Scope and Content Note
The materials in this collection date from 1942 to 1997, but the bulk of the materials are dated between 1943-1945 or 1996. The collection consists of three series: Memoirs, ASTP Course Materials and Intelligence and Education (I & E) Materials. The Memoirs series (July 1996) consists of 31 handwritten memoirs of Gordeuk's experiences in the US Army in World War II in the United States and Europe and a letter from Gordeuk to Dr. G. Kurt Piehler. The ASTP Notebooks series (1942-1944) consists of two bound notebooks of printed lectures, published materials and handwritten notes, publications, a page of notes dated 1986 and a letter dated April 10, 1997. The Intelligence and Education (I & E) Materials series (1944-1945) consists of several dozen US Army publications and reports and Gordeuk's course preparation notes.
0.8 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes)
Language of Materials
The collections consists of memoirs, Army Specialized Training Program course materials and Intelligence and Education materials concerning Alexander Gordeuk's service in the US Army during World War II.
Alexander Gordeuk was born in Frenchtown, New Jersey, on September 11, 1920. His parents emigrated from the Russian Empire (present day Belarus) and raised Alexander and his ten siblings on a farm in Frenchtown. The Gordeuks struggled to support themselves during the Great Depression; as young Alexander helped his family tend to the farm, he cultivated an interest in agriculture.
After graduating from Frenchtown High School in 1937, Gordeuk was awarded a New Jersey State Scholarship, which he used to pay for his education at Rutgers University. Originally an engineering major, Alexander quickly transferred to the College of Agriculture. He also worked part-time at the college, including a National Youth Administration job. Gordeuk graduated from Rutgers University in 1941 with a BS in Veterinary Medicine.
When the United States entered the Second World War, Gordeuk was working on a poultry farm near Woodbury, New Jersey. He decided to enlist in the US Army after reading an article on the need for men with experience with agricultural equipment mechanics. After being inducted at Fort Dix, Gordeuk trained at the maintenance school at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He was subsequently stationed at Fort Ord, California, with the 135th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion.
Gordeuk entered the Army Specialized Training Program in 1943. He was sent to the University of California at Berkeley to study European politics and history, specializing in the Balkans, and learn Serbo-Croatian. Gordeuk and his fellow cadets were told that they would be commissioned and sent to aid Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia at the completion of the program. At Berkeley, his instructors included former European heads of state and political leaders. In March 1944, the ASTP was abruptly discontinued and Gordeuk was sent to the 13th Armored Division at Camp Bowie, Texas, as a replacement.
The 13th Armored Division landed in Le Havre, France, in January 1945, participated in the drive on the German heartland and served as part of the Army of Occupation after V-E Day. Gordeuk served as the Information and Education officer (non-commissioned) for his unit. In this capacity, he kept his fellow soldiers abreast of the rules of warfare, military policy during the occupation and world events.
Gordeuk was discharged from the US Army on January 17, 1945. Gordeuk resumed his career in agriculture as the editor of two national poultry trade magazines, sales and marketing manager for several agricultural firms, an executive at Merck & Company, Inc., and a real estate agent.
The collection is arranged into twelve folders, housed in two manuscript boxes.
- I. Memoirs, July 1996
- II. ASTP Course Materials, 1942-1944
- III. Intelligence and Education (I & E) Materials, 1944-1945
- Guide to the Alexander Gordeuk Papers, 1942-1996 R-MC 077
- Unverified Full Draft
- Shaun Illingworth
- May 2004
- Language of description note
- Finding aid is written in English.
Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository
Rutgers University Libraries
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