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William J. Hudson collection

Identifier: COU:814

Scope and Contents

William Hudson assisted Roger Pineau’s effort to research the US Navy’s Japanese Language School (JLS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Hudson papers cover the years of 1941 to 1993. The first section contains documents from the WWII years, such as JLS rosters and academic and service lists of Japanese Language Officers (JLOs). The second section holds documents regarding the 1976 and 1992 reunions. The third and largest section of the collection consists of individual files of correspondence between Hudson and various JLS graduates. Often included in these files are newspaper clippings, biographies, obituaries, and articles written by individual graduates. The fourth section contains a cross-index by subject file and a cross index of JLS Trivia. The Hudson Collection focuses more thoroughly on the post-war careers and lives of the JLS graduates than does the Pineau Collection.


  • 1942 - 1992

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical / Historical

William J. Hudson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1922. After graduating from high school, Hudson studied languages at Princeton University. In 1942, before completing his degree program, he was selected to enter the U.S. Navy Japanese Language School (JLS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Upon graduating from the fourteen month language program in March of 1944, he was sent to the Henry Hudson Hotel in New York City for a course in Naval Intelligence. Afterwards he was assigned to the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Area (JICPOA) at CINCPAC in Pearl Harbor and traveled to Hawaii via the carrier, USS Franklin. There, he was one of eight editors creating two Japanese military and technical dictionaries. He also interrogated Japanese prisoners of war on Peliliu Island, where he received a battle star. During the Occupation of Japan, Hudson was assigned as an interpreter for three months. In June of 1946 he was discharged, having reached the rank of Lieutenant. He returned to Princeton and graduated in 1947 with a BA degree in Linguistics. Subsequently, he served as an officer in the Naval Reserve until 1958.

After finishing his degree, Hudson entered in to the securities business with his father as a salesman, later switching to financial analysis, a field in which he remained for most of his life. In 1952 he began working for Robert Young, chairman of the Board of the NY Central Railroad. Hudson later became a private investor, specializing in water utilities. In 1970, he married Florence L. MacFarland and moved to Palm Beach, Florida. Florence died in 1995 after 24 years of marriage. He subsequently remarried to Claudia Wampole. In his free time, he continued studying rare languages, such as Basque and Sanskrit, and remained fluent in spoken Japanese.

Following WWII, Hudson stayed in contact with his JLS classmates and fellow Navy and Marine Japanese Language Officers. In 1976, Hudson helped Captain Roger Pineau USNR, a fellow graduate of Boulder’s JLS, to organize a reunion of the school in Washington DC. He then became a partner in Pineau’s efforts to research and write a history of the school and its graduates, maintaining copies of Pineau’s records, corresponding with graduates, and searching for “missing” alumni. Pineau and Hudson assisted the Alumni Association with the 1992 JLS reunion at the University of Colorado. Following Pineau’s death in 1993, Hudson became the unofficial “secretary” for the “Boulder boys”, or those who graduated from the JLS during its stay at the University of Colorado. He donated his JLS/OLS papers to the USN JLS/OLS Archival Project at the Archives, University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. In 2000, the archival project took over where Pineau and Hudson had left off. The USN JLS/OLS Archival Project was based on, and continued their efforts. Hudson died on August 27, 2008 at his home in West Palm Beach at the age of 85.


24 linear feet (19 Boxes and 2 Oversize)

Language of Materials



The William J. Hudson Papers consist of files assembled by William J. Hudson (1922-2008) regarding the US Navy Japanese Language School and its WWII graduates. Hudson was a graduate of the school, located at the University of Colorado in Boulder from 1942-1946. Hudson worked with Captain Roger Pineau USNR to organize reunions and to gather research material for Pineau’s book on the JLS and its graduates. The collection includes information about the 1976 and 1992 reunions, lists of the graduates organized according to various criteria, and correspondence between Hudson and various fellow alumni.


This collection is arranged in alphabetical order, with a box level inventory.

Lena Potyondy Kerry, Petrie
July 1997, January 2001, September 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States