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General William Westmoreland Uniform

Started by 4STARCHRIS , Jan 13 2007 06:23 PM

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#1 4STARCHRIS

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 06:23 PM

gen_westmoreland_full_uniform.jpg

Look at that ribbon bar. All original. From my collection.

#2 Adam Townsend

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 10:12 PM

Again, any story on how you came to own this? Or any details on the uniform to share with our newer collectors?

Adam

#3 Jason G

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 06:17 AM

NO kiddin...would love to hear the story behind this one...

#4 4STARCHRIS

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 07:58 PM

Thanks for the replies. Here is a better pic of the ribbon bar attached to the uniform.

Can you name them all?

west_ribs_444.jpg

#5 Jim Baker

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 08:51 PM

I was hoping maybe you could start a thread in the collections forum. I'd love to see all these together. Pretty amazing collection.

Thanks.

#6 USMCR79

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:46 PM

I have a great picture of him in uniform taken in 1993 at the Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston) for the Korean War Memorial.
I'll try to scan it and post it tomorrow

Bill

#7 4STARCHRIS

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 03:38 PM

Bill,
Thanks for all your reply on my pics. I would love to see the picture.
It seems many of the people that I have uniforms on you have meet. Cool.
4starchris

#8 USMCR79

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:33 AM

Chris

Per my previous posting

Bill

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#9 4STARCHRIS

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 03:39 PM

Bill,
What a great pic. Thanks for sharing.
4starchris

#10 Ricardo

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:26 AM

History:

Posted Image

William Childs Westmoreland (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was a U.S. Army General who commanded American military operations in the Vietnam War at its peak from 1964 to 1968 and who served as US Army Chief of Staff from 1968 to 1972.

William Westmoreland was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina in 1914. His upper class family was involved in the banking and textile industries. Westmoreland, an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo from the Boy Scouts of America as an adult, entered West Point in 1932 after one year at The Citadel. Westmoreland was a member of a distinguished class at West Point; his classmates included Creighton Abrams and Benjamin O. Davis Jr.. His initial motive for entering was to "see the world." Following graduation in 1936 he became an artillery officer and served in several different commands, taking part in combat operations in Tunisia, Sicily, France and Germany, and reaching the ranks of lieutenant colonel and subsequently colonel during combat operations in Europe during World War II. Westmoreland always balanced a reputation as a stern taskmaster with that of an officer who cared about his men and took a great interest in their welfare. One called him "the most caring officer, for soldiers, that I have ever known".

During World War II, his battalion was selected to be the artillery support for the 82nd Airborne Division. By war’s end, he was serving as the chief of staff of the 9th Infantry Division. His connection with the 82nd continued after the war when Westmoreland commanded the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 82nd and then served as the division chief of staff.

Westmoreland's World War II experience with the 82nd Airborne led to his being asked by General James M. Gavin to join the 82nd as a regimental commander after the war, which was the beginning of his professional association with airborne and airmobile troops. He served with the 82nd Airborne for four years.

During the Korean War he commanded the 187th Regimental Combat Team.

In late 1953 Westmoreland was promoted brigadier general and spent the next 5 years at The Pentagon. At age 42, in 1956, he became the youngest major general in the Army. In 1958 he assumed command of the 101st Airborne Division. In 1960 he became superintendent of West Point, and in 1963 became commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

In June 1964, he became deputy commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), assuming command from General Paul D. Harkins. As the head of the MACV he was known for highly publicized, positive assessments of US military prospects in Vietnam. However, as time went on, the strengthening of North Vietnamese combat forces in the South led to regular requests for increases in US troop strength, from 16,000 when he arrived to its peak of over 500,000 in 1968 when he was promoted to Army Chief of Staff.

Under Westmoreland's leadership, the United States "won every battle until it lost the war." The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which Communist forces, having baited Westmoreland into committing nearly 40% of his strength to Khe Sahn, attacked cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. US and South Vietnamese troops successfully fought off the attacks, and the Communist forces took heavy losses, but the ferocity of the assault shook public confidence in Westmoreland's previous assurances about the state of the war. Political debate and public opinion led the Johnson administration to limit further increases in US troops in Vietnam.

Westmoreland was convinced that the Vietnamese communists could be destroyed by fighting a war of attrition that, theoretically, would render the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese unable to fight. His war strategy was marked by heavy use of artillery, airpower and attempts to engage the communists in large-unit battles. However, the NVA and the Viet Cong had a firm grasp on the battlefield initiative and so were able to dictate the pace of attrition to fit their own goals. Westmoreland repeatedly rebuffed or suppressed attempts by John Paul Vann, Victor Krulak and Lew Walt to shift to a "pacification" strategy.((Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann And America in Vietnam))

Westmoreland said about the US involvement in Vietnam: "It's not that we lost the war militarily. The fact is we as a nation did not make good our commitment to the South Vietnamese."

