MS-024: The Papers of the Major General Charles A. Willoughby

(13 boxes, 3.51 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1945-1974

Bulk Dates: 1949-1952

Processed by Jaclyn Campbell

July 2001

Link to Full Finding Aide - PDF

Provenance: Donated by Major General Willoughby, 1945-1974. Some papers were donated posthumously by Mrs. Willoughby and Mr. William J. Sebald, executor of Willoughby’s estate, according to Willoughby’s wishes prior to his death in 1972.


Major General Charles Andre Willoughby was born as Adolph C. Weidenbach in Heidelberg, Germany, March 8, 1892 to Baron T. von Tscheppe-Weidenbach of Baden, Germany, and Emmy Willoughby of Baltimore, Maryland.  He attended several schools in both Germany and France, learning German, French, and Spanish, before moving to the United States to be with relatives in 1910.  Willoughby enlisted in the Regular Army and was a private, corporal, and sergeant between 1910 and 1913, when he entered Gettysburg College.  While at Gettysburg, he founded the college’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).  He graduated in 1914 and received his commission as Major in May of that year.  Willoughby later pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Kansas, although he never completed this degree, due to his active duty in World War I.  

In August 1916, Willoughby accepted a Regular Army Commission and, while waiting for his appointment, taught at the Howe School in Indiana and Racine College in Wisconsin in the modern language departments. 

During his military tenure, Willoughby served the 16th, 35th, 24th, and 65th Regiments of the Infantry and the First Division of American Expeditionary Force, as well as the Air Service in 1918 and 1919.  In 1918, he commanded the Aviation Instruction Center at Chatereauroux, France and was the military attaché for United States legislations to Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador from 1923-1927.

He served as General MacArthur’s Chief of Intelligence from 1940-1951 and participated in active duty in Manila during World War II. 

Willoughby was highly decorated in the United States, France, Italy, Britain, Venezuela, and Ecuador.  Among his medals are: the Silver Star for gallantry in action on Bataan, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Oak Leaf Cluster, the Medal of Honor by the French government, the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus by Italy, the Order of Abdon-Calderon by Ecuador, the Order of the Liberator by Venezuela, and the Order of British Empire by Britain.  During the course of his career, he served in many areas, both foreign and domestic. 

In May 1923 he married Juana Manuella Rodriguez in San Juan, Puerto Rico and had one daughter, Olga, born December 24, 1925. 

Willoughby authored several books, including The Economic and Military Participation of the United States in the World War (World War I) and MacArthur 1941-1951. 

He retired from service September 1, 1952, later moved to New York where he supported Anti-Communist movements and organizations.  He finally moved to Naples, Florida, where he died October 25, 1972 at the age of 80.

Series Description:

The Willoughby Collection is arranged into ten series: Series I: Personal Papers, Series II: South America, Series III: Other Army Papers, Series IV: Asia, Series V: Sorge Espionage Case, Series VI: Clippings, Series VII: Photographs, Series VIII: Correspondence, Series IX: Manuscripts and Publications, and Series X: Collection Correspondence.

Scope and Content Notes:

Additional information on Willoughby can be obtained by searching under “Willoughby” in Musselman Library’s catalog.

Series I contains a biography of Willoughby, several speeches and addresses he gave, and a folder of local honors for Major General Willoughby. 

Series II contains typescripts, written in Spanish, of radio programs from 1951 and 1952, concerning various South American countries and their economic relations with the United States.   

Series III contains Army papers not related to Asia or South America.  This series includes footlocker contents of Willoughby, Why Stalin Tricked the United States Into Pressing China to Sign the 30 Year Treaty with Soviet Russia (1945): An Analysis and Prediction, Soviet Prisoner of War Reports, Information on South Moluccas, and “Command and Staff Leadership for the National Police Reserve”.

Series IV contains materials from the Korean War and fighting in the Southwest Pacific during World War II as well as papers concerning Japan’s emperor and his decisions during World War II.   

Series V contains published documents and House documents regarding this case.  Also known as the “Shanghai Conspiracy”, the Sorge Espionage Case involved two supposed Communist spies, Richard Sorge and Agnes Smedley.  Sorge confessed and was executed in 1944 for his actions but Smedley denied all charges.  Despite having the charges against her proven to be unfounded, she relocated to England, where she died at the age of 53 in 1950.  She was known as a friend to the Chinese. 

Series VI consists of newspaper clippings, both foreign and domestic, from the World War II and Korean Conflict eras regarding Communism, the wars, and Willoughby. 

Series VII consists of a photo album of shots of Tokyo, loose photos of MacArthur and World War II, personal photos, and a photo of Olga Willoughby. 

Series VIII consists of various correspondence of Willoughby spanning the time period from World War II through 1952.  Some correspondences are written in foreign languages such as German, French, and Spanish.  Most of the correspondence pertains to Willoughby’s time as Chief of Intelligence and is military in nature.  There is also correspondence from publishers regarding Willoughby’s published works.  This series includes correspondence from both J. Edgar and Herbert Hoover as well as Senator Joseph McCarthy, some of which regards the Sorge Espionage Case. 

Series IX includes three copies of MacArthur 1941-1951 written in Japanese; April, May, and June 1952 issues of Reader’s Digest published in French, English, Spanish, Danish, and German; a report before the United States Senate dated April 30, 1958 regarding an “assessment of the current situation with respect to Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, and other countries of the Far East”; manuscripts for MacArthur 1941-1951; “The Character of Military Intelligence”; “Die Russiche Emigration”; and “The Return of MacArthur”.

Series X includes correspondence from and to Gettysburg College regarding this collection, both in its acquisition, as well as requests for viewing it.  Also included are listings of the processed collection of MacArthur, which includes Willoughby papers, at other institutions.

Link to Full Finding Aide - PDF

Reading Room Hours

When Classes are in session:
M, Th, F : 1 - 5 PM
T, W : 1 - 5 and 6 - 9 PM
Other times by appointment

Ask an Archivist

Special Collections

Musselman Library
Fourth Floor
Gettysburg College Box 420
Gettysburg, PA 17325

717-337-7002 ~ Director
717-337-7006 ~ College Archivist
717-337-7014 ~ General Inquiries