Guide to the Papers of Robert Heussler, 1939 - 1981Manuscript MS-1222

Biography

Robert William Heussler was born in 1924 in East Aurora, New York. He enrolled at Dartmouth in 1942, but in 1943 he and many of his classmates joined the military as part of the Dartmouth Squadron. Heussler served as a pilot in the 360th Bombardment Squadron of the United States Air Force, where he received an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, as well as a Distinguished Flying Cross. He returned to Dartmouth in 1945 and graduated with a B.A. in 1948. While at Dartmouth Heussler was active in the Glee Club, the D.O.C., and Phi Delta fraternity. After graduation Heussler traveled throughout the Far East and studied for one year at the College of Chinese Studies in Peking. He then attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, graduating in 1950. After a brief term of employment with the CIA, Heussler and his friend Thomas Lowell Jr. travelled the world together filming an early 3-D color movie. Heussler next attended St. Antony's College at Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar, and then returned to Princeton, where he received his Ph.D in 1961. In 1957 Heussler married Margaret Ten Broek Jackson, with whom he had four daughters, and whom he divorced in 1969. Heussler joined the Ford Foundation in 1962, and in 1968 was appointed the President of Trenton State College. He remained in this position until 1970, when he accepted a history professorship at the State University of New York in Geneseo. In addition to Huessler's book on the Dartmouth Squadron, "Interlude of the Forties," he published several other works, mainly dealing with Western European colonial efforts in Africa, as well as serving as editor of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine beginning in 1980. Heussler died on February 17th, 1984.

The Dartmouth Squadron was formed in 1943, comprising 45 Dartmouth men, Classes of 1942-1946, who requested to go through flight training together as a unit within the Army Air Corps. However, members were dispersed during training as individual skills developed, and specific Army staffing needs arose. Approximatey 40% of the Squadron members completed pilot training, while others became navigators or bombardiers; 15% were eliminated from all flight crew training.

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