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NANCE, JAMES W. “BUD”: Files, 1981-1982


Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, January 1981-January 1982


James Wilson “Bud” Nance was born in Monroe, North Carolina, where he and Jesse Helms grew up two blocks from each other. He attended what is now North Carolina State University and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1944. Nance also has a master’s degree in international relations from George Washington University.


During World War II, Nance was assigned to the battleship USS North Carolina. After the war, he completed flight training and served as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Basic Training Command of at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. He was assigned to exchange duty with the British Royal Navy in 1953 and when he returned to the US in 1955, he was project pilot with the Flight Test Division at the Naval Air Test Center (Patuxent River, MD).


Nance served as the senior naval officer on the staff of the commander of US forces in Europe when Alexander Haig held the combined job of US and NATO commander. He also held strategic and planning posts in the Pentagon and was commander of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal.  He attained the rank of Rear Admiral on September 1, 1970. His final tour of duty in the Navy was as Assistant Vice-Chief of Naval Operations.


During the SALT II deliberations, Nance served as a consultant to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1981, he joined the White House as President Reagan’s deputy assistant for national security affairs, and for a brief time, he was acting chief special assistant for national security affairs, temporarily replacing Richard V. Allen.  In 1982 he served as director of the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control in the Federal Government.


After leaving the White House, Admiral Nance worked for Boeing Military Airplane Co., where he was manager of Navy systems. In 1991, Admiral Nance was asked by his childhood friend, Jesse Helms, to join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as staff director to help improve the staff’s efficiency. He served in this position until his death on May 11, 1999. Admiral Nance died from complications of myelodysplasia, a preliminary form of leukemia at the age of 77.


The James W. “Bud” Nance collection consists of memos, letters, reports, publications, articles, agendas, transcripts of speeches, schedules, notes, National Security Decision Directives (NSDDs), talking points, briefing papers, charts, outlines, and executive orders. The material is arranged into three series: Chronological File, 1981-1982; Office Memoranda/Reports, 1981-1982; and Publications, 1981-1982.


SERIES I: CHRONOLOGICAL FILE, 1981-1982 (.5 l.ft., Boxes 1-3)


The chronological file consists of memos, letters, reports, briefing papers, charts, outlines, talking points, agendas, NSDDs, statements, option papers, executive orders, lists, and transcripts of speeches. This series is arranged chronologically.



(.3 l.ft., Boxes 3-4)


This series consists of schedules and records of schedules for Admiral Nance, NSC monthly reports, and weekly updates for the President’s issues briefing lunch. This series is arranged alphabetically by record type and then chronologically.



(.1 l.ft., Box 4)


The publications file contain two items: a January 1982 packet prepared by the National Association of Arab Americans which includes a series of articles on the Israeli Annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and Department of Defense’s Report on Allied Commitments to Defense Spending dated March 1981. They are arranged alphabetically by title.





            SERIES I: CHRONOLOGICAL FILES, 1981-1982

Box 1

Chron 01/20/1981-01/26/1981

Chron 01/27/1981-01/28/1981

Chron 01/29/1981-01/31/1981

Chron 02/01/1981-02/10/1981

Chron 02/11/1981-02/19/1981

Chron 02/20/1981-02/27/1981

Chron 03/01/1981-03/17/1981

Chron 03/18/1981-03/31/1981

Chron 04/01/1981-04/30/1981

Chron 05/01/1981-05/13/1981

Chron 05/14/1981-05/31/1981

Chron 06/01/1981-06/04/1981

Chron 06/05/1981-06/08/1981

Chron 06/09/1981-06/16/1981

Chron 06/17/1981-06/30/1981

Chron 07/01/1981-07/14/1981

Chron 07/15/1981-07/22/1981

Chron 07/23/1981-07/30/1981

Chron 07/30/1981-07/31/1981

Chron 08/01/1981-08/13/1981

Chron 08/14/1981-08/31/1981

Chron 09/01/1981-09/13/1981

Chron 09/14/1981-09/31/1981


Box 2

Chron 10/02/1981-10/07/1981

Chron 10/08/1981-10/15/1981

Chron 10/16/1981-10/19/1981

Chron 10/20/1981-10/31/1981

Chron 11/01/1981-11/05/1981

Chron 11/06/1981-11/05/1981

Chron 11/10/1981-11/30/1981

Chron 12/01/1981

Chron 12/02/1981 (1)-(3)

Chron 12/03/1981-12/04/1981

Chron 12/05/1981

Chron 12/06/1981-12/07/1981

Chron 12/08/1981-12/09/1981

Chron 12/10/1981-12/15/1981

Chron 12/16/1981

Chron 12/17/1981

Chron 12/18/1981

Chron 12/19/1981-12/20/1981

Chron 12/21/1981

Chron 12/22/1981


Box 3

Chron 12/23/1981

Chron 12/24/1981-12/25/1981

Chron 12/26/1981-12/28/1981

Chron 12/29/1981-01/06/1982

Chron 01/07/1982-01/12/1982

Chron 01/13/1982-01/19/1982

Chron 01/20/1982 (1)(2)

Chron 01/21/1982



            Box 3, cont.

Record of Schedules 11/30/1981-12/15/1981

Record of Schedules 12/16/1981-01/05/1982

Monthly Reports 02/27/1981

Monthly Reports April 1981-June 1981

Monthly Reports July 1981

Monthly Reports August 1981

Monthly Reports September 1981

Monthly Reports October 1981

Monthly Reports November 1981

Monthly Reports December 1981

Nance to President 12/02/1981-12/12/1981
Nance to President 12/14/1981-12/18/1981

Nance to President 01/05/1982

Weekly Update for the President’s Issues Briefing Lunch 12/07/1981 (1)(2)


Box 4

Weekly Update for the President’s Issues Briefing Lunch 12/14/1981

Weekly Update for the President’s Issues Briefing Lunch 12/21/1981

Weekly Update for the President’s Issues Briefing Lunch 01/04/1982



            Box 4, cont.

Israeli Annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights: Public Reaction

Report on Allied Commitments to Defense Spending