Potts, William Edward, LTG

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GD-Commanding General (Deputy)
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1972-1975, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (Provisional) , DA G2
Service Years
1941 - 1975


Lieutenant General

Fourteen Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Potts, William Edward, LTG USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Arlington, VA

Date of Passing
Aug 16, 2005
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff US Pacific Command Defense Intelligence Agency US Army Retired

Army Staff Identification US Army Retired (Pre-2007) French Fourragere

 Unofficial Badges 

Armor Shoulder Cord Knowlton Award Vietnamese Fourragere

 Military Association Memberships
Military Intelligence Corps Association (MICA)National Military Intelligence Association
  1965, Military Intelligence Corps Association (MICA) [Verified]
  1974, National Military Intelligence Association [Verified]

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

William E. Potts, 83, a retired Lieutenant General in the Army, a decorated veteran of three wars and a military intelligence official in the 1960s and 1970s, died of heart disease August 16, 2005, at Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church. He was a longtime Arlington resident.

General Potts was born in Heavener, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma Military Academy (now Rogers State University) in 1941.

At age 20, six weeks after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he passed up an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy to enlist in the Army. He participated in the Normandy landings and led Armored Cavalry forces in reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines for Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army. His unit was so effective in night operations that the German army's general staff dubbed its soldiers "the ghosts of Patton's Army."


He was only 22 years old when Patton gave him a battlefield promotion to Major in recognition of his leadership as a battalion commander during the Lorraine campaign. He was seriously wounded during the fighting in France.

After World War II, he commanded the 72nd Tank Battalion in combat during the Korean War and the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment along the border between East Germany and West Germany in the late 1950s.

He also served almost five years in Vietnam, where he was responsible for implementing the buildup of Korean, Australian and New Zealand troops in 1965 and 1966. From 1969 to 1972, he served as head of combined military intelligence in Vietnam.

Between tours of duty in Vietnam, General Potts held a number of positions in military intelligence, including chief of staff of the Army Security Agency and assistant chief of staff for Army intelligence in the Pacific. After his last tour of duty in Vietnam, he served as the Army's assistant chief of staff for intelligence and as deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

General Potts received a second undergraduate degree, from the University of Maryland, in the 1950s, as well as two master's degrees from George Washington University, in management and personnel administration in 1955 and in international affairs in 1962. He was a doctoral candidate in executive development and contemporary international relations at American University but was reassigned to Vietnam before finishing the degree.

During his military career, he participated in 15 campaigns and was awarded 51 decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and the French National Order of the Legion of Honor. He is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

After his retirement in 1975, General Potts worked for General Research Corp., Computer Sciences Corp. and Raytheon Systems Co. before retiring a second time in 1999. He also headed a team that produced a 20-volume study of the Indochina conflicts for the Department of Defense and consulted with the federal government on intelligence and operational matters for use in future military operations.

Other Comments:
Not Specified
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Vietnamese Armor Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1937, 10th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment, Unit Training (Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, PA)
 Unit Assignments
3rd Armored Division72nd Tank Battalion2nd Infantry Division1st Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry
Free World Forces VietnamArmy Security Agency (ASA)US Pacific Command (USPACOM)Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)Department of the Army (DA)
  1941-1941, The Armored Force School (Staff) Fort Knox KY
  1942-1945, 83rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop
  1942-1945, 3rd Armored Division
  1950-1951, 72nd Tank Battalion
  1950-1951, 2nd Infantry Division
  1957-1959, HHT, 1st Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry
  1965-1966, Free World Forces Vietnam
  1966-1967, Army Security Agency (ASA)
  1967-1969, US Pacific Command (USPACOM)
  1969-1972, HHC, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV)
  1972-1975, 00GD, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  1972-1975, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (Provisional) , DA G2
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Ardennes Alsace 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)
  1950-1951 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)
  1965-1965 Vietnam War/Defense Campaign (1965)
  1965-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (1971)
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign (1971-72)
  1972-1972 Vietnam War/Cease-Fire Campaign (1972-73)
 Colleges Attended 
University of Maryland at BaltimoreGeorge Washington UniversityGeorge Washington UniversityAmerican University
  1937-1941, Rogers State University
  1953-1954, University of Maryland at Baltimore
  1954-1955, George Washington University
  1961-1962, George Washington University
  1968-1969, American University
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