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Inventory of the Keith E. Eiler papers, 1880-2003
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Index to Major Groups

  • Title: Keith E. Eiler papers
    Date (inclusive): 1880-2003
    Collection Number: 2005C38
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 30 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 6 card file boxes, 1 motion picture film reel (13.6 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, notes, collected writings, photocopies of military records and collected correspondence, printed matter, and photographs related to the career of General Albert C. Wedemeyer, commander of American forces in China during World War II. Used as research material for the book Wedemeyer on War and Peace (Stanford, 1987) edited by Keith E. Eiler, and for an unpublished biography of Wedemeyer. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Eiler, Keith E., 1920-


    Collection is open for research. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 

    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Keith E. Eiler papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2005.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 

    Related Materials

    Albert C. (Albert Coady) Wedemeyer papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical Note

    Keith E. Eiler was a scholar of military mobilization and United States military history and the biographer of General Albert C. Wedemeyer. In addition to his academic life as an American historian and Hoover Institution fellow, Eiler was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army. He was born in Monowi, Nebraska, in 1920. After graduating from West Point in 1944, Eiler served in the 80th Infantry Division for the Third U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. After being wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, Eiler became an engineer for the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project. From 1950 to 1951, Eiler was the aide-de-camp to General Wedemeyer during Wedemeyer's term as commander of the Sixth U.S. Army at the Presidio of San Francisco.
    Before retiring from military service in 1965, Eiler served with the Eighth U.S. Army in Korea, commanded an engineer combat battalion in Germany, became the assistant director of military construction with the Office of the Chief of Engineers, and served with the army general staff in the Office of the Chief of Staff and the headquarters of the Army Forces Far East in Tokyo. In addition, Eiler was an instructor and assistant professor of mathematics at West Point from 1954 to 1958.
    As the biographer of General Wedemeyer, Eiler conducted research at the Hoover Institution after Wedemeyer's papers were deposited in the archives, becoming a Hoover fellow in 1983. In 1987, Eiler edited Wedemeyer on War and Peace, a selection of Wedemeyer's writings that Eiler called a "warm-up for the biography" in a letter to Joseph Alsop (box 7, folder 7). Although Eiler never finished his biography of Wedemeyer, he conducted extensive research on Wedemeyer's life, often visiting Wedemeyer to interview him.
    In 1997, Eiler published Mobilizing America: Robert P. Patterson and the War Effort, 1940-1945, which won the Hoover Institution's Uncommon Book Award in 1999. Eiler passed away in 2005 at the age of 85.
    Bethell, Tom. "Keith Eiler, Officer and Gentleman." Hoover Digest 2006. Accessed through: http://www.hoover.org/research/keith-eiler-officer-and-gentleman
    "Hoover Institution Research Fellow Keith E. Eiler dies at age 85." Accessed through: http://www.hoover.org/press-releases/hoover-institution-research-fellow-keith-e-eiler-dies-age-85

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Keith E. Eiler papers contain Eiler's research and writings on the career of General Albert C. Wedemeyer, commander of American forces in China during World War II.
    The Albert C. Wedemeyer file consists of Eiler's research materials for his unfinished biography on Wedemeyer and the book Wedemeyer on War and Peace. The research materials and related documents are divided into three groups: general, subject file, and files on individuals. As Wedemeyer's biographer and friend, Eiler often met with the general to discuss Wedemeyer's life and views (box 5, folders 5-6). In addition to interviewing Wedemeyer, Eiler spoke to many individuals associated with Wedemeyer at various stages of his life, including West Point classmates and those who served with him in World War II. These interviews, along with correspondence and subject material, can be found in the files on individuals. Although these research files mainly contain photocopies of Wedemeyer's correspondence, printed matter, photocopied military documents, or the correspondence of Eiler concerning his research, the files also contain a number of original documents related to Wedemeyer and his family. Since Eiler conducted much of his research at the Hoover Institution, many of his notes were taken on note paper with the Hoover Institution letterhead, and photocopies of documents often contain a Hoover copyright statement.
    In 1987, Eiler was the editor of a book of Wedemeyer's writings. The Wedemeyer on War and Peace file contains drafts of the manuscript, correspondence, research, corrections by Robert Hessen, and notes.
    Additional research on Wedemeyer, including a detailed chronology of his life, can be found in the Card files and note cards, which also contain a bibliography related to Robert P. Patterson, the subject of Eiler's book Mobilizing America.
    For sound recordings of interviews, as well as the film "Catalina scenes, Echols-Curl," see the Sound recordings and motion picture films.


    The collection contains materials which fall under four series: Albert C. Wedemeyer file, Wedemeyer on War and Peace file, Card files and note cards, and Sound recordings and motion picture films. Although the collection is not physically arranged in series, the series description can serve as a guide to the materials.

    Index to Major Groups

    Box Nos. Series
    1-16, 18, 20-31 Albert C. Wedemeyer file, 1880-2003. Includes correspondence, interviews, notes, printed matter, and military records related to Wedemeyer and used as research for an unfinished biography and Wedemeyer on War and Peace. Contains three sub-series: general, subject file, and files on individuals.
    17-20 Wedemeyer on War and Peace file, 1938-1987. Includes drafts, research, notes, and correspondence related to the manuscript.
    32-37 Card files and note cards, undated. Contains notes, address files, bibliographies, and a chronology of Wedemeyer's life.
    1, 31 Sound recordings and motion picture films, 1974-1987, undated. Sound recordings of interviews and the film "Catalina scenes, Echols-Curl."

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    United States. Army--Officers.
    Wedemeyer, Albert C. (Albert Coady), 1896-1989.
    China--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States--Foreign relations--China.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--China.