Brigadier General William A. Bloomer Collection
NA2003.0001

Summary Information

Repository
Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Creator
Bloomer, William Arthur "Art", Brigadier General, 1933 -
Title
Brigadier General William A. Bloomer Collection
ID
NA2003.0001
Date
1951-1991
Extent
8.0 Cubic feet 14 boxes
Language
English

Preferred Citation note

Brigadier General William A. Bloomer Collection, NA2003.0001, Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

William A. “Art” Bloomer was born on January 23, 1933, in Bellaire, Kansas, to James Charles Bloomer and Netty Alice Baker Bloomer. Art Bloomer graduated from Lebanon High School in 1951 and enrolled in Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia that year. While in college in Emporia, Bloomer majored in mathematics and physics. He was a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity, and was a varsity letterman in the K-Club for four years in both football and basketball. Bloomer’s military career started while he was in college with service in the Kansas National Guard beginning October 24, 1951. However, he received a draft notice for active duty service in 1953. In order to avoid leaving college, Bloomer signed up for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Platoon Leaders Class, a commissioning program which would allow him to do his Marine Corps training in the summer and finish college. Because he entered the program later in college than usual, rather than two six-week training sessions in two different summers, Bloomer was scheduled for all twelve weeks of training in the summer of 1954, between his junior and senior years of college. Bloomer married Sharon Sue Vernon on May 30, 1954, just two weeks before leaving for his Marine Corps training. Bloomer received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in June of 1955, although he did not actually graduate from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia until the end of the summer semester. The Bloomers’ daughter Leigh Anne was born in August 1955. Bloomer’s active duty military career began in September 1955 when he was stationed in Quantico, Virginia, for Basic School, the Marine Corps’ training program for all newly commissioned officers. In 1956 he was stationed at Marine Corps Air Facility (MCAF) Santa Ana, California. The Bloomers’ son Jeffry was born in 1957. Bloomer received a regular commission in 1957, and in July of that year he was transferred to Pensacola, Florida, for naval flight training. After completing advanced flight training in Kingsville, Texas, Bloomer became a flight instructor in 1958. The Bloomers’ daughter Brenda was born in 1958. Bloomer was promoted to Captain in December 1959. In 1960 Bloomer was a reconnaissance squadron pilot based in El Toro, California. His squadron was deployed overseas and was based in Iwakuni, Japan, for 13 months. He returned to California in November 1962. In 1965 he began Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, and became a project test pilot in 1966. Bloomer was promoted to Major in June 1966. From April of 1968 to May of 1969 Bloomer served with Marine Reconnaissance Squadron 1 in combat operations based out of DaNang, Vietnam. During that time he flew 330 combat missions, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V,” and 17 air medals. In May of 1969 Bloomer began an assignment to study management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He completed his Master of Science degree in management in August 1970. His next assignment was at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where he became commanding officer of the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron based there. Bloomer was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1971. During his assignment in Hawaii Bloomer also taught management courses as an adjunct professor for the University of Southern California. In 1973 Bloomer was selected for studies at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. After completing his studies in 1974 he was assigned to be commanding officer of Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 1 based in Iwakuni, Japan. In April 1975, Bloomer’s squadron was aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway for Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. In July 1975 Bloomer’s participation in training exercises with the Taiwanese Air Force was recognized by the award of pilot wings and the Kuang Hua Medal. Following the 1975 deployment, Marine Reconnaissance Squadron 1 was decommissioned, and Bloomer’s next assignment was as a member of an Advanced Amphibious Study Group in Quantico, Virginia, in September 1975. In June 1976, Bloomer was promoted to Colonel, and began an assignment as Special Assistant and Marine Corps Aide to the Secretary of the Navy in Washington, D.C. Bloomer served with two Secretaries under two different presidential administrations: first with J. William Middendorf II until 1977, and then with W. Graham Claytor, Jr., from 1977 to 1979. In July 1979, Bloomer began his assignment as Assistant Chief of Staff (G-3) for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and moved up to Chief of Staff in June 1980. In April 1981, Bloomer was promoted to Brigadier General and served as Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. In August 1983, Bloomer was stationed in El Toro, California, as Assistant Wing Commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. In February 1984, he became Commanding General of the 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade. In July 1984, Bloomer became the Commander of Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area, and Commanding General of Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. In 1985 Emporia State University Alumni Association named Bloomer a Distinguished Alumnus. Bloomer retired from the Marine Corps in June 1986. Following his retirement from the Marines in 1986, Bloomer became an executive for American Protective Services, a private security company in California. While working in California, Bloomer also entered local politics. He was appointed a public safety commissioner by the mayor of Irvine. Bloomer ran for office for the Irvine City Council in 1988, but he was defeated in that election. He worked as finance commissioner for an Irvine City Council member from 1988 to 1990. In June 1990, Bloomer was elected to the Irvine City Council. In 1993 he resigned from the Irvine City Council in order to continue his primary job with American Protective Services, moving to Virginia to oversee the eastern region of the company’s expanding business. Bloomer left the security business in 2000 and in 2001 he moved back to California to take a job as executive director of the Orange County Regional Airport Authority, which was trying to establish a regional airport at the former air base at El Toro, which the Marine Corps had closed in 1999. Bloomer worked for the Airport Authority until June 2002. Soon after that he became chief executive officer of Integrated Data Corporation, a computer software development company doing defense contracting work. In August 2002, Bloomer began serving as a trustee on the Phi Sigma Kappa Foundation, which is made up of the merger of the former Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity that Bloomer had been in as a college student in Emporia, and the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. In 2003 Bloomer was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Emporia State University Foundation. Since 2004 Bloomer has resided in Wichita, Kansas.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection includes Bloomer’s official military personnel records, including such items as academic transcripts, medical records, copies of orders, travel vouchers, flight training and qualification records, letters of promotion, citations for military awards, and other papers documenting Bloomer’s military career. Other items include an award from the Emporia State University Alumni Association, brochures, certificates, diplomas, event papers, invitations, letters, nametags, a NATOPS Pilot’s Checklist, news clippings, papers, photographs, programs, and souvenirs documenting Bloomer’s military and civilian activities. Bloomer’s participation in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon in April 1975, is documented in a letter to his wife and personal photographs taken aboard the U.S.S. Midway. Several papers and photographs document Bloomer’s service as Marine Corps Aide to the Secretary of the Navy under both Middendorf and Claytor. There are two Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia K-Club letter sweaters, two K-Club letter jackets, and a K-Club blanket awarded to Bloomer for receiving a varsity letter in football and basketball for four years each. The number of years of K-Club membership is designated by stripes on the sleeve of the sweaters, and by stripes on the letter on the jackets. There are indoor and outdoor brigadier general’s flags. Bloomer’s United States Marine Corps Service “C” uniform from his last day of active duty includes the green trousers, khaki web belt, khaki shirt with ribbons and insignia, and green garrison cap. Other uniform items in the collection are a gold and scarlet service uniform fourragere and a gold dress uniform aiguillette. Other military clothing includes a flight suit, a nylon flight jacket with a tool that was in the shoulder pocket of the jacket, and a leather flight jacket with a name patch from the pocket of the jacket. There is a flight bag containing a helicopter flight helmet, a helmet liner, a pair of flight gloves, two pairs of ear plugs, and a wrapper from a pair of ear plugs. Another flight bag contains an airplane flight helmet, two helmet liners, and a pair of flight gloves. Papers originally contained in the flight bags are in file folders. There is a garment bag with the logo of the Marine Corps Exchange, El Toro. Other items include a scroll tube from the Kuang Hua medal, two of Bloomer’s desk nameplates, a metal sign reading “Brig. Gen. W. A. Bloomer,” a drawing of Bloomer, and a framed watercolor titled “Code of the Corps” signed and numbered by John H. Prentice. There is one book titled Orange County Salutes the Marines, and there are five aviator’s flight log books covering every flight of Bloomer’s military career. There are three models of military airplanes, and one box containing leather folders separated from certificates and awards.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged by types of documents or artifacts, using chronological order within document types. Military personnel records are in original order groupings in reverse chronological order (most recent papers first). However, papers from the Officer’s Miscellaneous Correspondence and Orders Jacket and from the Officer’s Selection Board Jacket are in the order that they were received by Emporia State University Archives, and they included a note to Bloomer indicating that their chronological order and groupings had been disturbed by microfilming prior to their delivery to Bloomer.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431
archives@emporia.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

