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General William Westmoreland Uniform


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

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After having a double bypass this past year, it's time to downsize and pass along much of my 'stuff'. I've had my fun, now it is someone elses turn.

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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

"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller

 

 

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Chris

 

Per my previous posting

 

Bill

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"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller

 

 

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History:

 

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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.org/wiki/William_Westmoreland

 

Best regards,

 

Ricardo.

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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! thumbsup.gif

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  • 2 months later...

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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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.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...1174&st=100

a while back.


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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.

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"YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH RED WINE, TOO MANY BOOKS, OR TOO MUCH AMMUNITION."

Rudyard Kipling

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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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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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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.


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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

 

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My collection is strictly what my dad brought back from the ETO.

Sgt. Mahlon E. Sebring, 82nd Airborne, 319th Glider Field Artillery, A Battery - Normandy, Holland, The Bulge, and Germany... finishing with occupation duty in Berlin

http://ww2-airborne....ts/319/319.html

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Guest RANDALL 1953

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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