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Andrea Sandstrom papers

Identifier: c-00566

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1959, 1999


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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]


0.1 Cubic Feet (, 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University

Andrea Sandstrom Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
S. Roberts
April 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US