Many items in the collection are restricted due to the presence of confidential identification numbers. Other restricted items include academic records and medical records. Restricted items are individually noted as such.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The Sunflower yearbooks from 1952 to 1955 contain individual photographs of Bloomer as well as photographs of Bloomer with the football teams, basketball teams, K-Club (showing Bloomer wearing the black sweater and the black 3rd-year jacket included in the collection), and the Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity. The Bulletin newspaper issue of December 18, 1953, contains an engagement announcement for Sue Vernon and Art Bloomer. The Emporia Gazette issue of June 11, 1954, contains a report on the Vernon-Bloomer wedding. An article on Bloomer receiving the Emporia State University Distinguished Alumnus Award is in The Bulletin issue of October 24, 1985. The Emporia State University Archives Website has an online exhibit titled “When you hear the news back home …” The Career of Brigadier General William A. Bloomer (U.S.M.C., Ret.) displaying several items about Bloomer. The Brigadier General William A. Bloomer Oral History Interview (NA2004.0002) contains extensive information provided by Bloomer about himself. Other collections related to military service include the Alvin E. Morris Papers (2005.0008) and the World War II Veterans Series, Flint Hills Oral History Project (ESU003.004.010).

Separated Materials note

Five oversize file folders are stored with oversize items, and one framed item is stored with framed items.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Emporia State University Foundation.
  • Emporia State University.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia.
  • Lebanon High School (Lebanon, Kan.).
  • Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (Calif.).
  • Naval War College (U.S.).
  • Operation Frequent Wind, 1975.
  • Orange County Regional Airport Authority (Orange County, Calif.).
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute .
  • United States Naval Test Pilot School.
  • United States. Marine Corps.
  • United States. Navy Dept..
  • University of Southern California.

Genre(s)

  • Awards
  • Correspondence
  • Diplomas.
  • Military uniforms.
  • Personnel records.
  • Photographs
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Aviation -- Records and correspondence.
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Medals, badges, decorations, etc.
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Personnel records.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bloomer, Sharon Sue Vernon
  • Bloomer, William Arthur "Art", Brigadier General, 1933 -
  • Claytor, W. Graham (William Graham), 1912-1994
  • Middendorf, John William, 1924-

Subject(s)

  • Aerial reconnaissance, American.
  • Air bases--California--Orange County.
  • Air pilots, Military--United States.
  • Award presentations--Kansas--Emporia.
  • College student--Kansas--Emporia
  • College students--Kansas--Emporia - Societies and Clubs
  • High school students--Kansas--Lebanon.
  • Irvine (Calif.) -- Politics and government.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Alumni and alumnae.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Awards.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Basketball.
  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Football.
  • Marines.
  • Military decorations--United States.
  • Orange County (Calif.) -- Politics and government.
  • Students -- Kansas -- Emporia -- Societies and clubs.
  • Students -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Students -- New York -- Troy.
  • Students -- Rhode Island -- Newport.
  • Test pilots.
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Aviation.
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Military life.
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Officers.
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Uniforms.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Aerial operations, American.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Evacuation of civilians.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal narratives, American.
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United States.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- photocopy of record jacket [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 1

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 1 of 6) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 2

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 2 of 6) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 3

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 3 of 6) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 4

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 4 of 6) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 5

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 5 of 6) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 6

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 6 of 6) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 7

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 1 of 3) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 8

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 2 of 3) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 9

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 3 of 3) [restricted] c. 1953-1962 

1 10

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- photocopy of record jacket [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 11

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- loose materials (folder 1 of 4) [restricted] 

