Harold Simmons Tate (1903-1982) was, for most of his professional life, an educator who enjoyed a productive career as professor of Industrial Education at Clemson College from 1925 until 1941; but perhaps his most important work was done from 1945 until 1953 when he used his knowledge of textiles to advise the governments of several foreign countries - Japan, China, the Philippines, and Greece - on various questions and problems related to the textile industry.
First, he helped rebuild Japan’s post-war industrial economy as head of the Textile Division on Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s General Headquarters staff in Tokyo from 1945 until 1948. In May of 1948, he moved to Shanghai to serve as textile advisor to the Chinese Nationalist government, a position he held until the fall of Shanghai to the Communist forces eventually forced him to flee the country. He left China in September 1949, returned to the United States, and continued to act in behalf of the Nationalist Chinese as purchasing agent until August 1950.
At that time, he was awarded a Fulbright grant to serve as a visiting lecturer in vocational education in the Philippines for a period of nine months. Headquartered in Manila, he visited vocational education programs scattered throughout the country, gave lectures, and offered suggestions to improve both programs and facilities in schools. He also contributed several articles to Philippine educational publications.
When his Fulbright year ended in June 1951, he applied for and received an appointment as Textile Specialist in Greece with the Economic Cooperation Administration, an American agency that funneled aid to a country ravaged by its post-World War II struggle against Communist insurgents. He spent two years there helping revive a moribund textile industry.
When his responsibilities ended in the fall of 1953, he returned to the United States and accepted a position at Fort Benning, Georgia, as educational advisor to the commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School. That job combined his knowledge of educational theory with his extensive military experience and led to a productive fifteen years during which he wrote and revised the Infantry School’s curriculum, embraced new technology for training including the use of television, and directed special studies of many components of the army’s training procedures. Upon his retirement in 1968, he and his wife Cleone relocated to Columbia where his son Simmons practiced law. Until his death in 1982, Harold Tate remained an active participant in local social, religious and educational organizations.
The collection contains approximately seventeen and a half linear feet of correspondence, diaries, reports, speeches, pamphlets, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Especially voluminous from 1941 through 1953, the correspondence documents the activities of a college professor turned army officer who held important positions during and after World War II. It is supplemented by a detailed diary that, although sporadic in the 1920s and 1930s, became, by 1942, a reliable source of Harold Tate’s daily activities for most of the remaining years of his life.
Tate retained copies of the numerous reports he wrote while in Japan, China, the Philippines, and Greece. These reports provide valuable insight into America’s economic and aid policies toward the nations where he served. An amateur photographer, Harold documented his journeys with hundreds of images of the places and people he visited in his work. Another valuable component of the collection includes foreign pamphlets, maps, periodicals and newspapers that he collected during his career.
Harold Tate recounted his early life in a sketch, "Life and Personality Sketch of H.S. Tate," written in 1928. After a brief overview of his ancestry, summed up by the claim "I am Anglo-Saxon by descent," Tate focused on his school experiences. In a "little country school house" near Calhoun Falls (Abbeville County, S.C.), where "all ten grades were in one room," Tate began his education.
The family moved a few miles to Abbeville, S.C., when he was just starting third grade. Upon the suggestion of a cousin, young Harold gained admittance to the fifth grade by telling a "white lie," but discovered that he could not do the work. As a result, he "flunked" and was required to repeat the grade. In high school, he "played three years football, one year baseball, and one year basketball." When he was in the tenth grade, in 1919-1920, he "went to school from 9 AM to 2 PM, from 2 PM to 4 PM I practiced athletics, from 4 PM to 12 PM I worked in the railroad shops as ‘call boy.’" Working for the Seaboard Railroad had earned him a monthly salary of $125, but the schedule "very nearly ruined my health as well as my chance for an education," he remarked.
In 1921, he graduated from Abbeville High School "without any particular honors," but was interested in going to college where he had planned to study electrical engineering. He recalled that as a young boy "I delighted in making electrical apparatus and in trying to set the house on fire in other ways."
In the summer of 1921, he won a competitive scholarship to Clemson College and entered the freshman class; however, the terms of his scholarship required that he pursue a degree in either agriculture or textiles. He chose textiles and soon discovered that "Textile Industrial Education seemed to offer a better opportunity for a young man...so to this course I changed."
Even with a scholarship, he struggled to earn money to pay for his schooling. During summer vacations, he worked at different jobs: in 1922, he was an assistant mechanic at Covar’s Garage in Abbeville; in 1923 and 1925 he worked at Saxon Mills in Spartanburg where he made $11.00 per week and, after paying $4.50 for board and 50 cents for rent, pocketed $6.00 every payday. He also found it necessary to borrow money to complete his education and secured a student loan from the Harmon Foundation of New York City, a debt he was able to pay off in June 1927.
"In 1925 I was graduated from the Clemson Agricultural College and was given a job as Assistant Professor of Industrial Education with my Alma Mater," Harold wrote in his "Life and Personality Sketch." During his first year as an educator, Harold worked part-time and taught courses in textiles and teacher training at nearby Central High School and at Clemson College. At the end of the 1925-26 session, Harold was given a full-time position at Clemson along with a $500 increase in his salary.
That same year he met the person who would become his wife. Cleone Clayton was from Central, a small town four miles east of Clemson in Pickens County, S.C. She was the daughter of Dr. Lawrence Garvin Clayton, a prominent physician, and his wife, Martha Irene Adelaide Smith Clayton. After dating for two years, Harold and Cleone were quietly married 4 February 1928 in Anderson, South Carolina. Cleone had completed the academic course of study, equivalent to a high school program, at Wesleyan Methodist College in Central and was awarded a diploma on 28 May 1921. She then attended Anderson College in Anderson, South Carolina. Cleone’s father had practiced medicine in Pickens County, S.C., since 1878 and had been one of the founders of Wesleyan Methodist College. Cleone’s siblings, seven sisters and three brothers, especially her sisters Faith and Eunice, remained close during their entire lives.
"During the winter of 1926-27 I took graduate work at Columbia University to better prepare myself to hold the job I was then on," Harold wrote in 1928. He enrolled in the Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City for the 1926-1927 winter session and completed eighteen graduate credits by the end of that term. The summer of 1927 he spent at the George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee, and added five more courses to his transcript. He returned to New York for the summer sessions of 1928 and 1929, completed his degree requirements, and was awarded a Master of Arts degree with the designation as Director of Industrial Arts and Vocational Education on 18 December 1929. The summers of 1931 and 1932 saw him back in Nashville for more work at George Peabody. The additional schooling paid off because when Clemson College created the Division of Industrial Education within the Textile Department during the academic year 1927-28, Tate was appointed head of the division.
Professor Tate, in addition to his duties at the college, continued to serve in the officers reserve corps and spent two weeks almost every summer at camp. During the year, he also completed army extension courses and thus qualified for promotions in rank. He became a first lieutenant effective 26 July 1930 and was promoted to captain 11 September 1934. In his diary for 24 March 1935, he commented that he had worked on army correspondence courses for eight hours.
