Skip to main content

Sandberg, J. Robert



Lincoln, Nebraska, natives J. Robert Sandberg and Frank M. Hallgren have been lifelong friends. They joined the same Boy Scout Troop and attended Irving Junior High School, Lincoln High School, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at the same time. When the United States entered into World War II, both men left Nebraska separately to join the U.S. Army. They ended up at the same replacement pool in New Guinea and both were assigned to the newly created Psychological Warfare Branch in the Pacific Theater.

Before invading the Philippine Islands in 1944, General Douglas MacArthur formed the first Psychological Warfare Branch within the Southwest Pacific Area of the U.S. military forces. Lieutenant Sandberg and Sergeant Hallgren were selected from among 40 members of the new branch to receive psychological warfare training from the Australians and Dutch. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, they were to convince the crews of B-24 "Liberators" and B-25 "Mitchell" bombers to drop leaflets during bombing missions. The first set of leaflets was designed to encourage the resistance of the Philippine population. The branch created a second series of leaflets in an attempt to weaken the morale of the Japanese troops in the area and urge them to surrender. Hallgren and Sandberg, who accompanied flights over Japanese troops, were able to drop these leaflets themselves. A third propaganda campaign targeted Japanese civilians in Japan. During their army service, Sandberg and Hallgren accumulated examples of the propaganda used in the campaigns.

Returning to Lincoln after the war, both men became involved with the University. In 1946, Hallgren began his career in the Student Affairs Division and later served as Director of Placement. Sandberg served as Vice President of the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Robert Sandberg & Frank Hallgren, Military Propaganda Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0030
Scope and Contents

The collection contains propaganda leaflets and materials created by the Psychological Warfare Branch, along with descriptions of target audiences, information on the purpose of the leaflets, and translations. Selected examples of Japanese propaganda leaflets for Australian and U.S. troops are included. Additional items include newspapers published by the Office of War Information in the Philippines, photographs, posters, and Sandberg's diary from May 1943 through June 1945.

Dates: 1943-1948