William Childs Westmoreland (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was a United States Army general, most notably commander of United States forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. He served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972.
Westmoreland adopted a strategy of attrition against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, attempting to drain them of manpower and supplies. He also made use of the United States' edge in artillery and air power, both in tactical confrontations and in relentless strategic bombing of North Vietnam. Many of the battles in Vietnam were technically United States victories, with the United States Army in control of the field afterward; holding territory gained this way proved difficult, however. Public support for the war eventually diminished, especially after the Battle of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive in 1968. By the time he was re-assigned as Army Chief of Staff, United States military forces in Vietnam had reached a peak of 535,000 personnel. Westmoreland's strategy was ultimately politically unsuccessful. Growing United States casualties and the draft undermined United States support for the war while large-scale casualties among non-combatants weakened South Vietnamese support. This also failed to weaken North Vietnam's will to fight, and the Government of South Vietnam—a factor largely out of Westmoreland's control—never succeeded in establishing enough legitimacy to quell defections to the Viet Cong.
|Born||March 26, 1914|
Saxon, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||July 18, 2005 (aged 91)|
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1936–1972|
|Commands held||Chief of Staff of the United States Army|
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
XVIII Airborne Corps
United States Military Academy
101st Airborne Division
187th Regimental Combat Team
504th Parachute Infantry Regiment
34th Field Artillery Battalion
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)|
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star Medal (2)
Air Medal (10)
William Childs Westmoreland was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, on March 26, 1914 to Eugenia Talley Childs and James Ripley Westmoreland. His upper middle class family was involved in the local banking and textile industries. At the age of 15, William became an Eagle Scout at Troop 1 Boy Scouts, and was recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo from the Boy Scouts of America as a young adult. After spending a year at The Citadel in 1932, he was appointed to attend the United States Military Academy on the nomination of Senator James F. Byrnes, a family friend. His motive for entering West Point was "to see the world". He was a member of a distinguished West Point class that also included Creighton Abrams and Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Westmoreland graduated as first captain—the highest cadet rank—and received the Pershing Sword, which is "presented to cadet with highest level of military proficiency". Westmoreland also served as the superintendent of the Protestant Sunday School Teachers.
Following graduation from West Point in 1936, Westmoreland became an artillery officer and served in several assignments with the 18th Field Artillery at Fort Sill. In 1939, he was promoted to first lieutenant, after which he was a battery commander and battalion staff officer with the 8th Field Artillery at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
In World War II, Westmoreland saw combat with the 34th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, in Tunisia, Sicily, France and Germany; he commanded the 34th Battalion in Tunisia and Sicily. He reached the temporary wartime rank of colonel, and on October 13, 1944, was appointed the chief of staff of the 9th Infantry Division.
After the war, Westmoreland completed Airborne training at the Infantry School in 1946. He then commanded the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division. From 1947 to 1950, he served as chief of staff for the 82d Airborne Division. He was an instructor at the Army Command and General Staff College from 1950 to 1951. He then completed the Army War College as a student in 1951, and stayed as an instructor from 1951 to 1952.
Westmoreland was promoted to Brigadier General in November 1952 at the age of 38, making him one of the youngest U.S. Army generals in the post-World War II era. He commanded the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in operations in Korea from 1952 to 1953. After returning to the United States, Westmoreland was deputy assistant chief of staff, G–1, for manpower control on the Army staff from 1953 to 1955. In 1954, he completed a three-month management program at Harvard Business School. As Stanley Karnow noted, "Westy was a corporation executive in uniform."
After the war, Westmoreland was the United States Army's Secretary of the General Staff from 1955 to 1958. He then commanded the 101st Airborne Division from 1958 to 1960. He was Superintendent of the United States Military Academy from 1960 to 1963. In 1962, Westmoreland was admitted as an honorary member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. He was promoted to lieutenant general in July 1963 and was Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps from 1963 to 1964.
Master philosopher of war Karl von Clausewitz emphasized almost a century and a half earlier that because war is controlled by its political object, the value of this object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it both in magnitude and also in duration. He went on to say, Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced.— Harry G. Summers
The attempted French re-colonization of Vietnam following World War II culminated in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Geneva Conference (April 26 – July 20, 1954) discussed the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina, and temporarily separated Vietnam into two zones, a northern zone to be governed by the Việt Minh, and a southern zone to be governed by the State of Vietnam, then headed by former emperor Bảo Đại. A Conference Final Declaration, issued by the British chairman of the conference, provided that a general election be held by July 1956 to create a unified Vietnamese state. Although presented as a consensus view, this document was not accepted by the delegates of either the State of Vietnam or the United States. In addition, China, the Soviet Union and other communist nations recognized the North while the United States and other non-communist states recognized the South as the legitimate government. By the time Westmoreland became army commander in South Vietnam, the option of a Korea-type settlement with a large demilitarised zone separating north and south, favored by military and diplomatic figures, had been rejected by the US government, whose objectives were to achieve a decisive victory, and not to use vastly greater resources. The infiltration by regular North Vietnam forces into the South could not be dealt with by aggressive action against the northern state because intervention by China was something the US government was concerned to avoid, but President Lyndon B. Johnson had given commitments to uphold South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam.
Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Harold Keith Johnson, and subsequently historians such as Harry G. Summers, Jr. came to see US goals as having become mutually inconsistent, because defeating the Communists would require declaring a national emergency and fully mobilising the resources of the US. President Johnson was critical of Westmoreland's defused corporate style, considering him overattentive to what government officials wanted to hear. Nonetheless, Westmoreland was operating within longstanding army protocols of subordinating the military to civilian policymakers. The most important constraint was staying on the strategic defensive out of fear of Chinese intervention, but at the same time President Lyndon B. Johnson had made it clear that there was a higher commitment to defending Vietnam. Much of the thinking about defense was by academics turned government advisors who concentrated on nuclear weapons, seen as making conventional war obsolete. The fashion for counter-insurgency thinking also denigrated the role of conventional warfare. Despite the inconclusive outcome of the Korean War, Americans expected their wars to end with the unconditional surrender of the enemy.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident of 2 August 1964 led to a dramatic increase in direct American participation in the war, with nearly 200,000 troops deployed by the end of the year. Viet Cong and PAVN strategy, organization and structure meant Westmoreland faced a dual threat. Regular North Vietnamese army units infiltrating across the remote border were apparently concentrating to mount an offensive and Westmoreland considered this the danger that had to be tackled immediately. There was also entrenched guerrilla subversion throughout the heavily populated coastal regions by the Viet Cong. Consistent with the enthusiasm of Robert McNamara for statistics, Westmoreland placed emphasis on body count and cited the Battle of Ia Drang as evidence the communists were losing. However, the government wished to win at low cost, and policymakers received McNamara's interpretation indicating huge American casualties in prospect, prompting a reassessment of what could be achieved. Moreover, the Battle of Ia Drang was unusual in that US troops brought a large enemy formation to battle. After talking to junior officers General Johnson became skeptical about localised concentrated search and destroy sweeps of short duration, because the Communist forces controlled whether there were military engagements, giving an option to simply avoid battle with US forces if the situation warranted it. The alternative of sustained countrywide pacification operations, which would require massive use of US manpower, was never available to Westmoreland, because it was considered politically unacceptable.
In public at least, he continued to be sanguine about the progress being made throughout his time in Vietnam, though supportive journalist James Reston thought Westmoreland's characterizing of the conflict as attrition warfare presented his generalship in a misleading light. Westmoreland's critics say his successor, General Creighton Abrams, deliberately switched emphasis away from what Westmoreland dubbed attrition. Revisionists point to Abrams's first big operation being a tactical success that disrupted North Vietnamese build up, but resulted in the Battle of Hamburger Hill, a political disaster that effectively curtailed Abrams's freedom to continue with such operations.
Westmoreland was sent to Vietnam in 1963. In January 1964, he became deputy commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), eventually succeeding Paul D. Harkins as commander, in June. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told President Lyndon B. Johnson in April that Westmoreland was "the best we have, without question". As the head of the MACV, he was known for highly publicized, positive assessments of U.S. military prospects in Vietnam. However, as time went on, the strengthening of communist combat forces in the South led to regular requests for increases in U.S. troop strength, from 16,000 when he arrived to its peak of 535,000 in 1968 when he was promoted to Army chief of staff.
On April 28, 1967, Westmoreland addressed a joint session of Congress. "In evaluating the enemy strategy", he said, "it is evident to me that he believes our Achilles heel is our resolve. ... Your continued strong support is vital to the success of our mission. ... Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination, and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the communist aggressor!" Westmoreland claimed that under his leadership, United States forces "won every battle". The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which communist forces attacked cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. At the time, Westmoreland was focused on the Battle of Khe Sanh and considered the Tet Offensive to be a diversionary attack. It is not clear if Khe Sanh was meant to be distraction for the Tet Offensive or vice versa; sometimes this is called the Riddle of Khe Sanh. Regardless, U.S. and South Vietnamese troops successfully fought off the attacks during the Tet Offensive, 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 U.S. troop numbers in Vietnam. Nine months afterward, when the My Lai Massacre reports started to break, Westmoreland resisted pressure from the incoming Nixon administration for a cover-up, and pressed for a full and impartial investigation by Lieutenant General William R. Peers. However, a few days after the tragedy, he had praised the same involved unit on the "outstanding job", for the "U.S. infantrymen had killed 128 Communists [sic] in a bloody day-long battle". Post 1969 Westmoreland also made efforts to investigate the Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre a year after the event occurred.
Westmoreland was convinced that the Vietnamese communists could be destroyed by fighting a war of attrition that, theoretically, would render the Vietnam People's Army unable to fight. His war strategy was marked by heavy use of artillery and airpower and repeated attempts to engage the communists in large-unit battles, and thereby exploit the US's vastly superior firepower and technology. However, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF) were able to dictate the pace of attrition to fit their own goals: by continuing to fight a guerrilla war and avoiding large-unit battles, they denied the Americans the chance to fight the kind of war they were best at, and they ensured that attrition would wear down the American public's support for the war faster than they.