Professor Tate was a very active member of Clemson’s faculty during the 1920s and 1930s. He taught his regular courses in industrial education, supervised students from his department who were practice teaching, gave speeches to numerous campus and community groups, served on college committees, produced research studies and papers, and began serious work toward his doctorate. During the spring term in 1929, Harold taught three classes: Industrial Education 46 (Problems in Industrial Education); Industrial Education 44 (Practice Teaching); and evening classes on alternating evenings off-campus in near-by Central and Newry for students who were practice teaching.
That schedule was typical of the course load that Harold handled each semester. Administrative duties occupied much of his time. He recorded in his diary for 18 December 1933 that he had "started writing up courses which are to appear in catalog" and that he "had conference with [Professor] Crandall about curriculum for various courses in Vocational Education." He also gave informal talks and formal addresses to education and community groups as part of the general expectations for a college faculty member. In May 1930, he addressed the graduating class of the Continuation School in Calhoun Falls on "Educational Opportunities of Today." He spoke about the opportunities offered by vocational education and observed: "we are approaching a democracy in Education wherein every individual will have an equal chance to get real worthwhile knowledge." On Confederate Memorial Day 1933, he explained the origin and meaning of that commemoration. After paying homage to Southern women and their devotion to their loved ones, he turned to the surviving Southern soldiers. "Left among us are still a few of the old confederate soldiers of the Civil War," he observed. "We should do all within our power to ease their declining years as a token of our appreciation." Before the Seneca public school teachers on 6 October 1936, he talked about "Activities in the New School."
Tate presented an overview of the then current literature on the subject of progressive educational practices as espoused by John Dewey and others, suggested an outline for activities for a typical school day, and acknowledged that the "New School" concept was subject to valid criticism, including the complaint that it "takes all the time of [the] teacher in planning." To the students of Calhoun-Clemson High School, Harold presented a talk "On Guidance" on 18 April 1940 and suggested that of the "people looking for work, not one in six is getting adequate vocational advice." He recommended that students start planning for their first job five years before they entered the job market. In most of these talks and addresses, he represented and, in subtle ways, promoted Clemson’s Industrial Education Department. At other times, his talks were obviously focused on encouraging students to take courses offered by Clemson College. Harold noted in his diary on 18 April 1935: "Made my first talk over the radio today. Station WAIM located at Anderson College, Anderson, SC. I talked on training Industrial Education teachers at Clemson College, SC." In a question and answer format, possibly for use in another radio broadcast, Harold responded to a question about courses in Educational and Vocational Guidance planned for the 1939 summer session. Many schools in the state were in the process of setting up guidance programs, Harold observed, and "to meet this need the course in guidance at Clemson will let each student propose a plan of guidance which will really carry out the objectives of education in his or her school."
Even though he was a successful teacher and a respected expert in the field of Industrial Education, Tate felt the need to earn a doctorate. On 8 March 1935 he noted in his diary: "Went to Columbia with Washington. Saw Dr. Fulmer & discussed with him subject for dissertation." Although he had completed his most recent graduate courses during the summer of 1932 at George Peabody, Harold decided that Pennsylvania State College offered the strongest program in industrial education in the nation. In June 1936 he wrote to his friend Dr. F. Theodore Struck, head of Penn State’s Department of Industrial Education, and requested that he be admitted to that department to begin work on a doctorate. Dr. Struck responded with the assurance, "I feel sure that we can arrange to have you take your doctorate here even though your schedule is not regular." He also advised Harold to begin work immediately and also recommended the Doctor of Education degree because "it has the advantage of permitting you to take your work entirely in the summer sessions whereas the Ph.D. requires a year of continuous residence."
Harold completed two courses at Penn State during the summer of 1936 and one more during the summer of 1937. He was granted permanent admission to the graduate school on 4 August 1937 and, at that time, had his previous graduate work evaluated by Penn State officials. He was awarded credit for one year plus seventeen weeks of graduate residence credit. Penn State would also allow Dr. Struck to "arrange to give you credit by examination for work that you no doubt have taught and with which you are thoroughly familiar, but which was not taken in course at an institution." Because he was expected to teach in Clemson’s summer program and was also required, as a U.S. Army reserve officer, to spend two weeks at camp each summer, which he did between 1933 and 1940, with the exception of 1935, it was difficult to schedule summer courses at Penn State. In March 1938, Harold applied for a grant from the General Education Board that would, as he wrote Dr. Struck, "allow me to complete my work for the doctorate at Penn. State as soon as possible." Harold was hopeful that release time from Clemson would allow him to finish work for his degree within a year; however, he learned in late May that he did not receive the fellowship. He returned to Penn State for a brief time during the summer of 1938 and earned two more graduate credits.
Even though the war in Europe had been a reality since 1939 and the policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt allied the United States with England and France, the Tate family seemed little affected by those realities until early in 1941. In February, Harold received a notice from Headquarters, Second Military District, that he had been selected for one year’s active duty at Camp Croft, South Carolina, and that he should take a physical examination as soon as possible. Harold wrote Dr. Struck about the new development and remarked, "I may have to defer action on my dissertation for a year."
Harold’s orders were changed, however, and he was ordered to report to Fort Benning, Georgia, on 19 March 1941 for duty with the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry. This unit was organized 1 November 1869 and, from the beginning, was composed of African-American soldiers with white officers. The regiment served in the West during the frontier wars of the 1870s and 1880s and saw service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and in the Philippines during the prolonged insurrection there. After duty along the Mexican border during World War I, the regiment was reorganized and assigned to Fort Benning in 1922. In his first letter home, Harold reported that "everybody connected with the 24th is fine to me, the Negroes are ‘snappy’ as soldiers and as courteous as they can be. There is only one Negro officer & he is the chaplain." Harold began the practice of writing a letter to Cleone every day and for most of the war, continued to do so. Cleone also wrote practically every day, and Simmons, his young son, would also pen occasional letters to his father.
Any hope for a return to Clemson and his normal life as a college professor evaporated on 7 December 1941 with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Harold wrote a letter to Cleone and Simmons, postmarked on 7 December, before he had heard the reports of the attack: "Things are about to simmer down to normalcy even though dissembling the Casual Detachment is about as large a job as putting it together." For several weeks, he had been in command of the Casual Detachment of the Twenty-fourth Infantry, a small group of men who had been left behind for various reasons while most of the regiment had been on maneuvers in South Carolina and Florida. Cleone had begun a letter to Harold Saturday night, 6 December 1941, but had not finished it. When she resumed writing Monday morning, 8 December, she noted, "So many things have happened since I started this letter that I have neglected to finish it." She assured Harold that "you can depend on this, whatever orders for our men come out of this affair will be backed by all of us to the letter. So just remember, we are behind you 100%... ." Harold was clearly pleased with Cleone’s pledge of support. He wrote in his next letter, "as long as the home folks carry on as you... are doing America[n] soldiers will have the best morale in the world. God bless such attitudes as the result will be victory." For much of the rest of December, Harold was involved in making preparations for moving the Twenty-fourth at a moment’s notice.
Tate was granted a six-day leave, effective 20 December 1941, and was able to spend Christmas in Clemson. He also learned that he was placed on special duty for the period 11 January to 10 April 1942 "for the purpose of attending the Battalion Commander and Staff Officer Course" at the Infantry School, Fort Benning. Harold was pleased with the new assignment and wrote Cleone, "If hard study will cause one to pass then I will pass." Colonel Lockett, the commander of the regiment, told Harold that even though he had detailed him to school, he had not wanted to do so "since my services were valuable to the Regiment." Harold had served in a variety of positions while at Fort Benning including assistant training officer, regimental fire marshal, and commander of the Casual Detatchment.
