Guide to the H. Wentworth Eldredge Partial Autobiography, 1987-1988
Collection number: MS 228
About H. Wentworth Eldredge
H. W. Eldredge was born circa 1910 in Brooklyn, graduated from Dartmouth College, and
finished a sociology dissertation at Yale University in 1935. At the start of World
War II, Eldredge joined the United States Army Air Force and traveled to Great
Britain in the Spring of 1943 via a convoy from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Once there, he
was recruited by a Harvard professor to help him record the official Army history of
the 8th Air Force. "But I wanted to be doing something," he wrote in his
autobiography, "not recording what other people had done or might do." Reassigned to
intelligence work, Eldredge helped distract German agents from the Allies' plans for
an invasion of France through Normandy. He returned to teach at Dartmouth College
after the war and served as head of the Department of Sociology for a time.
Eldredge, who was also the author of several monographs in the field of sociology,
died in 1991.
About the H. Wentworth Eldredge partial autobiography
Eldredge's partial autobiography consists of Chapters 10 (sections A, B, and C), 11,
13 (sections A, B, C, D) and 14. Well-written in a semi-stream of consciousness
style, these chapters describe his desire to get into the war, what it was like to
be an American serviceman in Great Britain, his sickness with jaundice, his
espionage operations concerning D-day, and sociability amongst American officers in
the European theater. His memories include descriptive vignettes of dead "Kraut"
bodies, tank shards, alcholic drinks, romantic interests, and the apprehension and
excitement of war.
Researchers ought to take note that these autobiographical chapters were originally
found in the Frank Norvish World War II memorabilia (MC 167), and have since been
separated into their own manuscript collection. Norvish's relationship to the
autobiography, and to Eldredge, is still uncertain.
This collection is open.
Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.
H. Wentworth Eldredge partial autobiography, 1987-1988, MS 228, Milne Special
Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH,
H. Wentworth Eldredge and Douglas L. Wheeler, November 1990 (Accession number:
Franklin Norvish World War II Memorabilia, 1939-2010, MC 167, Milne Special
Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.