Griffin, William Leland, SFC

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Last Rank
Sergeant First Class
Last Service Branch
Ordnance Corps
Last Primary MOS
63Z-Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor
Last MOS Group
Ordnance (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1971-1972, 63C, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divison
Previously Held MOS
345-Truck Driver, Light
1965-Wheel Vehicle Repair Foreman
63C-General Vehicle Repairman
Service Years
1943 - 1972

Sergeant First Class

Nine Service Stripes

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Honorably Discharged WW II

 Unofficial Badges 

Ordnance Shoulder Cord Armor Shoulder Cord Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present) Cold War Medal

Cold War Veteran

 Additional Information
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Other Comments:

Worked for Department of Army Civil Service at Fort Hood for many years and retired a second time.

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   1968-1971, 63Z, 1st Armored Division

Sergeant First Class
From Month/Year
December / 1968
To Month/Year
March / 1971
1st Armored Division Unit Page
Sergeant First Class
63Z-Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor
Fort Hood
 1st Armored Division Details

1st Armored Division
The 1st Armored Division is the oldest and most prestigious armored division in the United States Army. From its desert tank battles against Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, beach landing at Anzio to the end of the war in the Italian Alps. Maintaining a forward presence in the cold war in Germany, its stunning victories in the Persian Gulf War  to the Global War on terrorism in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  In peace or war, the "Old Ironsides" Division has amassed a proud record of service to America. The current home of the Division is at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Unit Motto:

The unit motto is"Iron Soldier." This is used in greeting a senior NCO or Officer of the Division.

Unit Insignia:  The division was nicknamed "Old Ironsides", by its first commander, Major General Bruce R. Magruder, after he saw a picture of the frigate USS Constitution, which is also nicknamed "Old Ironsides". The large "1" at the top represents the numerical designation of the division, and the insignia is used as a basis for most other sub-unit insignias. The cannon represents fire power, the track represents mobility, and the lighting bolt represents speed and shock force.
The three colors, red, yellow, and blue represent the Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry Branches respectively, which are the colors of the three original combat arms which, when forged into one, created the field of Armor. This "pyramid of power" was devised by the order of then-Lieutenant Col. George S. Patton, Jr. in Bourg, France in early 1918 during Patton's formation and training of the Tank Corps in support of the American Expeditionary Force under General John J. Pershing.

Notable Persons:
Commander: MG Orlando Ward He left that post (and was promoted major general) to become the second commander of the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division. He supervised the deployment of his division across the Atlantic to North Africa, which was brought piecemeal (with a layover in Northern Ireland) as part of Operation Torch and subsequent operations. The failure of 1st Armored to arrive intact and deploy as a single entity would have important consequences in later action against German forces in Tunisia.

Commander: MG Ernest N. Harmon Major-General Harmon had been in Thala on the Algerian border, witnessing the stubborn resistance of the British Nickforce, which held the vital road leading into the Kasserine Pass against the heavy pressure of the German 10th Panzer Division, which was under Rommel's direct command.When the U.S. 9th Infantry Division's attached artillery arrived in Thala after a four-day, 800-mile march, it seemed like a godsend to Harmon. The 9th's artillery did stay, and with its 48 guns raining a whole year's worth of a (peacetime) allotment of shells, stopped the advancing Germans in their tracks. Unable to retreat under the withering fire, the Afrika Corps finally withdrew after dark. With the defeat at Thala, Rommel decided to end his offensive. 

Commander: MG Martin E. Dempsey In June 2003, then Brigadier General Dempsey assumed command of 1st Armored Division. Dempsey's command of the 1st Armored Division lasted until July 2005 and included 13 months in Iraq, from June 2003 to July 2004. While in Iraq, 1st Armored Division, in addition to its own brigades, had operational command over the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, numerous Army National Guard units and a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division; the command, called "Task Force Iron" in recognition of the Division's nickname, "Old Ironsides", was the largest division-level command in the history of the United States Army.

It was during this time that the U.S. intervention in Iraq changed dramatically as Fallujah fell to Sunni extremists and supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr built their strength and rose up against American forces. Then Major General Dempsey and his command assumed responsibility for the Area of Operations in Baghdad as the insurgency incubated, grew, and exploded. General Dempsey has been described by Thomas Ricks in his book "Fiasco": "In the capital itself, the 1st Armored Division, after Sanchez assumed control of V Corps, was led by Gen. Martin Dempsey, was generally seen as handling a difficult (and inherited) job well, under the global spotlight of Baghdad." General Dempsey is now serving as the current Joint Chiefs of Staff.

