Casey, George William, Sr., MG

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
98 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Major General
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1970-1970, 00GC, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division
Service Years
1945 - 1970


Major General

Six Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

10 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Casey, George William, Sr., MG.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Allston, Massachusetts

Casualty Date
Jul 07, 1970
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

1st Cavalry Division Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Aviator Badge (Basic)
Master Parachutist

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
1st Cavalry Division
  1967-1967, 2010, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division
  1969-1970, 00GD, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division
  1970-1970, 00GC, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division
 Colleges Attended 
Harvard UniversityUnited States Military AcademyGeorgetown University
  1940-1941, Harvard University
  1941-1945, United States Military Academy
  1957-1958, Georgetown University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
The 1st Cavalry Division suffered a tragic loss early in July when the 1st Cavalry Division Command Helicopter, piloted by Major General George William Casey, enroute to visit wounded Skytroopers, crashed in a remote area in South Vietnam.
Six members of his personal staff perished with him:
Major John Alexander Hottell III, Aide-de-Camp; First Lieutenant William Frederick Michel, Pilot; Command Sergeant Major Kenneth William Cooper, Division Sergeant Major; Sergeant William Lee Christenson, Door Gunner; Sergeant Ronald Francis Fuller, Crew Chief; Sergeant Vernon Kenneth Smolik, Aide & Stenographer.
General Casey took command of the 1st Cavalry Division, considered the Army's best, in May, while the division was engaged in the operation against the communist sanctuaries in Cambodia. He served as the Task Force Commander in that operation.
The Division, the Association, the Army, and the Nation, lost a dedicated and gallant leader. As one of the youngest Major Generals in the United States Army, General Casey was an outstanding soldier with a bright future. In the names of the men, the Association extends deepest sympathy.

SAIGON, South Vietnam, July 11, 1970 – The United States Command said today that seven bodies had been recovered from the wreckage of a helicopter that had carried Major General George William Casey, the commander of the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
A military spokesman declined to positively identify the bodies, believed to be those of General Casey as well as six aides and crewmen.
General Casey was widely regarded as one of the most promising officers in the Army before his death at the age of 48.
His combination of traditional Army methods with the latest in air mobility tactics was widely respected by other commanders who had asked to serve under him, and by his superiors.
He was a familiar figure to troops in the First Cavalry Division in South Vietnam.  He had served as Chief of Staff of the division there in 1967 and has for nine months assistant division commander before he gained his second stat and a promotion to commander two months ago.
General Casey, who earned a master’s degree in international relations at Georgetown University in 1958 and a master’s degree in business administration at George Washington University in 1963 was selected by the Army in 1965 to spend a year of study at the Center for International Affairs of Harvard University, where had had studied earlier before going to West Point.
General Casey’s initial service in the Army was as a platoon leader of a paratroop regiment stationed in Japan.  He moved through his division and became aide-de-camp of then Major General Lyman L. Lemnitzer.
In 1951, he became a rifle company commander in Korea and participated in engagements at Heartbreak Ridge.  After Korean service, he returned to the United States for a number of tours of duty before going to Europe in 1963 as commander of the Eighth Infantry Division.
General Casey is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elaine Morton Casey of North Scituate, Massachusetts, three daughters and two sons.
Retired Army Major Johnny Parker wrote something about an Army general who died in Vietnam that is worth quoting today:
“The best memorial to a fallen soldier is the legacy he leaves behind.”
The legacy Maj. Gen. George William Casey left behind is a son who will become the next Chief of Staff of the Army. George Casey Sr. was the highest ranking American officer killed in the Vietnam War.
A member of the West Point Class of 1945, Casey was 48 when he died. When you read about him on the websites dedicated to his memory and in the West Point archives, you discover an officer so respected “all expected he would be the next Chief of Staff,” according to former Army Capt. Kirby Smith. “His presence was so commanding, yet (he was) disarmingly approachable to anyone.”
Casey’s death made national news in 1970. Here’s what Frank Reynolds said about him on ABC News: “General George Casey was one of those men who had soldier written all over him . . . (he) knew war and hated it, perhaps more than the rest of us.”
His website is full of tributes from former soldiers.
“This man was loved by his troops and always had our survival and safety as a top priority. General Casey was a man anyone could talk to about any problem,” wrote Ronald Dula. “I was just a young kid, a Spec 4, and he took time out of his busy life to talk to and listen to me.”
“Without question the finest officer I ever worked for,” wrote Joseph Ward. “And he was a staunch Red Sox fan.”
“As a young 19-year-old he was my image of a great leader after whom I later tailored my 24 year career,” Jaime Reuda wrote. Then he described his last encounter with the general: “he gave us a pep talk and in the rain he mounted his chopper to go see the troops over the mountain in the hospital.”
Socked in by the weather, Casey’s helicopter flew into a ridge; everyone on board was killed. As General L.L. Lemnitzer said at Casey’s funeral, “Perhaps it is fitting, if this illustrious commander had to die on the field of battle that his final mission was to visit the wounded and hospitalized soldiers of his division. Such was the man, General George Casey.”
A man whose impact was felt far beyond his lifetime -- as Jaime Reuda wrote, “All these years I still stop to take a moment for him.”
I don’t know for sure how the Vietnam commander influenced his son, but as Gen. George W. Casey Jr. takes command of the United States Army you can be sure he’ll have the lessons of the old warrior close at heart.
Copyright Inc 2003-2011