James F. Tierney  Biographical Notes
Jerry Nelson (JIN)
Comments & corrections to: jerry_web@nelsonic.org
Former next-door neighbor in McLean, VA

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IG FARBEN WAR CRIMES TRIALS AT NUREMBERG  Jim Tierney was a fascinating neighbor.  He arrived in Europe as an Army Lieutenant and  freshly-minted lawyer -- too late to fight the war, but just in time to become the documentation officer at the Nuremberg trials of the industrial chemical cartel, "I.G. Farben", which used slave labor to power Hitler's war machine with synthetic fuel, munitions, artificial rubber, nylon -- even the poison gas used to kill enemies of the state and millions of Jews.  

To me, "IG Farben" was where my father worked when he was a Case Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Frankfurt station,  later in the 1950s.  Because of Jim, I finally looked up what all the fuss was about.   The IG Farben story is an amazing tale.

IG FARBEN RECONSTRUCTION  After the cartel was broken up, Jim worked with several of the "pieces" to protect their remaining infrastructure, secure scarce materials, and restore their business and thus Germany's prosperity.   Members of the Boards of Directors at Cassela Farbwerke Mainkur (Frankfurt) and  Bobingen AG für Textil-Faser (near Augsburg) gave Jim gifts inscribed in memory of their common work together.  

 You knew Jim came from The Greatest Generation because he kept insisting he wasn't anybody important.  For me, Jim's generation embodied the greatness Americans can sometimes achieve because he -- one and the same man from that generation -- could both prosecute the leading figures of a foreign society for war crimes, and work with others from the same set of leaders to rebuild their  personal and national prosperity.  

LEGAL CAREER  Jim became a prosecuting attorney for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1956, and was appointed by President Nixon in 1969 to serve as the FCC's administrative law judge.  After retirement in 1990, he served as an arbitrator for the DC Bar and NASD, the National Association of Securities Dealers, a quasi-private group set up to regulate stock brokers etc. under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  New York Stock Exchange self-regulatory functions and NASD responsibilities were consolidated under FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, in 2007.  

It was difficult to pry his stories out of him, but I tried anyway. Jim died 3 May 2009 (obituary).   Please mail me your corrections, additions --- and memories.  .  


 1940/1941:  LEND-LEASE

Jim’s parents had little money.  Jim did law school at night and worked days at  the British Purchasing Commission, which today is known for its airplane purchases -- so many, that it stimulated the American aviation industry before the US was even in the war.  From Jim's point of view, the action wasn't just airplanes.  The Purchasing Commission was busy implementing the Lend-Lease Plan by commissioning the purchase of everything under the sun,  especially airplanes, ships, lifeboats, lifeboat divots, tanks, machine  guns, anything iron or steel that looked like a boat or could be made into one.  Jim’s  born-in-Scotland grandmother got him into this historic  $35-a-week job. 

 Jim completed his law degree at St. John’s University in Queens in 1941. 

 LEND-LEASE BACKGROUND:  President Roosevelt recognized that the Fascist forces of Europe would have to be stopped, but entering the war was politically unpalatable to most Americans until the Pearl Harbor attack of Sunday, 7 December 1941.  This illustrates the adage that "Man cannot see the writing on the wall until his back is against it."

Pearl Harbor was Dec 1941, yet France had fallen and England was bombed in the Battle of Britain during the summer and autumn of 1940. Lend-Lease provided $50.1B (nearly $700B in 2007 dollars) of  materials presented to the public as a loan or a lease.  

 Jim did so well as the "bench boy" or go-fer that the commissioners recommended him to the Henry J. Kaiser Shipbuilding company  on Church St. up around 87th or 90th Ave.  That office had opened in  January of 1942.  Kaiser was rich compared to Great Britain, and Jim’s salary went from $35/week to $90/wk.  

Jim would have preferred to enlist in  the the Navy, but Chester W. Nimitz told him his eyesight was terrible and  the Office of Naval Personnel (which was what Nimitz ran at the time) wasn't going to make any  exemptions.  Handwritten letters from Nimitz sell for $1900 on eBay, a  hand-addressed envelope is $400, so I told Jim to go find this autographed  letter.  Fleet Commander Nimitz rose to be Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet in WWII and led the  Battle of Midway  and the liberation of Guam.