Westmoreland served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972, then retired from the Army. Many military historians have pointed out that Westmoreland became Chief of Staff at the worst time in history with regards to the Army. Guiding the Army as it transitioned to an all-volunteer force, he issued many policies to try to make Army life better and more palatable for America's youth. However, many hard-liners scorned these as too liberal. For example, Westmoreland allowed soldiers to wear sideburns and drink beer in the mess hall. Westmoreland ran unsuccessfully for Governor of South Carolina in 1974. He published his autobiography A Soldier Reports the following year. Westmoreland later served on a task force to improve educational standards in the state of South Carolina.

Dates of rank:

Second Lieutenant, Regular Army: June 1936
First Lieutenant, Regular Army: June 1939
Captain: Not held on active duty (held as a permanent rank in Regular Army: June 1946)
Major, Army of the United States: February 1942 (made permanent in Regular Army: July 1948)
Lieutenant Colonel, Army of the United States: September 1942 (made permanent in Regular Army: July 1953)
Colonel, Army of the United States: July 1944 (made permanent in Regular Army: June 1961)
Brigadier General (temporary), Regular Army: November 1952 (made permanent in February 1963)
Major General (temporary), Regular Army: December 1956 (made permanent in August 1965)
Lieutenant General: July 1963
General: August 1964

Font: http://en.wikipedia....am_Westmoreland

Best regards,

Ricardo.

#11 Ricardo

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:34 AM

Hi,

One question: why he haved 10 Air Medals? :blink:

Best regards,

Ricardo.

#12 Sbas

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 05:59 AM

You must like this item to go with it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

Sbas

#13 Lee Ragan

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 06:59 AM

I never knew Westmoreland was also an Army pilot (note Army Aviator wings). These are not on the wool shirt shown on e-bay. There is no mention of his graduating pilot school in the short biography.
Many years ago, I had a copy of the 1936 "Howitzer", the West Point yearbook for Westmorelands graduating class. He was First Captain of the Corps of Cadets when he graduated, while his successor as commander in Vietnam, Abrams wore no stripes as a Cadet.
That is a great looking uniform and would be welcome in any collection. Thanks for showing it! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Edited by Lee Ragan, 18 January 2007 - 07:01 AM.


#14 Ricardo

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 08:12 AM

Hi,

Maybe because the Mini CIB .... the full size CIB haved 2 star on ... for WW2, Korea and VN.

Best regards,

Ricardo.

#15 Gregory

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 12:39 PM

If somebody is interested in General's 1960s field uniform...

October 26th, 1966 -- President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam and General William Westmoreland decorating a soldier.

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#16 Gil Sanow

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 01:44 PM

If somebody is interested in General's 1960s field uniform...

October 26th, 1966 -- President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam and General William Westmoreland decorating a soldier.


I had posted Westy's ca.'64 Saigon-made short sleeved fatigue shirt at
http://www.usmilitar...d...1174&st=100
a while back.

#17 Gregory

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 01:57 PM

I had posted Westy's ca.'64 Saigon-made short sleeved fatigue shirt at
http://www.usmilitar...d...1174&st=100
a while back.

Great. Here it is similar field uniform of December 23rd, 1967, when President Lyndon B. Johnson met in Vietnam at the Air Force One with General Westmoreland.

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#18 Gary Cain

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 08:14 PM

A good friend ofmine owns this uniform.


Gary

If somebody is interested in General's 1960s field uniform...

October 26th, 1966 -- President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam and General William Westmoreland decorating a soldier.



#19 Dave

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 06:12 AM

Here's another photo of Westmoreland. This photo was (I think still is, though he passed away last year) on the wall of the Colonel in the photo's left. That Colonel was one of two American advisors to the French at Bien Den Phu.

Dave

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#20 Gil Sanow

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 06:17 AM

Here's another photo of Westmoreland. This photo was (I think still is, though he passed away last year) on the wall of the Colonel in the photo's left. That Colonel was one of two American advisors to the French at Bien Den Phu.

Dave


Note that Westmoreland only wears 3 stars here -- he was deputy to GEN Paul Harkins before he took over in '64. The fellow on the right is Maxwell Taylor.

#21 Greg Sebring

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:51 AM

Here is a snapshot of the General taken several years ago at an 82nd Airborne Association dinner in Bristol, VA. My dad and a few other started the Appalachian Chapter and the General was the keynote speaker at the dinner. Dad told me he was a nice guy and an interesting speaker.

Greg

General_William_Westmoreland.JPG

#22 Guest_RANDALL 1953_*

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 07:11 PM

I would like to know what happened to the Randall Model 1 fighting knife with Ivory handle that the general wore in Vietnam.

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