Westmoreland repeatedly rebuffed or suppressed attempts by John Paul Vann and Lew Walt to shift to a "pacification" strategy. Westmoreland had little appreciation of the patience of the American public for his time frame, and was struggling to persuade President Johnson to approve widening the war into Cambodia and Laos in order to interdict the Ho Chi Minh trail. He was unable to use the absolutist stance that "we can't win unless we expand the war". Instead, he focused on "positive indicators", which ultimately turned worthless when the Tet Offensive occurred, since all his pronouncements of "positive indicators" did not hint at the possibility of such a last-gasp dramatic event. Tet outmaneuvered all of Westmoreland's pronouncements on "positive indicators" in the minds of the American public. Although the communists were severely depleted by the heavy fighting at Khe Sanh when their conventional assaults were battered by American firepower, as well as tens of thousands of deaths in the Tet Offensive, American political opinion and the panic engendered by the communist surprise sapped U.S. support for the war, even though the events of early 1968 put the United States and South Vietnam into a much stronger military position.
In June 1968, Westmoreland was replaced by General Creighton Abrams, the decision being announced shortly after the Tet Offensive. Although the decision had been made in late 1967, it was widely seen in the media as a punishment for being caught off guard by the communist assault. He was mentioned in a Time magazine article as a potential candidate for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination.
Westmoreland served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972. In 1970, as Chief of Staff, in response to the My Lai Massacre by United States Army forces (and subsequent cover up by the Army chain of command), he commissioned an army investigation that compiled a comprehensive and seminal study of leadership within the army during the Vietnam War demonstrating a severe erosion of adherence to the army's officer code of "Duty, Honor, Country". The report, entitled Study on Military Professionalism, had a profound influence on Army policies, beginning with Westmoreland's decision to end the policy that officers serving in Vietnam would be rotated into a different post after only six months. However, to lessen the impact of this damaging report, Westmoreland ordered that the document be kept on "close hold" across the entire Army for a period of two years and not disseminated to War College attendees. The report only became known to the public after Westmoreland retired in 1972.
Many military historians have pointed out that Westmoreland became Chief of Staff at the worst time in history with regard to the army. Guiding the army as it transitioned to an all-volunteer force, he issued many directives to try to make Army life better and more palatable for United States youth—e.g., allowing soldiers to wear sideburns and to drink beer in the mess hall. However, many hard-liners scorned these as too liberal.
Westmoreland ran unsuccessfully for governor of South Carolina in the 1974 election. He published his autobiography the following year. Westmoreland later served on a task force to improve educational standards in the state of South Carolina.
In 1986, Westmoreland served as grand marshal of the Chicago Vietnam Veterans parade. The parade, attended by 200,000 Vietnam veterans and more than half a million spectators, did much to repair the rift between Vietnam veterans and the American public.
Mike Wallace interviewed Westmoreland for the CBS special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception. The documentary, shown on January 23, 1982, and prepared largely by CBS producer George Crile III, alleged that Westmoreland and others had deliberately understated Viet Cong troop strength during 1967 in order to maintain U.S. troop morale and domestic support for the war. Westmoreland filed a lawsuit against CBS.
In Westmoreland v. CBS, Westmoreland sued Wallace and CBS for libel, and a lengthy legal process began. Just days before the lawsuit was to go to the jury, Westmoreland suddenly settled with CBS, and they issued a joint statement of understanding. Some contend that Judge Leval's instructions to the jury over what constituted "actual malice" to prove libel convinced Westmoreland's lawyers that he was certain to lose. Others point out that the settlement occurred after two of Westmoreland's former intelligence officers, Major General Joseph McChristian and Colonel Gains Hawkins, testified to the accuracy of the substantive allegations of the broadcast, which were that Westmoreland ordered changes in intelligence reports on Viet Cong troop strengths for political reasons. Disagreements persist about the appropriateness of some of the methods of CBS's editors.
A deposition by McChristian indicates that his organization developed improved intelligence on the number of irregular Viet Cong combatants shortly before he left Vietnam on a regularly scheduled rotation. The numbers troubled Westmoreland, who feared that the press would not understand them. He did not order them changed, but instead did not include the information in reporting to Washington, which in his view was a decision that the data was not appropriate to report.
Based on later analysis of the information from all sides, it appears clear that Westmoreland could not sustain a libel suit because CBS's principal allegation was that he had caused intelligence officers to suppress facts. Westmoreland's anger was caused by the implication of the broadcast that his intent was fraudulent and that he ordered others to lie.
During the acrimonious trial, Mike Wallace was hospitalized for depression, and despite the legal conflict separating the two, Westmoreland and his wife sent him flowers. Wallace's memoir is generally sympathetic to Westmoreland, although he makes it clear he disagreed with him on issues surrounding the Vietnam War and the Nixon Administration's policies in Southeast Asia.
