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E. Thomas Billard Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Billard, E. Thomas.
Title: E. Thomas Billard Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1969-1978
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of a Syracuse University MBA graduate and Vietnam War veteran. Collection includes correspondence and audio cassette recordings.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Edmund Thomas Billard (1946- ) is a former American military officer, a native of McLean, New York and a 1981 MBA graduate from Syracuse University. He was born in Catskill, NY.

Following his graduation from Cornell University in June 1968, Billard enlisted in the Army in July 1968. He attended Basic and Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey and then Engineer Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Following completion of the Engineer OCS course in June 1969, he received a commission in Military Intelligence and was assigned to the Army Security Agency. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and volunteered to go to Vietnam, where he served from August 1970 to May 1971. While serving in Vietnam, Billard, in addition to writing traditional letters, sent a number of voice tapes recording his observations and travels during his tour of duty. Following the completion of his military service commitment, Billard left the Army in May 1971.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The E. Thomas Billard Papers includes audio cassette recordings, correspondence, photographs and other memorabilia from Billard's service in Vietnam and in the years immediately following.

Correspondence includes both written letters and audio recordings between Billard and his family in Upstate New York.

Memorabilia includes photographs and slides. Most are from Billard's tour in Vietnam but some are from trips to Thailand and Germany. The slides were received in two carousel boxes; one of these contained a loaded carousel, the other contained individual slides, some in smaller boxes as they would have come from the developer, others loose in the box. There is also a 25th Infantry military yearbook.

Miscellaneous includes military documents relating to Billard's service.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence tapes are arranged chronologically. Other material is alphabetical by type or topic.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed off site and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Billard, E. Thomas.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Army. -- Infantry Division, 25th.

Subjects

Soldiers' writings, American.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

Places

Australia, Southeastern.
Germany.
Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
Thailand.
Upstate New York (N.Y.)
Vietnam.

Genres and Forms

Audiocassettes.
Correspondence.
Military records.
Paper money.
Photographs.
Slides (photographs)
Sound recordings.
Yearbooks.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

E. Thomas Billard Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of E. Thomas Billard, 2015, 2020.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: PJM
Date: 13 Dec 2016
Revision history: 30 Jul 2018 - added link to digitized material (MRC); 10 Sep 2020 - additions (MRC)

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Inventory

Note on alternate formats:

Many of the audiorecordings have been digitized and are available via SCRC Online, our digital portal, in the E. Thomas Billard Papers collection.

