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Robert L. Dennison Oral History Interview


Oral History Interviews with
Admiral Robert L. Dennison

Graduate of U.S. Naval Academy, 1923; Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, 1945-47; Commander of the U.S.S. Missouri, 1947-48; Naval Aide to President Harry S. Truman,1948-53; Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Command, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, and Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, 1960-63.
Interview Transcripts
September 10, 1971 | October 6, 1971 | November 2, 1971
By Jerry N. Hess
[Notices and Restrictions | List of Subjects Discussed]


These are transcripts of tape-recorded interviews conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of each transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that these are essentially transcripts of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

See also Robert L. Dennison Papers and Files.

These oral history transcripts may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. They may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.



List of Subjects Discussed




Abramson, Howard, 30
Acheson, Dean, 143, 144
Air Force, Department of, role of, 173-175
Anderson, Vernice, 150, 151, 162
Atomic bomb, use of, against Japan, 78-80
Atomic-bomb attack, plans for evacuation, 97-101

Begley, Paul, as photographer, 205, 206
Bohlen, Charles, 82, 83
Bradley, General Omar, 104-106, 154
Burke, Admiral Arleigh, 138-139

Cabinet meetings, 185-188
Carey, Idaho, and Presidential campaign of 1948, 44-46
Carlton Club, 84-85
Cates, General Clifton B., 132, 133, 134, 135
Chiang Kai-shek, 71-73, 75
Chiang Kai-shek, Madame, 72-73
China postwar, 71-76
Chungking, China, 71-73
Churchill, Winston, visit in 1952, 205-207
Civil rights, 190
Clifford, Clark, 180

  • as poker player, 95

Cochrane, Vice Admiral Edward L., appointment as first Federal Maritime Administrator, 35-41
Committee of Three, 11
Connelly, Matthew, 50

Containment policy, 128
Conway, Rose, 88

Denfeld, Admiral Louis E., resignation of, 140-142
Dennison, Admiral Robert L.:

  • appointment as Naval Aide to the President, 37-39
    and auto accident, near Tokyo, 64-65
    background of, 1-2
    and China, People's Republic of, 128-130
    duties as Naval Aide, 101-106, 183
    and Eisenhower, General Dwight D., 157-158, 178
    and Forrestal, James, 7-10, 11, 13, 14-15, 22-25
    and Kennan, George, 124-127
    and Landry, General Robert B., 179
    MacArthur, General Douglas, attends ceremony honoring, 155-156
    and maritime affairs, 33-35, 198-200
    and Missouri, U.S.S., 3-6, 11, 189-190
    and racial segregation, views on, 189-190, 192-193
    and Rigdon, Commander William, 179-180
    Truman, Harry S., first meeting with, 2-3
    and staff assistants to Naval Aide, 182
    and Vaughan, Harry, 175

Early, Stephen, and appointment as Under Secretary of Defense, 18, 19-20
Eisenhower, General Dwight D.:

  • and return from Europe in 1952, 156-158
    and Truman, Harry S., at funeral of President John F.Kennedy, 207-211

Federal Maritime Administrator, appointment of first, 35-37
Forrestal, James V., 2, 3, 7-10, 11, 13, 14-15, 16, 17, 20-28, 186

Foskett, Rear Admiral James H., 41, 42
French Indo-China, U.S. aid to, 121-124

Gates, Artemus, 3, 72
Graham, Dr. Wallace, 89

Hiroshima, Japan, 63-34
Hydrogen bomb, decision to develop, 80-82