In a 1998 interview for George magazine, Westmoreland criticized the battlefield prowess of his direct opponent, North Vietnamese general Võ Nguyên Giáp. "Of course, he [Giap] was a formidable adversary", Westmoreland told correspondent W. Thomas Smith Jr. "Let me also say that Giap was trained in small-unit, guerrilla tactics, but he persisted in waging a big-unit war with terrible losses to his own men. By his own admission, by early 1969, I think, he had lost, what, a half million soldiers? He reported this. Now such a disregard for human life may make a formidable adversary, but it does not make a military genius. An American commander losing men like that would hardly have lasted more than a few weeks." In the 1974 film Hearts and Minds, Westmoreland opined that "The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient. And as the philosophy of the Orient expresses it: Life is not important."
Westmoreland's view has been heavily criticized by Nick Turse, the author of the book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. Turse said that many of the Vietnamese killed were actually innocent civilians, and the Vietnamese casualties were not just caused by military cross-fire but were a direct result of the U.S. policy and tactics, for example the policy "kill everything that moves" which enabled the U.S. soldiers to shoot civilians for "suspicious behavior". He concluded that, after having "spoken to survivors of massacres by United States forces at Phi Phu, Trieu Ai, My Luoc and so many other hamlets, I can say with certainty that Westmoreland's assessment was false". He also accused Westmoreland of concealing evidence of atrocities from the American public when he was the Army Chief of Staff.
In more than a decade of analyzing long-classified military criminal investigation files, court-martial transcripts, Congressional studies, contemporaneous journalism and the testimony of United States soldiers and Vietnamese civilians, I found that Gen. William C. Westmoreland, his subordinates, superiors and successors also engaged in a profligate disregard for human life.— Nick Turse
Historian Derek Frisby also criticized Westmoreland's view during an interview with Deutsche Welle:
General William Westmoreland, who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War, unhesitatingly believed Giap was a butcher for relentlessly sacrificing his soldiers in unwinnable battles. Yet, that assessment in itself is key to understanding the West's failure to defeat him. Giap understood that protracted warfare would cost many lives but that did not always translate into winning or losing the war. In the final analysis, Giap won the war despite losing many battles, and as long as the army survived to fight another day, the idea of Vietnam lived in the hearts of the people who would support it, and that is the essence of "revolutionary war".— Derek Frisby
For the remainder of his life, Westmoreland maintained that the United States did not lose the war in Vietnam; he stated instead that "our country did not fulfill its commitment to South Vietnam. By virtue of Vietnam, the U.S. held the line for 10 years and stopped the dominoes from falling."
Westmoreland first met his future wife, Katherine (Kitsy) Stevens Van Deusen, while stationed at Fort Sill; she was nine years old at the time and was the daughter of the post executive officer, Colonel Edwin R. Van Deusen. Westmoreland met her again in North Carolina when she was nineteen and a student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The couple married in May 1947 and had three children: a daughter, Katherine Stevens; a son, James Ripley II, and another daughter, Margaret Childs.
Just hours after Westmoreland was sworn in as Army Chief of Staff on July 7, 1968, his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Van Deusen (commander of 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment), was killed when his helicopter was shot down in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.
Westmoreland died on July 18, 2005, at the age of 91 at the Bishop Gadsden retirement home in Charleston, South Carolina. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease during the final years of his life. He was buried on July 23, 2005, at the West Point Cemetery, United States Military Academy.
In 1996, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution authorized the General William C. Westmoreland award. The award is given each year in recognition to an outstanding SAR veterans volunteer.
William Westmoreland was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State's highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 1970 in the area of Government.
Westmoreland's military awards include:
|Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters|
|Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters|
|Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster|
|Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters|
|Army Presidential Unit Citation|
|American Defense Service Medal|
|American Campaign Medal|
|European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven service stars|
|World War II Victory Medal|
|Army of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp|
|National Defense Service Medal with one 3⁄16" bronze star|
|Korean Service Medal with two 3⁄16" bronze stars|
|Vietnam Service Medal with seven stars|
French Légion d'honneur
French Croix de guerre with Palm
Republic of Korea Taeguk Cordon Medal (First Class)
Republic of Korea Tong-il Medal (First Class) with Gold Star
Republic of Korea Gugseon Medal (Second Class)
Order of Sikatuna, rank of Lankan (Commander) (Philippines)
Republic of Vietnam Choung My Medal 1st class
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Trinity (post-nominal: GCHT) (Ethiopia)
Republic of Vietnam National Order of Vietnam, First Class
Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Army)
Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Air Force)
Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Navy)
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal, First Class
Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, Knight Grand Cross (First Class) (Thailand)
Ordem do Mérito Militar (Order of Military Merit, degree of Great Officer) (Brazil)
Condecoracion al Mérito Militar "Prócer de la Libertad General de División José Miguel Lanza" Gran Official (Bolivia)
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with palm
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation with palm
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960–device
Gallantry Cross Fourragère (Vietnam) (obsolete)
United States Military Academy class of 1936
(Army of the United States)
(Army of the United States)
(Army of the United States)
|12 June 1936||12 June 1939||1 February 1942
|25 September 1942
|28 July 1944|
(Army of the United States)
(Army of the United States)
|12 June 1946||15 July 1948||7 November 1952
|7 July 1953||December 1956|
(Army of the United States)
(Army of the United States)
|June 1961||14 July 1962||20 May 1963||31 July 1963
|1 August 1964|
At thirty-eight, he was one of the youngest generals in the Army.
