Interviews

  • Oral History Interview with Charlotte Albright

    Charlotte Albright, freelance journalist and writer for Dartmouth communications. This oral history interview documents her experience growing up during the height of the Vietnam War. Albright describes her early life, growing up in Pennsylvania, the death of her parents at a young age, and her undergraduate studies at Bennington College. She discusses her involvement in guerilla theater as a form of antiwar activism at Bennington as well as the impact the draft had on many of her male friends in theater. Albright also reflects upon her participation in an antiwar protest in Washington, DC and discusses how she views the war 50 years later.
  • Oral History Interview with Hoyt Alverson

    Hoyt S. Alverson, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. Oral history interview documenting his experience of the anti-war movement at Dartmouth during the Vietnam War. Alverson describes his early life, including undergraduate studies at George Washington University, graduate studies at Yale University, and graduate research in South Africa. He discusses anti-war initiatives at Dartmouth, including the student occupation of Parkhurst Hall in 1969, as well as the back-to-the-land movement.
  • Oral History Interview with Russell Andrews

    Oral history interview with Dartmouth alumnus Russell Andrews '68, MED ‘78, who served in the Peace Corps in Micronesia after graduation. He later received a doctorate in human development from Harvard University before returning to Dartmouth to attend medical school. Afterwards, Andrews served for two years (1979-1981) as a US Army Flight Surgeon in South Korea and Natick, MA. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Stanford University and went on to a career in neurosurgery that included private practice and faculty positions at several universities. He also acted as a medical advisor for the NASA Ames Research Center for 25 years. In this interview Andrews discusses his experience as a college student and young adult during the Vietnam War and his perceptions of the political climate at the time.
  • Oral History Interview with David Aylward

    Dartmouth alumnus David Aylward, Class of 1971, describes his childhood as the son of a Foreign Service officer with postings in Japan, Burma (now Myanmar), Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Washington, D.C. The interview includes his impressions of the Vietnam War as a child and young adult, his introduction to political activism as a high school student, and his involvement in antiwar protests and political organizing as a student at Dartmouth College, as well as his stint as Editor-in-Chief of The Dartmouth during 1970-1971. After graduation, Aylward worked for the presidential campaign of George McGovern and served as a junior staffer in McGovern’s Senate office before receiving a law degree from George Washington University Law School. He went on to pursue a career in law, entrepreneurship, and healthcare consulting and joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
  • Oral History Interview with Peter Barber

    Oral History Interview with Peter Barber

    Peter D. Barber. Class of 1966. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Barber discusses his childhood living on the Main Line outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He discusses his father, a Dartmouth alum and his involvement in sports prior to his time at Dartmouth. Barber describes his participation with athletics at Dartmouth. He shares stories about his time on the soccer, baseball and basketball teams. Barber describes his relationship with Alden H. “Whitey” Burnham, an influential coach of his. Barber discusses how he struggled with academics and details his relationship with William “Bill” Smoyer, Class of 1967. Barber discusses his marriage four days after graduation and his time spent in graduate school at University of Pennsylvania School of Education. He describes how he had planned to continue on to a PhD program but was drafted instead. Barber describes being sent to Fort Dix and Fort Carson for training. He describes his experience in Vietnam and emphasizes that “everyone’s war is different.” He explains how a mortar round exploded on his unit and how he became permanently injured. Barber describes how his severed spinal cord impacted his life and his feelings about the Vietnam War. Barber shares how he left Vietnam and his experience with the Veterans Affairs hospital in Massachusetts. Barber discusses his depression immediately following his return home. He describes how he and his wife moved to California after he was released from the hospital. Barber explains his participation in antiwar protests with Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He explains how he began working for the Social Security Administration. He shares an account about an antiwar event he participated in with John Kerry and Alan Cranston at Stanford University. Barber mentions his article “Life Support” he wrote in the July-August 2015 Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.
  • Oral History Interview with David Barton

    David P. Barton. Class of 1966. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Barton describes growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland. Barton shares that he attended Dartmouth because his brother was a student when he applied. He describes being very interested in sports as a child and continued playing tennis as a student at Dartmouth. He also discusses his involvement in the Dartmouth Christian Union, Delta Upsilon fraternity, Cask and Gauntlet, and the foreign study abroad program in France his junior and senior years. He describes his involvement with anti-Vietnam War activism on campus with events such as film screenings and teach-ins. Barton describes a breakfast he shared with Malcolm X when he was living in Cutter Hall at Dartmouth. Barton discusses his experience as a teaching fellow at Philips Andover Academy and as a graduate student at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He explains how he became involved with the American Friends Service Committee where he and his wife were sent to Quảng Ngãi Province in Vietnam. Barton describes the relationships he had with the Vietnamese people during the war. He discusses how the CIA was torturing political prisoners near the rehabilitation center where he worked. Barton describes how he was called to testify before Lee [H.] Hamilton’s subcommittee in Congress about what he knew of the torture of the political prisoners in Vietnam. Barton explains his involvement in the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the 9/11/2001 attacks and his relationship with democracy in the United States and US foreign policy.
  • Oral History Interview with Mark Battin