1 12

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- loose materials (folder 2 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 13

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- loose materials (folder 3 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 14

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- loose materials (folder 4 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 15

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 1 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 16

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 2 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 17

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 3 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 18

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Documents (folder 4 of 4) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 19

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 1 of 6) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 20

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 2 of 6) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 21

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 3 of 6) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 22

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 4 of 6) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 23

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 5 of 6) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 24

U.S. Marine Corps Officer’s Qualification Record-- section labeled: Standard Pages (folder 6 of 6) [restricted] 1962-1967, 1976-1979 

1 25

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--photocopy of record jacket 1967-1979 

1 26

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 1 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 27

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 2 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 28

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 3 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 29

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 4 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 30

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 5 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 31

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 6 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 32

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 7 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 33

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 8 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 34

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 9 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 35

U.S. Marine Corps Service Record--section labeled: Documents (folder 10 of 18) [restricted] 1967-1979 

1 36

Award--Emporia State University Distinguished Alumni Award 1985 

4 21

Brochures 1973-1977, undated 

4 22

Naval Aviator Certificate and Certificate Wallet, August 26, 1958, Bank check 1960-1969 

4 23

Certificates and Citations 1966, 1968-1979 

4 24

Certificates and Citations 1975, 1979, 1981, 1985-1986 

4 25

Diplomas 1951, 1955, 1970, 1974 

4 26

Event papers 1977-1978, undated 

4 27

Invitations 1974-1975 

4 28

Invitations c. 1976-1979 

4 29

Invitations 1976 

4 30

Invitations 1977 

4 31

Invitations 1978 

4 32

Invitations 1979 

4 33

Correspondence to Bloomer 1971, 1976-1977, 1979, 1981, 1986 

5 1

Correspondence to Sue Bloomer and photographs of Vietnamese refugees April 30-May 1, 1975 

5 2

Nametags c. 1976-1986 

5 3

NATOPS Pilot’s Pocket Checklist, UH-1N Helicopter November 15, 1980  

5 4

News clippings 1976-1979, 1986 

5 5

Papers removed from airplane flight helmet bag November 1, 1982 

5 6

Papers removed from helicopter flight helmet bag c. 1984 

5 7

Papers removed from Aviators Flight Log Book number 5 (inside front cover) c. 1985 

5 8

Photographs 1971-1979, undated 

5 9

Photographs from envelope labeled: Personal photos taken on USS Midway, Evacuation of Saigon (folder 1 of 3) April 1975 

5 10

Photographs from envelope labeled: Personal photos taken on USS Midway, Evacuation of Saigon (folder 2 of 3) April 1975 

5 11

Photographs from envelope labeled: Personal photos taken on USS Midway, Evacuation of Saigon (folder 3 of 3) April 1975 

5 12

Envelope labeled: Personal photos taken on USS Midway, Evacuation of Saigon April 1975 

5 13

Photographs--Kuang Hua Medal award ceremony (folder 1 of 2) July 21, 1975 

5 14

Photographs--Kuang Hua Medal award ceremony (folder 2 of 2) July 21, 1975 

5 15

Photograph album--Kuang Hua Medal award ceremony July 21, 1975 

5 16

Photographs--Germany and Norway (folder 1 of 3) c. 1976-1979 

5 17

Photographs--Germany and Norway (folder 2 of 3), c. 1976-1979 

5 18

Photographs--Germany and Norway (folder 3 of 3), c. 1976-1979 

5 19

Negatives--Germany and Norway c. 1976-1979 

5 20

Photograph prints c. 1981-1986 

5 21

Programs 1976-1977, undated 

5 22

Souvenirs--Marine Corps Marathon 1978 

5 23

Artwork c. 1980-81, undated 

5 24

Commissions and Certificate of Retirement [restricted] 1955, 1957, 1959, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1986 

5 25
Box

Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia K-Club black sweater c. 1951-1955 

6

Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia K-Club gold sweater c. 1951-1955 

6

State Teachers College of Emporia K-Club black jackets (2) c. 1951-1955 

6