Post WWII - Vietnam War
General Paul Freeman, Jr
Commander, 4th Infantry Division 56-57
Commander, Infantry School 58-60
Commander, US Army in Europe 62-65
Commander, Continental Army Command 65-67
General Paul L. Freeman, Jr. was born in the Philippines, the son of an Army doctor, and spent his youth at various military posts. He was graduated from the United State Military Acadamy at West Point in 1929, and served two tours of duty in China in the 1930's. Aide to General Stilwell
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, he was was assistant military attache in Chungking, China. He later served as assistant chief of staff to Gen. Joseph Stilwell in the China-Burma-India theater.
In 1943 General Freeman returned to the United States to help plan the final assault on Japan, and in 1944 he participated in the Sixth Army's campaigns in the Philippines.
In July 1950, General Freeman, who was then a colonel commanding the the 23d Infantry Regiment of the Second Division in Korea, participated in the defense of the Pusan Perimeter. After China's intervention in November 1950 the regiment fought as the rear guard at Kunuri in the Eighth Army's retreat. In February 1951 Colonel Freeman's regiment, while attacking in the central part of the Korean front, held off five Chinese divisions after it was cut off for three days before being relieved. Colonel Freeman, who was wounded in the battle, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for this action.
After the Korean War General Freeman held several high command posts, including commander in chief of United States Army forces in Europe and commanding general of the Continental Army Command. Besides his combat decorations General Freeman was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the nation's highest peacetime military award, for his service in Europe. Among his other decorations were two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He was also awarded the French Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre, and held decorations from Brazil, Spain and West Germany.
He was promoted to full general in 1962. After retiring from the Army in 1967 he joined Litton Industries as vice president for operations planning in its Melonics division.
General Maurice Preston
Commanding General, 19th Air Force 60-63
Commanding General, 5th Air Force 63-66
Commander-in-Chief, US Air Force In Europe 66-68
General Maurice Arthur Preston is commander in chief, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, which has the principal mission of training, maintaining and employing the combat-ready Air Force units pledged by the United States to NATO. It is the air component of the unified U.S. European Command. In addition to maintaining a constant alert as a primary instrument of western defense, USAFE provides tactical and logistics support for all U.S. and some NATO forces in Europe, and assists Air Forces of other NATO nations in developing their combat capabilities. The USAFE commander in chief also commands the Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force, the NATO unit to which the bulk of USAFE's combat strength is committed. In time of war, USAFE's mission would be directed by the supreme allied commander, Europe, from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
General Preston was born in Weed, Calif., in 1912, and graduated from high school in Tulare, Calif., in 1931. After attending St. Mary's College in California, he entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduating June 12, 1937. He completed flying school at Kelly Field, Texas, in October 1938, and then served in various squadron positions before he was assigned as commander of the 62nd Bombardment Squadron at Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz., in 1941. He later became deputy group commander of the 34th Bombardment Group there. In June 1942, he was transferred to Gowen Field, Idaho, and served as deputy group commander of the 34th Bombardment Group and then as deputy commander of the 29th Bombardment Group. In January 1943, he became commander of the 379th Bombardment Group at Wendover Field, Utah.
He took the 379th to Europe in early 1943 and flew 45 combat missions in the B-17 Flying Fortress. He participated in the now-historic Schweinfurt attacks, leading the second one on April 13, 1944, which he recalls as "a high point in respect to unit performance." "The yardstick on all of our missions was simple and to the point," General Preston says. "It was basically a question of how many bombs were delivered on target, versus the price we paid in losses." He commanded the 41st Bombardment Wing from October 1944 until May 1945, when he returned to the United States. General Preston was then assigned as base commander of the 231st Army Air Force Base Unit at Alamogordo, N.M.
He enrolled as a student at the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1946, and upon graduating in June 1947, became the chief, Inter-American Security Branch and Military Coordinating Committee, of the Permanent Joint Board of Defense Canada and United States, Washington, D.C. He later joined the Plans Division of Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Going overseas in 1949, General Preston was appointed deputy commander for Plans and Operations of the U.S. Northeastern Command, with duty station at St. Johns, Newfoundland.
