Welcome to the FBI Files on American Military Personnel archive at The Black Vault. This section of the website is a repository of documents related to various members of the United States military. Within these files, you’ll find a wealth of information that offers a deeper understanding of the lives, careers, and sometimes the controversies surrounding these individuals who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The documents provide an intriguing look into the FBI’s interactions with military personnel, ranging from high-ranking officers to enlisted service members, across different branches of the military.

As you explore this archive, you will discover a spectrum of FBI files that include background checks, surveillance reports, and investigations, each contributing to the rich tapestry of military history. These documents not only shed light on the individual stories of these service members but also reflect the broader context of American military history and its intersection with domestic intelligence and national security. This collection is an invaluable resource for historians, researchers, military enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the intricate relationship between the military and federal surveillance. It presents a unique opportunity to gain a nuanced perspective on the challenges and complexities faced by those who have served their country.

Document Archive

Blanchard, Col. William H. – [4 Pages, 1MB] – RECORDS DESTROYED – General William Hugh Blanchard (February 6, 1916 – May 31, 1966) was a United States Air Force officer who attained the rank of four-star general and served as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from 1965 to 1966.  On July 8, 1947, Colonel Blanchard issued an official Army Air Force press release stating that the base intelligence office had recovered a so-called “flying disc” or “flying saucer” from a nearby ranch, it had been found “sometime last week,” and they were flying it to “higher headquarters”. The press release and the media feeding frenzy that followed it triggered the so-called Roswell UFO Incident.
Bucher, Lloyd M. – [66 Pages, 27.8MB] – Lloyd Mark “Pete” Bucher (1 September 1927 – 28 January 2004) was an officer in the United States Navy, who is best remembered as the captain of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2), which was captured on January 23, 1968 by North Korea. While monitoring North Korea, the Pueblo came under attack by North Korean naval forces, primarily motor torpedo boats, even though U.S. Naval officials and the crew have claimed the ship was in international waters at the time. North Koreans boarded the ship and took her to the port at Wonsan. For the next 11 months, Bucher and his crew were held as POWs by the North Koreans. Initially, they were treated relatively well, with good food and living accommodations.
Butler, Smedley Darlington – [42 Pages, 2.78 MB] – Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler is well known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, a purported plan to overthrow the U.S. government.
Donovan, William J. – [File #1 | File #2 | File #3 | File #4 | File #5 | File #6 | File #7] – Background investigation of Major General William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, Medal of Honor recipient and former Director of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Fellers, Bonner – [32 Pages, 20.70MB] – Bonner Frank Fellers (February 7, 1896 – October 7, 1973) was a U.S. Army officer who served during World War II as military attaché and psychological warfare director. He is notable as the military attaché in Egypt whose extensive transmissions of detailed British tactical information were intercepted by Axis agents and passed to German field marshal Erwin Rommel for over six months, contributing to disastrous British defeats at Gazala and Tobruk in June 1942. He was considered a protégé of General Douglas MacArthur.
Flickinger, Brig. General Don D. – [13 Pages, 1MB] – Dr. Donald D. Flickinger, an early expert on space medicine who as a World War II flight surgeon parachuted into the Himalayas to rescue downed fliers and later helped select the first seven Mercury astronauts. Dr. Flickinger, who retired from the Air Force in 1961 as a brigadier general and later was a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other agencies, ”was a pioneer in high-altitude medicine,” said Robert Hotz, a former editor in chief of Aviation Week and Space Technology. (Note: Researcher Keith Basterfield proposed that Brig. General Flickinger was the mentor described [but not named]by Dr. Kit Green in an interview with Richard Dolan)
Friend, Robert – [4 Pages, 2.5MB] – Lieutenant Colonel Robert Jones Friend (1920–2019) was a Tuskegee airman in WW2 and led the USAF’s Project Blue Book from 1958 to 1963. He also served during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He had a 28 year military career. Note: All files on Friend were either lost or destroyed.
Gale, William Potters – [494 Pages, 89.2MB] – According to claims of unknown reliability, William Potters Gale had previously been an aide to General Douglas MacArthur, and had coordinated guerrilla resistance in the Philippines during World War II. Gale became a leading figure in the anti-tax and paramilitary movements of the 1970s and 1980s, beginning with the California Rangers and the Posse Comitatus, and helped found the militia movement.
Hathcock, Carlos – [19 Pages, 89.2MB] – Carlos Norman Hathcock II (May 20, 1942 – February 22, 1999) was a United States Marine Corps (USMC) sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills. Hathcock’s record and the extraordinary details of the missions he undertook made him a legend in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honored by having a rifle named after him: a variant of the M21 dubbed the Springfield Armory M25 White Feather, for the nickname “White Feather” given to Hathcock by the North Vietnamese People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN).
Hillenkoetter, Adm Roscoe Henry – [32 Pages, 20.70MB] – Roscoe Henry Hillenkoetter (May 8, 1897 – June 18, 1982) was the third director of the post-World War II United States Central Intelligence Group (CIG), the third Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), and the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency created by the National Security Act of 1947. He served as DCI and director of the CIG and the CIA from May 1, 1947 to October 7, 1950 and after his retirement from the United States Navy was a member of the board of governors of National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) from 1957 to 1962.
La Rocque, Gene – [10 Pages, 3.1MB] – Eugene Robert La Rocque (June 29, 1918 – October 31, 2016) was a rear admiral of the United States Navy who founded the Center for Defense Information in 1971.