 In 1942, Jim volunteered to enlist one month early in the Army-Air Force.   After struggling to make his bunk in Ft. Dix New Jersey for 3 weeks, the  Army sent him to a hotel in Atlantic City.  The Army had commandeered the hotels and there weren't any maids or room service, but real beds were  easier to deal with than bunks in a barracks.

There was a shortage of rifles to train with -- the other, advanced troops got the  1903 Springfield rifle, enlarged from 7 mm (about .28 caliber) to .30  caliber in 1906, and called the "30-ought six" ever after.  It was the best  bolt-action rifle ever made, and beloved of snipers as late as the Viet Nam  war.  Jim, unfortunately, got the old British Lee Enfield rifle and complains to this day it was too heavy. The Enfield is .303 caliber.

 ON TO YALE & GLEN MILLER  People poured into the Army, and Jim was asked to help an intelligence unit  interview new recruits looking not only for criminality but also for Nazi  sympathizers.  He was made a corporal and transferred to do more interviews at Yale University, where he lived in Graduate Hall. 

Yale Graduate Hall of Studies courtyard

 Yale courtyard, from an old postcard

 Entrance to Yale Graduate Hall of Studies

  Entrance to Yale today

One interviewee was the wife of Moe Purtill, Glenn Miller's drummer, who was a German American and had to be checked for Nazi sympathies.  After enlisting, Glenn Miller had established a band that was billeted on the  University campus (1943-44) along with Jim.  Miller's twenty-four piece marching band, which later grew to forty pieces, accompanied the cadets to  the New Haven Green for morning review and evening retreat ceremonies.

Still a corporal, Jim went  to to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in late  1943, probably at Ft. Benning, Georgia.   OCS had been cranking out "90 Day Wonders" (2nd Lieutenants), but just as Jim arrived  the course was put back to 120 days.  The fun and games included jumping off a tower into a tank of water to simulate abandoning ship if you got torpedoed on the high seas.  By grabbing your barracks bag (a lighter-weight duffel bag) as you went down, you could fill it with air and use it for flotation.  Jim's bag wound up around his neck, and he had to be pulled out of the tank, but they passed him anyway.


 By February 1944, Jim was a 2nd lieutenant on his way to the Combat Intelligence School of the US Amy Air Force in Harrisonburg PA.   Intelligence for combat begins with learning to identify military aircraft  as friend or foe before shooting them out of the sky.  This skill was especially important for the heavy bomber crews pointing anti-aircraft guns at other planes. 

Knowing more than he ever wanted to about every plane in the Japanese,  German, British and American fighting forces, Jim transferred from  Harrisonburg to Fresno, CA for a couple weeks and then on to Walla Walla  Washington, where many heavy bombing crews were being trained. 

During World War II the 2,164-acre Walla Walla Army Airbase was developed as a training base for B-17 ("The Flying Fortress") and B-24 aircraft ("The Liberator"), America's two heavy bombers.   During the war years, it was estimated that more than 8,000 officers were trained in Walla Walla producing 594 heavy  bomber crews.  Those crews completed approximately 114,414 hours  in the air while training.  (See http://www.wallawallaairport.com/ownership/history.cfm )   Jim thought the base population overall was about 15,000 people when he was there.   (Contemporaneous air base archival newspaper material at  http://www.wallawallaairport.com/archives/article.htm  is neglected and unsearchable 7/09.)

 Our other WWII bombers were the B-25, small enough to take off from  aircraft carriers, and the B-26, used extensively on D-Day.  The B-26 was fast, but dangerous on takeoff if the crew was not well-trained. 

The B-24 Liberator has 4 engines, a double tail and 50 caliber machine guns -- not 30 like the British.  50 caliber guns can tear buildings and other planes to shreds.  The plane had dual-barrel guns in the nose, in the upper ball, and in the tail turrets, while the waist gunner manned either of two single guns  pointing out opposite sides of the plane.   These are the days before "radar lock" and "missile launch".   If you want to get rid of an attacking plane, shoot it down yourself.  