Garrison Holt Davidson
| Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
James Benjamin Lampert
Paul D. Harkins
| Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
Harold K. Johnson
| Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Bruce Palmer Jr.
| Time's Man of the Year
The Generation Twenty-Five and Under
The 1974 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 5, 1974 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. James B. Edwards defeated W. J. Bryan Dorn and became the first Republican since Daniel Henry Chamberlain in 1874 to win a gubernatorial election in South Carolina. It was also the closest gubernatorial election in South Carolina since the disputed election of 1876.71st Infantry Division (United States)
The 71st Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War II.Anne Morrissy Merick
Anne Louise Morrissy Merick (October 28, 1933 – May 2, 2017) was a pioneering American journalist, best known for persuading the Pentagon to reverse an order, known as the "Westmoreland Edict", which effectively prevented female reporters from accompanying troops to the front lines in the Vietnam War.The edict had been issued by William Westmoreland. Westmoreland was the General appointed to take control of the US troops in Vietnam in 1964. The edict forbade women to be with troops overnight.Merick, then working in Saigon for ABC, she and Ann Bryan Mariano organized women journalists to meet with the Ministry of Defense, who subsequently reversed the order.As a student sports journalist in the 1950s at Cornell University, she received national attention for her struggle to succeed despite sexism. She was the first woman sports editor at Cornell, and the first woman journalist credentialed for the press box at prestigious universities such as Cornell and Yale.Battle of FSB Mary Ann
The Battle of FSB Mary Ann occurred when Viet Cong (VC) sappers attacked the U.S. firebase located in Quảng Tín Province, South Vietnam early on the morning of 28 March 1971.
Fire support base (FSB) Mary Ann was located to interdict movement of enemy troops and materiel down the K-7 Corridor and Dak Rose Trail (branches of the Ho Chi Minh trail running from Laos to the coast of South Vietnam). Originally intended to be a temporary base, it evolved into a more permanent location garrisoned by at least one U.S. Army company. The base was manned by 231 American soldiers at the time of the attack.The firebase was scheduled to be handed over to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) when the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment (1/46th Infantry) moved to the north. Twenty-one ARVN soldiers from Battery B, 22nd Field Artillery, along with two 105mm howitzers, were on Mary Ann to support ARVN operations to the south.For months leading up to the attack the level of enemy activity in the area had been low and contacts were infrequent. The lack of significant recent engagements, along with preparations to turn the FSB over to ARVN units, had given the U.S. soldiers in the area a false sense of security. The sapper attack was sharp and very successful, with repercussions up the 23rd Infantry Division's chain of command, as the battle was described as a "rampage of VC who threw satchels at the command bunker, knifed Americans in their sleep and destroyed all communications equipment". The no-longer in command William Westmoreland was tasked with investigation of the attack, citing clear dereliction of duty, lax behavior and failure of officer leadership as the reasons. Charges were brought against six officers, including the 23rd Division Commander and Assistant Commander.Battle of Đồng Xoài
The Battle of Đồng Xoài (Vietnamese: Trận Đồng Xoài) was a major battle fought during the National Liberation Front Summer Offensive of 1965 as part of the Vietnam War. The battle took place in Phước Long Province, South Vietnam, between June 9 and 13, 1965.
In 1964, General Nguyễn Khánh gained control of the South Vietnamese government after General Dương Văn Minh was overthrown in a military coup. Although General Khánh was able to gain control of the military junta, he failed to garner support from the civilian population when he implemented various laws which limited the freedoms of the South Vietnamese people. He then had a falling-out with the Catholic faction within his own government, when he became increasingly reliant on the Buddhist movement to hold on to power. Consequently, on February 20, 1965, General Khánh was ousted from power and was forced to leave South Vietnam forever. The political instability in Saigon gave North Vietnamese leaders in Hanoi an opportunity to step up their military campaign in the south. They believed the South Vietnamese government was able to survive because it still had a strong military to combat the growing influence of the Viet Cong. With the summer campaign of 1965, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces aimed to inflict significant losses on the South Vietnamese military. In Phước Long Province, the Communist summer offensive culminated in the Đồng Xoài campaign.