After classes began, Harold reported to Cleone, "the instruction is excellent and better organized than I have seen at any other place... The Lecturers are good [,] their visual aids are the best I have seen also. Instructors have a good sense of humor which helps tremendously." As a teacher, Harold was interested in the techniques used at the Infantry School and often commented on the effectiveness of the instructors. "Some of the best teaching I have ever seen anywhere I have seen here in the Inf. School. It has certainly given me a lot of ideas on visual aids."
Before Harold finished the school, the Twenty-fourth Infantry received orders, dated 10 March 1942, to prepare to move to an unspecified destination. On 18 March, another order clarified the situation. The move, a permanent change of station, would begin 23 March 1942 and would be completed by 26 March. The new location was Camp Sutton, near Monroe, North Carolina. Harold, however, was scheduled to continue with his course and rejoin the regiment after he completed his work. On 29 March 1942, another order changed those plans. The Twenty-fourth Infantry was ordered to the West Coast for deployment abroad and Harold was required to withdraw from school and rejoin his regiment. Citing an act of Congress passed in December 1941 that "makes it mandatory that all Reserve Officers in service with the United States Army in December 1941 be continued on active duty for the duration of the war," Harold asked W.H. Washington at Clemson for an extension of his leave of absence that ended on 1 April. He expressed regret that he had to make the request "since my work at Clemson means a great deal to me, but the situation which makes such a request necessary is beyond my control."
Tate described the trip across country in a letter to his family that spanned several days. The troop train passed through Louisville, Kentucky, on 2 April 1942, stopped in Kansas City, and then "stopped right at the foot of Pikes Peak for rest and exercise." Harold remarked, "it is quite a thrill to have command of a large number of men like this and I really wish I commanded a group like this all the time."
After the troop train arrived in San Francisco, the men were housed in the Cow Palace until it was time for departure. Harold, who had often kept a diary of daily events for a few weeks or months at a time, began the practice again with the first entry dated 13 April 1942, the day that he embarked for overseas service. The diary entries for the war years provide an uncensored, detailed picture of life in the army from the perspective of an educated and inquisitive officer.
Harold made only a few daily entries during the voyage across the Pacific, perhaps because he was prone to seasickness. "Loaded & Embarked on Bloemfontain a Dutch Boat. Left S[an] F[rancisco] at 4:45 P.M. At about 6:00 pm I was very seasick & could not eat." By the fourth day out, he was feeling better and was able to take meals in the dining area. He was appointed fire patrol officer for the ship on 16 April 1942. His major responsibility, he recorded, was "to keep down smoking & plan to close bulkhead doors in case of fire or disaster." On 28 April 1942, he wrote, "sighted land. Samoa Group... .Some of boats of convoy left us." He witnessed a burial at sea on 2 May 1942. The force’s surgeon, Colonel Bolton, died during the night and at 4:15 in the afternoon, after the two chaplains from the Twenty-fourth Regiment conducted the service, "the captain of the ship helped slide the flag draped canvas covered body to the waves." Harold continued the practice of writing letters to his family while he was on the ship, but was limited in the subjects he could discuss. In a letter to Cleone that had the date clipped by a censor’s scissors, Harold remarked, "censorship is necessary and a lot of things I should like to write but refrain from writing because it might give some comfort to the enemy. There is no censorship on love and that I hereby send in abundance."
On 4 May 1942, the ship arrived at its destination and the troops disembarked, as Harold recorded in his diary, "without important incident." Three ships were needed to transport the 124 officers and 3,270 enlisted men to the South Pacific island of Efate, located approximately six hundred miles northeast of Australia and three hundred miles west of Fiji. Only twenty-five miles wide, east to west, and sixteen miles across, north to south, the island, although little developed, had two natural harbors: one on the west side of the island at Vila, the island’s only town, and the other, Havannah Harbor, on the northern coast. From May until October 1942, the Twenty-fourth Regiment provided perimeter defense for the island with Harold’s battalion, the Second, located along the eastern section of Efate. In addition to securing and defending the American bases, the soldiers built roads, loaded and unloaded equipment and supplies from ships, provided labor details for Quartermaster and Ordnance officers, helped with mosquito control, installed and maintained the communications system, and guarded the air base.
After spending the first night on the island "on [the] ground with only a raincoat," Harold was delighted the second night when he "went to bed in a real honest-to-goodness bed even though it was only a pallet on the ground." Three days after landing, Colonel Thorn called all of the regimental officers together. "He gave them a good stiff lecture on cleanliness, shaving, courtesy, and training," Harold recorded. "He especially stressed training for Jungle combat." Even though there were often rumors that Japanese planes were nearby or that strange lights were seen off the coast, the Japanese never attacked the island. Later, however, in 1943 and 1944, some companies of the Twenty-fourth Regiment were transferred to other islands where they did engage the enemy.
During the first weeks on Efate, Colonel Thorn and many of his officers thoroughly examined the island through systematic reconnaissance. Major Tate spent a great deal of time acquiring horses from some of the local French inhabitants. By the end of June, the road system was improving and Harold was able to travel from Camp Thorn to Vila in one day. Bridges, built by the men of the Twenty-fourth, spanned some of the smaller streams, but at Rentabeu Bay it was necessary to cross the water on a raft. Harold recorded, on 15 July, one memorable crossing: "Had to wait from 12 noon to 6:30 to go on raft to cross. We came near not getting across. It took us two hours with all officers, NCO’s & Colored soldiers rowing & pushing with poles for dear life. A real experience. Fortunately we did not drift out to sea."
Although Major Tate never complained about the conditions under which he lived and worked in Efate in his letters home, he did reveal many of his concerns and frustrations about everyday life in his diary entries. He wrote on 18 August 1942, "morale of Reg. Officers very low due to not being backed up in discipline and to a poor promotion policy." He also explained the problem with the promotion policy. "It seems to me that a reserve officer in a reg. of regular officers has very little chance," Harold remarked. "Some regulars want the Reserve Corps done away with [,] others want top possible rank for these to be 1st lt’s or capt’s... .I believe they should keep all regular officers in organizations where they have no reserve officers and put the reserve officers together, use rigid selection and then there would be less belly-aching," Harold concluded. Tate was sensitive to the issue because he was commissioned as a reserve officer in 1925 upon graduation from Clemson, and his continuous active service began only in March 1941.
