Andrea Sandstrom Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Sandstrom, Andrea Berglund
Andrea Sandstrom papers
Date [inclusive]
1959, 1999
0.1 Cubic feet , 1 folder

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan".

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Biographical Note

Hilaire du Berrier was born as Hal du Berrier in 1905 in Flasher, North Dakota. du Berrier worked as a commercial artist in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 then joined a flying circus. He moved to France where he took the name Hilaire. In Paris, he learned that Haile Selassie was hiring mercenary pilots to fight against the Italian occupation and in 1936 went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 1936 to 1937 he joined the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Loyalists, but was arrested as a spy for the Fascists.

He worked for the Office of Strategic Services briefly, as an informant, in Shanghai after the Japanese surrender in 1945 and as a journalist in Vietnam, where he wrote a strongly anti-communist article in American Mercury in 1958.

He died on October 12, 2002 in Monaco.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of a letter from Hilaire du Berrier, a reporter on foreign affairs, to Andrea Sandstrom and a short biography of du Berrier. In 1959 Sandstrom wrote to du Berrier as a teenager for a school paper assignment. She was inquiring whether a report he wrote about South Vietnam was true and his reasons for writing the article. Du Berrier wrote to Sandstrom his reasons for the article. He wrote about Ngo dinh Diem as the leader of Vietnam and General John O'Daniel's support of him. In the spring of 1954, General O'Daniel was appointed commander of the U.S. Military Advisory Group (MAAG), which helped with training the Vietnamese National Army.

Du Berrier was referring to events after the Franco-Viet Minh war, 1946-1954, in which France was trying to maintain control of Vietnam against the Viet Minh. At the conclusion of the war, the country was split into two halves, North and South Vietnam. South Vietnam was ruled by Ngo dinh Diem with American support. He eventually declared himself president of the Republic of Vietnam, which was recognized by the United States. In time, he began to lose support of the U.S. because of his tyrannical means of ruling. The United States supported a military coup in 1963 to overthrow him.

The biography "Hilaire du Berrier: Spy From North Dakota" by James P. Lucier is a four page description of du Berrier's life as well as a brief interview with du Berrier.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections April 2003

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Letters (correspondence)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Vietnam -- Politics and government

Personal Name(s)

  • Du Berrier, Hilaire, 1906-
  • Lucier, James P.
  • Ngo, Dinh Diem, 1901-1963
  • Sandstrom, Andrea Berglund

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Collection Inventory


Sandstrom, Andrea. Papers