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Victor E. Delnore papers

 Collection 0560-GWP

Lt. Colonel Victor E. Delnore commanded the Allied Occupation Forces in Nagasaki Prefecture from 1946 to 1949. As head of the Nagasaki Military Government Team, Delnore supervised early efforts to rebuild the atomic bomb-ravaged city of Nagasaki and to restore peace and stability throughout the prefecture. The Victor E. Delnore Papers include policy statements, directives, speeches (most notably his 1948 address at the historic first Nagasaki ceremony commemorating victims of the atomic bombing), personal albums, photographs, letters, newspaper articles, and documentary films. The albums and several of the other items were farewell gifts to Delnore upon his departure from Nagasaki.

While complying with orders from the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), at the same time Delnore championed the rights of the Nagasaki citizenry. One of his primary goals was to foster mutually respectful relations between the Americans and the Japanese. His efforts earned him the admiration of his soldiers and of the Japanese people, who praised him for his leadership, fair-mindedness, and courage.

Delnore’s papers—which include policy statements, directives, speeches (most notably his 1948 address at the historic first Nagasaki ceremony commemorating victims of the atomic bombing, personal albums, photographs, letters, newspaper articles, and documentary films—reveal the sensitive and challenging nature of his work in post-war Japan.


  • 1940-2004
  • Majority of material found within 1946-1952

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

A preliminary inventories are available under the Inventories/Additional Information section.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the special collections reading room staff


3.5 Linear Feet (Two flat boxes, one legal size and one letter size Hollinger box)

Biographical / Historical

Victor E. Abdelnour (June 27, 1914-May 24, 1998) emmigrated from Jamaica to Worcester, MA in 1916 at age two, accompanied by his parents who were of Lebanese dissent. He became a US citizen in 1932, shortening his last name to Delnore in 1937.

He attended North High School, graduating in 1932 and immedately enrolled in the Citizens Military Training Corps (CMTC) until 1935. He became second Lieutenant in the US Army, eventually moving up the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel by 1944. From January 1945 to May 1945 Delnore served in World War II on the European front as the Commander of the 46th Tank Battalion in 13th Armored Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star for heroic battlefield actions in Germany, as well as the Purple Heart for his battlefield wound. He numbered as on of the Allied Occupation Forces that took part in the liberation of many POW camps in Germany and Austria.

From 1946-49 Delnore served as the Commander of the Nagasaki Military Government Team, supervising early post-war efforts to restore peace and stability in Nagasaki Prefecture. From 1949 until 1969 when Delnore retired from active military duty as Colonel, he served in various US-based and international military assignments including Ft. Leavenworth, KA; Ft. Monroe, VA; Quantico Marine Base, VA, Camp Lejeune, NC, Hague, Netherlands, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Ft. Meade, MD.

Delnore earned his undergraduate and masters degree from the University of Maryland in 1965 and 1969 respectivly. He raised three children, Victor, Patricia, and Catherine, with Catherine Margaret Abdelmaseh, his wife.

In 1971 Delnore moved back to Massachusetts where he taught history at Middlesex Community College near Boston, and Assumption College in Worcester. He was twice named “Teacher of the Year”. In his retirement, Delnore devoted many hours each week to volunteer work at Veterans Centers in Worcester and Fort Devens, as well as at the Boylston Historical Society and in his Catholic parish in Worcester.

He died in 1998 in a nursing home after having suffered a fall and brain injury complecaited by his longtime debilitation from Parkinson’s Disease.

In 2001 Delnore’s World War II-era letters to Catherine, his wife, edited, annotated, and published by their daughter Patricia, published under title "Victor’s War" (Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company).

In August 2011 the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) produced and aired documentary film, “Victor’s Plea for Peace: An American Officer in Occupied Nagasaki,” examining Delnore’s heroic work in Japan.

Processing Information

Papers were unfolded, had staples and tape removed, and rehoused in acid-free boxes. Photo albums were scanned and placed in boxes, pins and tape were removed. Scrapbook pages were removed from their bindings, had pins removed, and wrapped in tissue paper.

Guide to the Victor E. Delnore papers
Minimally Processed
Processed by Marcella R. Stranieri
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742