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William A. Knowlton

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General
William Allen Knowlton
William A. Knowlton painting by Everett Raymond Kinstler
LTG William A. Knowlton,
by Everett Raymond Kinstler
U.S. Army General Flag (General)
Four Star General Officer Flag

InformationEdit

Basic Information
Born 19 June 1920
Place of birth Weston, Middlesex County,
Massachusetts
Died 10 August 2008 (aged 88)
Place of death Arlington, Arlington County,
Virginia
Cause of death Intracranial hemorrhage
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Spouse
Alma mater United States Military Academy (B.S.)
Columbia University (M.A.)
Nickname
Military Info
Allegiance US Flag United States of America
Branch US Department of the Army Seal United States Army
Years/service 01 Jul 1939 - 18 Jan 1943;
United States Military Academy
19 Jan 1943 - 00 Jun 1980;
United States Army (Commission)
Service # Officer - 25436

Career SummaryEdit

Insignia Organization or Command Title / Position Branch Rank Location Begin Date End Date
Civilian Career
St. Mark's School Student
(honor graduate)
- - Southborough, Massachusetts 1935 1938
Army Career
USMA Patch (WWII era) United States Military Academy Cadet
(distinguished graduate)
- Cadet West Point, New York 01 Jul 1939 18 Jan 1943
Armor School Student 2nd Lieutenant Fort Knox, Kentucky 01 Feb 1943 01 May 1943
B Company & Reconnaissance Company:
40th Armored Regiment
Platoon Leader 2nd Lieutenant;
1st Lieutenant
Camp Coxcomb, California 08 May 1943 19 Sep 1943
7th Armored Division Platoon E:
87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
Platoon Leader 1st Lieutenant Fort Benning, Georgia;
Various locations in Europe
20 Sep 1943 03 Sep 1944
7th Armored Division 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) Assistant S-2 1st Lieutenant Various locations in Europe 04 Sep 1944 08 Nov 1944
7th Armored Division 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) S-1 1st Lieutenant Various locations in Europe 09 Nov 1944 30 Dec 1944
7th Armored Division B Troop:
87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
Troop Commander 1st Lieutenant Various locations in Europe 31 Dec 1944 28 Feb 1945
7th Armored Division B Troop:
87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
Executive Officer 1st Lieutenant Various locations in Europe 01 Mar 1945 10 Apr 1945
7th Armored Division B Troop:
87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
Troop Commander 1st Lieutenant;
Captain
Various locations in Europe 11 Apr 1945 27 Jul 1945
Headquarters,
Regiment Group Combat Command
S-3 Captain Germany 28 Jul 1945 01 Nov 1945
USA European Command Motor Battalion:
Office of the Military Government, United States
Battalion Commander Captain Germany 02 Nov 1945 10 Apr 1946
US Army Europe Headquarters,
United States Forces, European Theater
Counter Intelligence Staff Officer Captain;
Major
Frankfurt, Germany 11 Apr 1946 18 Feb 1947
Office of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army:
General Staff, Department of the Army
Assistant Secretary Major Washington, D.C. 05 Apr 1947 08 Aug 1949
Armor Officer Advanced Course,
Armor School
Student Major Fort Knox, Kentucky 07 Sep 1949 15 Jun 1950
Command and Staff Department:
Armor School
Instructor Major Fort Knox, Kentucky 16 Jun 1950 1950
Artillery School Instructor, Armor Tactics Major Fort Sill, Oklahoma 1950 1950
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Staff Officer Major Paris, France 1950 195?
Command and General Staff College Student Lieutenant Colonel Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 1954 1955
USMA Patch Department of Social Sciences:
United States Military Academy
Associate Professor Lieutenant Colonel West Point, New York 1955 1958
1st Battalion:
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment:
Strategic Army Corps
Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Fort Meade, Maryland 1958 1959
National War College Student Lieutenant Colonel Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. 1959 1960
Strategic Intelligence School Student Colonel Washington, D.C. 1960 1961
- Army Attaché Colonel Tunis, Tunisia 1961 1963
1st Armored Training Brigade Brigade Commander Colonel Fort Knox, Kentucky 1963 1964
Directorate of Coordination and Analysis:
Office of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army:
General Staff, Department of the Army
Division Chief Colonel Washington, D.C. 1964 1965
Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Military Assistant to the Special Assistant
to the Secretary of Defense
Colonel Washingon, D.C. 1965 1966
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Staff Officer - Brigadier General Vietnam 00 Aug 1966 00 Jan 1968
9th Infantry Division alternative 9th Infantry Division Assistant Division Commander - Brigadier General Vietnam 00 Jan 1968 00 Jul 1968
Office of the Secretary of the General Staff:
Office of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army:
General Staff, Department of the Army
Secretary of the General Staff - Major General Washington, D.C. 00 Jul 1968 00 Mar 1970
USMA Patch United States Military Academy 49th Superintendent - Lieutenant General West Point, New York 23 Mar 1970 23 Jul 1974
United States European Command Chief of Staff - Lieutenant General Stuttgart, Germany 1974 1976
Allied Joint Force Command Naples Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe Commanding General - General Izmir, Turkey 1976 1977
NATO Military Committee United States Representative - General Brussels, Belgium 1977 1980
Civilian Career
Defense Nuclear Agency Advisor - General (ret.) Washington, D.C.
Science and Technology Advisory Board,
Defense Intelligence Agency
Member - General (ret.) Washington, D.C.
Chubb Corporation Director - General (ret.) Warren Township, New Jersey
Davis & Elkins College Trustee - General (ret.) Elkins, West Virginia

