Waters, John Knight, GEN

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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1964-1966, 00GC, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
Service Years
1931 - 1966

Eight Overseas Service Bars

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246 kb

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Waters, John Knight (DSC/DSM), GEN.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address

Date of Passing
Jan 09, 1989
Location of Interment
Immanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery - Sparks, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the Purple Heart1st Armored Division Association
  1944, Military Order of the Purple Heart - Assoc. Page
  2014, 1st Armored Division Association - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

John Knight Waters (1906 - January 9, 1989) was a United States Army four star general who served as commander, U.S. Army, Pacific from 1964 to 1966. He was also the son-in-law of General George S. Patton.

Waters attended Johns Hopkins University in Maryland for two years before deciding he wanted a military career. He relocated to Illinois in order to obtain an appointment to the United States Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1931 with a commission in the cavalry.

Waters was the commander of the 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division when he captured in Tunisia at Dejebel Lassouda when Nazi-German forces attacked Sidi bou Zid during World War II.

Waters, who had married General George S. Patton's daughter Beatrice in 1934, was one of many officers interned at Hammelburg. Patton claimed that he did not know that Waters was at OFLAG XIII-B and that he feared the Germans would execute the POWs rather than let them be liberated. According to some sources the Third Army had received intelligence that Waters was indeed at the camp, having recently been moved there from Silesia.

The task force, known as Task Force Baum, reached the camp, which was some 60 miles behind the front lines, on March 27 with some losses after running into several German units detraining in a marshalling area. It had been shadowed by a German observation plane while en-route, and its intentions were anticipated.

Waters had been shot by a defending guard as he and a German officer were trying to contact the task force. Badly wounded, he was treated by a Serbian doctor also interned at the camp. The camp was liberated about a week to ten days later, but the only prisoners there were badly wounded and sick, the rest (including the remnants of Task Force Baum) having been moved farther east.

Waters returned to duty in 1946 and became commandant of cadets at West Point. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1952 when he deployed to Korea as Chief of Staff for I Corps. His major command assignments include Commanding General for the 4th Armored Division and Commanding General for V Corps, both in Europe, as well as Commanding General for the Fifth United States Army, then headquartered in Chicago.

Significant other assignments for Waters were as Chief of the American Military Assistance Staff in Yugoslavia from 1955 to 1957, and as Deputy Chief of Staff for Material Developments, Fort Monroe, Virginia. He also commanded the latter unit before taking command of U.S. Army, Pacific in Hawaii. He retired on August 31, 1966.

Major awards for Waters include the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions leading fellow prisoners, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star , the Purple Heart, and the Korean Service Medal. He died on January 9, 1989.

Other Comments:

His first wife, the former Beatrice Patton, died in 1952. He is survived by his second wife, Anne McKinley Waters, of Potomac, Md.; two sons, John, of Easton, Md., and George, of Baton Rouge, La.; three stepdaughters, Brandreth McKinley Cole of Alexandria, Va., Courtenay Griffin of Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Allison McKinley of Portland, Ore. and five grandchildren.

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 Unit Assignments
1st Brigade, 1st Armored DivisionPOW/MIAI Corps4th Armored Division
5th Army (Fifth Army)V CorpsUS Continental Army Command (CONARC)US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
  1942-1943, A Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division
  1942-1943, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division
  1943-1945, 1203, POW/MIA
  1952-1953, 2010, I Corps
  1953-1955, 00GC, 4th Armored Division
  1959-1961, 00GC, 5th Army (Fifth Army)
  1961-1962, 00GC, V Corps
  1962-1964, 00GC, US Continental Army Command (CONARC)
  1964-1966, 00GC, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)/Operation Torch
  1943-1943 Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Sidi Bouzid
 Colleges Attended 
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MDUnited States Military Academy
  1925-1927, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  1927-1931, United States Military Academy
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