H. Wentworth Eldredge Autobiography, 1987-1988

Collection number: MS 228
Size: (9 items) (0.10 cu.ft.)

About Hanford Wentworth Eldredge

H. W. Eldredge (1909-1991) was born in Brooklyn, graduated from Dartmouth College, and finished a sociology dissertation at Yale University in 1935. At the start of World War II, Eldredge joined the United States Army Air Force and traveled to Great Britain in the Spring of 1943 via a convoy from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Once there, he was recruited by a Harvard professor to help him record the official Army history of the 8th Air Force. "But I wanted to be doing something," he wrote in his autobiography, "not recording what other people had done or might do." Reassigned to intelligence work, Eldredge helped distract German agents from the Allies' plans for an invasion of France through Normandy. He returned to teach at Dartmouth College after the war and served as head of the Department of Sociology for a time. Eldredge was also the author of several monographs in the field of sociology.

About the H. Wentworth Eldredge Partial Autobiography

Eldredge's partial autobiography consists of Chapters 10 (sections A, B, and C), 11, 13 (sections A, B, C, D) and 14. Well-written in a semi-stream of consciousness style, these chapters describe his desire to get into the war, what it was like to be an American serviceman in Great Britain, his sickness with jaundice, his espionage operations concerning D-day, and sociability amongst American officers in the European theater. His memories include descriptive vignettes of dead "Kraut" (German) bodies, tank shards, alcholic drinks, romantic interests, and the apprehension and excitement of war.

Researchers ought to take note that these autobiographical chapters were originally found in the Frank Norvish World War II memorabilia (MC 167), and have since been separated into their own manuscript collection. Norvish's relationship to the autobiography, and to Eldredge, is still uncertain.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

H. Wentworth Eldredge partial autobiography, 1987-1988, MS 228, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

H. Wentworth Eldredge and Douglas L. Wheeler, November 1990 (Accession number: 2010.03)