UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives

Browse Items (213 total)

  • spc_nick_000558_000558.pdf

    This handwritten letter to Drew Pearson from Robert K. Bell details Colonel Nickerson's dealings with Pearson and the "Considerations on the Wilson Memorandum" that contained classified information.
  • spc_nick_000557_000557.pdf

    In this letter, Weaver writes to Lucas about concerns regarding Major Jeneral John B. Medaris. Weaver states that "according to my friends´┐ŻMedaris was a selfish, overly ambitious and ruthless man who would stop at nothing to promote his own interests."
  • spc_nick_000315_000315.pdf

    This is an extract from Special Orders Number 135 regarding Colonel John C. Nickerson, Jr.
  • spc_nick_000650_000654.pdf

    Several letters between Bell and Jenkins detail various things from their daily lives, humorous exchanges, the upcoming Tennessee-Georgia Tech football game they are gathering for, and a potential new case Jenkins has regarding workplace injuries and Bell's advice regarding the matter. Bell also includes a few updates on articles that have been published on the vindication of Colonel John Nickerson.
  • spc_nick_000649_000649.pdf

    Jenkins writes to the Browns to inform them that Robert K. Bell and his wife will be in Knoxville for the Tennessee-Georgia Tech football game and states that they must come meet the Bells. Jenkins includes two paragraphs from a previous letter from Bell to demonstrate his personality.
  • spc_nick_000647_000648.pdf

    Jenkins writes to invite Zimmer to the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game in Knoxville along with Robert K. Bell and his wife.
  • spc_nick_000642_000646.pdf

    Richardson writes to the Chief of Manpower prior to Nickerson's letter to the Chief of Manpower of July 25. Richardson states that the orders that Nickerson is not to use duty time to modify the sentence imposed upon him or for appeal is inappropriate and "perhaps illegal". He also states that Nickerson's assignment to the ABMA is unfair and, like Nickerson, requests that he be re-assigned to Redstone Arsenal "until all legal proceedings in this case are complete."
  • spc_nick_000640_000641.pdf

    Bell writes to the Nickersons who now live in Panama on a two-year assignment. Bell updates Nickerson on events that happened since the last time he wrote. He details the outrage directed towards Charles Wilson, the Secretary of Defense. He states that he is saving "pertinent clippings from several newspapers" to send to Nickerson to help provide background to the latest events. Bell writes of many people who are advocating for Nickerson's return and vindication.
  • 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.
  • spc_nick_000637_000637.pdf
  • spc_nick_000636_000636.pdf

    Medaris assumed command of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in 1955 under which Dr. Wernher von Braun and the German Rocket Team developed the Jupiter missile in 1958. On the back of the photo is written: "Medaris".
  • spc_nick_000635_000635.pdf

    This photo shows the Jupiter missile as it is prepared for launch. On the back there is a sticky note that reads: "JUPITER Pre-Launch Activities".
  • spc_nick_000634_000634.pdf
  • spc_nick_000633_000633.pdf

    Carol Nickerson was the wife of Colonel John C. Nickerson, Jr.
  • spc_nick_000632_000632.pdf

    Topics included on the front page of this newspaper include the Jupiter missile developed by the German Rocket Team and the announcement that it had circled the globe, and other various space topics.
  • spc_nick_000631_000631.pdf

    On back written in pencil: "Dr. Wernher von Braun".
  • spc_nick_000630_000630.pdf

    On back: "Key associates of vonBraun.Dr., pose with Maj. General. Medaris, J.B., immediately prior to the latters retirement from the Army in the fall of 1959.
  • spc_nick_000629_000629.pdf
  • spc_nick_000628_000628.pdf
  • spc_nick_000627_000627.pdf
  • spc_nick_000624_000626.pdf
  • spc_nick_000623_000623.pdf

    Colonel John C. Nickerson married Carol Nickerson (right). Together, they had four children. Two of his children are pictured here.
  • spc_nick_000621_000622.pdf

    Pictured in this photo is Colonel Nickerson (left), Robert K. Bell (middle, standing), and Ray H. Jenkins (right).
  • spc_nick_000620_000620.pdf

    Robert K. Bell (left) was an attorney based in Huntsville, Alabama. He would form a part of Nickerson's (right) defense counsel in 1957 along with Ray H. Jenkins, Lt. Col. Charles Zimmer, and Lt. Lewis G. Cole.
  • spc_nick_000619_000619.pdf

    Dr. Wernher von Braun was a part of the German Rocket Team that developed the Jupiter missile in 1958 under General John Bruce Medaris.
  • spc_nick_000618_000618.pdf

    Ray H. Jenkins (center) was a lawyer that, along with Robert K. Bell, Lt. Col. Charles Zimmer, and Lt. Lewis G. Cole, would make up Nickerson's defense counsel for his court martial trial. Jenkins was considered the best lawyer in East Tennessee and appeared on the cover of Time magazine on May 17, 1954 during the Army-McCarthy hearings.
  • spc_nick_000617_000617.pdf

    Medaris assumed command of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in 1955 under which Dr. Wernher von Braun and the German Rocket Team developed the Jupiter missile in 1958.
  • spc_nick_000616_000616.pdf

