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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: 1969-1971
Quantity: 1 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

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.

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

Memorabilia includes photographs.

Miscellaneous includes military documents relating to Billard's service.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Collection is arranged chronologically.

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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


Billard, E. Thomas.


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


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

Genres and Forms

Military records.

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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.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: PJM
Date: 13 Dec 2016
Revision history:

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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
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.
Box 2 3-4 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) 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_001)
Box 2 10-15 Oct 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 1/8 inch audio cassette (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 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_003)
Box 2 21-23 Nov 1970 [Audio letter from family] - Cornell football on WHCU; weather; Syracuse football; weather in Vietnam; Thanksgiving 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_004)
Box 2 27-29 Nov 1970 [Audio letter from family] - Christmas lists; Thanksgiving celebration; weather; music preferences 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_005)
Box 2 4 Dec 1970 The Classical Guitar #2 ; 4 Dec. - Classical guitar selections (dubbed from LP) 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_006)
Box 2 10-17 Dec 1970 Trip to Saigon, etc. Sides 1 and 2 [marked “copy”] - from Billard to family; trip to Saigon; Billard's general responsibilities; Billard's travel and observations; training; weather in Vietnam 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_007)
Box 2 10-17 Dec 1970 Trip to Saigon, etc. Sides 3 and 4 [marked “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 1/8 inch audio cassette (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 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_010)
Box 2 13-15 Dec 1970 [Audio letter from family] - Christmas Party; reading from magazines; local events; weather; call from Billard on Christmas Day? 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_009)
Box 2 25 Dec 1970 Christmas Day - from family; local weather and events; local radio 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_011)
Box 2 3-5 Jan 1971 [Audio letter from family] - personal comments; veterans events in Cortland; local weather; Nixon; WHCU local radio 1/8 inch audio cassette (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 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_013)
Box 2 25 Jan 1971 [Audio letter from family] - children playing; Bill Cosby on Radio/TV; aftermath of winter storm 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_014)
Box 2 3 Mar-2 Apr 1971 Australia #3 and #4 - from Billard to family; his trip to Australia; weather and local geography 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_017)
Box 2 4-5 Mar 1971 [Audio letter from family] - weather - blizzard; school closings; more comments on slides; WHCU radio 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_015)
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 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_016)
Box 2 undated [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 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_018)
Box 2 undated [Audio letter from family] - plans for after Billard's return; personal relationships 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_019)
Box 2 undated [Audio letter from family] - local events; family events; personal relationships; weather; civilian jobs; war in Middle East 1/8 inch audio cassette (ID#: billard_e_020)
Box 1 Photographs Mar-Apr 1970
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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