Matheson, Salve H., MG

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1973-1975, 5th Army (Fifth Army)/5th Army Readiness Group
Service Years
1942 - 1975


Major General

Ten 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 Matheson, Salve H., MG USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address

Date of Passing
Jan 08, 2005
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord Belgian Fourragere Netherlands Orange Lanyard Army Staff Identification

US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 Inter American Defense Board Schutzenschnur Gold

US Army Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Born in Seattle Washington on August 11, 1920, General Matheson graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve in 1942.

He joined the 506th Parachute Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division after graduation. This is the unit made famous by historian Stephen Ambrose in his 1992 novel Band of Brothers. General Matheson participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy, the liberation of Holland, the defense of Bastogne, and the seizure of the Berchtesgarden area.

Following WW II he served in various command and staff positions in the 82nd Airborne Division. During the Korean War, General Matheson was the G-3 Plans Officer of the X Corps and participated in the landings at Inchon and Wonsan, as well as the amphibious withdrawal at Hungnam.

Following a tour of duty with the XVIII Airborne Corps, he was assigned to the US Army Europe as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, for the 1 st Infantry Division. In 195 8 General Matheson was assigned to the 101st Airborne as Deputy Battle Group Commander, and then later as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3.

General Matheson returned to Europe in 1961 as Commander of the 10th Special Forces. After being reassigned to the States, Matheson became Assistant Division Commander of the 101st Airborne Division, and then assumed command of the Ist Brigade of the 101st Airborne division in Vietnam.

Following his tour of duty in Vietnam, General Matheson was put in command of Fort Campbell. Later, the General served in Korea again, as Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Returning to the United States in 1970, he served as Director of the International Staff, International American Defense Board. In 1971 Matheson moved to Fort M0herson and served as Chief of Staff, Third U.S. Army.

Prior to his retirement in 1975 General Matheson commanded the Army Readiness Region IV.

General Matheson, who was one of the first paratroopers dropped during the D-Day invasion, made more than one hundred parachute jumps during his career, and his numerous decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, four Bronze Stars, twelve Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, Master Parachutist Badge, and third Combat Infantry Badge.

His foreign awards include the Belgian Fourragere, Bronze Lion of the Netherlands, Orange Lanyard of the Netherlands, National Order of Vietnam (5th Class), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with two palms, Republic of Korea Order of National Security, and Vietnamese Civic Actions Honor Medal.

General Matheson, who passed away on January 8, 2005, resided in Carmel, California in his later years. Like many men of his "greatest generation" General Matheson was a modest man who didn't boast of his achievements during WW II.
Other Comments:

Highly decorated Major General Salve H. Matheson, who participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, the seizure of Hitler's Eagle's Nest and later vital operations in Korea and Vietnam, died Saturday at his Carmel home. He was 84.

The heroics and camaraderie of Matheson and the rest of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division were made famous in historian Stephen Ambrose's 1992 novel "Band of Brothers." In 2001, HBO released a miniseries with the same name based on the book.

Matheson amassed a list of military honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, four Bronze Stars, 12 Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, Master Parachutist Badge and Combat Infantry Badge. Foreign awards include the Bronze Lion and the Orange Lanyard of the Netherlands.

In 1968, Matheson was recognized with the Outstanding Professional Achievement award from UCLA. Molly Matheson said her father was a modest man who didn't boast of his achievements during his Army career. "They were remarkable men," Molly Matheson said. "They were regular kind of guys but extraordinary in terms of what they did."

Matheson was born in Seattle on August 11, 1920, and his family moved to the Monterey Peninsula the same year. He attended schools in Monterey and Pacific Grove. After graduating from UCLA, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army. He also attended the Naval War College in Rhode Island.

In World War II, Matheson's units also participated in the liberation of Holland and the defense of Bastogne, Matheson also participated in the surrender of German Lieutenant General Hans Speidel, chief of staff to the "Desert Fox," Gen. Erwin Rommel. He also served in the 1st Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division and commanded the 10th Special Forces Group in Europe.

During the Korean War, Matheson was the G-3 Plans Officer, X-Corps, and participated in the Inchon and Wonsan landings and the amphibious withdrawal from Hungnam.  In Vietnam he commanded the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and participated in the Tet Offensive.

Matheson returned to Korea in 1969 and commanded the 2nd Infantry Division on the Korean demilitarized zone. In 1975, Matheson retired at Fort McPherson, Georgia, and returned home to the Monterey Peninsula. He was a member of the International Club of Carmel.

Molly Matheson said her father kept in touch with the soldiers of E Company and attended reunions whenever he could. "He loved the men he served with."

He is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters Catherine Wallace of La Cañada and Molly Matheson of Sebastopol; a son, Michael Matheson of Carmel; and four grandchildren.

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Master Parachutist (1 Combat Jump)
Germany Jump Wings (Gold)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1938, (Select in Colleges) (ROTC), A
 Unit Assignments
HQ, US Army Cadet CommandBasic Airborne Course (BAC)2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division
X CorpsXVIII Airborne Corps1st Infantry Division506th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
Naval War College10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)US Army Europe (USAREUR)Department of Defense (DOD)
101st Airborne Division 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne DivisionMilitary Assistance Command Vietnam MACV2nd Infantry Division
Inter American Defense Board (IADB)3rd Army5th Army (Fifth Army)
  1938-1942, HQ, US Army Cadet Command/ROTC University of California Los Angeles (Cadre)
  1942-1942, Basic Airborne Course (BAC)
  1942-1946, 1542, 101st Airborne Division
  1943-1944, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment /E Company
  1944-1946, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment /HHC
  1945-1946, RHHC, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) 101st Airborne Division
  1946-1948, 82nd Airborne Division/HHC
  1950-1951, X Corps
  1951-1952, XVIII Airborne Corps
  1953-1955, 1st Infantry Division
  1956-1958, 506th Airborne Regimental Combat Team/HHC
  1959-1961, Naval War College
  1961-1963, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1963-1965, 2162, US Army Europe (USAREUR)
  1965-1966, National Military Command Center (NMCC)
  1966-1967, 00GD, 101st Airborne Division
  1967-1968, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
  1968-1968, 00G3, Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1969-1970, 2nd Infantry Division
  1970-1971, Inter American Defense Board (IADB)
  1971-1973, 3rd Army
  1973-1975, 5th Army (Fifth Army)/5th Army Readiness Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Operation Overlord/D-Day Beach Landings - Operation Neptune
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 D-Day Airborne Landings/First wave: Mission Albany
  1944-1945 Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
  1944-1945 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Siege of Bastogne
  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)
  1945-1945 US Occupation of Germany (WWII)
  1950-1950 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)/X-Corps Withdrawal
  1950-1950 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)/Evacuation of Hungnam
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Inchon Landing/Operation Chromite
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  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)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
 Colleges Attended 
University of California, Los AngelesNaval War College
  1938-1942, University of California, Los Angeles
  1959-1961, Naval War College
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