Jim got lots of rides on B-24s and could  still recognize Yakima, Moses Lake and places all over eastern Washington State from the air.  

A less enjoyable part of the work was recovering the bodies of dead B-24  crews who crashed into the Blue Mountains on a weekly basis, dying only 50 miles  away and often on night training flights.  Sometimes the dead men were from  local states, and Jim or others from Walla Walla had to accompany the  bodies home, both to inform relatives of the loss, and to see to it that the  coffins remained sealed, as the bodies were typically destroyed and burned  beyond recognition.  (The planes carried up to 3,600 gals of aviation fuel.)

 Crews were typically 10 persons: pilot, co-pilot,  engineer,  radio operator, navigator, bombardier, nose, ball, waist and tail gunners

The war effort could sustain one or two B-24 crashes on a weekly basis out  at Walla Walla, as over 18,000 planes were built, although in several  variations.  B-24s dropped over 630 kilotons of bombs -- the equivalent of 30 small atomic bombs.   (Hiroshima's Little Boy yielded 15 kilotons;  Nagasaki's Fat Man yielded 20 kilotons.) 


B-24 bombers, "The Liberator"

B-24 bombers.  Note the Plexiglas belly bubble, the mid-ships side-gun (behind the wing) and the tail gun. 


After about 5 months in Walla Walla, Jim transited through Wright Patterson  Field, Dayton Ohio to Freeman Field in Seymour Indiana.  A bomber group (40 to 50 aircraft) was formed and  training to go to the Pacific from Walla Walla, but Jim was split off from  it.

Freeman Field was a repository for captured foreign aircraft, where they were flown, tested, and reverse-engineered (formally, Freeman Field was home to the Foreign Aircraft Evaluation Center of the US Air Force).  Enemy radar sets and even V-1 and V-2 rockets arrived at the base.  

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN:   Several all-black groups including the Tuskegee Airmen  also trained there, sometimes with public racial tensions on the base (recollected here, from Disabled American Veterans Magazine for Jan/Feb 2006).  

Flying out of their own separate airfields, the Tuskegee Airmen flew P-51  Mustang fighter escorts for heavy bomber missions. Often the bombers were flying into Germany across the Alps and the fighters were coming up for escort duty out of small airstrips in the foothills of northern Italy and Austria.   The bomber crews who came to love to see the fighter escorts come into sight often never  realized their pilots were black.  This was certainly the case for one  disabled B-24 crew shot up over Linz, Austria and forced to make an  emergency landing on small airstrip off the Adriatic in northern Italy.   Everyone that rushed out to help the disabled plane was black.  On that occasion, one crew member refused to sleep in the black sleeping quarters; today, you couldn’t keep these men away from their reunions together.  http://www.af.mil/news/airman/0202/crew.html

At Freeman Field,  Jim liked running around on a forklift and was caught stacking  aircraft engines and upbraided because "officers don't work".  Jim made it to 1st Lieutenant anyway. 

The move from Walla Wall WASH to Ohio pointed Jim away from the Pacific Theater and towards Europe.


Promoted to First Lieutenant,  Jim was sent through France (with a brief visit to Paris) to then to Germany.  Luxury transportation into Frankfurt, Germany  was a C-47, a noisy  2 engine plane with bucket seats.  With the Rhein-Main Airport bombed out of existence, the  rough flight ended with a rougher landing at a steel-mats-over-mud airstrip.  Fighting  ended in Europe only in the first half of May, 1945.  

 BERLIN and MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM DRAPER     Berlin was divided  into four occupied sectors, each with a military governor from one of the  victors (Russia, Britain, France, USA). These four governors together formed the Allied Kommandatura, which governed Berlin.  Four flags flew from the building, and guards from four nations' armed forced stood in front.

Berlin was governed from the 4-power Kondatura Building.

 Whenever Jim walked from where he lived to where he worked with Draper,  he passed the Kommandatura building and everyone saluted him.  

