Guide to the Philip W. Lett Collection, RG 740

Listed by: Anthony Donaldson
Date: October 2002

Date Span:

30 cubic feet

Number of Boxes:
18 RC Boxes + 1 Legal Doc Box + 1 Letter Doc Box + 2 Letter Doc Boxes + 9 Boxes Of Engineering Models + Oversize Folders

Biographical Sketch:
Philip Wood Lett (b. May 4, 1922- ), a native of Newton, Alabama, graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) in 1944 with a B. S. degree in mechanical engineering. He served in the United States Army in the Corps of Engineers during World War II. After the war he received a master's degree in engineering from the University of Alabama in 1947. Lett completed his education in 1951 when he earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. Lett is internationally recognized as the "father of the M-1 Tank." Lett began his civilian career as an engineer in 1950 when he went to work for the Chrysler Corporation. His thirty-two years with the Michigan-based company were marked by major accomplishments for both the Auburn graduate and Chrysler. He quickly climbed up the corporate ladder at Chrysler and held the positions of Vice President of Engineering, member of the Board of Directors of Chrysler Defense, Inc., as well as General Manager of the Chrysler Sterling Defense Division. In 1982, General Dynamics Land Systems Division purchased Chrysler's defense business and Dr. Lett served as Vice President and Assistant to the General Manager at General Dynamics until his retirement in 1987. He then founded PWL, Inc., a defense-consulting firm. In addition to leading the Chrysler design and development team that built the M-1 Tank for the United States Army, Dr. Lett has also been responsible for research and development of a variety of combat and tactical systems built for the United States military, including the T-51 Heavy Recovery Vehicle, the Heavy Equipment Transporter HET-70, and the Mobile Assault Bridge-Ferry Vehicle.

Scope and Content: The collection documents Dr. Philip Lett's long and productive career as an engineer, international consultant on military technology, as well as his humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors. The collection consists of personal and business correspondence, articles on the M-1 tank and other land-based combat vehicles, articles written by Dr. Lett, presentations made at national and international conferences, photographs, video and cassette tapes, computer disks, books, and engineering models.

Item list:
Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

Box 6

Box 7

Box 8

Box 9

Box 10

Box 11

Box 12

Box 13

Box 14

Box 15

Box 16

Box 17

Box 18

Box 19

Box 20

Box 21

Box 22

Engineering Models

Oversize Collection

The Following Books Have Been Removed And Placed In The Library's General Circulation:

Borissiouk, M.D., editor. Kharkov Morozov Machine-building Design Bureau. 1998.

Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World From World War I to the Present Day. London: Salamander Books, 2000

Military Parade Publishing House. Russia's Arms 2000. Moscow, Russia: Military Parade Publishing House, 2000.

Ogorkiewicz, R. M. Design and Development of Armored Fighting Vehicles, 1968

Ogorkiewicz, Richard M. Technology of Tanks, Volume I. United Kingdom: Jane's Information Group Limited, 1991.

Rolf, Hilmes. Main Battle Tanks: Developments in Design Since 1945. London and Washington: Brassey's Defense Publishers, 1987.

Spielberger, Walter J. From Half-Track to Leopard 2: The Complete Illustrated History of the Krauss-Maffei Ordnance Department. Munich, Germany: Bernard and Graefe, 1979.

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