UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives

Browse Items (9 total)

  • spc_nick_000316_000319.pdf

    To clarify his intentions of the actions he took that led him to be court-martial, John C. Nickerson, Jr. writes a detailed document outlining three points. This set of documents includes two drafts of his message.
  • spc_nick_000305_000311.pdf

    Brownlow writes to give Nickerson the name of someone that would be interested in his case, Ray Jenkins, who would eventually join Nickerson's defense counsel with Robert K. Bell, along with two others. Nickerson responds, thanking Brownlow for the information. He expresses concern over financially securing Jenkins for his defense but hopes that Brownlow could still arrange a meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. The third letter is a rough draft of Nickerson's response. Brownlow's second letter responds that she was able to get in touch with Ray Jenkins and left him with materials to read on Nickerson's case. Brownlow states she would get back to Nickerson as soon as he says "yes".
  • spc_nick_000548_000552.pdf

    Nickerson writes in reponse to the Bells' letter of November 26. Nickerson writes from his new location in Panama after he was sent there following his court-martial. He details life there and various aspects of his positions. He expresses that he wishes the Bells would visit. In his postscript, Nickerson explains why he has not written for so long.
  • nickerson_to_pickering.pdf

    In this letter, Nickerson thanks Gen. Pickering for his support and explains why he believes the Army is the best service branch to develop ballistic missiles. He also discusses the need for missiles in case of war with the Soviet Union. Nickerson was a staff officer at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal assigned to work on the Jupiter, the United States' first mid-range ballistic missile. He was arrested and court martialed for espionage in 1957 after releasing sensitive documents about the United States missile program to the press. At the time, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson granted the Air Force sole authority to develop intermediate range ballistic missile systems. Nickerson disagreed with this policy, and in response, leaked documents that demonstrated the superiority of Army missiles compared to those developed by the Air Force. He eventually pled guilty to lesser charges and was suspended from the Army for one year and was fined $1,500. Dr. Wernher von Braun was among those who testified on Nickerson's behalf.
  • spc_nick_000312_000312.pdf

    In response to Grosse's letter to Dr. Wernher von Braun that had been sent to him, Nickerson thanks him for his offer of assistance in the case and asks if he would consent to appearing as a witness.
  • spc_nick_000043_000044.pdf

    Nickerson thanks Pickering for the letters of support sent to his defense counsel. He also discusses ballistic surface-to-surface missiles and "scientific progress". He ends by requesting a deposition as Pickering will be in Europe in May, when the trial is scheduled to happen.
  • spc_nick_000313_000313.pdf

    This letter states that Nickerson sent two letters and a statement concerning member of the Court. However, this is the only letter in the collection.
  • spc_nick_000559_000560.pdf

    Nickerson writes to Bell about Bell's upcoming trip to Panama in May, 1958. He offers advice for travelling to Panama and various things to expect. He also asks Bell to type the enclosed letter to journalist Drew Pearson, and he called Nickerson asking for the trial record.
  • spc_nick_000638_00639.pdf

    Nickerson writes to the Chief of Manpower requesting a re-assignment on a temporary basis following his recent trial by court-martial at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Nickerson reported back to duty on July 11, 1957 and writes that his newly assigned duties are "of relatively no importance to the Army of to ABMA." Nickerson requests a new assignment that allows him back at Redstone Arsenal.
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