Lansdale, Edward Geary – [19 Pages, 8.6MB] – Edward Geary Lansdale (February 6, 1908 – February 23, 1987) was a United States Air Force officer who served in the Office of Strategic Services and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He rose to the rank of Major General and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1963. He was an early proponent of more aggressive U.S. actions in the Cold War. Lansdale was born in Detroit, Michigan and died in McLean, Virginia. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was twice married and had two sons from his first marriage.

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Please note: By letter from the FBI dated April 25, 2018, in FOIA request 1402808-000, potentially responsive documents were destroyed on Lansdale back on July 26, 1978.  Additional documents may exist at NARA, which have been requested. Will add them when available.

LeMay, General Curtis – [42 Pages, 2.56 MB] – Curtis Emerson LeMay (November 15, 1906 – October 1, 1990) was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party presidential candidate George Wallace in 1968. He is credited with designing and implementing an effective, but also controversial, systematic strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific theater of World War II. During the war, he was known for planning and executing a massive bombing campaign against cities in Japan and a crippling minelaying campaign in Japan’s internal waterways. After the war, he unintentionally initiated the Berlin airlift, then reorganized the Strategic Air Command (SAC) into an effective instrument of nuclear war. He served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force from 1961 until his retirement in 1965.
MacArthur, Douglas – [42 Pages, 2.56 MB] – Douglas MacArthur (26 January 1880 – 5 April 1964) was an American five-star general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur, Jr., the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.
Patton, General George S. – [149 Pages, 12.2MB] – George Smith Patton, Jr., (1885-1945) was a senior U.S. Army leader, serving in the military from 1909 to 1945. This release (previously made, but now posted to the FBI Vault) consists of 11 pages of references to Patton found in FBI files. The document dates range from 1945 to 1946.
Petraeus, David – [284 Pages, 10.1MB]
Civil Action# 16-CV-00514 – [18 Pages, 2.5MB] – This is the first interim release about this civil action, which was reference in the above document release. This FOIA request should bring up a different set of documents, which will be added here, when released.
Court Unseal Orders, Warrants, etc. – [242 Pages, 5.4MB] – These records were released by the United States District Courts, Western District of North Carolina.  They have been combined to a searchable .pdf format, and the .pdf contains bookmarks to differentiate the different warrants and court orders.
Executive Office for United States Attorneys – [382 Pages, 23.5MB] – This is the package of multiple releases by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. I have combined them into one .pdf, searchable, with bookmarks stipulating the different releases (and dates).David Howell Petraeus is a retired American military officer and public official. He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012.  Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from July 4, 2010, to July 18, 2011. His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from October 13, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) from February 10, 2007, to September 16, 2008. As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.  In January 2015, officials reported the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended bringing felony charges against Petraeus for allegedly providing classified information to his biographer, Paula Broadwell (with whom he was having an affair), while serving as the director of the CIA.  Eventually, Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.This release concerns an investigation into the compromise of classified material. The dates in the release range from 2012-2013.
Pash, Boris – [17 Pages, 7MB] – Boris Theodore Pash (born Boris Fedorovich Pashkovsky; Russian: Борис Фёдорович Пашковский) 20 June 1900 – 11 May 1995) was a United States Army military intelligence officer. He commanded the Alsos Mission during World War II and retired with the rank of colonel.