The issue resurfaced on 11 December 1942 when Harold was told by his commanding officer, Colonel Julian G. Hearne, "to report into Regiment immediately with all belongings for a new assignment." Colonel Hearne also handed Harold "an unsolicited letter of recommendation" dated the same day. Harold reported to Regimental Headquarters in Vila, the center of the island’s government and commerce. He was informed that the commanding general wanted him "to take over the duties of the Military Police & possibly the Provost Marshal." Gen. Neal Johnson "was also very frank about the set-up and he told me that he would not put me under an officer who was junior to me." Harold had also learned that his name had been placed on a list of officers slated to return to the United States for further training and promotion, and General Johnson promised that by assuming the new job, Harold would not lose his slot on the cadre list. Even so, Harold confided in his diary, "I feel very uneasy about the whole thing [,] very let down and it seems to me that my reward for doing a good job... is to be passed over to promote Major Grimes, a West Pointer, and who was a captain when we left the states to come over here." Tate did not fail to recognize other positive things about his new position. In a letter to family written 31 December 1942, he projected an air of self-confidence. "Well the longer I am on this job the better I like it," he assured Cleone. "It of course does not have the promotional possibility the other one had but it carries more responsibility and I am much more my own boss." There were other rewards of a more immediate kind. In a January 1943 letter home, he mentioned the convenient laundry service, hot showers, all in contrast to life in the jungle. "In the bush in eight months not a bite of ice cream, no ice. Since being in here [Vila] we have ice cream once per week and lots of other cold things," he wrote.
After a few weeks in his new position, Harold received an "order transferring my assignment from the 24th Inf. To the Headquarters Force 9156." In his diary on 22 February 1943 he recorded, "I am as glad as can be and hope I wont be transferred back, unless such could result in a promotion." His old unit, the Second Battalion, was in fact, loaded aboard a transport ship that day and dispatched to a new assignment. Harold was pleased to be left behind, even though, as he explained in a letter to his family written on 9 March 1943, "I have plenty of work to do." He listed "cases of all kinds: patients escaping from hospitals, men from ships going a.w.o.l., near murders, illicit selling of liquor, killing calves, cutting down coconut trees and many other things come up in our day to day duty." He also had to deal with issues that arose from an American military force that was composed of both white and black soldiers but was still segregated. In an entry of 28 April 1943, Harold recounted a discussion with a soldier "about a censored letter in which he brought up discrimination between white and colored. Compared some of our leaders to Hitler and showed deep resentment toward white soldiers."
Although most duties were routine and predictable, occasionally Tate was called on, usually on short notice, to provide assistance for a special event. On 15 September 1943, he participated in a secret meeting in Gen. Neal Johnson’s office during which he and other officers were told that Eleanor Roosevelt would arrive at Bauer airfield at 10:30 the next morning. Harold would be responsible for providing military policemen along the route of her caravan and would himself serve as her "special body guard." Mrs. Roosevelt arrived "in a big B-25 which was arranged for passenger travel." "The party went to Army Hospital talked to patients[,] nurses[,] doctors and saw wards there, then to Naval Hospital where she ate dinner with the patients one on each side of her... ," Harold recounted in his diary. When she returned to the airfield to board the airplane to continue her tour, "she personally shook hands with me and thanked me for the MP escort," he wrote. General Johnson also thanked Harold. In a letter dated 18 September 1943, the general expressed his "sincere appreciation and extreme satisfaction for a difficult task well done... on the occasion of a recent visit to this base of a most distinguished visitor... ." "Your performance," Johnson concluded, "is another indication of your splendid spirit of cooperation and attention to duty, and your organizational ability." Even though there was press coverage of Mrs. Roosevelt’s trip to the South Pacific in the newspapers, Cleone could not discover Harold’s precise location because the news reports were general; however, in October she received a letter from Francis Henderson, a naval officer who had visited her husband while he was also in the Pacific area. After cautioning Cleone not to mention the name of the place in letters written to Harold, Francis continued: "It is a small island in the New Hebride islands called EFATE... .The town is Port Villa a small native town with a large Army & Navy base." In Cleone’s next letter to Harold, she revealed that she knew where he was stationed. "I received a letter from Francis H. yesterday... His letter was most interesting as he, of course, spoke of you, etc." Finally, after eighteen months on Efate, Harold’s family learned of his location, and by the end of the year, he was allowed to add "somewhere in the New Hebrides" to his letters.
In December 1943, Tate learned of an opportunity to apply for admission to a Military Government School back in the United States. The army was preparing for the occupation of Japan and Germany after the end of the war and officers with training in military government would be needed to administer the occupied areas. To Harold this was an interesting prospect. He talked with both General Johnson and Colonel L’Abbe on 3 December and they both agreed "to back me for the assignment if I cared to apply, that there was not much hope of promotion here... ." Harold also secured letters of support from several officials he had worked with in his capacity as Provost Marshall.
Even though Harold did not receive the assignment he sought, he was given additional duties, perhaps because his superior officers considered him such a capable officer. On 19 February 1944, he was appointed Fire Marshall and a week later received orders detailing him to the G-3’s office. The G-3 was the staff officer responsible for issues related to operations, training, and information management. Tate’s new duties and his reason for accepting the new responsibilities were explained in a letter to his family dated 1 March 1944. "The new job requires the meeting and dealing with all officers on the island," Harold wrote, "and as such should be very interesting." Nothing came of the possibility of promotion and on 1 April 1944 Harold wrote in his diary: "Relieved as Assist AC of S G3 and reverted to my Prov. Marshal’s job. Thank goodness for that." Nevertheless, within a few days there were major changes in Harold’s situation. He explained in a letter to his family, "in the change of table of organization the provost marshal’s job was cut which left me surplus... ." There was, however, the real possibility of an early rotation back home. After almost two years in the South Pacific, such an opportunity was very attractive.
On 15 April 1944, Tate left Efate for Noumea, on New Caledonia, the site of the Sixth Replacement Depot, and the first stop on his journey home. While awaiting orders to return to the United States, he received an assignment as provost marshal of the staging area of the Sixth Replacement Depot, a job that, as Harold noted in his diary, "suited me fine." His duties were familiar and did not require all of his time so he could enjoy the "moving picture show [which] is about fifty yards from my quarters," he explained in a letter home. Some of his time was used to reapply for assignment to the School of Military Government, at Charlottesville, Virginia, "to be trained for ultimate duty in civil affairs in the Far East." His commanding officer, Col. A.E. Parlee, wrote a strong letter of recommendation in support of his application. "Major Tate has, without doubt, much energy and a keen sense of duty," the colonel wrote. "His initiative and organizational ability resulted in an appreciable improvement in the conduct and efficiency of the Military Police guard," he asserted. On 13 July, the orders that Harold had been waiting for finally came through. He was to return to the United States by air transportation and to report to the Security Intelligence School in Chicago by 12 August. Landing in San Francisco on 20 July, he left that evening by train for Chicago. From there Tate traveled to Greenville, also by train, where he saw his family for the first time in twenty-seven months.
Harold spent about a month at the Security Intelligence School in Chicago where he completed the Public Safety Officers’ course and then reported to the School of Military Government at Charlottesville, Virginia. He finished training on 28 October 1944 and received a final academic rating of "excellent." Afterwards he was ordered to another military school at the University of Chicago where he reported on 1 November 1944. Harold’s family joined him in Chicago and Simmons enrolled at Hyde Park High School. Harold’s studies, which began on 6 November at the Civil Affairs Training School, consisted of courses in subjects relevant to his eventual assignment in the Far East. The Japanese language course was especially difficult, as evidenced by a diary entry of 2 January 1945: "Not much progress in Japanese but can speak it just a little."