Assigned to the Strategic Air Command in March 1952, General Preston became commander of the 308th Bombardment Wing (Medium) at Hunter Air Force Base, Ga. In January 1954 he assumed command of the Strategic Air Command's 4th Air Division at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Reassigned to Air Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in May 1956, he was named deputy director of operations in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff/Operations. He assumed the position of director of operations in August 1957. On July 25, 1960, he became commander of the Tactical Air Command's Nineteenth Air Force, often termed "the suitcase Air Force" because of its ability to move instantly anywhere in the world as the command nucleus and planning elements of the Tactical Air Command's Composite Air Strike Force. He became commander, U.S. Forces Japan and commander, Fifth Air Force, in August 1963, and in August 1966 he assumed his present position.
General Preston has logged some 7,000 flying hours in just about every type of aircraft within the U.S. Air Force. He is rated as a navigator and bombardier, and in addition to being a command pilot, he became the first Air Force officer of his rank to go through the Army's paratroop jump school and won his paratrooper's wings in October 1960. n July 1966, his Imperial Highness, Hirohito, the Emperor of Japan, conferred Japan's First Order of the Sacred Treasure on General Preston, then commander of the U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force. The decoration, one of the highest awards the Government of Japan bestows upon a foreign military officer, was presented to General Preston by Defense Minister Raizo Matsuno and General Yoshifusa Amano, chairman of the Joint Staff Council, Japan Defense Agency.
His other decorations include the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with seven oak loaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal and the Purple Heart.
General Dwight Beach
Commander, US Eighth Army Korea 65-66
Commander, US Army Pacific 66-68
General Dwight E. Beach was born in Lima Township, Washtenaw County, MI, on 20 July 1908.
Beach attended the University of Michigan for two years before transferring to the U.S. Military Academy. After graduating with the Class of 1932, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery and detailed to the Army Air Corps. Prior to World War II he served with various horse-drawn field artillery units.
After Pearl Harbor and the beginning of WWII, Beach was transferred to the Southwest Pacific where he organized and commanded the 167th Field Artillery Battalion, using wild horses purchased in Australia to draw the artillery. After converting to tractor-drawn artillery, his unit in the 41st Infantry Division participated in campaigns in the Southwest Pacific area from Australia, through New Guinea, to the Philippines and Japan. In the Philippines he became Executive Officer of the 24th Division Artillery. Beach participated in four amphibious assaults at Aitape, Maffin Bay, Wakde' and Palawan, also in the follow-up phase of amphibious operations in Biak and Zamboango. He also participated in overland operations at Davao.
In Korea, Beach commanded the artillery of the 11th Airborne Division; artillery of the 45th Infantry Division; and served as Artillery officer and Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Combat Operations, Eighth United States Army. In November 1954, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Eighth U.S. Army in Korea.
Following Korea, Gen. Beach was assigned to the U.S. Continental Army Command as the Director of the Office of Special Weapons Development at Fort Bliss, TX. He was then assigned to the Department of the Army in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations as the Director of Guided Missiles. During Gen. Beach's tour at the Pentagon, the U.S. Army placed the first free-world satellite (Explorer I) in orbit in January 1958, and accomplished the first missile intercept of very low attitude aircraft in May 1958. Gen. Beach commanded the 82nd Airborne Division from July 1959 to April 1961.
In May 1961, Gen. Beach became the Deputy Chief of Research and Development, Department of the Army in Washington, DC. During the escalation of US involvement in Vietnam, he served as Commanding General for the U.S. Army Combat Developments Command in Fort Belvoir, VA. From 1965 to 1966, Gen. Beach simultaneously served as Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command, Commander of U.S. Forces in Korea and Commanding General of the Eighth Army in Korea. General Beach's final assignment was as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army, Pacific, from September 1966 to July 1968. He retired from the Army on 1 August 1968.