Dates of RankEdit

Grade Rank Insignia Name Branch Appointment Age Date of Rank Accepted Time Spent in Rank
United States Army
No Insignia Cadet - 01 Jul 1939 19
O-1
2nd Lieutenant (US Cavalry alternative)
2nd Lieutenant
US Army Cavalry Insignia
08 Feb 1943 22 19 Jan 1943
O-2
1st Lieutenant (US Cavalry)
1st Lieutenant
US Army Cavalry Insignia
19 Jan 1946 25
O-3
Captain (US Cavalry)
Captain
US Army Cavalry Insignia
01 Jul 1948 28 15 Jul 1948
O-3
Captain (US Cavalry)
Captain
Armor Branch Insignia
28 Jun 1950 30 01 Jul 1948
O-4
Major (US Cavalry)
Major
Armor Branch Insignia
06 Jul 1954 34
O-5
Lieutenant Colonel (US Cavalry)
Lieutenant Colonel
Armor Branch Insignia
07 Jul 1962 42
O-6
Colonel (US Cavalry)
Colonel
Armor Branch Insignia
25 Dec 1967 47
O-7
Brigadier General (USA)
Brigadier General -
O-8
Major General (USA)
Major General -
Retired 00 Jun 1980 60 - -
Grade Rank Insignia Name Branch Appointment Age Date of Rank Accepted Time Spent in Rank
Army of the United States
O-1
2nd Lieutenant (US Cavalry alternative)
2nd Lieutenant
US Army Cavalry Insignia
19 Jan 1943 22
O-2
1st Lieutenant (US Cavalry)
1st Lieutenant
US Army Cavalry Insignia
19 May 1943 22
O-3
Captain (US Cavalry)
Captain
US Army Cavalry Insignia
01 Jun 1945 24
O-4
Major (US Cavalry)
Major
US Army Cavalry Insignia
14 Feb 1947 26
O-5
Lieutenant Colonel (US Cavalry)
Lieutenant Colonel
Armor Branch Insignia
12 May 1953 32 12 May 1953
O-6
Colonel (US Cavalry)
Colonel
Armor Branch Insignia
09 Dec 1960 40
O-7
Brigadier General (USA)
Brigadier General - 23 Oct 1966 46
O-8
Major General (USA)
Major General - 1968
O-9
Lieutenant General (USA)
Lieutenant General - 1970
O-10
General (USA)
General - 01 Jun 1976 55