The fight for Đồng Xoài began on the evening of June 9, 1965, when the Viet Cong 272nd Regiment attacked and captured the Civilian Irregular Defense Group and U.S. Special Forces camp there. In response to the sudden Viet Cong assault, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Joint General Staff ordered the ARVN 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, to retake Đồng Xoài district. They arrived on the battlefield on June 10, but were quickly overwhelmed by the Viet Cong 271st Regiment near Thuận Lợi. Later that day, Đồng Xoài was recaptured by the ARVN 52nd Ranger Battalion, which had survived an ambush while marching towards the district. On June 11, further South Vietnamese reinforcements arrived in the form of the ARVN 7th Airborne Battalion. The South Vietnamese paratroopers, while searching for survivors of the 1st Battalion in the Thuận Lợi rubber plantation, were defeated in a deadly ambush by the Viet Cong. On June 13 U.S. Army General William Westmoreland decided to insert elements of the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade into a major battle for the first time, because he feared the Viet Cong could secure a major base area in Phước Long Province. By that time, however, the Viet Cong had already withdrawn from the battlefield, so the U.S. paratroopers were ordered to return to base without a fight.Brigadier general (United States)
In the United States Armed Forces, brigadier general (BG, BGen, or Brig Gen) is a one-star general officer with the pay grade of O-7 in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. The rank of brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral (lower half) in the other uniformed services (the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, as both Armed Forces and Uniformed Services; and the Public Health Service and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, as Uniformed Services). The NATO equivalent is OF-6.Fort McIntosh (Pennsylvania)
Fort McIntosh was an early American log frontier fort situated near the confluence of the Ohio River and the Beaver River in what is now Beaver, Pennsylvania.
The fortress was constructed in 1778 under the direction of Lt. Col. Cambray-Digny, a French engineer, and named in honor of General Lachlan McIntosh. The fortress was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Fort McIntosh on January 21, 1785. It was occupied until it was abandoned in 1791. After the Revolution, the fort was the home of the First American Regiment, the oldest active unit in the United States Army.
The fort was in the form of a trapezoid, about 150 feet on each side, with raised earthen bastions on each corner. Log palisades connected the bastions, and a 15 foot wide ditch protected three sides of the fort, with the 130 foot slope to the Ohio River protecting the other side. Inside were three barracks, warehouses, officer's quarters, a forge, kitchen, and powder magazines. The fort may have had either two or four iron cannon.Around the year 1976, citizens of the nearby community of Beaver decided, with great fanfare, to excavate the pilings and remaining stone foundations of the original Ft. McIntosh. They were successful in locating the outlines of the revolutionary era fort. Their efforts culminated in a dedication, presided over by retired Gen. William Westmoreland, in the summer of 1977. In late 2010, a local business owner donated money for a granite and sandstone memorial on the fort site.The fort site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. In 1996, most of Beaver was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the "Beaver Historic District. At that time, the fort site was singled out as one of the most significant of the district's 1,250 contributing properties.The Beaver Area Heritage Foundation protects the restored site, which features granite monuments and bronze plaques, as well as the original stone footers of the walls and fireplaces.Herbert Abrams
Herbert E. Abrams (March 20, 1921 – August 29, 2003) was an American artist. He was one of the leading portrait artists of his era known for his style of traditional realism. His works included the official White House portraits of former presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. During his prolific career, he painted more than 400 portraits, including those of General William Westmoreland, playwright Arthur Miller and astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.Other portraits by Abrams are displayed at the Capitol (former Sen. Howard H. Baker ), the Treasury Department (former Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan), the National Portrait Gallery (Miller) in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Westmoreland and Aldrin).Joseph A. McChristian
Joseph Alexander McChristian (October 12, 1914 – May 13, 2005) was a United States Army Brigadier General and the assistant chief of staff for intelligence, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (J-2, MACV) (then commanded by General William Westmoreland) from July 13, 1965 to June 1, 1967.From August 5, 1968 to his retirement on April 30, 1971, as a Major General, he was assistant chief of staff for intelligence in the Department of the Army. As J-2, MACV, he predicted that the North Vietnamese would attack in full force, which they did during the 1968 Tet offensive. His prediction was unpopular because the official policy was that US and South Vietnamese forces were winning the war.
McChristian is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.Landon Lecture Series
The Alfred M. Landon Lecture Series is a series of speeches on current public affairs, which is organized and hosted by Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. It is named after Kansas politician Alf Landon, former Governor of Kansas and Republican presidential candidate. The first lecture in the series was given by Landon on December 13, 1966.The lecture series has been described as "prestigious," and Eric Lichtblau noted in his 2008 book Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice that the "Landon Lecture Series has provided an unlikely but powerful platform allowing world leaders, from Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger, to expound on the critical public issues of the day."Among the speakers who have delivered Landon Lectures are nine Nobel laureates, eight Pulitzer Prize-winners, and more than 40 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.List of Alfalfa Club members
The Alfalfa Club, founded in 1913, is an exclusive social organization, based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The Club's only function is the holding of an annual banquet in honor of the birthday of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Its members are composed mostly of American politicians and influential members of the business community, and have included several Presidents of the United States.
David M. Abshire
Robert F. Bennett
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
Timothy C. Collins
Christopher A. Coons
William T. Coleman, Jr.
John Foster Dulles
William B. Harrison Jr.
David Charles Jones
Vernon Jordan Jr.
