Date Span: 1945-1953
The Naval Aide to the President Files include President Truman's communications with foreign government leaders and American diplomats; communications between the White House and Truman's headquarters during the Potsdam Conference; State Department briefing papers for the President; messages concerning the Korean War received from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Commander in Chief of the Far East; and correspondence concerning the tenure of service of individual U.S. Navy servicemen.
Size: 13 linear feet, 7 linear inches (ca. 24,800 pages)
Access: Open, with the exception of some documents that are closed for national security reasons or in accordance with the donor’s legal instructions.
Copyright: Harry S. Truman donated his copyright interest in writings in these files to the United States Government. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their official duties are likewise in the public domain. Copyright interest in any other writings in these files is assumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Carol Briley (1981); Cynthia G. Edwards and David Clark (2000).
The Naval Aide to the President Files date from 1945 to 1953. After the White House Map Room was closed in 1946, the Naval Aide's office received the security classified and other sensitive diplomatic and military communications that had formerly been sent to the Map Room. The Naval Aide was involved in intelligence briefings for the president and conferences on urgent matters relating to the military and diplomatic fields.
During the Truman Administration, the Naval Aides to the President were James K. Vardaman, Jr. (1945-1946), Clark M. Clifford (1946), James H. Foskett (1946-1948), and Robert L. Dennison (1948-1953).
The Naval Aide to the President Files include: documents relating to the Berlin (Potsdam) Conference; communication files containing correspondence to and from the President; subject files pertaining to individual countries, topics, and organizations; copies of the War Department Intelligence Review which was a periodical that presented current intelligence developments; State Department Briefs containing summaries of confidential telegrams with foreign developments as reported by the State Department; and Naval Service Case files which pertain to military personnel.
The Berlin (Potsdam) Conference File, which is primarily arranged chronologically, contains the agenda prepared by the State Department; background information; territorial studies; discussion papers; Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendations; Combined Chiefs of Staff papers and meeting minutes; Heads of Government meeting minutes; President Truman's correspondence with Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Chiang Kai-shek, Joseph Stalin and the President of Poland; miscellaneous papers and reports; conference reports and press releases; and communications to and from the Map Room. This entire series is digitized and available online.
The Communications File, which is arranged alphabetically, contains correspondence between President Truman and individuals including Clement Attlee, Chiang Kai-Shek, Winston Churchill, Averell Harriman, Patrick Hurley, George Marshall, Joseph Stalin and John Winant.
The Subject File, which is arranged alphabetically, contains information about many aspects of U.S. Foreign policy during the Truman years. Included is material pertaining to the Council of Foreign Ministers; the surrenders of Germany and Japan; the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference of 1951; the Korean War; and the United Nations.
The War Department Intelligence Review File, which is arranged chronologically, contains copies of a periodical which presented current intelligence reflecting developments of military interest in the fields of politics, economics, sociology, technical sciences and military affairs.
The State Department Briefs File, which is arranged chronologically, contains summaries of confidential telegrams to the U.S. Department of State containing foreign developments as reported by State Department officials. This entire series is digitized and available online.
The Naval Service Case File, which is arranged alphabetically, contains correspondence, cables, memoranda and newspaper clippings with information pertaining to naval personnel including discharges, military discipline, retirement, and personnel missing in action or killed in action.
Other materials at the Truman Library which relate to this collection include the following collections: Clark M. Clifford Papers, Clark M. Clifford Files, Robert L. Dennison Papers, Robert L. Dennison Files, George M. Elsey Papers, George M. Elsey Files, James H. Foskett Papers and the Map Room File.