Dannenmaier, William D. 1930-

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Dannenmaier, William D. 1930-

PERSONAL: Born 1930; married; children: eight. Education: Harris Teachers’ College, A.B., 1952; Washington University, master’s degree and Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Home— Cumberland Furnace, TN.

CAREER: Psychologist, operations research analyst, author and newspaper columnist. Taught for twenty-five years at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Military service: U.S. Army, 1952-54, Korea, served in Fifteenth Infantry Regiment, received Combat Infantryman’s Badge for service in Korea.


Mental Health, Nelson-Hall, 1978.

We Were Innocents: An Infantryman in Korea, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1999.

Laughter and Tears: Sparks from the Furnace, Writer’s Showcase Press (Lincoln, NE), 2002.

Contributor of articles to journals. Author of the blog Sparks from the Furnace.

SIDELIGHTS: In 1952, college graduate William D. Dannenmaier enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea to serve with the Fifteenth Infantry Regiment in the Third Division. Originally a radioman, he used Morse code and voice to communicate with soldiers in the field and the air. After growing bored with the position, Dannenmaier volunteered for the more dangerous job of scout and went on to fight in one of the Korean Conflict’s bloodiest battles. Dannenmaier returned to the United States in 1954 and went on to a long career as a educator, focusing in the area of educational and psychological testing. He completed his paid career working as a researcher for the U.S. Army, specializing in intelligence and wargaming.

More than forty years after the war ended, Dannenmaier’s sister presented him with letters that he had written to her during his two-year service. Urged by family to publish them, he set to work on writing a memoir of his service in Korea. It was not an easy task: In many of the letters, Dannenmaier had deliberately lied about his locations and activities in an attempt to reassure his loved ones at home. We Were Innocents: An Infantryman in Korea was published in 1999 and brings to light many of the atrocities, crises, and acts of courage that occurred during this oft-forgotten conflict. B. Keith Toney remarked in a Military History review: “At times humorous, other times sad, the story is always gripping. Dannenmaier conveys the sense of frustration, exhaustion and, above all, the tension that is the combat soldier’s constant companion.”



Military History, June, 2000, B. Keith Toney, review of We Were Innocents: An Infantryman in Korea, p. 70.


CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/ (June 13, 2000), “Author William Dannenmaier: 50th Anniversary of Korean War.”