The Allied Kommandatura was located in Dahlem/Zehlendorf, at 16-18 Kaiserswerther Strasse & Thielallee.  It was returned to the Freie Universität Berlin, whose campus is in the neighborhood.  The Allied Control Council (ACA) occupied the much larger home of the German Supreme Court of Prussia, the 'Kammergericht'.  (It became the Kammergericht once again in 1994.)  The Kommandatura governed Berlin, the ACA governed Germany as a whole, and, within the ACA,  the US Zone was governed by OMGUS, the Office of Military Government, United States, under General Lucius D. Clay

The Americans, British, and French worked well enough together, but the Soviet general (Marshal Vasily Sokolovsky) walked out of the Allied Control Council in June of 1948 (the last meeting he attended was in March).. The other Allies  have never officially accepted this walkout, and so, until the building was given to the Free University of Berlin, you could see  the  Russian flag still flying over the front door.  

Jim met his Russian counterparts on the de-cartellization commission and partied afterwards at the Harnack Haus, home to  the officers canteen and many formal dances.  Drinking with his Russian counterpart meant standing to give (or receive) a toast, and downing a shot of vodka in one gulp, if humanly possible.  Jim was never a great drinker, but persisted because he enjoyed watching his opposite number soften and start to share "comradeship" with a little "C".    

Harnack Haus, now returned to the Max Planck Gesellschaft, successor to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
Harnack Haus, now returned to the Max Planck Gesellschaft, successor to
the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.

With the founding of the Federal Republic of German ("West Germany") in May, 1949, the three western allies formed the successor to the ACA, namely the  High Commission of Germany.    (JIN: The High Commission of German gave the housing project where I lived as a child in Frankfurt from 1952-57 its name, “HiCoG.  Americans still lived there in 1967, when I asked a lady walking her dog if it was still called “Hicog”.  She said yes.  “Do you know that stand for?”  “I don’t know, just Hicog.")

Jim Tierney in Germany ca. 1947 
click to enlarge
Jim Tierney in Germany, ca. 1947


 Maj. Gen. William Draper said Jim was needed at the Allied I.G. Farben  Control Group offices, so Jim went to Griesheim just outside of Frankfurt.  (Jim, do you have a better name than  "Allied I.G. Farben Control Group"  ?)

 Besides developing Zyklon B poison for the gas chambers, I. G. Farben used  SS troops to run slave labor camps, notably the buna rubber factory that  was a satellite to the Auschwitz concentration camp.  25,000 laborers were worked to death before they could get to the gas chambers for  extermination. 

 The  I.G. Farben company and the Hitler regime cooperated  closely on the financing, manufacture and supply of much  war material.  For this reason, the U.S. wanted to break up the giant chemical industry cartel, convict its  officers, and denazify what remained.  Jim was needed to gather documentation for these proceedings.  

How many billions in aid were given by the Federal Republic of Germany in reparations to Jews for confiscated property and the unpaid wages of slave labor?  Justice is imperfect, and the Germany Embassy turned repeatedly to the lawyer  Peter Heidenberger as claims of varying validity were filed in the United States against Germany.  Peter, as chance would have it, turned out to be a neighbor at Gwen and Jim’s beach house in Bethany Beach, DE.

 For more on Peter Heidenberger, see: From Munich to Washington: A German-American Memoir
Kabel Publishers Inc.. Rockville, MD 20852, 2004, 177pp.  (Kabel Publishers Inc.. 11225 Huntover Dr, Rockville, MD 20852-3613;  tel/fax 301/468-6463)


 I. G. Farben was broken up in 1952 into:

 As you can see, it was a pretty big outfit.


  Nuremberg Trials- Overview of Courtroom

Overview of the Nuremberg Trials courtroom

The I.G. Farben Trial at Nuremberg was held from 27 August 1947 to 30 July 1948.

Twenty-three  I. G. Farben executives came to trial in the Nuremberg Trials and 12 or 13 received prison sentences.  The executives who set up the Auschwitz III  camp for buna rubber manufacturing where 25,000 people were killed got 6  years prison time for "enslavement".   They were Carl Frauch and Heinrch Buetefisch,  Director of IG Auschwitz; see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/IG_Farben).

