Stars & Stripes

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Where to Find Pacific Stars & Stripes Articles


Page Contents

  • Background
  • Stars & Stripes Museum
  • Stars & Stripes Archives
  • Libraries
    • University of Illinois Urbana Campus
    • Library of Congress
    • New York Public Library
    • Army Heritage & Education Center
  • Heritage Microfilm
  • Pacific Stars & Stripes: The First 40 Years 1945-1985


The Stars and Stripes was originally printed in 1861 by Union troops during the Civil War. In 1926, National Tribune Corporation purchased the paper and merged it with its existing publications, The National Tribune, The American Standard, and The National Guardsman, forming one publication.  The publication later became known as Stars and Stripes.  From 1927 to 1937, its president and publisher was William Rice Means.  Rice died in Denver, Colorado on January 30, 1949.  Another former publisher was Howard Haugerud.

According to Pittsburg Post-Gazette staff writer Dan Fitzpatrick (May 22, 2002 Post-Gazette online), at one point in time there were two versions of Stars & Stripes.  Former Stars & Stripes Omnimedia co-founder and chairman Jack Colletti said that friction between the two versions dates back to the 1940s "when the federal government and Washington, D.C.-based National Tribune Corporation, which had been publishing Stars and Stripes since 1877, reached an informal agreement allowing the Pentagon to use the same name for overseas publications."  National Tribune Corporation sold the name Stars & Stripes to a small Pittsburgh-based company called in May 2000.  The start-up company changed its name to Stars & Stripes Omnimedia.

When "Stars and Stripes Omnimedia Inc." filed for bankruptcy in August of 2001, the U.S. Department of Defense, bidding anonymously, was the successful bidder at $85,000.  The winning bid was for title to the trademark, the archives, and the website address of Stars & Stripes Omnimedia.  According to revised Department of Defense Directive 5122.11:

"Stars and Stripes is a Department of Defense-authorized daily newspaper distributed overseas for the U.S. military community. Editorially independent of interference from outside its editorial chain-of-command, it provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective staff-produced stories relevant to the military community in a balanced, fair, and accurate manner. By keeping its audience informed, Stars and Stripes enhances military readiness and better enables U.S. military personnel and their families stationed overseas to exercise their responsibilities of citizenship."

A History of the GI's Newspaper, The Stars and Stripes"
-written by Former Staff Sergeant Arthur M. Millholland, Pleasant Prairie, WI 05/08

Founded in 1861, millions of copies have been distributed to military and civilian personnel all over the world.  Ten Illinois Union soldiers in Bloomfield, Missouri, started it.  It was probably the only source of news for Union troops, and/or some Confederate forces as well.

Stars and Stripes represents much more than our American flag to active and veteran military personnel.  It is a newspaper for soldiers, sailors and Marines, and their families.  Reporting and editing was by enlisted men and women from all branches of the service.  In some episodes of M.A.S.H. an officer was depicted as a reporter.  That was in error, as we were all enlisted men and women.

The Stars and Stripes flourished during each of the seven major wars this country has fought, including the first and current war in Iraq.  General John J. (Black Jack) Pershing, of World War I said, "I do not believe that any one factor could have done more to sustain the morale of the [troops] than the Stars and Stripes."  General Eisenhower is quoted as saying, "This newspaper should be the equivalent of a soldier's hometown newspaper, with no censorship of its contents other than for security."  General George C. Marshall referred to the Stars and Stripes as "A symbol of the things we are fighting to preserve: free thought and free expression of a free people."  During the Korean War General Douglas MacArthur told the Stars and Stripes staff: "This is my daily paper and I want it on my doorstep every morning, including Sunday."  We worked seven days a week.  General Norman Schwartzkopf said, "I want to express my thanks to you for keeping us all informed with the Stars and Stripes."

In Korea we were issued a Press Pass, signed by General MacArthur, which gave us access to commands at all levels.  On my beat no officer refused me any information about activities of their units.  We were allowed and encouraged to use names of all individuals, enlisted or officer, featured in our stories.  We had complete freedom of the press even if a story might have shed an unfavorable light on an event.  We were not writing opinion articles or editorials.  In one instance, however, the editor in Tokyo asked me to gather the opinions of officers and enlisted men on the firing of General MacArthur by President Harry Truman.  The GI's gave me mixed opinion, but the officers, except one, declined to comment.  That one was a Major General, who will remain nameless.  This reaction: "What a hell of a way to run a railroad!"

A number of famous people have been connected to the paper.  Cartoonist Bill Mauldin, Sixty Minutes' Andy Rooney, and Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker, were all Stripes staffers.  Ernie Pyle (my hero and model) was also a frequent contributor.  Some of my fellow staffers went on to success as journalists.  My journalism career devolved to writing articles on How to Sell Men's Underwear for Jockey International.  Oh well, it put bread on the table, and I was able to write sermons as a Lay Speaker of the United Methodist Church.