    Colonel John C. Nickerson was accused of leaking classified information after expressing anger when the missile and rocket program was transferred from the Army to the Air Force. He was tried by court martial, fined $1,500, and exiled to Panama for two years. A few years later on March 1, 1964, Nickerson and his wife, Carol, died in a car accident in New Mexico.
  • spc_nick_000611_000615.pdf

    This article, "Army 'Leak' Probe Agitates Redstone", published in the February 1957 issue, details secret information that went public in 1957 through Drew Pearson. The "leak" concerns the "Wilson Memorandum" that transfers the Army's role to the Air Force in the development and control of guided and ballistic missiles and rockets. The leak is traced back to Colonel John C. Nickerson, Jr. The article states that the "prevailing opinion is that Col. Nickerson is being made a scapegoat by persons very high up in the Army." The article further details the events that led to the court martial of Colonel Nickerson.
  • spc_nick_000610_000610.pdf

    Bowman writes to Pfeifer about a "two-pager" that he wrote, detailing its contents. He also includes several other of his resume highlights including four novels, playscripts, and other things he has written. Bowman also includes that he is the president of the Tallulah Bankhead Society, a society that honors and celebrates a 1930s actress from Alabama. Bowman is appealing to Pfeifer, a creative film manager, about his recent work on the Nickerson case.
  • spc_nick_000609_000609.pdf

    This is a copy of an index that contains entries related to Colonel John C. Nickerson, Jr. and his court martial. The index contains entries that are found in the Army Navy Register and the Army Navy Journal.
  • spc_nick_000603_000608.pdf

    A conversation between Lieutenant General Austin W. Betts, Colonel Henk, and Colonel Wahle, published as a part fo the US Army Military History Research Collection. This conversation details the "Army versus the Air Force difficulties in the late '50's" during the transfer of the missile and space program. This program switch was the basis of the case United States v. Colonel John C. Nickerson, Jr. as Nickerson was in charge of the program. This document contain only the portion relative to Colonel Nickerson.
  • spc_nick_000598_000602.pdf

    A project of the U.S. Army Military History Institute, this contains the interview of Dr. John L. McDaniel by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph W. Camp, Jr. from 1985. The interview is about the US Army's first satellite into space. McDaniel brings up the case of Colonel Nickerson relative to the interview. This document contains only the portion of the interview that mentions Colonel Nickerson.
  • spc_nick_000587_000597.pdf

    Bowman writes to the U.S. Army Judiciary Clerk of Court Office to request a copy of the transcript of the Nickerson court martial proceedings. Mary B. Dennis, Deputy Clerk of Court responds that a large portion is classified and asks if he wants that material reviewed towards declassification though it would be a lengthy process. She also guides him towards other "publicably available documents" regarding the case. The following letters from Dennis regards the review of the classified transcripts of the Nickerson case and more details about the record of the trial. Bowman's second letter includes a check to pay for the transcripts and the review of the classified material. Dennis writes several more letters regarding more classified prosection exhibits and that Bowman's request to review the classified material has been denied. The final letter is the memo that states that the review has been denied from Deputy Director Robert J. Monahan.
  • spc_nick_000578_000586.pdf

    These letters to David Bowman, reporter and editorial writer, all pertain to Bowman's story about Colonel John Nickerson. The first letter includes foot notes and states that he sent a copy of the story to a Washington Post writer. The second letter contains additional information relating to the missile program that may be helpful for the story and a diagram of the original prototype for the Explorer I earth satellite. This set of letters also includes the original letter from David Bowman to Brig. Gen. Harold W. Nelson in which Bowman states he finally photocopied the published transcripts of Colonel Nickerson's court martial. Nelson's reponse follows thanking Bowman for sending the series on Colonel Nickerson. The final letter from Colonel Thomas W. Sweeney includes a working bibliography on the Nickerson case and invites him to visit the Military History Institute.
  • spc_nick_000571_000574.pdf

    This statement insists the charges and specifications against Colonel Nickerson "greatly enlarge on any activities or indiscretion that the Colonel might possibly have committed." The counsel states the Nickerson was simply acting out of enthusiasm to serve the Army. It states that Colonel Charles Zimmer and 1st Lt. Lewis Cole have been assigned to Nickerson's defense.
  • spc_nick_000569_000570.pdf

    Webster writes saying he thinks Wilson does a good job running the nation's defense system and because of that, Webster asks Wilson to evaluate Nickerson's performance of duty and would feel "thoroughly disillusioned to see such a 1st class officer sacked."
  • spc_nick_000566_000568.pdf

    Webster sends three copies of the same letter to Congressman Frederic Coudert, Jr., Senator Irving M. Ives, and Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker, asking them to take "an immediate active interest in the pending army court martial" of Colonel John C. Nickerson. He testifies to Nickerson's character and his value to the national defense system.
  • spc_nick_000565_000565.pdf

    Nichols writes regarding a letter he received from Lt. Col. Barry that may be of some interest to Bell and the Nickerson case.
  • spc_nick_000563_000564.pdf

    Alverson writes to Waugh to submit a question to the asked at the next presidential press conference along with a follow-up question. The question regards the President's opinion on the missile program and Colonel Nickerson's actions. Waugh responds that the Washington bureau will do what it can to get her questions answered.
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