 Josiah E. Dubois, Jr. was the deputy chief of counsel for War Crimes in charge of the I.G. Farben case. Dubois wrote the book, The Devil’s Chemists  (1952; republished as Generals in Grey Suits, 1953).  DuBois's book is  critical of the outcome of the trial, and of Justice Morris's impact on it.   According to Joseph Borkin, the author of The Crime and Punishment of I.G.  Farben (1978), as DuBois left the courtroom after the decision, he declared: "I'll write a book about this if it's the last thing I ever do."

 His book is available on the Web: http://www.spitfirelist.com/Books/dubois01a.pdf   for the first half of the book, up to page 121 and http://www.spitfirelist.com/Books/dubois02a.pdf for  pp 122 - end The illustrations come after page 78. 


 The Nuremburg Trial of I.G. Farben - The Defendants

The I.G. Farben defendants at trial in Nuremberg


Borkin, like Dubois, cites Justice Morris for being impatient with the  prosecution:  Borkin writes that Morris "voiced his irritation with the  proceedings" and scolded the prosecutor: "This trial is being slowed down  by a mass of contracts, minutes and letters that seem to have such slight  bearing on any possible concept of proof in this case."

 For a modern scholarly treatment, see  http://www.court.state.nd.us/court/history/century/ii.k.htm

The man who particularly wanted Jim was Edwin S. Pilsbury, a wealthy lawyer  from California, who told him, "Jim, we need you to take care of building  up documentation for trials at Nuremberg."

 Jim says, "The Germans convicted themselves. They made copies of  everything.  They saved their copies in salt mines.  I went there and told  the employees, 'Don't remove anything'.  Every document ended with 'Heil  Hitler' at the bottom."

The prosecution table at the Nuremberg Trial of I.G. Farben; from DuBois, "The Devel's Chemists"

Nuremberg Trials.  The prosecution table.   From DuBois’ book, The Devil's Chemists.  Jim Tierney is the left-most of the three men in the rear, listening to their simultaneous translation earphone.  We could make a better scan of this photo if someone would dig out Jim's copy of DuBois’s book. 


NUREMBERG TRIALS -- The I.G. Farben Case 27Aug1947 - 30Jul1948

 The proceedings run to 1400 pages and were available from the Government  Printing Office:




 For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S Government Printing Office Washington 25, D.C. - Price $4.75 (Buckram)

For Web access: The Mazal Library,  http://www.mazal.org/archive/nmt/07/NMT07-F001.htm
or search in Google on  "  related:www.mazal.org/NMT-HOME.htm  "   

The complexities revealed by the trial at Nuremberg of the I.G. Farben industrial cartel is thought by many to have been Eisenhower's inspiration for his famous pronouncement upon leaving the presidency in 1961:

 In the councils of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.


Jim says there were about 30 war crimes trials outside of Nuremberg.   Whereas Nuremberg was run by the 4 Allied powers, the Americans alone  pursued such cases as the trial of Ilse Koch, the "Bitch of Buchenwald," an SS officer's  wife who made lampshades out of the skins of prisoners, among other crafts.

Very early after the war, there were also some extralegal executions.  Petty tyrants too small for the Americans to prosecute were released, but sometimes they were released to partisans who took them to a Displaced Persons camp whose residents knew them very well.  Jim indicated they were promptly executed (murdered).  He had never witnessed such an event in the camps, demurred that it was mob violence, and said he believed the people in the camp were immediately assembled, the person publicly accused, and shot on the spot.    (JIN: I had never heard of revenge killings before.  Concentration camp survivors more often say they must not sink to the level of their captors.)  

 Jim:  “I was sent by my colonel to Munich and passed the former Dachau  concentration camp, liberated by the 3rd Army.  The people had nowhere to  go and were living in "DP Camps" (Displaced Persons) near the old  concentration camps.  There were several concentration camps in the Western  zones.”

Camps:  Dachau (American Zone, prosecution late 1945),  Bergen-Belsen (British Zone, prosecution Nov 1945),  Sachsenhausen (Oranienburg),  Buchenwald. 

 Jim: "At Stalin's request, thousands of Russian POWs were forcibly returned  to Russia in 1945 by the Americans.  The prisoners were in handcuffs and leg  irons, because they would rather run up on your bayonet and kill themselves  than go back.  We loaded them onto transport cars.  What a terrible mistake.   When they got back to Russia, they were either killed or sent to Siberia."