    Oral history interview with Mark Battin '68, Dartmouth alum who went on to serve in the Peace Corps after graduation. Battin discusses his experience as a college student during the Vietnam War and his perceptions of the political climate at the time.
  • Oral History Interview with Paul Beach

    Beach, Paul Interview Abstract: 1. Childhood and Adolescence in Pennsylvania 2. Coming to Dartmouth 3. Budding Political Consciousness on Campus 4. Post-Grad Anti-War and Labor Activism 5. Arrest and Time in Prison 6. Medical Career and Final Thoughts
  • Oral History Interview with Rand Beers

    Oral History Interview with Rand Beers

    Beers, Rand Interview Abstract: 1. Adolescence in a Military Family 2. Time at Dartmouth and Military Training 3. Vietnam Tour and Extension 4. Transition to Civilian life and Joining the State Department 5. Vietnam’s Impact on Later National Conflicts 6. Experiences with the Second Gulf War 7. Leaving the Bush Administration for the Kerry Campaign 8. Time in the Obama Administration
  • Oral History Interview with Ivars Bemberis

    Ivars Bemberis. Class of 1964. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Born in Latvia, Bemberis discusses his childhood in German displaced persons’ camps as a result of World War II. He describes his journey to the United States and the influence of his mother and father on his world outlook. At Dartmouth, Bemberis reflects on his college years through the lens of being a student on scholarship. He explains his transition from undergraduate to graduate school to officer basic training at Fort Belvoir. Bemberis describes civil affairs school and his deployment to the 41st Civil Affairs Company in 1967. He details his assignment to Edap Enang Resettlement Camp, and reflects on the connection between his experience as a displaced person and his refugee work. Then, Bemberis shares his experience returning home to his wife and young son. Finally, Bemberis shares how his Vietnam service continues to facilitate his ability to forge connections.
  • Oral History Interview with Dennis Bidwell

    Dennis Bidwell ’71. Oral History Interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Bidwell discusses his childhood in Denver during the 1950s and early 1960s. He then shares his Dartmouth experience through debauched dorm life, his emerging political awareness during a study abroad term in Bourges, France, his shift to majoring in government, his teaching as a Tucker Foundation intern in Jersey City, NJ, and his involvement in the antiwar movement, including with the Congressional lobbying group, Continuing Presence in Washington (CPW). He also describes watching the 1969 draft lottery, applying for Conscientious Objector (CO) status, and conflicts with his father over his CO application. Bidwell describes his post-graduation move to Boston, work in community organizing and education, and deferring his acceptance to NYU Law School in anticipation of alternative service. Bidwell describes his later career change to nonprofit funding and real estate philanthropy and his move to Northampton, MA. Finally, he offers final reflections on his activism and on healing familial rifts over the war.
  • Oral History Interview with Peter Bien

    Bien, Peter Interview Abstract 1. Early Childhood in Queens and Education at Deerfield 2. Transferring from Harvard to Haverford 3. Introduction to Quakerism 4. Obtaining CO Status 5. Return to Europe and Marriage 6. PhD at Columbia and Coming to Dartmouth 7. Campus Atmosphere in the Sixties 8. Debating ROTC Programs at Dartmouth 9. SDS and the Parkhurst Occupation 10. Reactions to the Occupation: Personally, in the Quaker Community, on Campus
  • Oral History Interview with Hank Billings

    Henry (‘Hank’) Billings was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 21st, 1941. He has three siblings, two older sisters and one younger brother who served in the National Guard. After graduating high school, Hank attended Wentworth College, Northeastern University, and UMASS Amherst in ROTC to study economics and history. After graduating in 1964, Hank deferred service to hitchhike around Europe for a year before arriving at Fort Benning, GA in April of 1965 for Basic Infantry Training. He continued on to Fort Holabird, MD where he trained as an intelligence specialist, and joined the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Arriving in Saigon in December of 1965, Hank served in the research and analysis branch at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. While there, Hank worked as an expert on, and wrote reports about, B52 bombing efficacy, Cambodian incursions, and Viet Cong soldier morale. Returning from Saigon, Hank finished his duty as a first lieutenant at Fort Devens, MA. After service, Hank participated in antiwar protests, and attended UMass Amherst for graduate school in education, eventually becoming a teacher. Hank returned to Vietnam in 2001 for a country bicycling tour.
  • Oral History Interview with Charles Billo