Awards and DecorationsEdit

Personal Decorations
Defense Distinguished Service Medal Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2OLC) Silver Star Medal two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit (1 Oakleaf) Legion of Merit one oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal (Valor device) Bronze Star Medal "Valor" device
Air Medal (numeral 9) Air Medal number "9" device
Army Commendation Medal (oakleaf 1) Army Commendation Medal one oak leaf cluster
Unit Awards
Presidential Unit Citation Presidential Unit Citation
Service/Campaign Medals
American Defense Service Medal American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (4 stars) European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal four campaign stars
World War II Victory Medal World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal Army of Occupation Medal "Germany" clasp
National Defense Service Medal (1 Service Star) National Defense Service Medal one service star
Vietnam Service Medal (4SS) Vietnam Service Medal
Foreign Personal Decorations
Legion of Honour (Officer) National Order of the Legion of Honour - Officer Flag of the French Republic French Republic
Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 Cross of War with silver gilt star Flag of the French Republic French Republic
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Grand Officer's Cross)
Order of Merit - Grand Officer Flag of Germany Federal Republic of Germany
National Order of Vietnam (Knight) National Order of Vietnam - Knight Flag of South Vietnam2 Republic of Vietnam
Gallantry Cross (Vietnam)(Palm) Gallantry Cross Flag of South Vietnam2 Republic of Vietnam
Foreign Unit Awards
Cross of War Fourragère Flag of the Kingdom of Belgium Kingdom of Belgium
Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (Vietnam) (Palm) Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Flag of South Vietnam2 Republic of Vietnam
Civil Actions Unit Citation (Vietnam) (palm) Civil Actions Unit Citation Flag of South Vietnam2 Republic of Vietnam
Foreign Service Awards
Vietnam Campaign Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal ('1960-' bar) Flag of South Vietnam2 Republic of Vietnam
Combat/Special Skill Badges
Parachutist Badge
Basic Parachutist Badge
Identification Badges
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Army General Staff Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
9th Infantry Division alternative 9th Infantry Division
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia - Former Wartime Service patch
(worn from ca. 1970's - 2008)
7th Armored Division 7th Armored Division
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia - Former Wartime Service patch
(worn from 1945 - ca. 1970's)
Foreign Combat/Special Skill Badges
Parachutist Badge (Vietnam)
Parachutist Badge (Republic of Vietnam)
Other Accoutrements
Overseas Service Bar (WWII) Eight Overseas Service Bars
Unofficial Badges
US Army Armor Wreath Pin
Army Armor Pin
  • Senior Fellow, Defense Studies Institute, National Defense University 1980 - 1995
  • Honorary Colonel, 40th Armored Regiment
  • The Order of Saint George Medallion, 1988 (United States Armor Association)
  • Castle Memorial Award, 2002 (West Point Society of the District of Columbia)
  • Distinguished Graduate Award, 2004 (Association of USMA Graduates)

Battles/WarsEdit

World War II (08 Dec 1941 - 02 Sept 1945)

Korean War (07 Jul 1950 - 27 Jul 1953)

Vietnam War (01 Jan 1961; 07 Aug 1964 - 30 Apr 1975)

QuotesEdit

NotesEdit

  • a native English speaker, he was fluent in French and German.

FamilyEdit

Name Relation Lifespan Notes
Immediate Family
Majorie D. "Peggy" Knowlton (née Downy) Wife
William A. Knowlton, Jr. Son Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
Davis D. Knowlton Son
Timothy R. Knowlton Son
Hollister "Holly" Petraeus (née Knowlton) Daughter
David H. Petraeus Son-in-law 07 Nov 1952 - present General, US Army
Extended Family

GalleryEdit

  • Portraits
William A. Knowlton (MG - USMA)

MG - USMA

William A. Knowlton painting by Everett Raymond Kinstler

LTG - USMA

William A. Knowlton (GEN - NATO1)

GEN - NATO

Edit

  • Random photos
William A. Knowlton (Cadet - USMA)

CDT - USMA

William A. Knowlton (1LT) 05.03.1945

1LT - 87th Cavalry Recon Squad (03 May 1945)

William A. Knowlton and his wife

Knowlton with his wife

William A. Knowlton with his future son-in-law, David H. Petreus

Knowlton with his future son-in-law

ReferencesEdit

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