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Interview with John Sylvester Jr.

Item Number: OH0410
 Oral History
[This Item may contain objectionable materials.]
Number of Pages
Digital Object Type
Oral History
Laura M. Calkins, PhD
Physical Location


  • Existence: 19 July 2004

General Note / OCR

(Civilian) John Sylvester Jr. was born in Newport RI in 1930, and graduated from Williams College in 1952. He enlisted in the US Army and served in Korea before attending Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, earning a BS in 1955. John joined the US Foreign Service in 1955, and was posted to Yokohama, Japan. He studied Japanese in Tokyo and was assigned to the US Embassy, Tokyo (1960-62), and was also US Consul at Sapporo (1963-65). At the State Department (1965-7) John worked on Japan and Thailand, and served on Robert Komer's staff at the White House. He then studied Vietnamese, and arrived in Vietnam in August 1968 as an adviser in Chau Doc and Kien Giang. In 1969-70 John was Provincial Senior Adviser in Binh Long province, and 1970-72 he was Chief, Internal Political Affairs Unit, US Embassy Saigon. John's later career included assignments as US Consul General, Okinawa (1973-76) and work in the State Department' s Office of Research and Analysis, East Asia (1976-78) and as Assistant Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1978-80). John retired from the Foreign Service in 1980, and became the founding director of the Japan Center at North Carolina State University (1981-95).

Pub Credit Line
OH0410, Mr. John Sylvester Jr. Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University

Added: 25 Jan 2005 [Updated: 24 Jul 2009]