CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

Directors of Central Intelligence

Souers, Vandenberg, and Hillenkoetter

Included here:

1. General

2. Sidney W. Souers

3. Hoyt Vandenberg

4. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter 

1. General

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Intelligence, Policy, and Politics: The DCI, the White House, and Congress, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/historical-collection-publications/intel-policy-and-politics/index.html.

"[O]ver 800 recently declassified documents[,]... covering 1946 to 1953, focus on the activities of the first four DCIs: Sidney W. Souers, Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter and Walter B. Smith, and include office logs, memorandums, reports and various correspondence from each DCI's tenure."

2. Sidney W. Souers (1892-1973) - DCI/CIG, 23 Jan.-10 Jun. 1946

Materials regarding Admiral Souers' tenure as DCI are compiled in U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, eds., C. Thomas Thorne, Jr., and David S. Patterson, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950 -- Truman Series: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, DC: GPO, 1996): "Introduction" and documents 137 through 154. These materials can be accessed electronically at http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/intel/index.html, and at http://secretary.state.gov/www/briefings/statements/doclist971024a.html. There is a brief biography at http://home.sandiego.edu/~cgravell/dci/dci.html.

Sale, Sara L. "Admiral Sidney W. Souers and President Truman." Missouri Historical Review 86, no. 1 (Oct. 1991): 55-71.

3. Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg (1899-1954) - DCI/CIG, 10 Jun. 1946-1 May 1947

Materials regarding General Vandenberg's tenure as DCI are compiled in U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, eds., C. Thomas Thorne, Jr., and David S. Patterson, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950 -- Truman Series: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, DC: GPO, 1996): "Introduction" and documents 155 through 195. These materials can be accessed electronically at http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/intel/index.html, and at http://secretary.state.gov/www/briefings/statements/doclist971024a.html.

General Vandenberg's official Air Force biography is available at http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7455. There is a brief biography at http://home.sandiego.edu/~cgravell/dci/dci.html. A bibliography of materials focused on General Vandenberg's Air Force career is located at http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/great/vanden.htm.

General Vandenberg's obituary appears at "General Vandenberg Dies at 55," New York Times, 3 Apr. 1954, 1.

Christensen, Charles R. "An Assessment of General Hoyt S. Vandenberg's Accomplishments as Director of Central Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1996): 754-764.

The author suggests that Vandenberg's accomplishments as DCI have been overlooked. He argues that Vandenberg's "legacy as DCI remains that of a visionary" who "played a pivotal role in establishing ... an independent agency to manage America's postwar intelligence establishment."

Meilinger, Philip S. Hoyt S. Vandenberg: The Life of a General. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1989.

Newsweek. Editors. "Spy Master." 22 Jul. 1946, 34.

Christensen, I&NS 11.4/763/fn. 13, suggests that this article is indicative of the "high regard most newsmen held of [Hoyt] Vandenberg's personality and ability."

 

4. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter (1897-1982) - DCI/CIG, 1 May 1947-29 Aug. 1947; DCI/CIA, 29 Aug. 1947-7 Oct. 1950

Materials regarding Admiral Hillenkoetter's tenure as DCI are compiled in U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, eds., C. Thomas Thorne, Jr., and David S. Patterson, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950 -- Truman Series: Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment (Washington, DC: GPO, 1996): "Introduction" and documents 317 through 421. These materials can be accessed electronically at http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/intel/index.html, and at http://secretary.state.gov/www/briefings/statements/doclist971024a.html. There is a brief biography at http://home.sandiego.edu/~cgravell/dci/dci.html.

See also, David M. Barrett, The CIA and Congress: The Untold Story from Truman to Kennedy (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005).

Barrett, David M. "A New Intelligence Director's Diary: President Truman, a Young JFK, Ho Chi Minh's 'Beheading,' and Other Challenges." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 3 (Jun. 2007): 380-383.

Notes from a work diary (with entries made by an aide) of Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, who headed the CIG and then was DCI.

Darling, Arthur B. The Central Intelligence Agency: An Instrument of Government, to 1950. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1990.

Clark comment: Pforzheimer's refusal to recommend this book [review appeared on http://www.cloakanddagger.com/dagger/ciabib.txt (not found on 8/16/09)], because "it really doesn't measure up to a desired standard," is an assessment that seems overly harsh given the broad utility of Darling's work.

According to Surveillant 1.2, Darling's history of CIA, released to the National Archives in November 1989, "describes how the State Department, FBI and armed services hampered the CIA in its infancy by bickering about authority over covert activities and other operations. Written in 1953, the history was deemed 'controversial' and fell into disfavor with DCI Dulles, who limited access to it."

Theoharis, AHR, Apr. 1993, notes that Darling's account is "[f]ar more detailed and comprehensive than the reports published in 1976 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities." This work is "a major contribution to the literature on the origins and evolution of the CIA. It is not, however, the definitive history, and its value to specialists is limited by its research base and partisanship." Lowenthal says this "somewhat dry bureaucratic history" is enhanced by an "interesting discussion of the role and function of intelligence."

For Grose, FA 70.2 (Mar.-Apr. 1991), the Darling history is an "authoritative account of the bureaucratic struggles that led in 1947 to the establishment of the CIA, and the ensuing battles for turf among the military services, the State Department and the controversial new agency." MacPherson, I&NS 10.2, comments on the "rather dense and sometimes confusingly structured text," and notes that "[t]he authority and autonomy of the first three DCIs ... remained restricted by outside opposition and obstruction." The Dulles-Jackson-Correa review was presented by Darling as essentially hostile to the concept of a centralized intelligence system.

Thomas Powers, NYRB (13 May 1993) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 295-320, sees Darling providing "a thorough account of the founding of the Office of Policy Coordination, the CIA's covert arm, whose chief was to be named by the Secretary of State and approved by the National Security Council, so long as he was 'acceptable' to the Director of Central Intelligence."

Return to DCIs Table of Contents