Zais, Melvin, GEN

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00G3-Army General Officer (G3)
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1973-1973, Allied Land Forces Southern Europe (LANDSOUTH)
Service Years
1937 - 1973

US

General



Ten Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Year of Birth
1916
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Zais, Melvin, GEN USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Fall River
Last Address
Beaufort, SC

Date of Passing
May 07, 1981
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Sec 1 Grave 150-F

 Official Badges 

Belgian Fourragere Infantry Shoulder Cord Army Staff Identification US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 Allied Forces Central Joint Chiefs of Staff US European Command

US Army Retired


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
 
Place of birth Fall River, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1937-1973
Rank General
Commands held 1st Infantry Division
101st Airborne Division
XXIV Corps
Third Army
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War
 

General Melvin Zais (May 8, 1916, in Fall River, Massachusetts - May 7, 1981) was a United States Army general.
 

General Zais attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. In 1937 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He attended the U.S. Command and General Staff College, and was also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, and the National War College. He was promoted to Brigadier General, June 1, 1964; Major General, May 1, 1967; and Lieutenant General, August 1, 1969.He was named Commanding General, Allied Land Forces, Southeast Europe, Turkey, effective August 1973 following his promotion to General on July 13th the month prior.


He was a veteran of World War II and Vietnam War. His assignments included Commander, 1st Infantry Division, United States Army, Vietnam, 1966; Director of Individual Training, Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., 1966-68; Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1968-69; Commanding General, XXIV Corps, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1969-70; Director for Operations, J-3, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., 1970-72; Commanding General, Third Army, 1972-73.
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Personal Story - Submitted by: FA Hudson, Ronald (MajHud), MAJ
I was at LZ Nancy on April 13, 1970, when that base was overrun by NVA. I was attached to HHB 1st/39th FA, 108th Artillery Group. In the morning after the attack and after we had killed or captured any Sappers remaining in our area, I was near the Bn. CP when the Generals helicopter came in with the big blue heart on its side. There were several of us near the Aid Station when Gen. Zais walked over to us and as we rose to told us to sit down. He asked how we were and did anyone have any needs. A courageous troop said we hadn't seen a PX in months. He said he would see what he could do. That afternoon a Ch47 flew in and a group of starched rear type troops piled out. They set up a perimeter and a cash register and we went through the line buying everything they had! He was my hero that day. Our battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation for that action. I hope this info is of some interest. Ronald L. Hudson

 

   
Other Comments:

GENERAL (RET) MELVIN ZAIS, U.S. ARMY

 

General Melvin Zais, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1937 with a Bachelor of Art in Political Science. He began his military career after graduation as a U.S. Army Reserve Second Lieutenant.


He was recalled to active duty in 1940 after a year in civilian life and served at Fort Benning, Georgia where he volunteered for the original paratroop battalion in the Army, the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion.


After graduation from the Command and General Staff College in 1943, General Zais organized and trained the 3rd Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment and led them into combat in Italy and France. Service as Regimental Executive Officer during combat in Belgium and Germany was followed by command of the Regiment upon its return to Fort Bragg.


General Zais was selected as Brigadier General on June 1, 1964. Between 1964 and 1966, he became Deputy Commanding General, Field Force and Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. His second tour in Vietnam was served as Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division and XXIV Corps during the period of July 1968 to June 1970. He assumed command of the Third United States Army at Fort McPherson, Georgia in June 1972 which position he held until June 1973. He was named Commanding General, Allied Land Forces, Southeast Europe, Turkey, effective August 1973 following his promotion to General on July 13th the month prior.


His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal on five occasions; the Silver Star twice; the Legion of Merit four times; the Distinguished Flying Cross twice; the Bronze Star Medal; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal twice; the Purple Heart; and numerous foreign awards and honors.


General Zais had two sons with Marjorie Aileen Emert Zais, Barrie E. and Mitchell M. Zais both of whom are officers in the United States Army. Marjorie Zais passed away and General Zais subsequently married Patricia V. Light at Fort Myer, Virginia, becoming the stepfather of David R. and John P. Light.
 

   
 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Aviator Badge (Basic)
Airborne Glider BadgeMaster Parachutist (1 Combat Jump)
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1933, (Select in Colleges) (ROTC)
 Unit Assignments
US Army Cadet Command501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Resident Course517th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Armed Forces Staff College (Staff)National War College1st Field Force Vietnam (I Field Force)1st Infantry Division
Department of the Army (DA)101st Airborne Division XXIV CorpsOffice of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)/Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
3rd ArmyAllied Land Forces Southern Europe (LANDSOUTH)
  1933-1937, US Army Cadet Command
  1940-1943, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
  1943-1943, Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Resident Course
  1943-1946, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment
  1947-1948, Armed Forces Staff College (Staff)
  1950-1952, National War College
  1964-1966, 1st Field Force Vietnam (I Field Force)
  1966-1966, 1st Infantry Division
  1967-1968, Department of the Army (DA)
  1968-1969, 101st Airborne Division
  1969-1970, XXIV Corps
  1970-1972, Office of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)/Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1972-1973, 3rd Army
  1973-1973, Allied Land Forces Southern Europe (LANDSOUTH)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Sicily Campaign (1943)
  1943-1943 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Sicily Campaign (1943)
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
  1945-1945 Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Victory in Europe Day (VE Day - 8May45)
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Defense Campaign (1965)
  1965-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase IV Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
 Colleges Attended 
University of New Hampshire, Durham
  1933-1937, University of New Hampshire, Durham
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