Wheeler, Earle Gilmore, GEN

Deceased
 
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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
1964-1970, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Office of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
Service Years
1932 - 1970

US

General



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
1908
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Wheeler, Earle Gilmore (23d Army CofS 6th JC), GEN USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Washington D.C.
Last Address
Washington D.C.

Date of Passing
Dec 18, 1975
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007)


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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Earle Gilmore "Bus" Wheeler, (January 13, 1908 - December 18, 1975) was a United States Army 4-star General who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1962-1964) and then as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1964-1970), holding the latter position during the Vietnam War.


Biography

 

Earle Gilmore Wheeler was born on January 13, 1909 in Washington D.C.. He graduated from United States Military Academy in 1932 and was commissioned into the infantry, serving in the 29th Infantry from 1932 to 1936. After Infantry School in 1937, he served with the 15th Infantry Regiment in China from 1937 to 1940.
 

From 1940 to 1941, Wheeler was an mathematics instructor at West Point. He served in a variety of training assignments from 1941-1944, then went to Europe in November 1944 with the 63rd Infantry Division. In late 1945, he returned to the U.S. as an instructor at Fort Sill, then returned to Germany from 1947-1949 as a member of the United States Constabulary.
 

He attended and graduated from the National War College in 1950, then returned to Europe in various NATO staff positions until 1955, when he transferred to the General Staff at the Pentagon. He took command of the 2nd Armored Division in 1958 and III Corps in 1959, then became Director of the Joint Staff in 1960. In 1962 he was briefly Deputy Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe before being named Chief of Staff of the United States Army later that year.
 

In 1964, he succeeded Maxwell D. Taylor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and held that post until 1970. Wheeler died in Frederick, Maryland after a heart attack, while being transported by ambulance from his West Virginia home to Washington, D.C.
 

Considering the large number of general officers available in 1964 with distinguished combat records in World War II and Korea, the staff officer Wheeler was a surprising choice for the top Pentagon post. His relative lack of combat experience, however, might actually have been seen as a plus in the eyes of the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, who was famously intolerant for independent strategists. General Wheeler and other Chiefs were often subjected to LBJ's tirades.
 

   
Other Comments:
Earle Gilmore Wheeler was born on January 13, 1908 at Washington, D.C., he graduated from West Point in 1932 and was commissioned in the Infantry.

After four years at Fort Benning, Georgia, during which he was advanced to First Lieutenant in August 1935, he graduated from the Infantry School in 1937, served at Tientsin, China, with the 15th U.S. Infantry. In 1938-40 he was at Fort Lewis, Washington, with the same regiment, and in 1940-41 was an instructor at West Point, receiving promotion to temporary Captain in 1941 and then graduating from the Command and General Staff School. He was advanced to temporary Major in February and Colonel in November. After various training assignments, mainly in the South, he was sent to Europe in November 1944 as Chief of Staff of the 63rd Infantry Division, which landed at Marseilles, France, and joined Alexander M. Patch's 7th Army. Late in 1945 he returned to the U.S. and for a year was an instructor at the Artillery School, Fort Still, Oklahoma. In 1946, he returned to Europe, and from 1947 to 1949 was on the staff of the U.S. Constabulary (formerly VI Crops) in occupied Germany.
 

He graduated from the National War College in 1950 and was promoted to Brigadier General in November 1952, serving in staff posts with NATO forces in Southern Europe until 1955, when he was attached to the General Staff in Washington, receiving promotion to Major General in November of that year. In October 1958, he took command of the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, moving up to command also of III Corps in March 1959. In April 1960, he was promoted to temporary Lieutenant General and named Director of the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In March 1962, he was promoted to temporary General and made Deputy Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe under Lauris Norstad, and in October of that year he became Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
 

In July 1964, he succeeded General Maxwell D. Taylor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He held that post, through a period of rapid modernization of the Armed Forces during a trying era of war in Vietnam, until he retired in July 1970. In 1973 he revealed that he had, on the personal orders of President Richard M. Nixon, directed secret and, when made public, highly controversial, bombing missions over Cambodia in 1969-70.
 

He died at Frederick, Maryland, December 18, 1975, after a heart attack and while being transported by ambulance from his West Virginia home to Washington, D.C. He had held the Chairmanship oft he Joint Chiefs longer than anyone else. His nickname was "Bus."

   
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 Unit Assignments
1st Battalion (Cadre) 29th InfantryInfantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA1st Battalion, 15th Infantry China Headquarters Command
United States Military Academy West Point (Staff)63rd Infantry DivisionHQ, 7th ArmyU.S. Army
US Constabulary EuropeNational War CollegeNATO/SHAPE Support Group, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)Department of the Army (DA)
2nd Armored DivisionIII Corps (3rd Corps)Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Office of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army
  1932-1936, HHC, 1st Battalion (Cadre) 29th Infantry
  1937-1937, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
  1937-1940, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry
  1937-1940, China Headquarters Command
  1940-1941, United States Military Academy West Point (Staff)
  1944-1944, 63rd Infantry Division
  1944-1945, HQ, 7th Army
  1945-1947, Field Artillery Officers' Advance Course
  1947-1949, US Constabulary Europe
  1950-1950, National War College
  1950-1955, NATO/SHAPE Support Group, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)
  1955-1958, Department of the Army (DA)
  1958-1959, 2nd Armored Division
  1959-1960, III Corps (3rd Corps)
  1960-1962, Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1962-1964, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army
  1964-1970, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Office of Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1937-1940 Occupation Duty
  1941-1944 WWII - American Theater
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/The Colmar Pocket
  1945-1945 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Saar River Crossing
  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)
  1946-1949 US Occupation of Germany (WWII)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1928-1932, United States Military Academy
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