John F. Kennedy
Shelley Moore Capito
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Sandra Day O'Connor
James R. Schlesinger
William S. Sessions
George P. Shultz
Harry S. Truman
William WestmorelandList of Légion d'honneur recipients by name (W)
The following is a list of some notable Légion d'honneur recipients by name. The Légion d'honneur is the highest order of France. A complete, chronological list of the members of the Legion of Honour nominated from the very first ceremony in 1803 to now does not exist. The number is estimated at one million including about 3,000 Grand Cross.
James Waddell (French Foreign Legion), highly decorated New Zealander World War I.
Youssef Wahba Pasha, Prime Minister of Egypt
Mourad Wahba Pasha
Sadek Wahba Pasha
Mark Wainberg, Leading Canadian AIDS Researcher
Nancy Wake, Resistance Commander in WW2, highly decorated allied servicewoman.
Malvin E. Walker, American Army Officer World War II
Herbert Ward, sculptor and Red Cross officer during World War I.
John Webber, telegrapher in British Navy during D-Day Landings on Sword Beach awarded Medal 27 May 2015
Nicholas Fox Weber, American cultural historian and foundation director
Herman Armour Webster, artist and French windmill preservationist
Arsène Wenger, Arsenal Football Club Manager (2002)
Joseph Weyland, Luxembourgian diplomat
Belle Armstrong Whitney
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and author, Nobel Laureate (2000)
Harvey Ladew Williams, Jr., international businessman
Arthur Knyvet Wilson
Henry Hughes Wilson
Ronald Wilson, member of regiment of Royal Engineers, awarded 2018
Edwin B. Winans (U.S. Army general)
Wong Kar Wai
Evelyn Wood (British Army officer)
Reinhold WürthNational News Council
The National News Council (NNC) was a non-profit media watchdog organization. It investigated complaints of media bias and unfair reporting. The NNC formed in 1973 with a grant from the Twentieth Century Foundation, the Markle Foundation and other sources. The Council was composed of 15 members, nine members of the general public and six journalists.Compliance and cooperation with the NNC was entirely voluntary on the part of news organizations. The Council had no punitive powers. Its only power was that of publicity, drawing attention to media bias in hopes of the media's taking steps to acknowledge and correct it. Some media outlets were more willing to cooperate with NNC than others. CBS News under president Richard Salant notably supported the Council, including Salant's serving as NNC chairman, but journalists within CBS itself, including Walter Cronkite, did not. Abe Rosenthal of The New York Times was said to have taken some pride in refusing to cooperate with the NNC, saying "I am against regulation of the press, including self regulation except within each individual newspaper or broadcast station." The NNC heard a total of 242 formal complaints during its tenure.The NNC announced in 1984 that it was dissolving. In the years since its dissolution, there have been periodic calls for its revival. General William Westmoreland, following the end of his protracted libel suit against CBS, called for the formation of an NNC-like body in 1985. Journalists who have since supported the reforming of the NNC have included William F. Buckley, Mike Wallace and Walter Cronkite (both in reversal of earlier opposition) and Murray Seeger. As of 2005, three states, Minnesota, Hawaii and Washington, had state-level news councils.Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
The Superintendent of the United States Military Academy is its commanding officer. This position is roughly equivalent to the chancellor or president of an American civilian university. The officer appointed is, by tradition, a graduate of the United States Military Academy, commonly known as "West Point". However, this is not an official requirement for the position.
The Superintendency had often been a stepping stone to higher prominence in the Army. Four Superintendents became Chief of Staff of the Army: Hugh Lenox Scott, Douglas MacArthur, Maxwell Davenport Taylor, and William Westmoreland. The list of Superintendents includes five Medal of Honor recipients: Oliver Otis Howard, Douglas MacArthur, Albert Leopold Mills, John McAllister Schofield, John Moulder Wilson. Many Superintendents later became Commanding Generals, such as Joseph Gardner Swift. The post is now a terminal assignment in the Army; as a condition for detail to the position, officers are required by law to acknowledge that they will retire at the end of their appointment. This formulation was meant to secure the independence of Superintendents from unlawful command influence; however, in practice the resulting "lame duck" status restricts their power and influence in the Army. There has been discussion about reverting to the previous system or recalling a retired officer to fill the post.
The billet carries the rank of lieutenant general, and is not counted against the Army's statutory limit on the number of active-duty officers above the rank of major general. For example, General Andrew Goodpaster originally retired from active duty as a full general, was recalled to assume the superintendency as a lieutenant general, and reverted to his four-star rank upon his second retirement.The Uncounted Enemy
The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception was a controversial television documentary aired as part of the CBS Reports series on January 23, 1982. The 90-minute program, produced by George Crile III and narrated by Mike Wallace, asserted that in 1967 intelligence officers under General William Westmoreland, the commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MAC-V), had manipulated intelligence estimates in order to show far fewer communist personnel in South Vietnam than there actually were, thereby creating the impression that the Vietnam War was being won.
