Westmoreland, William Childs, 1914-2005

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1914-03-26
Death 2005-07-18
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

U.S. military leader during the Vietnam War.

From the description of William C. Westmoreland oral history interview : Tape and transcript, 1982 February 11 [sound recording] / conducted by Ron Priddis and Scott Faulring. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122479992

William Childs Westmoreland (1914-2005) was commander of all American forces in the Vietnam War, in his role as Commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, 1964 to 1968. He was Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from July 1968 to June 30, 1972. Westmoreland retired from the Army in 1972, and moved to South Carolina where he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1974.

From the description of Westmoreland, William C. (William Childs), 1914-2005 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10581092

General William Childs Westmoreland was born in Saxon, South Carolina, on 26 March 1914. After graduating high school in 1931, Westmoreland attended the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, for one year before he was appointed to the United States Military Academy (USMA). Westmoreland was commissioned as a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant in field artillery after graduating in June 1936. During World War II, he commanded the 34th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, at Kasserine Pass. In 1944, he became Chief of Staff of the 9th Infantry Division Artillery, and later commanded the 60th Infantry Regiment in Germany during the occupation. In May 1946, Westmoreland was airborne and glider certified. He then assumed command of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg. In August 1952, he assumed command of the 187th Regimental Combat Team in Korea. During his military career, Westmoreland also served as Commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Superintendent of the USMA, and Commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

In January 1964, Westmoreland was appointed as Deputy of U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (USMACV). On 1 August 1964, he formally become Commander of the USMACV and was promoted to general. Westmoreland served as Army Chief of Staff from 1968 until his retirement from the U.S. Army on 30 June 1972. In January 1976, he published his memoir, "A Soldier Reports." Statements made in a 1982 CBS documentary, "The Uncounted Enemy," prompted Westmoreland to file a libel lawsuit against CBS in 1984. Westmoreland died on 18 July 2005 and was buried at the West Point Cemetery.

From the description of William C. Westmoreland collection, 1962-1985, bulk 1964-1972. (US Army, Mil Hist Institute). WorldCat record id: 155278685

Four-star General who served, 1964-1968, as Commander of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (USMACV) and as Army Chief of Staff, 1968-1972; Westmoreland was raised in Pacolet (Spartanburg County, S.C.); attended The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., for one year, 1931-1932, before receiving his appointment to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point; upon graduation in 1936, he was commissioned as a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant in field artillery. During World War II, he commanded the 34th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, at Kasserine Pass. In 1944, he became Chief of Staff of the 9th Infantry Division Artillery, and later commanded the 60th Infantry Regiment in Germany during the occupation.

In May 1946, Westmoreland was airborne and glider certified; he assumed command of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg; in Aug. 1952, he assumed command of the 187th Regimental Combat Team in Korea. During his military career, Westmoreland also served as Commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Fort Campbell, Ky.), Superintendent of the USMA (1961-1963), and Commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps (Fort Bragg, N.C.); Following his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1972, Westmoreland settled in Charleston, S.C.; in 1976, he published his memoir, "A Soldier Reports"; a 1982 television documentary, "The Uncounted Enemy," prompted Westmoreland to file a libel lawsuit against CBS in 1984. Married, 1947, to Katherine Stevens Van Deusen. Westmoreland died on 18 July 2005 and was buried at the West Point Cemetery.

From the description of William C. Westmoreland papers, 1900-2005. (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 756491852

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Subjects:

  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Generals--Biography
  • My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968
  • Military service, Voluntary--History--20th century
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Sources
  • High school
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives, American

Occupations:

  • Generals
  • Military officers

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • South Carolina--Spartanburg (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Spartanburg (S.C.) (as recorded)