James Edward Van Zandt

James Van Zandt was one of the military leaders approached by some of the Wall Street plotters as a possible frontman to rally a "super-army" of veterans, like France's Croix de feu. The plotters hoped to then manipulate such the army of veterans in their efforts to oust President F.D. Roosevelt and to create a fascist state in the U.S. Van Zandt promptly refused any part in Wall Street plotters' outrageous plan. Other military leaders who were considered as possible leaders of the fascist-controlled "super-army" were General Butler, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., former Legion Commander Hanford MacNider and Douglas MacArthur.

Here are some quotations refering to Van Zandt from Jules Archer's The Plot to Seize the White House, 1973

[Van Zandt] revealed to the press that he also had been approached by the plotters. Van Zandt was the head of the VFW. Van Zandt claimed that besides himself, MacArthur, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and MacNider had all been sounded out. p.5

Butler had come to Washington in 1932 at the urging of James Van Zandt, head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to lend moral support to veterans at a crucial moment. [see Bonus Army] p.3

MacGuire also informed Butler that James Van Zandt, the national commander of the V.F.W., would be one of those asked to serve as a leader of the new superorganization. He would be approached by one of MacGuire's envoys at the forthcoming V.F.W. convention in Louisville, Kentucky. p.29

Getting in touch with Van Zandt, Butler told the V.F.W. commander that he had been approached to lead a coup as head of a veterans' army. He warned that the conspirators intended to try to involve Van Zandt, too, at the V.F.W. convention in Louisville. Thanking him for the warning, Van Zandt assured Butler that he would have nothing to do with the plotters. p. 32

Jimmie [Van Zandt] and I [Butler] are going around the country [a tour organized by VFW] trying to educate the soldiers out of the sucker class." p. 129

Van Zandt, who revealed to the press that he, too, had been approached by "agents of Wall Street" to lead a Fascist dictatorship in the United States under the guise of a "Veterans Organization." p. 176

Van Zandt told reporters, MacArthur, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and former Legion Commander Hanford MacNider had recently been sounded out on their interest in leading the proposed Fascist veterans organization. He also charged that MacGuire had spent months in Europe studying Fascist organizations as models for an American one. p. 176

Here is some biographical information on Van Zandt:

Van Zandt, James Edward (1898-1986)
Born in Altoona, Blair County, Pa., December 18, 1898. Republican. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War I; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, 1939-43, 1947-63 (23rd District 1939-43, 22nd District 1947-53, 20th District 1953-63); served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; candidate for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1962. Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Died in Arlington, Arlington County, Va., January 6, 1986. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

James Edward Van Zandt was born at Altoona, Pa. in 1898. He attended the Pennsylvania Railroad Apprentice School. Van Zandt achieved a distinguished military career. He served in the Navy during WWI, was a member of the Naval Reserve (1919-1943), served in the Pacific and North Atlantic during WW II, and retired in 1959 as a rear admiral in the naval reserve. He served as a Republican Congressman from 1939 to 1943 and again from 1947 to 1963 having succeeded David Brumbaugh. In 1962, he was defeated in a U.S. Senate bid. Van Zandt died at Arlington, Va. in 1986. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery (Section 30). His wife, Esther L. Meisenhoelder Van Zandt (29 March 1907-23 March 1992) is buried with him.

VAN ZANDT, James Edward, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Altoona, Blair County, Pa., December 18, 1898; attended the public schools and the Pennsylvania Railroad Apprentice School, Altoona, Pa.; served in various departments until 1938, when he became district passenger agent; during the First World War enlisted as an apprentice seaman in the United States Navy on April 30, 1917, and served two years overseas; member of the United States Naval Reserve 1919-1943 with rank of lieutenant; national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars 1934-1936; elected as a Republican to the Seventy-sixth, Seventy-seventh, and Seventy-eighth Congresses and served from January 3, 1939, until his resignation September 24, 1943; while a Member of Congress was called to active duty in September 1941 and served until January 1942 with the Pacific Fleet and in escort convoy duty in the North Atlantic; reentered the service in September 1943 as a lieutenant commander and was assigned to the Pacific area until discharged as a captain, January 25, 1946, and retired as rear admiral, United States Naval Reserve, January 1, 1959; elected to the Eightieth and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1947-January 3, 1963); was not a candidate for renomination in 1962 to the Eighty-eighth Congress, but was an unsuccessful candidate for United States Senator; special representative of the governor of Pennsylvania until 1971; resided in Arlington, Va., where he died January 6, 1986; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.