Jim: “A German Jew who came to America as the war broke out returned to Germany and participated in both the Nuremberg trial of IG Farben and he  worked with me afterwards as the company was split and its parts  reconstituted separately.  He was a lawyer in Berlin and certainly knew  German law because he taught it.  In America, he went the NYU Law School.   He went by the name Randolph Newman in America, and Rudolph Neumann in Germany.  We were responsible for the de-Nazification of this industrial cartel, and this Jewish man overruled me.  I would say ‘This man is a Nazi and we have the documents to show it’ and Newman or Neumann would say he  was just a businessman, he is so patrician.   He overruled me and let Nazi businessmen back into German business.”

(JIN: It seemed clear from Jim's description that Newman longed for acceptance by  the high German social elites he himself had once seemingly entered in liberal Berlin,  but ultimately had to flee.  In Marburg, Germany,  the city tour guide pointed out to us in the '80s  a building which written records established as Jewish property going back over 300 years.  Three hundred years is longer than my country has existed as a nation, yet the German nation turned on these, its own citizens, and rounded them up for extermination.  We can share Jim's eternal frustration with his superior Newman, but we should pause to reflect on the depth of the man's confusion -- confusion about justice, loyalty, and even his own identity.)

ffJim Tierney in Germany ca. 1949 
click to enlarge
James F. Tierney in Germany ca. 1949


 Germany faced starvation, a rising infant mortality rate, and limited resources to get thousands of unproductive people trapped in “”DP” (Displaced Persons) camps out of their of shacks and sheds and resettled into working, productive lives.  (JIN: A fourth-grade outing of my Army-American grade school took us to see a DP camp first hand.  As late as 1953, it was terrible, a shanty-town of cold, muddy streets.  Now I understood why our parents were always holding charity events for “displaced person resettlement” funds.   But what I remember most was my spinster teacher trying to explain to the kids literally hanging on her skirts afterwards, stunned and asking her, “Why do they have children if they have to live like that?”  She looked straight at us and said, “Because maybe they think it can make them happy.”  She hoped we would understand.  She smiled patiently hoping we would understand but we were young.  There was nothing more to say.)

The Russians unbolted everything in East Germany they could and shipped it east.  Russia’s “bleed it white” policy also depopulated the rural countryside, a demographic change which the CIA tracked by counting newspaper reports of children – and even adults – killed by growing packs of wolves.  The French also confiscated industrial infrastructure, while the British and especially the Americans increasingly saw the need to get Germany prosperous again.  The initial intent – before the Marshal plan – was to convert Germany to an agrarian economy and save the world from war, which it was believed only Germans knew how to start. 

When Allied plans shifted to re-industrialization, people were needed to supervise Germany’s largest, most powerful chemical & industrial corporate entities, to help them re-build and to ensure that the same bad players did not rise within them (“de-nazification”).  Jim was one of the people tapped to perform this role, and he was urged to leave the Army and immediately re-enter government service as a civilian.  Jim had an inside-out familiarity with the most powerful chemical industry players from his work as  “documentation officer” for the  Nuremberg Trial of Germany’s giants of the chemical industry.  He became a true industry insider and  wound up supervising many of Germany’s largest players in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. 

 (Jim, when did you leave the Army?  Did you go home and come back?
What rank did they give you to come back in?  GS-12?)

 From 1945 to 1951, Jim supervised 45-50 different companies in the U.S. Zone and in the U.S. Sector of Berlin.  His authority was in some respects above the position of CEO and Chairman of the Board, as he was empowered to pass on who was appointed to either position.  (JIN: It's a pity our own banking industry has been handed over a trillion dollars with less supervision than this.)  His “supervision” included protection and procurement.  For each company under his care, Jim was the best liaison channel  to the American Forces.  Jim was in a position to deflect scarce supplies to “his” plants or secure needed transportation.  Nylon or Perlon?  There was competition and cross-licensing between  DuPont and BASF  over these  two nylon variants even before World War II.  Jim's  support enabled Perlon to emerge as an early, successful  driver of economic recovery in Germany's  post-war  industrial chemical industries. 

