Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Frank N. Roberts Papers

Dates: 1865-1976.

Military Attache, U.S. Embassy, Moscow, 1945-1946; Military Attache, U.S. Embassy, Ankara, Turkey 1946-1948; Military Advisor to W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President and Director for Mutual Security, and his Representative on the Senior Staff (Planning Board) of the National Security Council, 1950-1953.

The papers of Frank N. Roberts consist of correspondence, photographs, printed materials, speeches, and other items mostly relating to his military career.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 2 linear feet, 2 linear inches (about 4,000 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: The donor gave to the United States of America all copyrights in the unpublished writings of Frank N. Roberts in this collection. Documents created by United States Government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Jan Orton, Dennis Bilger (1985); Randy Sowell, Dennis Bilger (2002).
Updated by: Anna Towns (2012) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1897 (December 28)Born Frank Needham Roberts, Oskaloosa, Kansas
1915-1917Attended Baker University
1920Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Military Academy
1920 (October 7)Married Clara Reeder McCoy
1924-1927Served in the Philippines
1927-1931Instructor at the U.S. Military Academy
1934-1938Language Officer and Assistant Military Attaché in China
1937 (December)Survived the sinking of the U.S.S. Panay
1941-1942Military Intelligence Division, War Department General Staff
1942Assistant Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Forces, China-Burma-India
1944-1945Chief of Staff, U.S. Military Mission to Moscow
1945-1946 Military Attache, U.S. Embassy, Moscow
1946-1948 Military Attache, U.S. Embassy, Ankara, Turkey
1948-1950Professor of Military Science and Tactics, University of California at Los Angeles
1949 (August 2)Married Esther E. Hopper
1950-1953Member, National Security Council Senior Staff (Planning Board)
1950-1953Military Advisor to W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President and Director for Mutual Security
1954-1956Chief of Staff, Allied Forces, Southern Europe, Naples, Italy
1957Retired from the U.S. Army as Major General
1958-1960Member, Board of National Estimates, CIA
1975 (December 23)Died, Pomona, California

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Frank N. Roberts Papers include correspondence, printed materials, photographs, speeches, and other items mostly relating to his military career. The collection is arranged alphabetically in a single series.

Most of the collection is made up of correspondence, including military orders and memorandums, and letters documenting Roberts's heroism in connection with the sinking of the U.S.S. Panay by the Japanese in 1937. Other correspondence concerns his service in the China-Burma-India Theater, and at the U.S. Embassies in Moscow and Ankara, Turkey, during and after World War II. His later career is represented by correspondence from his service as an advisor to Averell Harriman on the National Security Council, and as a senior officer in Italy and California during the mid-to-late 1950s. Also included in this collection is personal correspondence between Roberts and his friends and family. There are also letters from prominent acquaintances such as Clare Boothe Luce, and a Christmas greeting from Harry and Bess Truman.

Roberts received many awards and commendations throughout his military career. These awards included the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Papers and certificates pertaining to some of these awards can be found in the collection

Among Roberts's personal items, a diary, travel logs, and appointment books are included. There are also copies of many speeches (mostly related to NATO), drafts of his memoirs, photographs of friends and colleagues, magazine articles about his time in Burma, and newspaper articles about the Panay incident and his retirement. There is also an 1865 newspaper documenting the assassination of President Lincoln.

More information about the National Security Council can be found in the National Security Council Files, which are part of the Harry S. Truman Papers.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1-5SUBJECT FILE, 1865-1976
Correspondence, photographs, certificates, speeches, printed materials, and other items. Arranged alphabetically.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Appointment Books
  • Burma Campaign, 1942
  • Correspondence, 1927
  • Correspondence, 1934
  • Correspondence, 1935
  • Correspondence, 1936
  • Correspondence, 1937
  • Correspondence, 1938
  • Correspondence, 1939
  • Correspondence, 1940
  • Correspondence, 1941
  • Correspondence, 1942
  • Correspondence, 1943
  • Correspondence, 1945
  • Correspondence, 1946
  • Correspondence, 1948
  • Correspondence, 1949
  • Correspondence, 1950
  • Correspondence List, 1950-1954
  • Correspondence, 1951
  • Correspondence, 1952
  • Correspondence, 1953
  • Correspondence, 1954
Box 2
  • Correspondence, 1955
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Correspondence Regarding Promotion to Major General, 1955
  • Correspondence, 1956
  • Correspondence, 1957
  • Correspondence, 1958
  • Correspondence, 1959
  • Correspondence, 1961
  • Correspondence, 1963
  • Correspondence, 1967
  • Correspondence, 1971
  • Correspondence, 1974
  • Correspondence, Undated
Box 3
  • Diary, 1956-1957
  • Kai-shek, Chiang
  • Luce, Claire Boothe
  • Memoirs
  • Memoirs-Drafts
  • NATO Speech Series
      [1 of 2]
Box 4
      [2 of 2]
  • Newspapers
  • Personal
  • Photographs
  • Printed Materials
  • Retirement
  • Soviet Union
Box 5
  • Speeches
  • Travel Log
  • Truman, Harry S.
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S.S. Panay Incident
  • World War II
  • Yalta Conference

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]