Eagan, Jeff Interview Abstract:
1. Growing Up in Milwaukee, WI
2. Dartmouth Experience and Growing Political Consciousness
3. Occupying Parkhurst and Finding Activism
4. Post-Grab Career in Community Organizing and Environmental Policy
Donovan, John Interview Abstract
1. Growing Up in Boston
2. ROTC at Holy Cross
3. Initial Impresisons of Vietnam
4. Riverine Warfare
5. Losing Faith in Vietnam and Subsequent Reading
6. Post-Navy Transition Period
7. Working in Education and Outdoor Programs
8. Consulting in Southeast Asia and Philanthropy in Vietnam
De Regt, John Interview Abstract:
1. Childhood and Coming to Dartmouth
2. Navy ROTC and Campus Political Climate
3. Serving as Gunnery Officer on the USS Sarsfield
4. Service in the Mediterranean
5. Teaching and Civilian Life
Cross, Lon Interview Abstract:
1. Growing Up in Independence, MO
2. Time at Dartmouth
3. Joining the Army and Basic Training
4. Choosing to be a Ranger
5. Serving in Korea
6. Later Posts, Teaching, and Retirement
Cooper, Douglas Interview Abstract:
1. Childhood in Ohio and Time at Dartmouth
2. Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI
3. First Tour on the USS Morton and the “Third” Gulf of Tonkin Incident
4. Second Tour
5. Law School and Civilian Life
Jimmy H. Zien, Class of 1969. Oral history interview documenting his experiences with activism and the Vietnam War era. Zien describes his early life in post-World War II Tennessee and his father’s job with the National Labor Relations Board, including his interactions with continuing New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He discusses race relations, McCarthyism, and nuclear threats during the Cold War. Zien recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy during his high school years, and his firsthand observations of the Watts riots in 1965. He recounts his time as a student at Dartmouth, his participation in the anti-war movement on campus, and his experiences with political activism and campaigning for Eugene J. McCarthy during the 1968 presidential campaign.
Peter H. Zastrow. Class of 1961. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Zastrow documents his time in the Army during the Vietnam War. He describes his childhood moving across the United States. Zastrow discusses his time as an undergraduate student at Dartmouth, and his involvement in the Glee Club and the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Zastrow shares how he received a deferment from the Army to attend graduate school, studying English at Indiana University. He describes being sent to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas after graduate school to write and proof-read field manuals for the Vietnam War. Zastrow shares how he was sent to Vietnam to write stories about the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) Division to be publishes in Army newsletters. After the Vietnam War, Zastrow describes how he participated in anti-war activities with Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
Kent Yrchik-Shoemaker, Assistant Dean of the College. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Yrchik-Shoemaker describes his experience growing up in Minnesota, Washington D.C., and London, England. He discusses his experience attending Michigan State University as an undergraduate student and participating in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He describes racial tensions on campus and why he chose to participate in the ROTC. Yrchik-Shoemaker describes his internal conflict with not believing in the Vietnam War and his sense of duty to serve his country. He shares why his friends called him the “ROTC Hippie” and his involvement with anti-war protests. Yrchik-Shoemaker discusses race relations in the military, his feelings of paranoia, and decision to leave flight training school through a process called self-initiated elimination. He explains why and how he had a mental health note in his military file. He describes his transfer to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California where he was trained as a satellite operations controller and his job as crew chief. Yrchik-Shoemaker discusses how he stayed an extra two years in the service and attended classes for counseling. He describes how the Vietnam War was coming to a close and how it impacted his time in the Air Force. He shares his growing mistrust of the military the longer he worked for them. Yrchik-Shoemaker discusses his role as an Assistant Dean at Dartmouth and his involvement with the undergraduate veterans and the challenges returning to school presented for them. He shares his feelings on the current challenges veterans face when they were active military.
Curtis R. Welling. Class of 1971. Oral history interview documenting his childhood, career at Dartmouth, six years spent in the National Guard, his return to campus as a student at the Tuck School of Business, and as a Senior Fellow at the Tuck School of Business from 2013-2017. Welling lived in French Hall his freshman year and played on the freshman football team. Welling joined the college radio station, WDCR, as a sports broadcaster. While most of his time with WDCR was spent on sports, he was sent to broadcast the Parkhurst takeover in 1969. He joined Phi Delta Alpha and was an English major and a government minor. Welling describes the cultural climate in the United States and at Dartmouth leading up to the Vietnam War, postwar, and contemporary political and economic challenges. Welling describes not wanting to go to Vietnam and had anticipated being exempt because of respiratory allergies but was not given the exemption and therefore joined the National Guard.