 At least two companies’ top officials were moved to give Jim tokens of their appreciation for successful governance and reconstruction when Jim left in 1951.


Gift from Cassela Farbwerke (Dye Factory) Mainkur Frankfurt/Main to the American soldier/lawyer who supervised their reconstruction.

Coffee service given by  Cassela Farbwerke Mainkur (a former unit of the I.G. Farben cartel in Nazi Germany) to the young American serviceman and lawyer who supervised their "denazification" and reconstruction after World War II.  

 The tray from Cassela Farbwerke (Dye Factory)  Mainkur Frankfurt/Main  is inscribed on the bottom
Zur Erinnerung, 1945-1951
Dr. Ch. K.
Dr. W.K.
H.-B. N.
Prof. Dr. Zck

“Professor Dr. Zck” is obviously Prof Dr. Werner Zerweck, who went on to serve as the first post-war CEO of Farbwerke Mainkur in 1952.  The other initials are harder to find on the Internet.

 Farwerke Mainkur dedication to the American serviceman who supervised their post-War reconstruction.


 Tierney’s straight-arrow reputation formed early.  One of the German managers in one of the plants Jim supervised was bribed in US dollars, which were illegal tender in Germany at the time.  The person offering the bribe had no trouble with that, because he was visiting from American on behalf of powerful interests.  His goal was to get the manager to change the classification of dyestuffs to “damaged”.  Germany was the inventor and leading manufacturer of “coal-tar” or “aniline” dyes, as research into the byproducts of coal combustion in the steel industry and leading to the founding of a major branch of organic chemistry generally.  In any event, getting these products labeled “damaged” would have changed pricing and tariffs and generated 450 to $100 million (Jim, in 1950 dollars?!!) in profits for those driving the bribery. 

 The man offering Jim’s manager the bribe had a powerful law firm behind him and friends in Congress as well, all of whom threw their weight around, resulting in Jim being called onto the carpet before General Lucius Clay in Berlin.  Clay was the father of the Berlin Airlift and rose from deputy to Eisenhower in 1945 to military governor of the U.S. Zone from 1947-1949, when he retired, so this event occurred in 1947-49.  Jim had some of the dollars used in the bribe and recovered from the German civilian, which violated Clay’s own rules.  Clay supported Jim and ended the affair then and there.

 --end of BIO sketch based on interviews

Jim was a Federal Judge, but did not sit on a Circuit Court.  Perhaps he served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Judge Harold H. Greene, who broke up AT&T, served on that court, and Jim knew him personally.

 After retirement, Jim reviewed many cases to support  the court in deciding procedural matters (rulings on motions to dismiss an attorney or accept a particular complaint as part of a lawsuit, or to accept a claim as suitable in reckoning damages).  Many of these cases involved investments and securities.

Gwen Tierney, ca 1951

Gwen Tierney, ca. 1951
As busy as Jim was down in the salt mines retrieving hidden documents for
the Nuremberg Trials, he also managed to find and court his lifetime companion, Gwen, the only daughter in an American Army family that left for Germany in 1947.

Jim and Gwen were married in Arlington, VA, 26 December 1953, a year or two after Jim returned from Germany.  He obtained a job as prosecuting attorney for the FCC, and became an administrative law judge with the Federal Comminications Commission (a Presidential Appointment) in 1969.  

Jim  remained in the Reserves and rose to Lt. Colonel, a move which gave Gwen PX and Commissary privileges.

 Upon retirement from the FCC, Jim served as an arbitartor with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD);   Cases often involved disputes between investors and the brokers handling their money.  The NASD is the self-policing arm of the NASDAQ (NASD Automatic Quotation system--a computer network, not an open-call marketplace with real people).  The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE; a real market taking place in a room) had a self-policing arm as well.  Both the NYSE and NASD self-regulators were combined into FINRA (Financial INdustry  Regulatory Authority) in 2007.  The Authoritiy has been criticized from dropping the pursuit of violations as reflected in the drop in fines levied against violators from nearly $150 million yearly  to less than $50M/yr.  