During his service, Beach attended the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College. He also served as an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy (Tactics); the Field Artillery School; the Command and General Staff College; and the Army War College.
General Beach's awards and decorations include: Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Occupation of Japan Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and Philippine Liberation Ribbon.
His fatigue shirt features four Pacific theater made embroidered rank stars on each collar, theater embroidered Senior Parachutist wings, US Army Pacific patch, his printed nametape, and color US Army nametape.
Lieutenant General Robert W. Burns
Commanding General, 14th Bomb Wing, 45
Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations & Training (A-3), 8th Air Force, 45
Chief of Staff, 8th Air Force, 48
Deputy Commanding General Air Training Command, 49 - 50
Commanding General, 5th Air Force, 58 - 61
Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board, 61 - 63
Commanding General Air Training Command, 63 - 64
Lt. Gen. Robert Whitney Burns was born in Stanley, Wis., in 1908. Following two years at the University of Wisconsin, he entered the Army Air Corps for aviation cadet training at March Field, Calif., in October 1928. Upon graduation and receiving his commission as second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve a year later, he was assigned to Selfridge Field, Mich., as operations and engineering officer of the 17th Pursuit Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group. In February 1932, General Burns received his first overseas assignment to Wheeler Field, Hawaii, where he served as operations and training officer for the l9th Pursuit Squadron, 18th Pursuit Group, until November 1934. On return to the United States, he was assigned to Crissy Field, Calif., for a four-month tour. Until May 1940, General Burns was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, where he served as flying instructor, flight commander, and assistant basic stage commander. He was then selected as a technical and tactical advisor with the Air Corps Military Mission to Chile. In early 1943, General Burns received his first command assignment as commander of the Air Defense Wing at Orlando, Fla. The command assignment was short-lived. In May 1943, he was again assigned overseas as assistant chief of staff for operations with the 8th Fighter Command in Great Britain and one year later became director of operations for the Eighth Air Force.
He returned to command assignments in January 1945 as commander of the 4th Combat Wing, followed shortly by assignment as commander of the 14th Bombardment Wing (Heavy). With movement of the Eighth Air Force to Okinawa following cessation of hostilities in Europe, General Burns rejoined his old organization as assistant chief of staff for operations. Operations in the Pacific also ended during the assignment period and in October 1945, he was assigned to Army Air Force Headquarters as a member of the special board for flying pay. He transferred to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel at Army Air Force Headquarters in January 1946, and five months later became chief of the Military Personnel Division. With establishment of the Air Force as a separate service, General Burns was named assistant deputy chief of staff for personnel and administration at U.S. Air Force Headquarters. In May 1948, he again joined the Eighth Air Force at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, as Chief of Staff. Six months later he moved into the same staff position with Air Training Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Within Air Training Command, after headquarters was moved from Barksdale Air Force Base to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., General Burns served as vice commander.
In June 1951, he returned to U.S. Air Force Headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations until his nomination as U.S. Air Force assistant vice chief of staff in May 1953. After six years within U.S. Air Force Headquarters, he took command of the Air Proving Ground which later merged with the Air Force Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. With the merger, he became commander of the new Air Proving Ground Center. In August 1958, he assumed command of the Fifth Air Force and U.S. Forces, Japan, with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Command responsibilities in this position extended over that area covering most of the Pacific lying adjacent to the Asian land mass.
In July 1961, General Burns became chairman, Inter-American Defense Board, Washington, D.C. Concurrently with this duty, he was assigned as senior Air Force member, Military Staff Committee, United Nations. Assignment to his present position as commander, Air Training Command, became effective Aug. 1, 1963. General Burns has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Commendation Medal. His foreign decorations include the French Croix de Guerre, the Chilean Order of Merit (First Class), the Order of the British Empire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, and Chilean War Pilot Wings. The General is rated a command pilot and technical observer.