Marshall F. Wallach. Class of 1965. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Wallach describes his childhood growing up in a military family. He discusses the impact 36 moves in 30 years had on him. He shares how moving made him able to adapt to new situations and have a broader perspective on the world but also made it difficult to make lasting friendships from childhood. Wallach discusses his experience attending The Hill School, a boys residential school in Pennsylvania. He describes his transition to Dartmouth and discusses his involvement in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Kappa Sigma Fraternity [now Chi Gamma Epsilon], the Tennis team, Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, the Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee, and Cask and Gauntlet. Wallach explains how he graduated as a distinguished military graduate and was able to decide between three years of service in a regular commission or two years of service as a reserve officer. He explains why he selected the reserve officer commission and was sent to Fort Knox in Kentucky for Army Officer Basic School.
He explains how he decided to defer from business school and volunteered for an additional year in Vietnam. Wallach discusses his position as the executive officer for the 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. He describes the unique situation that his entire unit was sent as a group to Pleiku in Vietnam in August of 1967. Wallach describes his time in Vietnam as being mostly hot, dirty, dusty, rainy, and filled with long stretches of boredom. Wallach discusses the second part of his tour as the squadron intelligence officer for the squadron commander’s staff responsible for intelligence, located at Kon Tum, Vietnam. He shares his experience flying dawn patrols and a story when he was shot down. He also describes his other task of leading long-range patrols. In addition, he describes how he was moved from Pleiku to Kon Tum, the night before the Tet Offensive. Wallach shares that it did not take him long to realize he had made a mistake to volunteer to go to Vietnam and chose to discontinue his service after one additional year. Wallach discusses his return from Vietnam and transition to the Harvard Business School. He describes the climate on campus during his graduate studies.
Daniel J. Walden, Class of 1965. Oral history interview documenting his service in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Walden describes his time as a student at Dartmouth College, including his involvement with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) mountain and winter warfare unit. He discusses his Army training at Fort Gordon, Fort Sill, and Fort Benning jump school; his assignment as a signal officer in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg and his participation in the suppression of the 1967 Detroit riot; and his assignment to the 101st Airborne Divison in Vietnam, including his service during the Tet Offensive and a severe typhoon. Walden shares his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcoholism after the war, and his perspectives on Dartmouth, his education, and his military service.
Susan E. Tavela. Wife of John E. Tavela, Class of 1964. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Tavela explains that she participated in the project because her husband is in a nursing home for dementia and is unable to tell his own story. She describes her childhood growing up across the country and how she met her husband. She describes herself as a civil rights activist and provides a few examples of her and John’s participation in protests, marches, and political campaigns. She describes her marriage to John while he was attending Dartmouth. She explains how John was drafted after he completed his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University. She describes John’s involvement in the Medical Service Corps. Tavela reads a number of excerpts from letters that John sent to her during his time during the Vietnam War. Tavela describes how she believes John’s dementia is a result of his participation in the war. She explains that John had a difficult time transitioning back from the Vietnam War. She shares how John was depressed after he returned home and the impact it had on him personally and on their family.
G. Theodore Talbot Jr., Class of 1965. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Talbot describes growing up in New Jersey and his experience attending Peddie School for his junior and senior years of high school. He describes himself as being a good student and finished third in his graduating class from high school. Talbot discusses his arrival to Dartmouth, his participation in the Outing Club, joining Phi Kappa Psi, and joining the Army ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps]. He discusses his social life as mostly revolving around Outing Club activities. Talbot describes his time after Dartmouth as a graduate student at Princeton prior to receiving his orders for Vietnam. Talbot discusses his transition from school into the Army in January of 1969. He shares that most of his work was administrative/project management desk work. Talbot describes his time in an ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency] field unit in Vietnam. He shares his perspective on the Army’s phrase, “win their hearts and their minds will follow” as having not been successful. Talbot describes being pro-war prior to arriving in Vietnam and very quickly became disillusioned which lead to a sense of mistrust in governments. He recounts his time after the Vietnam War and his career in market research and how he returned to a career in counseling.
