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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Oct 20, 2019

In this short episode, Colin provides a brief overview of the General Sam V. Wilson Papers project, which he is working on at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Sam Wilson was a native of Rice, Virginia, and a veteran of the Burma campaign during World War II. The American offensive in Burma became the basis for the book and film Merrill's Marauders. Wilson survived that brutal campaign, and after the war, he learned Russian and went into intelligence. Years before people knew where Vietnam was, Wilson studied counter-insurgency, which became a doctrine for the U.S. military in Southeast Asia and beyond.

After serving in Vietnam, Wilson returned to intelligence work, living in the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. He retired from the military in 1977 and later became the president of Hampden-Sydney College. General Wilson died in 2017. The Wilson papers processing project began in July of 2019 and is funded for two years.