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Inventory of the William Rudolph Gruber papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Arrangement Statement
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Related Collection(s)
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: William Rudolph Gruber papers
    Date (inclusive): 1911-1978
    Collection Number: 82110
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder (map case). (6.9 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, orders, reports, memoranda, writings, certificates, and photographs relating to American military administration of the Panama Canal and, to American military operations in France during World War I and in various geographic areas such China-Burma-India Theater, the Philippine Islands and American military bases Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter (Hawaii) in World War II.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Gruber, William Rudolph, 1890-1980.


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copiesof audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Rudolph Gruber papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1982.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Arrangement Statement

    This collection is divided by Gruber's involvement in the military and his post military career because the volume of materials. The arrangement follows the original keeping strict choronological order in which files were originally bound with the later dates on top and earlier dates at the bottom.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    William Rudolph Gruber was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 17, 1890 and was brother to Edmund Louis Gruber who was also in the United States Army's Field Artillery command before him.
    Gruber rose up the ranks in the U.S. Field Artillery command garnering French war decorations such as The Croix de Guerre with Palm and Fourragere in World War I. Gruber's United States Army decorations include Distinguished Service Cross along with the Silver Star (with Third Oak Leaf Clusters).
    He married Helen L. Drennan in 1919 and graduated from the Command and General Staff School in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas with honors in 1925. He then went on to the Army War College in Washington D.C. and then on to the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island in 1936. Career highlights include military analysis on the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor in 1938 and the future of international relationships with the United States before the Cold War Era.
    Between the wars, William Gruber served as Assistant to the United States War Secretary three times on the affairs of the Panama Canal, Panama Canal Company, the Inland Waterways Corporation, and various negotiations on treaty with Panama.
    In World War II, Gruber led various campaigns in Burma under General Joseph Warren Stilwell. He provided Stilwell with intelligence and communications in liaisons with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and drafted reports on the military readiness of China and India. Maintaining command in other areas where his administrative and strategic skills could be used, he went on to the Philippines and was awarded his third Silver Star.
    In 1940, Gruber led the construction of army housing in Hawaii and the project was completed in a timely manner.
    After the wars, Gruber stayed in touch with the prominent people who he became acquainted with. From the 1950s to the 1970s, William Rudolph Gruber was asked to collaborate on World War II historical materials and wrote some articles for the Monterrey Peninsula Herald. He died January 27, 1979 in Carmel, California.
    Below is a summary list of his assignments and commands:
    -Brigadier General, United States Army
    -Commanding Officer, Artillery 24th Division, S.W. Pacific, New Guinea and Philippine operations, 1944-1945.
    -Commanding Officer, Artillery 38th Division, 1942-1944, China-Burma-India Theater
    -Commanding Officer, 26th Field Artillery (FA) Brigade, Camp Roberts, California, 1941.
    -Chief of Staff, Hawaiian Division
    -Assistant to the United States War Secretary under George H. Dern, 1933-1937.
    -Director, Panama R.R. & S.S. Company, 1930-1938
    -Commanding Officer, 36th FA, 1936-1938
    -Battalion and Regiment Commander, 17th FA, 2nd Division, Soissons, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Champagne and Meuse-Argonne operations, WWI, 1918.
    -Panama, 1913-1917
    (Source: Marquis Biographies Online. Who Was Who in America. URL: http://search.marquiswhoswho.com/profile/200010813094. Accessed: November 26, 2014)

    Related Collection(s)

    Papers of William R. Gruber, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
    Claire Lee Chennault papers 1941-1967, Hoover Institution Archives
    John Richard Shaffer papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Joseph Warren Stilwell papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Ralph Corbett Smith papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Raymond Ames Spruance miscellaneous papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Scope and Content of Collection

    William Rudolph Gruber's materials contain military analysis, correspondences to and from notable figures during the span of his over 60 year career culminating as Brigadier General in the United States Army. Correspondences between presidents, Eisenhower, Truman, Henry Hoover and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek are included.
    Gruber kept records of his involvement in the Panama Canal Company and the area disputes at the time. In his writing career, Gruber wrote letters to the editor for various publications and authored articles, reflecting on the retired general's military operations such as analysis of post-World War II to the Vietnam War era.
    The annotated war period military maps and civilian maps of Panama and Asia are comprised of collected data in the field used for military analysis and civilian reports. The military maps are strategic in nature and depict advancement of troop movement. Rounding out the collection are supplementary materials published by the United States Army's Historical Division, newspaper clippings, reports and manuscripts Gruber wrote.
    Photographs relating to the Panama Canal from 1911--particularly, Franklin D. Roosevelt's visits to the Panama Canal Zone in 1934 are included in addition to, World War I battle photos and portraits of figures such as General Douglas MacArthur and Chiang Kai-shek.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chiang, Kai-shek, 1887-1975--Pictorial works.
    Chiang, Kai-shek, 1887-1975.
    MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.
    Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
    Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919--Pictorial works.
    Stilwell, Joseph Warren, 1883-1946.
    United States. Army--Officers.
    Army War College (United States)
    Panama Canal.
    Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941.
    United States--Armed Forces--Hawaii.
    United States--Armed Forces--Panama.
    United States. Army--Officers.
    World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns--France.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Burma.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--China-Burma-India Theater
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--China.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Ocean.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Philippines.