Skip to comments.VANITY: Last Surviving US WWII General Officer?
Posted on 10/27/2012 11:09:43 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack
Quick question for my fellow military history buffs. I've always been fascinated by timelines and the overlapping of human lives, much like the recent thread regarding the TV appearance of the elderly gentleman who, as a child, witnessed the assassination of Lincoln, lived into the TV age.
As a student of the civil war, I've marveled at the fact that the last surviving individual to hold a general's rank during the conflict, Adelbert Ames, died a year after my father was born. Somehow that simple fact provides a linkage in the fabric of time that makes me realize how closely tied we are to those events.
I know General James Gavin was the youngest division commander in WWII (taking command of the 82nd in his mid-30s), but I'm curious if anyone can definitively say who was (is?) the last surviving US Military officer to hold general officer rank during WWII.
I've googled it and can't seem to find any definitive answer.
Last I looked a few months ago, there were still two brothers alive who’s gtandfather was President Tyler. He fathered a child in his 80’s who then did the same.
“Another interesting fact...at the height of WW II, with some 16 million Americans in the military, there were FEWER generals or admirals than we have now..with the military less than 20% of WW II strength.. “
Yes, we sure do have alot of powdered princes, don’t we?
And they haven’t decisively won a major war since WWII. Can’t defeat rebels in Afghanistan in over ten years.
(just for interest sake, study “denazification” and compare that to our concepts for dealing with muslims)
It may be Ralph Corbett Smith, commander of the US Army’s 27th Infantry Division. He passed away in 1998 at the age of 104. If he’s not the last, he’s close.
He was a Major General when the 27th took part of the invasion of Saipan in 1944, where he was unfairly sacked by the USMC commander, General Holland M. (Howling Mad) Smith in the famous “Smith -vs- Smith” controversy. That episode is a very interesting read in of itself.
My father served under him and held him in the highest regard.
Tyler was pres from 1841 to 1845. I knew a lady who died this year, her father was born in 1859. I thought that was a link to the past, but yours beats mine.
I remember when Omar Bradley died in 1981 they said he was the last living 5 star.
Yep. I remember that as well, but of course the pool of 5 stars was a much smaller club and far more easy to track.
Funny, I just Googled “living wwii generals” and this thread was the first result. Might as well bump it! :-)
Fascinating information here.
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