Edward J. Drea

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Edward John Drea
Born (1944-02-24) February 24, 1944 (age 74)
Buffalo, New York
Subject Imperial Japanese Army,
Pacific War
Notable awards Samuel Eliot Morison Prize

Edward John Drea (born 24 February 1944) is an American military historian. He deals especially with the Imperial Japanese Army and the Pacific War.

Early life and education[edit]

Edward John Drea was born in Buffalo, New York, on 24 February 1944. He attended local grammar and high schools, and then entered Canisius College in Buffalo.


On graduation, in 1965, he joined the United States Air Force. He was sent for officer training at the Air Force Officer Training School at the Medina Training Annex at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and then to Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado, where he was trained as an intelligence officer. He was posted to the headquarters of the Fifth Air Force at Fuchū in Japan, arriving on 20 January 1968, where he monitored communications from communist countries. The Pueblo Incident four days after he arrived resulted in a heavy workload.[1]

Drea served a combat tour in Vietnam. In 1971, he entered the Sophia University in Tokyo on the G.I. Bill,[1] earning a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree.[2] Classes were taught in English and Japanese, and he became fluent in Japanese.[1] He was awarded a Japanese ministry of education dissertation fellowship,[1] which allowed him to gain a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in modern Japanese history from the University of Kansas in 1978,[2] writing his thesis on "The Japanese General Election of 1942: a Study of Political Institutions in Wartime".[3] He joined the Combat Studies Institute of the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1975, and became the head of the Research and Analysis Department at the US Army Center for Military History in Washington, D.C.. He also taught at United States Army War College.[2]


In 2003, he received the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for lifetime achievement from the Society for Military History.[4]


  • Drea, Edward J. (2009). Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853–1945. Modern War Studies. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press. ISBN 9780700622344. OCLC 967353659. 
  • Drea, Edward J. (1992). MacArthur's ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War against Japan, 1942–1945. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press. ISBN 9780700605040. OCLC 464001591. 
  • Drea, Edward J.; Cole, Ronald H.; Poole, Walter S.; Schnabel, James F.; Watson, Robert J.; Webb, Willard J. (2013). History of the Unified Command Plan 1946–2012,. Washington D. C. OCLC 836557655. 
  • Drea, Edward J. (2011). McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, 1965–1969. Washington D. C. ISBN 9780160881350. OCLC 764691714. 
  • Drea, Edward J.; Kaplan, Lawrence S.; Landa, Ronald D. (2006). The McNamara Ascendancy, 1961–1965. Washington D. C.: Office of Secretary of Defense. OCLC 226264386. 
  • Drea, Edward J. (1998). In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803266384. OCLC 470201299. 
  • Drea, Edward J. (1984). Defending the Driniumor: Covering Force Operations in New Guinea, 1944. Washington, DC. OCLC 260179570. 
  • Drea, Edward J. (1981). Nomonhan: Japanese-Soviet Tactical Combat, 1939. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute. ISBN 9781105650147. OCLC 936029327. 
  • Drea, Edward J. (1979). The 1942 Japanese General Election: political mobilization in wartime Japan. Lawrence, Kansas: Center of East Asian Studies, University of Kansas. OCLC 5219120. 


  1. ^ a b c d "Dr. Edward Drea oral history interview". The National Museum of the Pacific War. 17 September 2005. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Maddox, Robert James, ed. (2007). Hiroshima in History: the Myths of Revisionism. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-8262-1962-6. OCLC 720831424. 
  3. ^ "The Japanese General Election of 1942: a Study of Political Institutions in Wartime". University of Kansas. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Samuel Eliot Morison Prize". Society for Military History. Retrieved 30 April 2017.