Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Personal

Series II: German Leaders

Series III: Intelligence

Series IV: Publications

Series V: Photographs and Postcards

Series VI: Topography

Series VII: Oversize

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Dick Hedges World War II Memorabilia Collection, 1944-46



Descriptive Summary

Creator Hedges, Dixon D.
Title: Dick Hedges World War II Memorabilia Collection,
Dates: 1944-46
Abstract: This collection consists of books, magazines, newspapers, clippings, photographs, photograph albums, maps, town plans, reports, writings and memorabilia, which were collected by Dick Hedges while he was serving with the U. S. Army in Europe in World War II.
Identification: MS 422
Quantity: 4 linear ft. (8 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Biographical Note

Dick Hedges was drafted into the United States Army in December of 1942. He was sent first to Dodd Field (Fort Sam Houston) in San Antonio and from there joined the 654th Engineer Topographic Battalion at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. He was put in Company B (Art, Drafting & Printing).

In December, 1943 the 654th was sent to Camp Shanks on the outskirts of New York City for a short while, and then crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the HMS Aquitania to Gourock, the port for Glasgow, Scotland. After a week in Glasgow, Dick Hedges was sent to Tetbury, England in the Cotswold Hills.

With the First U. S. Army headquarters in Bristol, England requested that its G-2 (air) form a new unit to be known as APID (Army or Aerial Photo Interpretation Detachment), Dick Hedges was assigned to it. He was put on P.I. team #15 and put in charge of APID's small drafting section. He was given a Top Secret BIGOT card and was sent to London to do special detailed work on beach maps for the invasion of Normandy. APID was living in tents in the woods at Middle Wallop near the Stonehenge in Southern England when the invasion of Normandy occurred on June 6, 1944.

Landing on Omaha beach at D+24, APID was at Airstrip #9 at Le Molay when Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Montgomery visited in July at the time of the St. Lo breakthru.

APID moved from Normandy to Gif-sur-Yvette, a village south of Versailles, where the soldiers again lived in tents, but did their work in a huge chateau nearby.

In September APID then moved from France north to Gosselies, a suburb of the city of Charleroi, in southern Belgium.

For recreation, the 67th's three squadrons plus the attached groups such as APID, formed a basketball league and Dick Hedges coached and played on APID's team.

In March, 1945 APID left Belgium and moved east into Germany. The first stop was Ordensberg Vogelsang (Orderly Mountain Bird Chant) a former school for Hitler Jugend (Youth). From there they crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, and proceeded to Limburg, Germany.

When the war in Europe ended in May of 1945, APID was at Eschwege, Germany. After APID was disbanded, Dick Hedges was sent to Weisbaden, Germany where 12th Army Group Headquarters was located. Its code name was "Eagle." Dick Hedges applied for a job and was assigned to G-2. He was billeted with MFIU- 4 (Mobile Field Interrogation Unit #4) which operated the Weisbaden jail housing several high ranking Nazis.

In July 1945 Dick was sent to (Military Intelligence Service Center) at Oberursel 12 miles from Frankfurt. He was promoted to Master Sergeant and put in charge of the library. While serving with MISC, Dick Hedges and Major Bill Silliman escorted five high ranking Nazis to Nurnberg to stand trial as war criminals. They were Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, commander of the Wermacht in North Africa, Italy and the Western Front; General of the Artillery Walter Warlimont; Reich Finance Minister Horace Greeley Hjalmar Schacht; Dr. William (Wilhelm) Stuckart, Secretary of the Minister of the Interior and Frans Xavier Schwarz, the Treasurer of the NAZI party.

Several other excursions were taken out of "Dulag Luft" at Oberursel by groups of GIs who were stationed there. One was to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp near Weimar, Germany. Another was to Bavaria and Salzburg, Austria. While visiting in Austria, the group visited Hitler's former mountain top headquarters, "Adlerhorst" (Eagle's nest).

Dick Hedges spent three years in the United States Army earning the ranks of Private, T-5 (Corporal) for one year, T-4 (Sergeant), and T-3 (Staff Sergeant) for one year, Technical Sergeant and finally, Master Sergeant.

Among the many awards that he won were the Legion of Merit-Legionaire, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal and Victory Medal, American Theater of Operations medal, and the European Theater of Operations medal with five battle stars.

He received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin in March of 1946. After a shortvisit with his family in Iowa, he returned to Houston and his job in the Land Drafting Division of the Land Department of Shell Oil Company.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

The Dick Hedges World War II Collection consisting of approximately 3.75 linear ft. of books, magazines, newspapers, clippings, photographs, photograph albums, maps, town plans, reports, writings and memorabilia, were collected by Dick Hedges while he was serving with the U. S. Army in Europe in World War II.

The various intelligence reports that are part of the collection were all extra copies and were declassified at the end of World War II.

The photograph albums containing pictures of Lt. Col. Otto Skorzeny and his friends were used by U. S. interrogators at the end of World War II.

