941-Apr. 1942

Box 5

Folder 1: "Second to None" A Short History of Second Infantry Division, 1918-1952
Folder 2: "Blood And Fire" Victory in Europe 63rd Infantry Division
Folder 3: "Don't Be A Sucker in Germany!" Special Orders for German-Amer. Relations Deutsche Flugzeuge
Folder 4: "A Pocket Guide to Italy;" "Soldier's Guide to Italy"
Folder 5: "Russian Language Guide"
Folder 6: "The Airborne" - Classbook Airborne Class 12, 29 June 1956

Series V. Maps

Box 6

Folder 1: Alaska - Maps and Overlays
Folder 2: Austria (Amstetten - Wieselburg)
Folder 3: Austria and Italy - Maps and Overlays
Folder 4: Europe - Maps and Overlays
Folder 5: Germany (Erfurt - Weissenfels) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 6: Germany (Essen - Bochum) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 7: Germany (Hof - Plauen) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 8: Japan (Chitese - Iwanizawa) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 9: Poland and Germany - Maps and Overlays

Box 7

Folder 1: Puerto Rico (Ponce) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 2: South Africa - Maps and Overlays
Folder 3: Southwestern Asia - Maps and Overlays
Folder 4: SW Asia (Damscus - Moussa Ler) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 5: United States (Oklahoma City - Wichita Falls) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 6: Western United States (Kansas) - Maps and Overlays
Folder 7: Maps and Overlays (no geographic distinction)
Folder 8: Item Inventory

Series VI. Photographs

Box 8

Folder 1: World War II (numbered with index)
Folder 2: World War II (labeled)
Folder 3: World War II (labeled)
Folder 4: World War II (unlabeled)
Folder 5: Vietnam (I)
Folder 6: Vietnam (II)
Folder 7: Military
Folder 8: Holiday Greetings
Folder 9: Postcards - Constantine, Algeria
Folder 10: Prints - Paris, n.d. (labeled)
Folder 11: Prints, Miscellaneous
Folder 12: Negatives

Box 9 (oversize)

Scrapbooks - Vietnam
Panorama Photographs

Series VII. Oversized Materials

Certificates, Diplomas, Posters

Revised: 9/10/2010