Dona Strauss, Associate Professor of Mathematics, 1966-1969. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Strauss discusses growing up in South Africa during apartheid. She describes why her family moved from eastern Europe to South Africa. She describes her educational path and how she arrived at Dartmouth College to teach. Strauss discusses her time at Dartmouth and her participation with antiwar activity. Strauss describes a trip she took to a march in Washington D.C. with the Students for a Democratic Society and the Quakers. Strauss describes the student take-over of Parkhurst Hall, the administration building on May 6, 1969. She discusses her involvement and the college’s response to her participation with the event. She describes the disciplinary process that she and Paul S. Knapp went through by the Committee Advisory to the President. She discusses the outcome of the trial and her subsequent departure from Dartmouth College. Strauss discusses living in England, raising her children, and being a professor of mathematics at the University of Hull. She describes the differences between academia in England and the United States.
Lewis J. Stein oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Stein describes growing up in New York City and attending Hunter College. He shares why he applied for the Peace Corps to avoid the draft. Stein describes attending Peace Corps training in French language immersion and cultural education at Dartmouth College. He discusses being assigned to a Peace Corps position in Togo. Stein describes what life was like in Togo and the work that he did with the Peace Corps. He explains how his experience in the Peace Corps reinforced his feelings of being in opposition to the Vietnam War. He shares why and how he petitioned to be a conscientious objector and what his two year service assignment was. Stein describes attending graduate school at the University of Connecticut and his career in special education administration.
Jeffry Stein, Dartmouth College Class of 1966. Stein shares his background, and discusses his religious identity (as Jewish vs. a human), and growing up during in the cold war. While at Dartmouth, he joined Delta Upsilon [DU] fraternity and spent a year in the Mountain and Winter Warfare Reserve Officers’ Training Corps [ROTC]. His views on the U.S. [United States] began to change through conversations with his roommate and an increasing awareness of the U.S.’s history and current political movements. Stein describes his process of getting his Masters in Education at Stanford University. His desire to dodge his enlistment in the Vietnam war prompted him to convince Stanford University to accept him into a combined program as a doctorate in Educational Communication. He describes his marriage and subsequent estrangement with his first wife, and his changing thoughts in the war during the late 60s. Stein explains how he got an exemption from the draft, and completed his Masters in Film at Stanford. He worked in Aspen, CO, Hollywood, CA, and Tennessee. He explains his feelings surrounding the motivating factors in the war, what the U.S. should have done differently, and his continued opposition to military use in an offensive capacity. He also discusses his relationships with his class today, and how his daughter came to attend Dartmouth.
Nicholas J. Steffen, Dartmouth College Class of 1966. Oral history interview documenting his service in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. Steffen discusses his experience at Dartmouth, including participation in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) and campus radio. He describes his military service, including service on the USS Lexington; flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola; assignment to the naval aviation squadron VXN-8 (initially known as VX-8); deployment to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam; service during the fall of Saigon; service as a designated instructor pilot, head instructor, standardization officer, and operations officer at the Naval Air Facility in Detroit, Michigan; deployment to Naval Air Station Cubi Point, the Philippines; and service at the Naval Air Facility at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. Steffen discusses his retirement from the Navy and his later work for Henson Airlines.
David M. Stearns, Class of 1968. Oral history interview documenting his service in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Stearns describes his experiences as a student at Dartmouth College, including his observations of the anti-war movement on campus. He discusses the military service draft and his decision to enlist in the Army. Stearns recalls training at Fort Ord; working at the Fort Hood computer center; being stationed in Long Binh, Vietnam; and maintaining a relationship with his wife and newborn child during his service. Stearns also shares his opinions on the war, the socioeconomic elements of the draft, current politics, and the treatment of veterans.
John G. Spritzler, Class of 1968. Oral history interview documenting the anti-war movement at Dartmouth College, with a focus on the Parkhurst Hall protest of 1969. As a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter at Dartmouth at the time, Spritzler provides insight into the campus atmosphere and the deliberations of the anti-war movement from its core. Spritzler details interactions between the anti-war movement and the wider student body, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), the authorities, and the faculty of the college.