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 BACKGROUND:  Lend-Lease purchasing

 Lend-Lease Act was passed in March 1941. Washington suddenly and unexpectedly terminated Lend-Lease on September 2, 1945.

 Arthur B. Purvis was made chairman of the Anglo-French Purchasing Board in  the United States. That Board drove (or became) the British Purchasing Commission.  Representatives of other Commonwealth countries had representatives on the Commission.  Sir Clive Baillieu was Director General  of the British Purchasing Commission (but possibly only in Australia?)  

BACKGROUND:  Kaiser Shipbuilding

 Henry J. Kaiser's Kaiser Shipbuilding company got a contract to build so many troop ships that he needed a new shipyard in Richmond, California.  To prepare for constructing the new yard and the building of ships that would be much more complex than Liberty ships, Clay Bedford opened a Kaiser office in New York City in January 1942, and Dan Peacock moved there temporarily to start purchasing materials.  The old Liberty ships consisted of only 9,600 items, but the new C-4 troop transports would require a much more complex purchasing program, because each C-4 needed about 130,000 items.  Bedford and Peacock hired Jim Tierney to help.  Morris Wortman,  Kaiser's chief facilities engineer, and Harry Bernat, the marine design  engineer, also came to New York to start designing the layout of the new  California shipyard. 

BACKGROUND Glenn Miller at Yale, 1943 - 1944

 Glenn Miller enlisted and formed a band.  Officially, they were the 418th  Army Air Forces Band from the Technical School of the Army Air Force  Technical Training Command stationed at Yale University.  Miller was in  charge of forming all the bands for the Army Air Force Technical Training  Command.  He surveyed the recruits passing through Atlantic City for basic  training to spot any musicians, and assigned the best to his own band. 

 On March 30, 1943, the 418th AAF Band settled into their quarters at 58  Lake Place, the former dormitories of Yale art students.  Three months  later, they moved to Durfee Hall in the Old Yale Quadrangle.  A twenty-four  piece marching band, which later grew to forty pieces, accompanied the  cadets to the New Haven Green for morning review and evening retreat  ceremonies.  

BACKGROUND:  Glenn Miller's drummer, Moe Purtill & his wife Nance Flake

 [ Red Norvo Orch ] b. March 31, 1908, Beardstown, IL Theme Song: "Mr. and  Mrs. Swing" (This song represented the fact that the 'girl' vocalist,  Mildred Bailey, was also Red's wife.)

 Mildred and Red co-directed their own orchestra during the 1936 to 1939 years. Mildred, who was part Native American, was probably one of the two or three greatest pop and jazz singers of her day. Her brother was Al  Rinker, one of Whiteman's 'Rhythm Boys'(along with Bing Crosby and Harry  Barris). Red had a great little band which finally disbanded due to friction between the sidemen and Red's wife.

 Red was a soloist with the Paul Whiteman Orch in the late 20's. By 1935, he had a sextet that was playing the Famous Door club in NYC. By 1936, he was fronting a 'big' 10 piece band (really the augmented sextet) at the  Syracuse Hotel (Syracuse, NY). The girl singer was Nance Flake, who later married Moe Purtill, Red's drummer.

In 1938, Moe Purtill moved to the Glenn Miller band and greatly invigorated it.  Murtill was still with Miller at Yale in 1943, when his wife had to be grilled by intelligence cadet James Tierney to asses her loyalty. 

 After singer Nancy Flake left for Glenn Miller’s orchestra, Mildred Bailey, Red's wife took over the singing chores for his band.   A lot of tongues were wagging when Red married Mildred due to Red being a 'white' man and Mildred  was a Native American woman. Mildred's voice was absolutely lovely, but the bandsmen found her not an easy person to get along with.


top  of this BIO page
a military burial at Arlington Cemetery
some Tierney family photos
background on IG Farben industrial cartel which Jim prosecuted at Nuremberg
home for this Website (such as it is)

JIN Rev 13May09, 30Jul09 17Aug09 +2 photos of Jim in 1940s,
Rev Jan19 email, link to.german-hosiery-museum nylon/perlon story for 1951