In response, Westmoreland publicly rebuked these claims and demanded 45 minutes of open airtime to rebut them. CBS refused the request, so Westmoreland sued Crile, Wallace, and CBS for libel on September 13. A conservative public-interest law firm, Capital Legal Foundation, brought the suit on Westmoreland's behalf, and its president, Dan Burt, served as Westmoreland's pro bono attorney. The suit was funded by grants from several conservative organizations, such as the Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation whose goals were to kill CBS Reports and turn back the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan rule, which required that public officials or figures prove actual malice to win a libel suit against the press.The case went to trial two years later. The trial, Westmoreland v. CBS, was approaching its end in 1985 when Westmoreland suddenly dropped his lawsuit, citing a statement by CBS that Westmoreland interpreted as an apology. CBS did not retract anything that had been said in the broadcast, but stated that it had “never intended to assert, and does not believe, that General Westmoreland was unpatriotic or disloyal in performing his duties as he saw them.” CBS subsequently lost its libel insurance over the case. Additionally, serious, in-depth documentaries became produced far less frequently on CBS and the other two major networks of the time than had been the case during the 1960s and 1970s, a development that perhaps coincides with less aggressive investigative reporting on television on all news programs generally since the time of the suit.U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B
U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31B is a forged document claiming to be a classified appendix to a U.S. Army Field Manual that describes top secret counter insurgency tactics. In particular, it identifies a "strategy of tension" involving violent attacks which are then blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince allied governments of the need for counter-action. It has been called the Westmoreland Field Manual because it is signed with the alleged signature of General William Westmoreland. It was labelled as supplement B (hence "30-31B"), although the publicly released version of FM30-31 only has one appendix, Supplement A.Intelligence scholar Peer Henrik Hansen and the U.S. government describe the document as a forgery by Soviet intelligence services.. The document first appeared in Turkey in the 1970s, before being circulated to other countries. It was also used at the end of the 1970s to implicate the Central Intelligence Agency in the Red Brigades' kidnapping and assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro.Vietnam Magazine
Vietnam Magazine is a full-color history magazine published bi-monthly which covers the Vietnam War. It was founded in 1988 by the late Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr. Colonel Summers served in the U.S. Army in both Korea and Vietnam, where he was twice wounded and decorated for valor. The current editor is David T. Zabecki, a major general in the U.S. Army Reserve and currently the Deputy Chief of Staff for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs for U.S. Army Europe.
Contributors to Vietnam include journalists, military historians, political analysts and the commanders and men who served. Many article's are first-person accounts of combat operations, including personal interviews with enlisted men and officers, and specs on units and weaponry.
Some notable contributors to Vietnam include:
Major General Huỳnh Văn Cao, commander of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam 7th Division
Colonel David H. Hackworth, Vietnam veteran and prominent military journalist
General Nguyen Duc Huy, commander of the NVA 351st Division
Senator John McCain, retired U.S. Navy aviator and senator from Arizona
Oliver Stone, Vietnam veteran and director of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July
General William Westmoreland, Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command, VietnamVietnam is published in Leesburg, Virginia, by the Weider History Group, along with the publications America's Civil War and Civil War Times.
Vietnam has a number of recurring departments, including:
Personality – Study of an individual person in the Vietnam War
Arsenal – Profiles on the armament, artillery, armor and supplies used in the war
Fighting Forces – Study of an individual unit in the war
Perspectives – First-hand accounts of experiences in the Vietnam WarWeaponry (radio program)
Weaponry was the only regularly scheduled, radio broadcast program about weapons in the United States. Devoted to military and aviation technology, history, hardware, policy, news, reviews, and analysis, from 1982-2013 Weaponry aired on WBAI radio, 99.5 FM in the New York City metropolitan area Wednesday mornings from 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. A 90-day archive of the program was also available on the station's website.
Guests on the program included historians and specialists in the fields of military and aviation science, history, and technology, among them Eric Foner and Albert Nofi. Other guests included Generals William Westmoreland and Paul Tibbets, the Captain of the USS Vincennes (CG-49) following the Iran Air shoot-down, medical evacuation helicopter pilot Michael Novosel, Wake Island battle veterans, the sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron 8 at Midway.
Tom Wisker, the sole host of Weaponry throughout its production, is a member of the New York Military Affairs Symposium, and of several other military and aviation historical organizations. Wisker's particular topics of scholarly interest are the United States Army Air Forces and the Israeli Air Force.Westmoreland v. CBS
Westmoreland v. CBS was a $120 million libel suit brought in 1982 by former U.S. Army Chief of Staff General William Westmoreland against CBS, Inc. for broadcasting on its program CBS Reports a documentary entitled The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception. Westmoreland also sued the documentary's narrator, investigative reporter Mike Wallace; the producer, investigative journalist and best-selling author George Crile, and the former CIA analyst, Sam Adams, who originally broke the story on which the broadcast was based.
Westmoreland's claims were governed by the landmark New York Times Co. v. Sullivan decision, which held that, in order to recover for defamation, a "public figure" like Westmoreland must prove that the defendant made the statements in question with "actual malice" (essentially, with knowledge, or reckless disregard, of falsity).The suit was originally filed in state court in South Carolina, but was transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The trial ended in February 1985 when the case was settled out of court just before it would have gone to the jury.
Leaders of the United States Army
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