    Charles G. Billo. Attended Bronxville Schools, Brown University Class of 1964. Billo applied to Navy Office Candidate School, but went to Columbia Business School, Class of 1967, rather than enrolling in OCS. At Columbia Business School, Billo also joined Columbia University’s School of International Affairs [now Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs]. He discusses changing views towards the war while in graduate school, and then his process of joining the Foreign Service in 1967. Billo was assigned to the CORDS [Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support] program, and was trained in Washington, DC. He arrived in Vietnam in 1969 as an economic reporting officer, with joint responsibility to the embassy in Saigon and the deputy for CORDS in IV Corps. He was then transferred to Can Tho in June of 1969, where he surveyed rice usage and consumption, and dealt with US imports of it. After leaving in 1970, at the age of 27, Billo was then reassigned, still in the Foreign Service, to a post in Milan, Italy. He met his wife there, and they were married in June of 1973. He discusses some anecdotes about his time in Saigon, his fears and his reflections on his time. He also discusses the military and government’s handling of the war, and how it has affected (or has not affected) current military conflicts. Billo discusses with frequent emotion his experiences and encounters in Vietnam, and reflects on the larger political theater at the time.
  • Oral History Interview with Colin Blaydon

    Professor Colin C. Blaydon. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Professor Blaydon describes growing up in Newport News, Virginia as the son of a Naval architect and engineer. Blaydon discusses his school experience, race relations, and segregation in Virginia during his childhood. Blaydon describes attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He shares that West Point was a difficult experience and was able to transfer to University of Virginia as a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Blaydon discusses being commissioned in the Army Corps of Engineers after graduation, however, he attended Harvard University for graduate school and did not go into active duty until 1966 after he completed graduate school. He shares his experience at Harvard studying modern control theory and later received his PhD in applied mathematics. He was commissioned by the Atomic Energy Commission for a nuclear technology fellowship. Blaydon shares how he was able to use his PhD work while on active duty. He describes meeting Alain C. Enthoven after a class at Harvard and as a result of their conversation, Blaydon describes how he was assigned to Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara’s staff. He details his involvement with Army intelligence during the Vietnam War; specifically, his work with drone technology. He describes being sent to the strategic target operations center at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Professor Blaydon describes working in academia his time with the Department of Defense. He worked at Harvard Business School as an Assistant Professor teaching quantitative analysis and finance. He discusses the climate on campus and the difference between graduate and undergraduate student attitudes towards the Vietnam War. He details the events of the Kent State shootings and Harvard’s decision to suspend classes and remove the ROTC from campus. Blaydon describes his involvement with Vietnamese resettlement in the United States after the war. He discusses his career as the Dean of the Tuck School of Business and describes the Tuck School’s participation in establishing a business school for the Vietnam National University during the 1990s. He describes the reception the Americans received in Vietnam during this time.
  • Oral History Interview with Donald Boardman

    Boardman, Donald Interview Abstract 1. Early Childhood in Chicago 2. Dartmouth Career and ROTC 3. Training for the Signal Corps 4. Life at Bien Hoa 5. Promotion to Company Commander 6. Maintaining Family Ties 7. Return to the US and Being a Civilian 8. Updates on Fellow Veterans 9. Final Visit to Vietnam
  • Oral History Interview with Bruce Boedtker

    Bruce Boedtker was born 1950 in Glen Cove, Long Island, but spent much of his early life moving from place to place. Boedtker felt most at home on his grandparents’ farm in Springfield, Vermont, where he eventually lived full time and attended school. He volunteered for the Army after dropping out of high school and receiving a low lottery number in the draft. He served during a period of US troop withdrawal in the Vietnam War. Boedtker began his basic training on September 14, 1970 at Fort Dix, New Jersey, then completed Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Initially enlisted to serve in Vietnam, his orders changed, and he was deployed to Wildflecken, Germany. There he served as an Infantry Private with the 3rd Infantry Division as part of the US Army’s presence in the NATO alliance to defend the Czech border. During his service, Boedtker describes being bored and aimless, until his Company Commander offered him a job as his driver. Boedtker describes this opportunity as a major turning point in his life, as it gave him a greater sense of purpose through his responsibility of leading drills. His main connection to the Vietnam War was through the Vietnam veterans sent to Europe to finish out their tours and the stories they told. They often described the lack of discipline and strategy that caused the chaos and unrest in Vietnam. Boedtker was discharged on April 18th, 1972. He returned to Vermont, where he received a degree in engineering from the University of Vermont and eventually ran his own business. Today, he lives there with his family.
  • Oral History Interview with Mark Boettcher

    Boettcher, Mark Interview Abstract: 1. Coming of Age in Weymouth, MA 2. Naval Training and Station in Brunswick, ME 3. Continued Reenlistments 4. Civilian Career in Computer Programming 5. Working at Dartmouth
  • Oral History Interview with John Brelsford