After completing his training in Chicago in early May, he returned with his family to Clemson on leave and then reported to the Civil Affairs Holding and Staging Area, Presidio of Monterey, California, on 24 May 1945. The officers trained in civil affairs remained in Monterey until the end of the war with Japan was in sight and Harold was able to have his family with him during the summer of 1945. Finally, on 17 August, Harold and a group of other officers left Hamilton Field, California, and flew to Manila, in the Philippine Islands which they reached on 23 August, after several stops on their way across the Pacific. The officers were loaded aboard LSTs [Landing Ship, Tank] on 27 August, ready for the voyage to Japan.
At 1:30 in the afternoon on 3 September 1945, the day after Gen. Douglas MacArthur had accepted the signed declaration of surrender from Japanese officers aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, a flotilla of more than 30 LSTs sailed from Manila harbor carrying the American military government officers to Japan. On 12 September 1945, the LST Tate was aboard dropped anchor in Yokohama Bay and the next day the men went ashore. Harold reported to the municipal government section of the Eighth Army and then took a train to Tokyo. "We could see the damage which had been wrought," he wrote his family. "I used my Japanese to the extent of asking where the station to catch a train to Tokyo was," he continued. Harold also explored the city of Yokohama where he and a fellow officer "went up to an old antiaircraft position where we talked to a Lieutenant and five soldiers. Almost all the talking was in Japanese... I have never seen people as polite and happy as these soldiers seemed to be. They certainly seemed happy that the war was over."
On 21 September 1945, after arriving in Tokyo, he was assigned a room in the Dai-Iti Hotel, and the next day helped set up the municipal government offices in what had been Tokyo’s American Club. Harold also learned about a position in textiles on the staff of SCAP, Supreme Commander Allied Powers. In the meantime, his job involved inspecting Japanese factories and, as he wrote in his diary, meeting "with managers and directors of big plants who wish to reopen." On 27 October 1945 Harold recorded in his diary, "wound up all affairs with 8th Army in preparation for going to SCAP tomorrow. I hate to leave 8th Army because they have been so nice to me."
The next day, he reported to his new job and learned that he was assigned to write the cotton textile portion of the report to the Pauley Reparations Committee due in two days. He described his new job as head of the textile branch of SCAP in a letter to Cleone and Simmons: "There is a certain thrill which comes with a job like this because we are on the top staff level and much of our study determines important action." His first priority was gathering as much information about the state of textile manufacturing as he could by interviewing textile leaders and gathering statistics from all available sources. In a letter of 31 October 1945, he wrote his family, "I have interviewed some big textile manufacturers who want to begin work... .I try to help them all I can because these people over here need plain ordinary clothing more than anything else." On 13 November 1945, Tate participated in a conference "at which the top men in cotton textiles aired out their problems[.] The two biggest ones... are imports of raw cotton which the Gov. will request soon and the possibility of being allowed to export to pay for the raw cotton." For the next two years, his energies were focused on solving those problems. In addition to issues involving cotton, he also supervised work in the silk, rayon, wool, flax, jute, and hemp industries.
After Harold had been in Japan for five or six months, he began to look to the time when he could return home. In February 1946 he learned that he had been recommended for promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel, but was philosophical about his prospects. "If I do not get it [promotion] I wont be too disappointed because I have just about become accustomed to lack of promotion. I think the main thing is to get home even if I do have to drop to a $3000 salary at Clemson," he remarked in a letter to his family.
A few days later, he wrote that the officers had been asked if they wanted "to bring our dependents to Japan." He replied, "yes if I have to stay long enough for such." By the end of March, Harold had started looking at available houses in Tokyo so that he would have a place if Cleone and Simmons joined him. If that happened, he planned to "make another leave proposition to the college and stay out here for the broadening experience. If I cannot get you here then my place is back there with you," he wrote.
In April 1946, Harold learned that his application for promotion had been turned down because officials in the war department decided that "the responsibilities of the position have not greatly increased since the termination of hostilities, nor is increased rank necessary for the adequate performance of the duties assigned the officer." Harold immediately renewed the application and based his argument for advancement on his increased responsibilities. He noted that the organization chart for the Economic and Scientific Section of SCAP "carries the grade of lieutenant colonel for the position of chief of the Textile Branch... , the position now held by Major Tate." The position itself had also become more important in the six months he had been on the job as evidenced by the presence of a special U.S. textile mission in Japan that had spent three months studying textile problems. Fred Taylor, chairman of the International Textile Mission, wrote in a letter in support of his promotion, "the Mission was impressed by the difficult conditions under which the operations have been conducted and by the manner in which Major Tate has tackled his job." Even with such strong support, he would not be promoted in the spring of 1946.
Tate’s efforts to bring his family to Japan were more successful. On 15 April 1946, he wrote Cleone, "The situation is this: since I am in the scarce category of being a civil affairs officer I have been frozen and not subject to release... .SCAP decided to allow dependents to come to the theater but in order to get on the highest priority list one had to agree to stay two years longer overseas. I chose this alternative and soon you & Tim [Simmons] will be on the way here." The two-year commitment meant that "the time has almost come for me to resign my job at Clemson... ." Harold felt it would not be fair to the college to ask the administration for an extended leave of absence even though "if I were home now I could go on working at Clemson the rest of my life... ," he explained to his wife and son. He did ask for an extended leave and received a notice in July that the Board of Trustees had granted an additional year of military leave.
During the first week in July, Cleone and Simmons took the family’s new car 3,000 miles to Seattle, where they were to sail for Japan later in the month. They arrived in Yokohama on 2 August 1946 and were in their house in Tokyo in time for supper. By the end of September, Simmons had enrolled as a senior at the American School in Tokyo, and his father had started writing letters to Harvard College in reference to Simmons’s application for admission in the fall of 1947. Life for the Tate family assumed a normalcy that had not existed since 1941 when Harold was called to active duty.
Apparently pleased with the prospect of a prolonged tour of duty in Japan, Harold, in November 1946, applied for release from military service in order to continue as chief of the Textile Division as a civilian. Gen. W.F. Marquat, chief of the Economic and Scientific Section, supported the request with a letter that detailed his subordinate’s work. Since joining the division on 27 October 1945, Tate’s "duties and responsibilities have been on the highest levels in this Headquarters so far as textiles and the textile industry in Japan are concerned," General Marquat wrote. The general noted specific accomplishments while in charge of textiles for SCAP: Harold had "made a comprehensive report of the Japanese textile industry for the Pauley Reparations Commission... was instrumental in initiating the cotton import program for Japan of 890,000 bales of American cotton involving $125,000,000... [and was responsible for overseeing] all directives to the Japanese Government on matters concerning the raw materials for, the manufacture of, the finishing of, and the preparation for export of all textile and leather manufactured in Japan."
Harold’s resignation from the active military was effective 20 April 1947. On 18 February, however, he received a temporary promotion to the grade of lieutenant colonel, and for two months he was able to enjoy the promotion that he had sought since 1943 while on duty in Efate. Upon retirement from active duty, Tate reverted to the Officers’ Reserve Corps at his new rank, an affiliation he continued until he reached mandatory retirement age in 1963.
