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About the Historian

Dr. Vernon L. Williams is a military and naval historian. He received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 1985. He is currently serving as President of the Old Primero Historical Foundation and Director of the East Anglia Air War Project. Before 2018 he spent thirty years as professor of history in the Department of History at Abilene Christian University. Since 2001 Dr. Williams has been working to document the wartime experiences of American and British citizens alike. Planned outcomes from this project include several books over the next few years and a number of documentary films.

Recently, Dr. Williams has completed two books:

  • Flight Surgeon:  A War Diary, 1941-1945, Edited by Vernon L. Williams, TCU University Press, 2021
  • Empire Marine:   Major General Littleton W.T. Waller and the Growth of American Imperialism, 1856-1926, TCU University Press, to be released on April 15, 2024
Currently, Dr. Williams is writing a volume on the sense of community that developed between the Americans and British families living in villages around the American bases in wartime England. The working title for the book is: Crucible of War:  The Anglo/American Cultural Exchange in World War II England, 1942-1945, in progress with an expected completion date of December 2024.  Crucible of War will be organized into ten chapters: 

     Chapter 1.  Setting the Stage

     Chapter 2.  Little America, A  Sense of Place

     Chapter 3.  The Red Cross and the Aero Clubs

     Chapter 4.  Race and the Shifting Landscape

     Chapter 5.  Big Bands and the Jitterbug

     Chapter 6.  Glamour and Hollywood

     Chapter 7.  The Moral Dilemma

     Chapter 8.  War Brides

     Chapter 9.  Bonds that are Never Broken

     Chapter 10. Epilogue


Five new documentaries have been released by Dr. Williams for Old Segundo Productions in recent years.  Three of these films appear in the Air War Series and two in the American West Series.  During the last twenty years, Dr. Williams has produced over twenty documentary films on military and American history subjects.

  • Wethersfield at War:  From World War II to the Cold War, An Essex Story of Service, Determination, and the Anglo-American Spirit, released 2023  
  • Primero, Colorado, 1901-1928: John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Company Towns, and the Quest for a Better World, released 2018
  • Rendezvous Over Berlin, A Texas Cowboy Finds His Destiney Over the Skies of Nazi Germany, 1942-1943, released 2020
  • Willard, Colorado:  The Burlington Railroad, Community, and Life on the Twentieth Century’s Colorado High Plains, released in 2020
  • From Ozark to Fortress Europe: Flight Surgeon Thurman Shuller, War, Medicine, and a Life of Service, released 2021

Williams’ first documentary film, Deopham Green, appeared in 2004 and since that time, he has produced and directed eighteen documentaries on various subjects.  You can visit to find information on the films that are currently available and learn about others that are now in the production and pre-production stages.

Academic Background

Ph.D., 1985
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Major: American Military and Naval History
Minors: American West and Nautical Archaeology

M.A., 1981
Southwest Texas State University

M.Ed., 1975
Southwest Texas State University

B.A., 1970
Abilene Christian College

Professional Honors

  • Professional Service Award, College of Arts and Sciences, May 2015.
  • Appointed Historian and Board of Directors, 306th Bomb Group Association, 2007-2014
  • Elected President, Texas Oral History Association, 2007-2008
  • First Place for Best Documentary for 2004, Deopham Green: The Saga of the 452nd Bomb Group in World War II, Vernon L. Williams, Producer/Director, National Broadcasting Society annual meeting and competition, Los Angeles, California, March 2005.
  • Selected for a 2003-2004 Faculty Renewal Leave for work on the East Anglia Air War study.
  • The Areta Award for Civic and Moral Excellence, Abilene Education Council, 2002.
  • The Mary Faye Barnes Award for Excellence for Community History Projects, awarded for work on the 12th Armored Division Oral History Project, Texas Oral History Association, 2002.
  • Professional Service Award, College of Arts and Sciences, May 2002.