    Brelsford, John Interview Abstract 1. Early Childhood and Adolescence 2. Coming to Dartmouth and Academic Acclimation 3. Joining SDS and Protesting Guest Speakers 4. Growing Anti-ROTC Sentiment at Dartmouth 5. SDS Demands leading to Parkhurst Takeover 6. Staging the Takeover and Public Opinion 7. Removal from Parkhurst and Sentencing 8. Time Spent in Prison 9. Next Year at Dartmouth and Dropping Out 10. Jobs and Education After Dartmouth 11. Family Life and Current Pastimes
  • Oral History Interview with Donald Brief

    Donald K. Brief, Dartmouth Class of 1954, Dartmouth Medical School Class of 1955, Harvard Medical School Class of 1957. Oral history interview documenting his medical and military service during the Vietnam War. Brief describes his experiences as chief of general surgery at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and at the 24th Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam. He discusses his career and family and the lasting impact of the war.
  • Oral History Interview with Timothy Brooks

    Timothy H. Brooks. Class of 1964. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Brooks describes growing up in Hampton, New Hampshire. He describes his older brothers and the death of his father when he was eleven. Brooks discusses his high school career, being valedictorian, and how he discovered Dartmouth. He describes his experience in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He discusses his time at Dartmouth as an Economics major and working in the dining hall. Brooks discusses his participation in the radio station as the Record Librarian and the Administrative Director on the governing board. He credits the experience as launching his later career in television in charge of research. He describes the book he wrote on the history of WDCR, the Dartmouth College radio station, as well as other books. Brooks discusses being assigned to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, assigned to the 518th Signal Company in the Army. Brooks explains his arrival to Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon, Vietnam and then later assigned to Binh Long Helicopter Base as Detachment Commander. He shares how he was struck by the heat, then the people, as well as the boredom he experienced while in Vietnam. Brooks shares how he volunteered to be the Pay Officer to be able to get out of Binh Long once a month. He explains how he connected with Alan R. McKee, Class of 1964, who was the assistant station manager at the armed forces radio station in Saigon. He describes how he did a Sunday morning radio show in Vietnam for a short time. He explains how his company operated the troposcatter, microwave communications.
  • Oral History Interview with Donald Bross

    Dr. Donald C. Bross. Class of 1964. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Bross discusses growing up in Denver, Colorado. He describes his relationship with his mother, a women he describes as ahead of her time. He explains how he became involved with the military and his participation in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in high school and later at Dartmouth. He describes his relationship with his uncle Jim and shares stories of Jim’s career in the military. He explains how he knew from an early age that if he wanted to go to college he would have to work hard and find a way to get there on his own, therefore his involvement in ROTC. He describes his time spent in high school working, studying, and participating in the chess club, school senate, becoming an Eagle Scout, and other activities. Bross describes his experience in the Boy Scouts of America and shares stories about his scout leader. Bross describes how he discovered Dartmouth and how 14 other men from Denver also attended Dartmouth during his time. He describes living in Russell Sage Hall, at the time known as Bear Farm or Yellowstone the Second. He discusses the frat system, and socio-economic differences on campus. Bross discusses his summer spent with the Navy ROTC in Florida and his experience flying. Bross describes his experience as a student abroad in Peru. He explains that his time in Peru, growing up in Colorado, career as a Dartmouth student, participation in President Kennedy’s People to People Student Ambassador Program Alliance for Progress in Latin America, and military experience at a young age all contributed to his unique perspective as an enlisted officer. He discusses his first assignment in the Navy, and his experience on a Swift boat in Vietnam. He describes the experience of losing his friend William B. Nickerson, Class of 1964, who died in Vietnam. Bross describes the importance of water transport as it relates to the economy and the Navy. He discusses his experience in graduate school and his career in family psychiatry and child abuse. He shares stories about his mentors from college and his career, in particular, Henry C. Kempe.
  • Oral History Interview with Ronald Brown

    Vietnam veteran and alumn Ronald Brown describes his experience in Vietnam and his perception of the socio-political climate of the time. Brown further discusses his stance on the conflict as well as his perception of the Vietnamese while on-ground.
  • Oral History Interview with Jay Butterfield

    Vietnam veteran and alumn Jay Butterfield describes his experience in Vietnam and his perception of the socio-political climate of the time. Butterfield further discusses his stance on the conflict as well as his perception of the Vietnamese while on-ground.
  • Oral History Interview with John Calhoun

    Calhoun, John Interview Abstract 1. Early Childhood 2. Experience at Dartmouth and ROTC 3. Attending Stanford Business School 4. Training and Social Dynamics in the Military 5. Highlights from Arrival in Vietnam 6. Transfers: Fire Direction Officer and Executive Officer 7. Returning Home