Tate’s work to find solutions to the many problems that existed in post-war Japan continued. In a letter to William H. Draper, Under Secretary of the Army, he explained the issues that were resistant to change. Harold had "watched the small beginnings of industry develop from an almost prostrated condition [in October 1945] to one of promise, especially in the Cotton Branch which we think at present is very successful." "The fact which impresses me the most with the whole situation in Japan," he continued, "is the almost complete lack of raw materials and her utter dependence upon the rest of the world not only for the credit with which to buy these raw materials, but also for the supply of them. Unless this country soon can manufacture for export, it must perish, for it cannot raise sufficient food for its large population... ."
Another difficulty that limited exports was the requirement that even though Japanese products could not be sold in the United States, other nations purchasing from the Japanese had to pay for the goods in dollars. Some of the restrictions were lifted on 15 August 1947 when the War Department allowed the private purchase of all Japanese commodities except tea, silk and other textiles. America’s cautious policy toward trade with Japan was based on concern over competition from Japan that could materially harm the textile industry in the United States.
Other nations were also concerned about competition from Japan. Great Britain sent a Parliamentary delegation, headed by Hervey Rhodes, to Japan in the fall of 1947 to investigate the state of textile production. Tate accompanied the delegation to textile factories in Nagoya, Kobe, and Osaka and provided detailed statistical information regarding production. In early March 1948, while Harold was in the United States to confer with government officials about textiles in Japan and then to appear before a Senate sub-committee deliberating over a bill authorizing a $150,000,000 revolving fund for the purchase of raw textile fibers, the British Board of Trade invited him to visit Great Britain to confer on textile matters. There he met again several members of the British delegation that had visited Japan the previous year, including Hervey Rhodes, Stanley Prescott, and Frank S. Winterbottom, toured factories in Manchester and elsewhere, and was entertained at a dinner at the House of Commons on 24 March.
He returned to Tokyo in early April 1948 after a productive trip and recounted his experiences in England in a letter to Dr. William P. Jacobs, the president of the American Cotton Manufacturers Association: "I saw many different kinds of plants, including wool, rayon, cotton, and finishing plants. I also had some interesting conferences with manufacturers as well as various government groups. I detected on the part of the English a fear of world price undercutting in order to capture various markets. I tried to assure them that as long as we were in control, we would not allow cutthroat competition, but only sound, normal competition."
Meanwhile, high officials in the Chinese government had approached him about a job as advisor to that government on textile matters. While in Washington in March, Tate interviewed with the Chinese advisor on trade affairs and, upon his return to Japan, made plans to visit China. He arrived in Shanghai on 24 April 1948 where he consulted with Dr. K.N. Chang of the Central Bank of China and also had several conferences with members of the National Cotton Yarn Cloth Control Commission. Shortly after his return to Japan, Tate accepted the position as technical advisor to the Chinese government on textiles. Then he wrote to President Poole at Clemson and tendered his resignation from the faculty. He also explained that the new job in China was "bigger than the one I have had in Japan by far and carries with it many more responsibilities." In his new position, he would work with "the Textile Control Commission of China which has control of the various phases of textiles. It controls rather strictly the procurement of all cotton, domestic and foreign, the manufacture of it into cloth, and the sales end of the field," he wrote to his friend H. Wickliffe Rose, head of the American Viscose Corporation, in early May just before he left Japan. China has "about 5 million cotton spindles and about 3½ million of them operating. There are 450 million people to be clothed, almost six times as many as in Japan," he continued. The renewable, two-year contract with the Chinese government offered a substantial salary, provided a place to live, and paid all moving and traveling expenses, plus the exclusive use of an automobile with driver. Harold and Cleone arrived in Shanghai on 27 May 1948 and settled into a small apartment and he began work on the many problems facing the Chinese textile economy.
Before they left Japan, the Tates were guests of honor at a dinner given by friends of the couple in the Japanese textile industry. In a speech by one of the Japanese officials at the 20 May 1948 event, Tate was praised for his accomplishments while in Japan. He had "laid for us the firm foundation of rehabilitation of the industry," the speaker reminded the audience. After recounting the difficulties faced by the textile industry in the post-war period, the speaker asserted "I am not going to sing his praises... I shall only say that the name ‘Tate-San’ is very popular among thousands of our people, whether or not they are engaged in the textile industry, and he is looked upon by us as the father of the reborn textile industry of Japan."
China’s available supply of cotton was insufficient to meet the clothing demands of her population and could not even keep the textile mills running at full capacity. The United States, in an effort to promote "a politically and economically stable China," agreed to provide $70 million in aid for the purchase of cotton for China’s mills. The amount of aid allocated, however, would provide only a fraction of the cotton needed. Many of the traditional cotton producing regions in China were in areas controlled by the Communists, and the Nationalists, from the capitol in Nanking, could not depend on domestic supplies to meet the demands of the cotton mills. Tate consistently urged Chinese officials, including Prime Minister Wong Wen-Hao and C.T. Chen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, to support the creation of an export company. In addition to writing frequently to Minister Chen to keep him informed of the situation in textiles and submitting reports on cotton production, trade possibilities, and world cotton issues, Harold participated in a Chinese Trade Mission to Indonesia that October.
The Tates lived in an apartment in Shanghai and enjoyed the amenities available in such a cosmopolitan city. Cleone wrote to her sister Eunice, "I have German friends, also French friends, in fact the variety of people here is what makes it so interesting." She also mentioned "there are plenty of parties here to keep us busy." In another letter to her sister in October 1948, she wrote, "the civil war here is not so close and there is no danger at present... . If danger should come the Americans would be notified by the Embassy... . U.S. ships are in the harbor here all the time as well as Pan American and Northwestern Airlines to America."
In a 10 November 1948 letter to a relative in South Carolina, Harold mentioned the deteriorating political situation in China: "The American Consulate General notified me by mail Saturday... that all Americans who have no impelling reason to stay should leave for the United States. I planned to stay as long as I can do good. However, Cleone may leave for [the] United States." In fact, because of the serious situation in China, Cleone left Shanghai on 4 December along with other Americans aboard the U.S.S. General A.E. Anderson bound for San Francisco. She landed on 22 December 1948 and was back in South Carolina five days later. Harold remained in Shanghai and worked as usual through the spring even though the political position of the Nationalist Chinese government was becoming increasingly tenuous as the Communists pushed toward Shanghai. In early May, realizing that the inevitable collapse of the government for which he worked was at hand, Tate sent out letters of inquiry seeking employment elsewhere. To his former supervisor General Marquat at SCAP in Tokyo he wrote, "as it looks very much like I shall have to evacuate China, I should like to offer my services in some capacity... in your section." He also applied for a position in India, but without success. He soon learned that even though the officials of the Nationalist Chinese government had fled to Formosa, his employment would continue and he would work in Hong Kong, but the payment of his salary was a problem. He received no salary after March 1949.
A letter to his family dated 31 May 1949 described the fall of Shanghai to the Communists. "Last Tuesday May 23 this city was in Nationalists hands," he wrote, "but when we awoke on Wednesday one of the first things I could see from my window was a long column of soldiers in a peculiar unfamiliar uniform." These were soldiers from the Peoples Liberation Army. Both the Joint Management Board and China Textile Industries Incorporated, the agencies with which Harold worked, were taken over by the Military Control Commission of the Peoples Liberation Army. "Those now making up the staff from the General Manager down to the lowest workmen were told to proceed as if nothing had happened," Harold continued. But he noted that the general manager and business manager had been assigned "an observer and a deputy observer" who would "report to his chief if he thinks something is wrong... ."