Spitzer, Leo Interview Abstract:
1. Childhood in La Paz, Bolivia
2. Middle School and Pressure to Assimilate in NYC
3. High School and College Outside NYC
4. Graduate Work and Interest in Africa
5. Coming to Dartmouth
6. Anti-Vietnam Sentiment on Campus
7. Anti-Apartheid Work and Race Relations
8. Developing Specialty Departments
Steven L. Sloca. Class of 1966. Oral history for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Sloca describes his childhood moving across the United States, being the son of a WWII POW and losing his mother at the age of eight. Sloca shares that his father remarried, had more children and became a born-again Christian which strained their relationship. He describes his experience at Dartmouth and his participation in the Army ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps], specifically in the Mountain and Winter Warfare Unit. Sloca shares that he joined the Army ROTC because of financial reasons, his belief that it was his duty to serve in the military, and that his draft number was in the top 10. Sloca also describes his involvement with the newspaper, The Dartmouth, as being a large part of his time spent as a student. After Dartmouth, Sloca discusses his time at Yale Law School on a deferment from the Army. Sloca details his transition to military police officer’s basic training in Fort Gordon, Georgia. He shares a story about his arrival in Vietnam and his assignment as an Executive Officer of Headquarters in Headquarters Company, Saigon Support Command, in Long Binh Post. Sloca describes his experience as a Military Police Officer and how easily he was able to move about Saigon. Sloca shares his perceptions of the drug use, specifically heroin, in Vietnam. He discusses the story of how he met his wife and how he managed to get her out of Vietnam back into the United States. Sloca shares details about his return home from Vietnam and his new job in Los Angeles where he practiced law until his retirement.
Thaddeus Seymour, Dean of Dartmouth College, 1959-1969, and English professor at Dartmouth, 1954-1959. Oral history interview documenting his career at Dartmouth, including his experiences with campus unrest during the Vietnam War. Seymour discusses the controversy surrounding the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Dartmouth; student anti-war protests, particularly those led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); and the occupation of Parkhurst Hall in 1969 by student anti-war activists. He describes his physical removal from the building during the protest and the management of the crisis by President John S. Dickey, Class of 1929. Seymour also details the commencement of 1969 and the address given by Nelson A. Rockefeller, Class of 1930.
Hugh P. Savage. Class of 1964. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Savage discusses his childhood in Scarsdale, New York and his participation in Boy Scouts. He describes his experience as an engineering student at Dartmouth and his involvement with the Army ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps]. He discusses his involvement in Kappa Kappa Kappa and how his Christian values were important throughout his time at Dartmouth. Savage describes how the Army was his third choice branch when enlisting in the military. He discusses how he knew he would be drafted so instead he went directly into active duty, and not Officer Candidate School, after graduating from Dartmouth. Savage describes his job as an Army Executive Officer and later platoon leader while in Vietnam. He mentions his job as involving a lot of manual labor and was tasked with enforcing the perimeter. Savage describes the relationships he had with his subordinate soldiers. He explains his difficult transition back from Vietnam and his time spent getting his master’s in engineering at Northeastern University. Savage discusses his relationship with his fiancé after the war. He explains how he returned to the Army Reserves and was exempted from active duty.
Jeremy B. Rutter. Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies, Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Rutter describes his experience as the son of a foreign service member who lived in many places throughout the world. He describes his high school experience at Philips Exeter Academy. Rutter discusses his time as a student at Haverford College. He shares his experience being drafted for the Army. Rutter describes how he was sent to language school and then it was cancelled so he instead had to learn how to become a radio operator. Rutter shares how he was placed in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and never saw direct combat in Vietnam. He describes his transition back to the United States and completing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Rutter describes how he began working at Dartmouth in 1976 until 2012.
Gary M. Rubus. Class of 1967. Oral history interview with the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Rubus describes his childhood and family connections to the military. He describes spending his summers in high school working on a farm in Nebraska. Rubus describes joining the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, participating in the Psi Upsilon fraternity, playing lacrosse, and studying Russian language and literature while a student at Dartmouth. Rubus discusses his pilot training at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring, Texas and his F-4 qualification program at George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. Rubus discusses his desire to become to best fighter pilot he possibly could during his time in training and during the Vietnam War. He describes his arrival to Thailand at the Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in February of 1969. He shares how his first tour was focused on attacking ground targets in Laos, southern North Vietnam, and occasionally South Vietnam and Cambodia. Rubus describes the psychological difference between a ground combat fighter versus an aerial combat fighter. He shares that the closest he got to hand to hand combat was when he was the last U.S. Air Force pilot to have an aerial fighter-on-fighter victory of with a cannon. Rubus describes a time when he was shot down on a combat mission. He describes returning to Dartmouth while on rest and recovery and feeling very unwelcome. He details what it was like to attend the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course and his experience becoming a flight instructor. He describes being deployed to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. He shares his experience during the Vietnam War as being highly focused on the work rather than why or how the country was involved in the war. He explains how this focus had an impact on his personal life, and began questioning his involvement in the Air Force. Rubus describes how he ended up working as the Air Force attaché for four years at the Embassy of the United States, Moscow. He shares his role in establishing relations between the US Air Force and the Russian Air Force. Rubus discusses his retirement from the Air Force in 1998 and his work with Lockheed Martin.