Major General Charles Denholm
Commanding General, Army Security Agency, 65-73
Major General Charles J. Denholm, was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1914, and was a US Military Academy graduate in 1938. In WWII, after his service in North Africa as executive officer and commander of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Division, he became commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion and the 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, seeing action in Sicily and other parts of Italy and across the Rhine River. On the night of May 5, 1943, then-Lt. Col. Denholm was among 464 U.S. and British prisoners of war who were marched though the wrecked docks of Tunis and loaded onto a freighter for passage to Italian stockades. Lieutenant Colonel Denholm, commander of the 1st Battalion of the 16th Infantry, and 150 of his men had been captured a few days earlier during fierce fighting against German forces in the rugged mountains of northern Tunisia.
As author Rick Atkinson wrote in "An Army at Dawn: the War in North Africa, 1942-1943" (2002), the 3,000-ton scow cast off at 5 a.m. May 6. Three hours later, the first Allied planes attacked, carrying out an order from General Dwight D. Eisenhower's naval chief: "Sink, burn, and destroy. Let nothing pass."
Lieutenant Colonel Denholm and his fellow prisoners -- all of them terrified, most of them suffering from dysentery -- were locked in the ship's dank hold while, in Atkinson's words, "near misses opened seams in the hull and cannon fire riddled the upper decks. German anti-aircraft crews answered, and after a second attack blue smoke draped the listing vessel." With his ship slowly sinking, the Italian captain managed to head it toward Tunis harbor. A third Allied attack landed a bomb in the forecastle; it was a dud. Atkinson quoted a lieutenant: "Not one of us doubted the transport was going to sink. We began beating the cage and yelling to be released."
After a fourth attack, the Italian crew abandoned ship, and the crewless captain beached the freighter on an even keel several hundred yards offshore. He and his German gunners freed the prisoners and rowed away in the last remaining lifeboat. As the attacks continued throughout the afternoon of May 7, Colonel Denholm's men draped across the deck large red crosses they had shaped out of upholstery ripped from the ship's saloon. Allied pilots failed to see the crosses or considered them a ruse. The ordeal ended when several British soldiers swam ashore during the night seeking help, and a doughty Frenchman in a motorboat managed to persuade approaching Allied forces to halt the bombardment. According to Atkinson, Colonel Denholm reported more than 4,000 cannon and machine-gun holes in the ship's hull. One man was killed, three wounded.
In a Sicily invasion diary account that appeared in Stars and Stripes on July 17, 1943, soldier James A. Burchard recounted how, a few days earlier, a buddy of his named Johnson, with Colonel Denholm and two other officers, had just topped a hill in a Jeep when a shell exploded nearby. One was killed outright, another was hit in the chest and Colonel Denholm was hit in the left shoulder. Desperately trying to get the officer with the chest wound back to camp, Johnson steered while Colonel Denholm worked the pedals.
For his service during the war, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts.
After the war, he served at the Army ground forces headquarters; at West Point; at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.; in Tehran; and at the Pentagon. He spent several years in Japan, overseeing intelligence efforts across Indochina. From 1965 to 1973, he was commanding general of the Army Security Agency, where he supervised the integration with the rest of Army military intelligence into the present-day U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. He was inducted into the Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame in 1988. Gen. Denholm retired as a major general in 1973.
General Denholm didn't talk much about his wartime exploits, although he told his son of the Tunis ordeal about six months before his death, just before he lost the ability to speak. His reticence was typical of his generation. In other respects, he was a pacifist, his son recalled. He couldn't stand being around guns. He was known for wearing wrinkled, unkempt uniforms, having long hair, and not wearing his ribbons and awards.
Distinguished Service Cross
Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Charles Joseph Denholm (ASN: 0-21293), United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, 143d Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces in July 1943. Lieutenant Colonel Denholm's outstanding leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army
His dress blue uniform dates from his command of the Army Security Agency and has bullion Major General shoulder boards, a sew on custom embroidered ribbon bar, sterling Combat Infantryman Badge, bullion Presidential Unit Citation, name tag, and Geneal Staff Identification Badge. His hat has bullion oak leaves and is custom made by Berkshire.
Source: Washington Post, 2007