Even with the new Communist regime in control, there was some discussion about his continuing to serve as a textile advisor to the authorities. Harold visited the American Consulate and requested the Legal Department to give an opinion about his continued employment by the new government. He was especially concerned about the impact of such employment on his standing as a reserve officer in the U.S. Army. The American Consulate’s legal department finally responded in mid-July with the opinion "that such a decision rests with the individual." His final decision, as he wrote to his family on 17 July 1949, was "to get out of China as quickly as I can and return to the United States."
Over the next two months, Tate lost the use of both the automobile and the apartment that had been provided by the previous government. He had no income and with constantly rising prices due to inflation, he scrimped and saved in order to survive until he could leave Shanghai. The Nationalists continued to blockade the city and even conducted sporadic bombing raids over Shanghai during the summer months thus making it virtually impossible for anyone to leave. Harold had little to do although he continued to go to his old office to work on a final report of his activities. Much of his time he spent reading novels, visiting with his friends, or dining occasionally at the American Club. In a letter written to his family on 31 July 1949, he reflected on the fourteen months he had spent in China. "As I look back on our coming now, it was a great mistake," he concluded. "What have we gained: we are separated, certainly no gain; I am in China and cannot get out; I have no job. True, I made good money for awhile but I would not have come if I could have looked into the future and seen what I am having to put up with."
In early August, Harold learned that a ship of the American President Lines, the S.S. General Gordon, would arrive in Shanghai in September to pick up Americans who wanted to leave the country and he immediately put his name on the passenger list and set about securing an exit visa. He also continued his efforts to recover his unpaid salary. He left China on the S.S. General Gordon on 24 September 1949 and arrived in Hong Kong a few days later. After a stop in Japan, Harold arrived in San Francisco in October and then began his journey to South Carolina with stops in Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, and Birmingham to see about job possibilities. He finally got to Greenville on 21 October 1949 and was reunited with Cleone. Once in Clemson, Tate continued to pursue the fulfillment of his contract with the Chinese Nationalists and sought payment of his salary. At the same time, he contacted many of his friends in the United States and the Far East asking for help in finding another position.
In March 1950, Harold received a letter from his long-time friend L.H. Dennis, Executive Secretary of the American Vocational Association, with the news that Harold’s application for the Fulbright position in the Philippines looked assured. It was not until late June, however, that he received definite word from the Committee on International Exchange of Persons that he had received an award. The award was for a term of nine months and required that Tate serve as a visiting lecturer in vocational education, affiliated with the Philippine School of Arts and Trade in Manila. He and Cleone were scheduled to sail from San Francisco on the S.S. President Wilson on 27 August. In the meantime, they were at State College during July and August where Harold, as he informed Dr. Poole in a letter written 21 July 1950, was "working very hard to complete the requirements for my degree." I will complete all course work but do not think I will quite finish writing all of my thesis," he remarked. In late July, Cleone wrote Simmons, "the dissertation is gradually taking shape and today Tate took the skeleton form of it to his major Prof. for discussion and was told that he was handling it in a masterly way...." After accepting the Fulbright award, he made arrangements with his graduate committee to allow him to take his final oral examination to defend his dissertation before the final version of his thesis was completed. He was granted permission to submit two chapters to his committee and take the examination based on the material compiled. That would allow him to complete the dissertation while in the Philippines and receive his degree in absentia.
The Tates arrived in Manila on 17 September 1950, rented a house, and settled into a new and difficult environment. Harold wrote his colleague at Clemson, L.R. Booker, "Manila is interesting but hot... Prices are high." Much of his time was spent in conferences, gathering data, and planning for his own lectures in vocational guidance and vocational education that would begin late in the fall.
Tate also found time to complete the final draft of his dissertation and send it to Dr. Land. On 29 October 1950, he noted in his diary, which he had resumed in August on the trip to the Philippines, that he had "completed the draft of the thesis, wrote the letter to accompany it and plan to try to send it off tomorrow." Dr. Land and Professor Friese read the thesis very carefully and sent back a four-page letter with suggested corrections, most of which, in the words of Dr. Land, "are minor ones involving only sentence structure, punctuation, and the like." Tate then received the good news from Dr. Land that his dissertation had been approved with only a few minor corrections and that his degree would be awarded on 27 January 1951.
As Tate’s Fulbright year ended in June, he found himself in a quandary about the future. He expected to be recalled to active military duty and assigned as textile technologist and engineer to the quarter master section of General Headquarters in Tokyo. A complication developed when, as he related in a letter to Cleone, "Last Tuesday, June 5, I was called to the ECA [Economic Cooperation Administration] office and was given a copy of a cable from Washington offering me tentatively a job in Greece... . If I get a firm offer I shall accept, then you can join me in Greece."
On 23 July 1952 the Department of the Army officially revoked the earlier order that placed him in active military service. Free to accept the offer in Greece, Harold left Manila, returned to the States for a brief visit in South Carolina, and then spent time in Washington in an orientation program for his new assignment. He flew to Athens where he arrived 17 August and immediately went to work. In a letter to W.H. Washington in Clemson, dated 5 September, he explained his new responsibilities as Chief of the Textile Section. "The Textile Industry is by far the most important one here and any contribution made to help this industry by ECA will help the economy of Greece," he remarked. "I am now in the midst of making a textile survey of the country with the idea of recommending specific ECA assistance." Because the textile mills were scattered all across Greece and the Greek Islands, he spent part of each week traveling. After Cleone arrived in Athens on 20 October aboard the S.S. New Hellas, "looking young, exuberant and pretty and with many Greek friends around her," according to a diary entry of that date, the Tates enjoyed a busy social life. There were dinners, teas, cocktail parties, dances and frequent trips out of Athens after their new Buick arrived on 27 December.
In October 1952, after surveying sixty-four mills, Tate and his staff produced a 262-page "Report on A Survey of the Greek Cotton Textile Industry." Among the recommendations contained in the report was one to allow the spinning industry to expand in order to increase the export of finished textile products. Also, the report stated, "the Greek textile industry needs to be modernized, repaired, rehabilitated and brought up-to-date." Cotton farmers must strive to produce higher quality fibers in greater quantities. Government supervision, although required to prevent "labor exploitation, adulteration in quality of textiles, [and] collusion to impose on the public," should be kept to a minimum. Once the report was finished, Harold’s job responsibilities changed. He commented in a letter to his friend Sheldon C. Wesson, "the character of my job has changed somewhat in the last few weeks to much heavier emphasis on technical help to the Greek textile manufacturers." He cited his implementation of research done at an American college that produced increased efficiency in Greek mills.