Stars & Stripes Museum

According to Sue Mayo and Laura Meyer, librarian and volunteer (respectively) at the Stars & Stripes Museum, their facility has bound volumes of the European and Pacific Stars & Stripes during the Korean War. At the museum, they research articles for individual for a donation to the museum.

If you have any questions, please call them at 573-568-2055 or email them at  You can also visit their Facebook page at Stars and Stripes Museum or their website at

Stars & Stripes Archives

The Stars & Stripes newspaper library in Washington, D.C. is a two-person library whose priority is to provide services for the newspaper's reporters and editors.  In the librarians' "spare time", they provide research service for patrons.  Unfortunately, the backlog to respond to patrons' questions runs from 15 to 20 requests waiting to be handled.  Since the Stars & Stripes is not indexed, the only search method available to the librarians is to manually scroll through pages and pages of microfilm.  Each requests takes approximately 2 1/2 hours of research.  This results in long delays for patrons to access the material they are trying to locate.  Stars & Stripes librarians hope to alleviate this problem over the next two years by digitizing the newspaper's archives.  The staff plans to start with the war years first (Korean and Vietnam Wars).  At this point in time, Stars & Stripes librarians sometimes do not even have access to the reels of microfilm because the digitization is being outsourced.

Libraries - University of Illinois Urbana Campus

The best method to obtain copies of a Stars & Stripes article from the Korean War era is to check at a large library nearest to your location.  Among the libraries known to have issues of Stars & Stripes on microfilm are the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.

In checking at the massive University of Illinois main library in downstate Illinois (Urbana), the KWE initially found that "Stars & Stripes" was not listed in its holdings.  However, some 15 years ago the KWE's Lynnita Brown was a student at the U of I.  She thought she remembered seeing back issues of Stars & Stripes in the library stacks while she was working on a World War II-related term paper.  When she mentioned this to the reference librarian, a further search produced "National Tribune, The Stars & Stripes, Washington DC, 1927-63" in the library's holdings.

If any KWE readers know where Korean War-era issues of the Stars & Stripes are held, please notify and she will add the finding source to this page of the Korean War Educator.

Libraries - Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has a microfilm copy of Pacific Stars & Stripes.  This microfilm is available for patron perusal by contacting the LOC at the following e-mail address.  Click on "Ask a Librarian" once you reach the website.  After they receive your request about a specific subject, the Library of Congress' digital library team sorts questions and sends them on to the right person for response.  Questions about military history in the Korean War are generally forwarded on to the military librarian for response.

Library of Congress Washington, D.C.

The less information that you know, the harder it will be to process your request.  The more information you have (volume and issue number and/or date). the better your chances are for a response.

Libraries - New York Public Library

The Pacific Stars and Stripes is available on microfilm in the New York Public Library's Microforms Reading Room of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.  The address is:

Microforms Reading Room
Room 100
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Fifth Ave & 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018

If you cannot come to the library or do not have someone working on your behalf, you might want to contact NYPL Express which is the library's fee-based research and document delivery service.

NYPL Express
The New York Public Library
188 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4314
Tel 212.592.7201
Fax 212.592.7215

Libraries - University of Toledo

Stars & Stripes volumes from 1953 to January 31, 1963 are available on microfilm in the Carlson Library Microform & Media Room (D-5, Lower Level of Carlson Library) at the University of Toledo, Ohio.  For more information about the location of this microfilm, see

Libraries - Army Heritage & Education Center

The U.S. Army Military History Institute's Army Heritage and Education Center is located at 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013-5021.  According to its website, the center's holdings include Stars & Stripes.  To review the user policies of the Center, visit their website at:

Heritage Microfilm

Heritage Microfilm has the entire European and Pacific editions available on microfilm for the time period of the Korean War. You can visit the Stars and Stripes microfilm duplication website at for more information and the entire vault listing in excel format.


Leslie Fredericks-Leamon
Web Marketing Strategist
Heritage Microfilm 
4049 21st Avenue SW,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404
Phone: 319.390.9442 ex. 31
Phone: 888.870.0484 ex. 31
Fax: 319.396.4329


Jeff Brown at 888-870-0484, Extension 20

Pacific Stars & Stripes: The First 40 Years 1945-1985

This indexed publication was produced in 1985 in both hardbound and softbound editions.  The ISBN number for the softbound version (272 pages) is 0-89141-249-2 and the ISBN number for the hardbound version is 0-89141-255-7.  This compilation can sometimes be found on the eBay auction block.

The contents of the publication are as follows:

  • The Occupation Years 1945-1950
  • The Korean War 1950-1953
  • After Korea 1953-1970
  • Vietnam 1963-1973
  • Without War to 1984
  • Sports

The Korean War section is featured in the softbound book on pages 18-79.  It includes a number of photographs, as well as reprints of the text found in the articles that accompany the pictures.  Obviously, it is not a comprehensive publication.


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