Correspondence
Most original envelopes have been removed and replaced with redacted copies.
Written letters
Box 1 20 Mar-26 Dec 1970 [General] (2 folders)
Box 1 4 Jan-16 Apr 1971 [General] (1 folder)
Audio letters
Note on alternate formats: Many of the audiorecordings have been digitized and are available via SCRC Online, our digital portal, in the E. Thomas Billard Papers collection. More detailed contents notes were taken during digitization. In some instances, the audio engineers were able to recover content thought to be deleted, as many of the audio cassettes were used more than once. Tapes are arranged chronologically, as best as possible. Some of the tapes evidently accompany some of the slides (see Memorabilia: Slides) but the connection has been lost as to which slides they go with.
Box 2 3-4 Oct 1970 [Audio letter from family] - birthday parties and family gatherings; travel in Upstate New York; local events; Cornell football; weather; questions from family about Vietnam (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_001)
Box 2 10-15 Oct 1970 [Audio letter from family] - local events; Cornell football on WHCU; Billard to family on impressions of Vietnam; family time at the lake house with the Henrietta Billards (Tom’s brother’s family: John, Judy, Jimmy, Susan) (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_002)
Box 2 17 Oct-1 Nov 1970 [Audio letter from family] - family response to "Vietnam problems and resolution"; Billard's possible return; local events; weather; activities of John (brother) and Peter (brother); Australian troops in Vietnam (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_003)
Box 3 5 Nov 1970 Tape #1 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_033)
Box 3 5 Nov 1970 Tape #2 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_034)
Box 3 8-19 Nov 1970 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_021)
Box 3 15 Nov [1970] Vietnam Tapes - note on cassette case reads: "Tom - this tape has a message on it" (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_022)
Box 2 21-23 Nov 1970 [Audio letter from family] - Cornell football on WHCU; weather; Syracuse football; weather in Vietnam (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_004)
Box 2 27-29 Nov 1970 [Audio letter from family] - ristmas lists; Thanksgiving celebration; weather; music preferences (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_005)
Box 2 4 Dec 1970 The Classical Guitar #2 - classical guitar selections (dubbed from LP) (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_006)
Box 2 10-17 Dec 1970 Trip to Saigon, etc. Sides 1 and 2 copy - from Billard to family; trip to Saigon; Billard's general responsibilities; Billard's travel and observations; training; weather in Vietnam (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_007)
Box 2 10-17 Dec 1970 Trip to Saigon, etc. Sides 3 and 4 copy - from Billard to family; "Sunrise in Saigon" Radio; sending home souvenirs; American Forces Vietnam Radio; Nixon and the 1972 campaign; Trip to Australia; Sports; Christmas; observations of local dress and buildings; Saigon weather; Bien Hoa Air base (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_008)
Box 2 [10-17 Dec 1970] Trip to Saigon, etc. [marked original tape in new case] - from Billard to family; more on travels in Saigon and region; observations on work and the war; Billard's return; Long Binh Ward; weather; William Calley's Court Martial (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_010)
Box 3 10-17 Dec 1970 Trip to Saigon, etc (transferred to another tape) [empty case] - most likely this is the case for billard_e_010 () (ID#: billard_e_023)
Box 2 13-15 Dec 1970 [Audio letter from family] - Christmas Party; reading from magazines; local events; weather; call from Billard on Christmas Day? (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_009)
Box 2 [Dec 1970] [Audio letter from family] - Christmas and family celebrations; personal updates on family members. Recovered audio from Billard to Family with Christmas greetings and personal messages (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_018)
Box 3 24-25 Dec 1970 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_024)
Box 2 25 Dec 1970 Christmas Day 1970 - from family; local weather and events; local radio (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_011)
Box 3 26-31 Dec 1970 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_025)
Box 2 3-5 Jan 1970 [1971] [Audio letter from family] - personal comments; veterans events in Cortland; local weather; Nixon; WHCU local radio (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_012)
Box 2 10-21 Jan 1971 [Audio letter from family] - holiday and birthday celebrations; WHCU radio; local events; weather; comments on slides Billard sent to family (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_013)
Box 3 21-27 Jan 1970 [1971] Vietnam Tapes - date on cassette is 1970 but most likely this should be 1971, as Billard served in Vietnam from August 1970 to May 1971 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_026)
Box 2 25 Jan 1971 [Audio letter from family] - children playing; Bill Cosby on Radio/TV; aftermath of winter storm (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_014)
Box 3 30-31 Jan 1971 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_027)
Box 3 2 Feb 1971 Slides: Trip to Tay Ninh - slides 58-77 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_035)
Box 3 3-4 Feb 1971 Slides: Long Bihn Depot 51-66; 372nd St. D, Slide Program 1 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_036)
Box 3 13-26 Feb 1971 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_028)
Box 3 19 Feb 1971 Twelve Days at Xuan Loc; Trip to Xuan Loc, Slides (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_037)
Box 3 20 Feb 1971 Program #4: Ben Luc, Saigon (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_038)
Box 3 21 Feb 1971 Program #3: Trip to Ben Luc, Saigon; Trip to Con Son (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_039)
Box 3 28 Feb-4 March1971 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_029)
Box 3 3-18 Mar 1971 Program #5: Xuan Loc (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_040)
Box 2 4-5 Mar 1971 [Audio letter from family] - weather - blizzard; school closings; more comments on slides; WHCU radio (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_015)
Box 3 5-15 Mar 1971 Vietnam Tapes: Blizzard; Good News! (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_030)
Box 3 18 Mar 1971 Program #6 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_041)
Box 3 18 Mar 1971 Program #7 (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_042)
Box 2 21-23 Mar 1971 [Audio letter from family] - comments on weather; Billard's trip to Australia; local real estate market; family birthdays; WHCU radio (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_016)
Box 3 28-30 Mar 1971 Trip to Australia #1 and #2 (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_031)
Box 2 30 Mar-2 Apr 1971 Australia #3 and #4 - from Billard to family; his trip to Australia; weather and local geography (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_017)
Box 3 15-20 Apr 1971 Vietnam Tapes (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_032)
Box 2 [Audio letter from family] - plans for after Billard's return; personal relationships (Audio cassette; running time 30) (ID#: billard_e_019)
Box 2 [Audio letter from family] - local events; family events; personal relationships; weather; civilian jobs; war in Middle East (Audio cassette; running time 60) (ID#: billard_e_020)
Memorabilia
Box 1 Photographs Mar-Apr 1970
Box 4 Photographs [1970-1971] - note reads "8 pictures described on tape 2/19/71 side 2 approx 1/4 to 1/3"; this is probably billard_e_037
Box 4 Slides [carousel] 1970-1971 - originally in carousel; removed, sleeved, order retained; notes on outside of box indicate that one of the tapes has narration to accompany
Box 4 Slides, Family 1969, 1975-1976, undated
Box 4 Slides, Germany trip 1978
Box 4 Slides, Thailand 1971
Box 4 Slides, [illegible] 1969, 1971 - originally in small box, with enclosed handwritten slip of paper
Box 4 Slides, [illegible] 1976 - originally in small box, with enclosed handwritten slip of paper
Box 4 Slides, miscellaneous 1969-1975 - received loose in second carousel box with no identifying information; arranged chronologically (3 folders)
Box 4 Slides, miscellaneous information - handwritten slips of paper found loose in box; notes from outside of second carousel box
Box 4 Yearbook, "25th Infantry Division in Viet Nam, 1966-1967" - includes luggage tags from military transport, Vietnamese and Thai paper money, found tucked inside front cover
Box 1 Miscellaneous 6 Nov 1969-9 Jun 1971 - address notification from Fort Benning (Georgia), letter concerning "Transfers Between Reserve Groups or Units," post stamps

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