Shurer, Ronald J. – [178 Pages, 85MB] – Ronald J. Shurer II was a distinguished American hero and Army medic who received the Medal of Honor for his acts of bravery and valor during the War in Afghanistan. Born on December 7, 1978, in Fairbanks, Alaska, Shurer enlisted in the United States Army in 2002 and later joined the Special Forces. He was honored for his extraordinary courage during the Battle of Shok Valley in 2008, where he braved enemy fire to treat and evacuate wounded soldiers. After his military service, he continued his service to the country by joining the Secret Service. Ronald J. Shurer passed away on May 14, 2020, after a valiant battle with cancer, leaving behind a legacy of selflessness and service.
Souers, Sidney Adm. – [691 Pages, 47.53MB] – Sidney William Souers (March 30, 1892 – January 14, 1973) was an American admiral and intelligence expert. ear Admiral Souers was appointed as the first Director of Central Intelligence on January 23, 1946 by President Harry S. Truman. Prior to this, as Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, Souers had been one of the architects of the system that came into being with the President’s directive. He had written the intelligence chapter of the Eberstadt Report, which advocated a unified intelligence system. Toward the end of 1945, when the competing plans for a national intelligence system were deadlocked, Souers’ views had come to the attention of the President, and he seems to have played a role in breaking the impasse.
Starbird, General Alfred – [5 Pages, 1.5MB]
Starbird, General Alfred – [5 Pages, 1.5MB] – Alfred Dodd Starbird (April 28, 1912 – July 28, 1983) was an American modern pentathlete, lieutenant general, and authority on nuclear weaponry. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, class of 1933, he was commissioned in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He was a member of the United States modern pentathlon team at the 1936 Summer Olympics, finishing seventh overall in a field of 42.
Trudeau, General Arthur – [ File #1 | File #2 | File #3 ] – [ 360 Pages Total ] – Arthur Gilbert Trudeau (July 5, 1902 in Middlebury, Vermont – June 5, 1991, Chevy Chase, Maryland) was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army best known for his command of the 7th Infantry Division during the battle of Battle of Pork Chop Hill during the Korean War. (Source: Ernie Lazar)
Twining, General Nathan – [23 Pages, 15.43MB] – Nathan Farragut Twining, (October 11, 1897 – March 29, 1982) was a United States Air Force General, born in Monroe, Wisconsin. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from 1953 until 1957. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1957 to 1960 he was the first member of the Air Force to serve in that role.
Vandenberg, Hoyt – [98 Pages, 6.12MB] – Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg (January 24, 1899 – April 2, 1954) was a U.S. Air Force general, its second Chief of Staff, and second Director of Central Intelligence. During World War II, Vandenberg was the commanding general of the Ninth Air Force, a tactical air force in England and in France, supporting the Army, from August 1944 until V-E Day. Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central coast of California is named for General Vandenberg. In 1946, he was briefly the U.S. Chief of Military Intelligence. He was the nephew of Arthur H. Vandenberg, a former U.S. Senator from Michigan.

 Woodard, Isaac – [18 Pages, 1.42MB] – Isaac Woodard Jr. (March 18, 1919 – September 23, 1992) was a decorated African-American World War II veteran. On February 12, 1946, hours after being honorably discharged from the United States Army, he was attacked while still in uniform by South Carolina police as he was taking a bus home. The attack and his injuries sparked national outrage and galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States.

This was obtained from the The National Archives at Atlanta, and they provided the following additional information:

The National Archives at Atlanta has custody of case 16603, United States of America v. Lynwood Lanier Shull, from the U.S. District Court of South Carolina, Columbia Division which addresses the assault of Mr. Woodard.  The scanned court case is attached in entirety.  It is not a very big case but it is all that we have on this matter.  You will notice the first scan, the outside of the folder, has a notation stating here are transcriptions in an FBI folder and more information at the Truman Presidential Library.  The National Archives at Atlanta does not have any transcriptions.


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This post was published on November 8, 2023 5:00 am

John Greenewald

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