Eugene E. Eckstam
Exercise Tiger Collection
The Eugene E. Eckstam Exercise Tiger Collection, 1944-2004, contains a wide array of information that assisted Dr. Eckstam in his search for the truth about Exercise Tiger. Included in the information are maps, national archives, letters, newspaper clippings, memoirs, reunion information, anniversary celebrations, and countless other resources. In presenting this gift to Special Collections, Dr. Eckstam organized these materials in a logical way. He also labeled each set and subset of materials. These labels and classifications have been preserved in processing this collection.
The collection consists of nine series. Series I contains research materials from the United Kingdom. Series II contains Correspondence. Series III contains summaries of key information compiled for perusal at reunions. It also contains articles and memoirs by Dr. Eckstam. Series IV contains photos and miscellaneous information. Series V contains Army Morning Reports and Burial Information. Series VI contains National Archives. Series VII contains various military and LST information. Series VIII contains key information, including graves, newsletters, news articles, television specials, reunions, etc. Series IX contains reunion information, photos, and other miscellaneous research. Series X, the Oversize Series, contains oversized items removed from Series I.
Conditions Governing Access
Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.
8 Linear Feet
The Eugene E. Eckstam Exercise Tiger Collection, 1944-2004, consists of Dr. Eckstam's research efforts concerning Exercise Tiger, a practice invasion in April, 1944 to prepare troops for D-Day in World War II. Dr. Eckstam's research includes national and military archives, newspaper clippings, television specials, memoirs from surviving participants, as well as correspondence, photographs, travel brochures and information and maps.
Dr. Eugene Eckstam was a doctor for the Navy during World War II. Dr. Eckstam attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In January 1944, Dr. Eckstam was assigned to LST 507, a participant in Exercise Tiger. Dr. Eckstam was discharged from the Navy in May, 1946. He then began work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Eckstam transferred to Monroe Clinic, near Madison, Wisconsin, his hometown. In 1984 he saw a program on television commemorating the 40th Anniversary of D-Day. A year later, he was contacted by a shipmate about a reunion for LST survivors. The program and the contact encouraged Dr. Eckstam to research the clouds of mystery surrounding the fatal Exercise Tiger incident.
Exercise Tiger began as a top secret naval operation to prepare Army and Navy troops for the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. On April 28, 1944 Exercise Tiger set out to practice invasion by landing on Slapton Sands, a beach on the English coast. Unfortunately, before the convoy made it to the beach, it was attacked by German E-Boats. Two LST's (Tank Landing Ships) were sunk, one of which carried Dr. Eugene Eckstam. Another LST was seriously injured, and several hundred men died in the freezing waters.
Later reports about Exercise Tiger claim that the United States Government made hearty attempts to cover up the attack. Rumors also circulated that several mass graves on Slapton Sands contained the bodies of many of the men who died during Exercise Tiger. Dr. Eckstam's research sought to uncover the truth about what really happened in Exercise Tiger. In doing so, Dr. Eckstam has successfully debunked the previously stated rumors.
Collection consists of nine boxes, including one oversized box. Material is divided into nine series: Research Materials from the United Kingdom; Correspondence in Alphabetical Order; Summaries of Key Information Compiled for Reunions, Articles, and Memoirs; Photos and Other Information; Army Morning Reports and Burial Information; Archive Copies: Burial Lists, Graves, Normandy and Tiger Plans, Exercise Fox; Military and LST Information; Key Information, including graves, newsletters, news articles, television specials, reunions, etc; and Reunions, Photographs, and Other.
This collection was donated to Special Collections by Eugene E. Eckstam on June 25, 2004.