Some of the German books in the collection, such as Hitler wie ihn keiner kennt,Deutschland Erwacht,SS Kavallerie im Osten and Die Malerei der Gotik und Fruh Renaissance, can possibly be found in libraries in West Germany.

Return to the Table of Contents


 

Arrangement

The collection is divided into seven series, with subseries as necessary.
Series I: Personal
Series II German Leaders
Series III: Intelligence
Series IV Publications
Series V: Photographs and Postcards
Series VI Topography
Series VII Oversize

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Dick Hedges World War II Memorabilia Collection must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Hedges, Dixon D. - Diaries.
Hedges, Dixon D. - Correspondence.
Subjects
World War, 1939-1945 - Personal narratives, American.
Soldiers - United States - Correspondence.
Formats
Diaries.
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Clippings.
Maps.
Postcards.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Dick Hedges World War II Memorabilia Collection, MS 422, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dixon D. Hughes, 1987.

Acquisition Information

The papers were a gift from Dick Hedges to Rice University.

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Personal

One of the most interesting parts of the Personal series are the writings by Dick Hedges, of his many trips through Europe at the end of World War II, both personal and as a member of Military Intelligence Service Center. Of particular interest is "The Trip to Nurnberg", which chronicles his experiences while guarding various high ranking Nazi officials and generals to Nurnberg to stand trial as war criminals.
This series also contains correspondence sent to and received by Dick Hedges while he was serving his tour of duty with the U.S. Army. Memorabilia from his army days can also be found in this series.
Box folder
1 1 "A Trip to Salzburg" (With Photos, Newsclippings, Maps and Memorabilia)
2 A Trip to Brussels (With Map)
3 A Trip to Nuremburg (Including Cards, Photos, Newsclippings, Illustrations and Memorabilia)
folder
4 The Pecten, Volume 7, Nos. 7-8 July-August 1945
Box folder
1 5 The Military Engineer October 1946
6 A note of explanation about Lt. Col. Otto Skorzeny
7 Interrogation of Julius Streicher
8 Family correspondence June 1942-December 1944, n.d.
9 General correspondence July 1944-January 1946
10 Dick Hedges diary 1942-1943
11 Promotions, emblems, awards, recommendations and application papers of Dick Hedges
12 Drawings by Dick Hedges (See Seriers II, Skorzeny Report and Series IV Publications (Apidigest) for Additional Drawing
13 Memorabilia: address book, programs, cartoons, tickets, cards, and drawing
14 Magazine - The Longest Day , Darryl F. Zanuck June 6, 1944
15 Christmas and birthday greetings
16 Guidebook to Heidelberg and Salzburg, Do's and Dont's in Brussels
17 Turnover book (log) December 15, 1944-February 6, 1945
18 Memorabilia - miscellaneous

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series II: German Leaders

The material covers a period from approximately 1944 - 1946.
Although many titles appear in German on the books, they have been written in English on the guide for clarification.
Box folder
2 1 Hitler wie ihn keiner kennt (Hitler as he is little known) - Heinrich Hoffman
2 The Mind of Adolf Hitler - Walter C. Langer 1972
3 Excerpts by Dick Hedges from The End of Adolf Hitler by Hanna Reitsch February 11, 1946
4 Hitler as seen by his doctors
5 Newspaper clippings 1945-1987
6 The Skorzeny Report July 23, 1945
7 "The Most Dangerous man in Europe" - True, The Man's Magazine January 1948
8 Photograph album - Colonel Otto Skorzeny
9 The Nurnberg Diary - Major B. D. Silliman
X Rays of Adolf Hitler's Head (See Archivist) (material in vault)

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series III: Intelligence

This series consists of some very interesting interrogation reports about some of Germany's most notorious war criminals. "Economics a German View" gives an excellent over-all picture of German thought concerning their own economic situation at the end of World War II, their hopes and fears for the future. Another interesting feature to be found in this series are the German Propoganda documents.
Box folder
3 1 Interrogation, Friedrich Von Boetticher
2 Interrogation, Friedrich Fischer
3 Interrogation, Field Marshalk Karl Von Runstedt's summary of operations in Europe
4 Interrogation, Dr. Karl Ritter and Dr. Otto Meissner
5 Political situation in Belgium January 29, 1946
6 Types of German obstacles (Beach Defenses at Normandy), Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force - Theatre Intelligence Section
7 Intelligence Administration
8 Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff of the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force June 6, 1944-May 8, 1945
9 Photo interpretation reports November 1944
10 Breakthrough in Western Germany March 1945
11 U. S. Intelligence, Economics: A German View January 11, 1946
12 War Department Field Manual (FM 30-5) - Military Intelligence, Combat Intelligence February 1946
13 Propaganda - Germany

