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Richard Clark Lindsay Papers

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: =
Date: 15 Feb 1994

Biographical History

Lt. General Richard Clark Lindsay (1905-1990) was an American military officer whose career culminated with the position of commander of Allied Air Forces Southern Europe (NATO).

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Lindsay enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1928. Between 1929 and 1940 he served with several air squadrons (91st Observation, 9th Bomber, 88th Observation, 97th Observation) and advanced to captain. In 1941 he joined the War Department General Staff and subsequently served in several capacities during the war, including directing the Twentieth Air Force's B-29 operations against Japan. In November of 1947 he was promoted to general, and after the war he served as deputy director for strategic plans in the Office of the Joint Chief of Staff and as chairman of the Joint Strategic Plans committee. In 1951 he was assigned as the standing group liaison officer to the council deputies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and was involved in air force recruit training as commander of the 3560th Air Force Indoctrination Wing at Sampson Air Force Base, N.Y. In 1957 he was appointed commander of Allied Air Forces Southern Europe (NATO), a position he held until his retirement in 1960.

Lt. General Lindsay's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and the Order of the British Empire (Honourary Commander).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Note: In the following description, individuals are given the highest rank held during their career, which may not reflect the rank they held during the time represented in this collection.

The Richard Clark Lindsay Papers consists of communications, memorabilia, financial records and organizational records.

Communications contains correspondence -- personal, business and official -- along with official memoranda and military orders. Personal letters relate to family and friends. Business correspondence pertain to his management of the Leslie E. Lindsay Trust Fund, the development of his own stock portfolio, and insurance purchases. Official correspondence relates to his activities as an Air Force officer and deal with topics such as personnel, protocol, public relations, and command responsibilities. Among the correspondents are officials, corporate executives, and fellow officers. The latter include General Carl Spaatz, General Curtis LeMay, General Thomas Dresser White, General Thomas S. Powers, Lieut. General George Stratmeyer, General Hoyt Vandenberg, General Laurence Kuter, General Lauris Norstad, and Lieut. General Patrick Timberlake. Among his civilian correspondence, a number of letters from Henry Kissinger deal with the question of the uses of air power and other matters pertinent to his association with General Lindsay as fellow members of the Council on Foreign Relations. There is also a memo on Kissinger's book, Force and Diplomacy in the Nuclear Period.

Memorabilia contains photographs, biographical information, clippings, and a copy of General Lindsay's will.

Financial records relate to both General Lindsay's personal finances and his responsbilities as manager of the Leslie E. Lindsay Trust. Subjects covered include investments, stock transactions, insurance, taxes, and personal expenditures.

Organizational records make up the bulk of the collection. This material is subdivided into that dealing with General Lindsay's work as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and that dealing with his Air Force duties.

Council on Foreign Relations material includes reports, studies, and notes recording meeting and conference details and reactions to particular reports.

Air Force material includes subject files and writings; these files were kept in their original state and contain correspondence, memoranda, printed material charts, drafts of writings, photographs and statistical tables. An index of office files provides detailed information on the contents of most folders.

Subject files include the conduct of World War II in the Pacific, plans for the invasion and occupation of Japan, strategic planning, military aid to American allies, and the standardization of policies. Items of interest include a report by Lindsay compiled on a visit to areas of strategic importance in the Pacific, and his notes on a private conference during which General MacArthur spoke of his distrust of current naval strategy and his unwillingness to subordinate himself to naval authority.

Writings consist of articles, books and speeches in various stages of completion as well as notebooks, diaries, interviews and a few miscellaneous writings by others. Items of interest in this series include an unbound diary of Lindsay's 1943 visit to the Pacific theatre and a number of notebooks with original series designations in which he kept notes of important meetings. The speech files contain drafts and other material related to speeches and briefings given by General Lindsay. Subjects represented include the coordination of efforts between the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the possibility of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, unrestricted warfare, and general concepts of air power.

Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically by type or topic with the exception of Communications, which is subdivided by type and arranged chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite 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.

Subject Headings


Kuter, Laurence S.
Lindsay, Richard C. (Richard Clark)
Power, Thomas S. (Thomas Sarsfield), 1905-
Stratemeyer, George E., 1890-1970.
Vandenberg, Hoyt Sanford, 1899-1954.
Wedemeyer, Albert C. (Albert Coady), 1896-
White, Thomas D. (Thomas Dresser), 1901-1965.

Corporate Bodies

Council on Foreign Relations.
United States. -- Air Force -- Officers.
United States. -- Air Force.
United States. -- Army Air Forces.


Aeronautics, Military -- United States.
Military history -- United States.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American.


United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1953.
United States -- History, Military -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Minutes (administrative records)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Richard Clark Lindsay Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Richard Clark Lindsay, 1964.

Table of Contents



Financial records

Organization records