Harold also began to look to future job opportunities during the fall of 1952 because, as he wrote to a friend, "although I still have and like this position, recurring reorganizations may catch up with me and leave me stranded." In response to a letter from Clemson’s dean of education, W.H. Washington, enquiring about his potential interest in a job teaching graduate courses in education at Clemson beginning in September 1953, Tate cited his desire to become the head of a proposed Greek textile school after his contract with the Mutual Security Agency expired in August 1953. His concerns about his tenuous job status, were replaced with happier thoughts in late December 1952 when Harold Simmons Tate, Jr., and his fiancée, Betty Anne Coker, arrived in Athens to be married. The event was described to Sheldon C. Wesson in a letter written 29 December: Simmons "married a South Carolina girl... in the St. Andrews Protestant Church December 22nd. After January 1st they will be located near Stuttgart, where Simmons is a 2nd Lt. in the Artillery. In September 1953 he will finish his two year hitch and will return to the U.S. to study law at Harvard."
Changes continued in the organization of the American Mission for Aid to Greece. Effective 1 August 1953, the Mutual Security Agency was abolished and replaced by the Foreign Operations Administration. Harold and Cleone also planned to return to the United States on home leave after being away for two years. Cleone left Athens 17 August to fly to Montreal to visit one of her Greek friends, and Harold sailed on board the S.S. Excalibur for Naples on 10 September 1953.
Through his friend John Thode, Tate learned about an available position for an educational advisor in The Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and on 15 October 1953 wrote a letter indicating his interest. In early November, Harold was called for an interview after receiving strong letters of recommendation from Dean W.H. Washington of Clemson and Dr. S. Lewis Land of Penn State. Dr. Land commended him for "outstanding leadership ability," writing that he "gets along well with those with whom he works and would bring to your position the personality, energy, cooperativeness and ability that are vitally needed in the development of an effective program of instruction in military science and tactics."
Tate’s work at Fort Benning began on 1 December 1953 in the newly created post of education advisor to The Infantry School’s commandant, Maj. Gen. G.S. Meloy, Jr., and the assistant commandant, Brig. Gen. Carl F. Fritzsche. Even though Tate had spent a year at Fort Benning in 1941-42 after being called to active duty and was familiar with the base and the work of The Infantry School, he now worked not as a military officer, but as a civilian. Even so, he was assigned an apartment on the base and also allowed full privileges at the post exchange and officers’ club.
During his first months at Fort Benning, much of his time was spent in conferences and meetings, observing instruction, and working on solving problems. In addition to those activities, General Fritzsche directed Tate to conduct a review of the school’s educational program and submit a report at the end of twelve months. The same techniques that he had relied on to develop information for his doctoral dissertation were used for this project, and he surveyed fifty-three officers at Fort Benning. Based upon the replies he received, a sixty-seven-page report, "An Educational Appraisal of the Infantry School," covering the period from 1 December 1953 to 30 November 1954 was developed and submitted. In addition to an overview of the state of The Infantry School, the report also included twenty-four specific recommendations that would "assist in improvement of certain standards of The Infantry School." One of the pressing needs identified was "a long range plant expansion and building program... ."
In 1965, John Coombes, the staff military writer for the Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer, in an article titled "Post’s Infantry School Owes Much to Harold Tate," highlighted accomplishments during Tate’s twelve years as education advisor. Coombes referred to the 1954 report, commenting, "just about all of the original recommendations which Tate submitted have been fulfilled and incorporated into the school’s operation." "The last to be realized," Coombes continued, "was his suggested revision of the building program, which culminated in the opening of the huge new Academic building last year." Coombes also believed, "much of the credit for the constant review and improvement of the school’s instruction, and the development of its teaching philosophies, can be traced to Tate."
Work on special studies of various components of The Infantry School continued even as Tate performed his routine duties. In April 1957, for example, the commandant requested "a study of the student evaluation system now being used at USAIS [United States Army Infantry School] be re-examined and compared with systems used by some of the other service schools." In less than three weeks, Harold had completed the study and submitted it, along with his recommendations, to the commandant. In January 1958, he submitted a report titled "Recommended Reorganization of The Infantry School" in which he emphasized future planning, the creation of course directors for all courses offered, and the utilization of ongoing research programs to improve course results. And in 1959, Harold conducted a major study of the Army Ranger course offered at Fort Benning. For nine weeks, volunteers for ranger training pursued a course that was "exacting and demanding, both physically and mentally," according to this report; and that stressed "combat conditioning, good combat habits, and practical, realistic, hazardous field work." All phases of training were observed, including field exercises at the Ranger camp near Dahlonega in the mountains of north Georgia. There, as noted in his diary, Harold watched a night exercise in which a power house "was attacked by Rangers who had crossed the stream in boats."
Harold’s effectiveness as the educational advisor to The Infantry School was shown by the numerous "outstanding" ratings he received when his work was evaluated by the school’s assistant commandant. On four occasions during his career at Fort Benning - 1957-1958, 1964-1965, 1966, 1966-1967 - he was awarded the highest possible rating. Typical were the comments of Gen. Stanley R. Larsen, Assistant Commandant, in his evaluation for 1957-58. "I consider Dr. Tate a major asset to the U.S. Army and the U.S. Government," Larson wrote. "The tangible product of Dr. Tate’s efforts and the quality and value of his advisory services clearly shows that he performs his duties in an outstanding manner," he concluded. The ultimate recognition for Harold’s service came on 13 December 1968, at the end of his career, when he was awarded the "Meritorious Civilian Service Award for outstanding achievement, initiative, professional competence, and unselfish devotion to duty for the period 1 January 1962 to 1 December 1968." Harold described the ceremony and his reaction to it in his diary: "The citation was very strong and I believe more than I deserve. It is appreciated nevertheless." The next day, he and his wife drove to Columbia to the house they owned at 1620 Milford Road, a location only five minutes from Fort Jackson, where they planned to spend their retirement years.
The Tates remained active in retirement and took advantage of the amenities offered by Fort Jackson and Columbia. They attended performances at Columbia’s Town Theater, used the post exchange at Fort Jackson, and relied on the medical facilities on the post. Harold also continued his interest in his family’s history and used the records available at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the South Caroliniana Library on the campus of the University to search for information about his ancestors. His diary entry for 10 November 1969 notes, "worked in Caroliniana until about 1:10 PM... .Found reference in Index to Keowee paper to Tillman Tate and Cynthia Long’s wedding." He and Cleone were also members of the University South Caroliniana Society and they attended the annual meeting of that organization on 22 April 1975, an event he described in his diary: "Went to South Caroliniana Society meeting where the crowd was large, affluent & colorful. Found that Cleone & I made a contribution to help buy some of the papers."
Harold was also an active member of several other organizations during his retirement years. For example, he belonged to the Military Order of the World Wars and attended the meetings of the Columbia chapter. Reunions of the Clemson Class of 1925 were regularly attended during the 1970s, and at the reunion in June 1971, Harold was "surprised" when one of his classmates "read a petition to the members of the class asking the Alumni Association to cite me as a distinguished alumni. All members then signed the petition... I am pleased that my classmates thought enough of me to do this," he recorded in his diary.
The daily diary entries became less detailed by the late 1970s, but continued to reflect Harold’s interest in world, national and local affairs. He often visited the library at Fort Jackson to read the Wall Street Journal and other papers and watched his investments in the stock market very carefully. Visiting with family, writing letters, and keeping up with doctor’s appointments also occupied much of his time. His health became more precarious and by June 1981, his diary entries ended. Harold Simmons Tate died 12 April 1982 in Columbia, S.C.