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series IV: Publications

The publication series has an excellent collections of newspaper clippings, books and magazines. The newspaper clippings includes copies of Stars and Stripes, and Apidigest, both military publications. One of the most important documents in this series, if not the whole collection, is the publication entitled "Picture Stories About Five Concentration Camps." This chronicles Dick Hedges' thoughts and what he encountered upon entering Buchenwald concentration camp during it's liberation in 1945.
Another interesting document in this series is titled "The German Women at War," which gives an account of what was expected from the German women during the war effort.
Box folder
4 1 Stars and Stripes clippings
2 Clippings
3 The API Digest August 7, 1944-March 12, 1945
4 The API Sentinel November 20, 1944
5 Recflash
6 Der Stehgurt July 1-Spetember 31, 1944
7 Yankee Kriegies, by Colonel C. Ross Greening and Sergeant Angelo M. Spinelli
9 Bristol Siren Nights: Diaries of the Blitzes, compiled by Rev. S. Paul Shipley
10 APID, 12th Army Group
11 Bivouac - 654th Engineer Topographic Battalion
12 Souvenir aerial photos
13 30th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 9th Air Force
14 654 Engineer Topographic Battalion
15 Report of Technical Operations, 654th Engineer Topography Battalion August 1, 1944-December 31, 1944
16 Report of Technical Operations, 654th Engineer Topography Battalion December 21, 1943-June 30, 1944, July 4, 1944-August 1, 1944
17 Report of Technical Operations, 654th Engineer Topography Battalion January 1, 1945-May 9, 1945
18 Up Front by Bill Mauldin
19 Achtung Jabos!: The Story of the IX Tactical Air Command

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series V: Photographs and Postcards

The material in this series consists of military and nonmilitary photographs. Some of the most interesting photos were taken while Dick Hedges visited Paris and other parts of Europe at the end of the war. Most of the photos of the Cherbourg, Omaha, and Utah beaches were taken just before the Normandy invasion in 1944.
Box folder
5 1 Basketball Banquet 1944-1945
2 King Leopold III of Belgium - postcard
3 Brussels, Versiers, Gosselies - Belgium
4 Pinup girls of Nazi Luftwaffe Officers
5 Personnel of the first U.S. Army photo interpretation detachment - Gosselies, Beligium March 5, 1945
6 Mont St. Michel, France
7 Paris, France
8 Oxford, England
10 General Runstedt
11 Germany (aerial views)
12 Bonn, Germany
13 Beaches of Normandy (See Box 7 for Map)
14 "Army Buddies"
15 Postcards (Belgium)
See Series I, II, III and VIII for Additional Photos

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series VI: Topography

The Topography series contains Maps, Town Plans, Guidebooks, and a War Department Technical Manual.
Of special interest are the maps and townplans of Germany and England.
Box folder
6 1 Map and Aerial Photo Reading Simplified, by Col. W.F. Heavey - Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army 1942
2 War Department - Technical Manual, Topography and Surveying Map Production April 1942
3 Map of Bristol, Bath, and Cardiff, England
4 Maps of London
5 Map of England and Wales
6 Maps of Brussels
7 Map of Belgium
8 Road map to Germany
9 Map of Europe - Grand Operations
10 War Department - Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army - Uncontrolled Mosaic (2nd edition) Defense Legend (map)
11 Map of Camp McCoy, Wisconsin
12 "Geographia" Pictorial Plan of London
13 Belgium - Town Plans
14 Holland - Town Plans
15 Germany - Town Plans No. 1
16 Germany - Town Plans No. 2
See Oversize for Map of Utah Beach

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series VII: Oversize

The material in this series is comprised of a mixture of Books, Photograph Albums, Newspapers, Magazines and a Map of Utah Beach for the Normandy invasion.
One of the most exciting books in the collection is The Artists of the Gothic and Early Renaissance, which contains excellent color reproductions of famous paintings by Dutch, French, Italian and German artists.
Information on the battle of Iwo Jima, the Normandy Invasion and the death of Adolf Hitler can be found in the Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper.
Of particular interest is the photograph album containing pictures of Colonel Otto Skorzeny training with the S.S. at an Summer Training Camp in Loas, Tyrol.
Box
7 Map, Utah Beach - North (Ravenoville) April 21, 1944
Stars and Stripes, The Daily Newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces - Vol. 4, No. 188 June 10, 1944
Stars and Stripes, The Daily Newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces - Vol. 1, No. 32 February 20, 1945
Stars and Stripes, The Daily Newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces - Vol. 1, No. 28 May 2, 1945
Deutschland erwacht - Werden, Kampf und Sieg (Germany Awakes - Will, Struggle and Victory) - Nazi Propagation Office 1933
Kavallerie Im Osten (Cavalry in the East) 1939-1942
Box
8 Der Adler 1943
Der Adler, Number 11 June 1, 1943
Der Weg Zur Ordensburg (The Way of the Orderly Town)
Die Malerei Der Gotik und Fruh Renaissance (The Artists of the Gothic and Early Renaissance
Skorzeny - Summer Training Camp Alpine Inn, Loas, Tyrol (Photograph Album)

Return to the Table of Contents