MOH Recipient: Pvt Nicholas Minue Nicholas Minue received the Medal of Honor for military service on behalf of the United States of America in World War II. He received this recognition for charging a group of German soldiers that had a machine-gun position near Medjez El Bab, Tunisia. He died during the charge.
MOH Recipient: 2LT Thomas Fowler Thomas Weldon Fowler was a former student of the Texas A&M University, a United States Army officer, and a recipient of America's highest military decoration "the Medal of Honor" for his actions leading a combined armor-infantry attack near Carano in the Anzio Beachhead Italy in World War II.
Silver Star Recipient: T5 Henry Guarnere Henry J. Guarnere, an Army Medic, the brother of the famous Sgt William "Wild Bill" Guarnere of Easy Company, 506th P.I.R., 101st Airborne Division, and a recipient of America's third highest military decoration - the Silver Star. As Army Medical Aidman, he rescued a Soldier during heavy counter battery fire in a gun section that was seriously wounded and unable to reach shelter in Tunisia, Africa during World War II. Tech 5 Henry Guarnere was killed in action on 6th January, 1944 while serving with the 47th Armored Medical Battalion in Northern Italy.

Silver Star Recipient: 2LT John P Souther awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with the 1st Armored Division during World War II. He called in division artillery on an exposed position of 500 Germans while under direct fire after his vehicle was knocked out by a German 88mm gun. His actions resulted all of the enemy being killed. He later retired as a LTC in the US Army Reserves and was the President of the 1st Armored Division Association in 1990. He wrote several books on his wartime experiences. He passed away in 2006 in Georgia.

Distinguished Service Cross Recipient: General John Knight Waters , LTC Waters was the son in law of the famous General Patton of II Corps at the time he was taken as a prisoner of war in Tunisia during the battle of of Sidi Bouzid, Feb 1943. He was the commander of the 1st Armored Regiment (light), 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. 26 March,1945, General Patton set up the controversial Task Force Baum to break him out. The mission was a complete failure. He was later released two weeks later in April 1945 by units of the 14th Armored Division. LTC Waters later retired as a four star general, who served as commander, U.S. Army, Pacific from 1964 to 1966.

Armored Unit
Parent Unit
Armored Divisions
Created/Owned By
SC Gaines, Roger (TWS DB Manager - Rowdy), LTC 5992  

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010
Memories For This Unit

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Parent unit for the 501st Supply & Transportation Battalion

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100 Members Also There at Same Time
1st Armored Division

VELLUCCI, JOHN, SP 5, (1968-1971) OD 63H Specialist 5
Averill, Keith, SP 4, (1968-1970) OD 45F Specialist 4
Ortiz, Dave, SP 4, (1971-1973) OD 63B10 Specialist 4
Block, Richard, MSG, (1954-1977) AR 11D10 First Sergeant
Underwood, Chester, 1SG, (1966-1989) AR 11E10 First Sergeant
Ake, Ray, SSG, (1966-1975) AR 11E10 Staff Sergeant
Bonevich, Arthur, SFC, (1958-1979) AR 11D10 Staff Sergeant
Caruso, Steven, SSG, (1971-1992) MP 31B-V5 Staff Sergeant
Land, James, SSG, (1949-1970) EN 12B10 Staff Sergeant
Sahler, Henry, SSG, (1971-1984) AR 19K Staff Sergeant
Wood, Richard, SSG, (1970-1971) AR 133 Staff Sergeant
Avis, Mark, SGT, (1971-2004) IN 11B10 Sergeant
Brown, Edward, SGM, (1968-2010) AG 71F Sergeant
Cole, Dan, SGT, (1968-1971) AR 11E10 Sergeant
Katz, Sidney, SGM, (1965-1995) IN 11F10 Sergeant
Robinson, Larry Lee, SGT, (1970-1971) AR 11E10 Sergeant
Shargent, Lyle, SGT, (1966-1968) IN 11B10 Sergeant
Stevens, Johnny, SFC, (1965-1992) IN 11B10 Sergeant
Turner, Steve, SGT, (1968-1970) AR 11E10 Sergeant
Walker, Robert, SGT, (1969-1972) EN 12B20 Sergeant
Williams, Notre, SSG, (1970-1990) IN 11B20 Corporal
Weygand, Sammy, SP 6, (1966-1970) MI 96C Specialist 6
Ables, Lonnie, SP 5, (1969-1972) QM 76Y Specialist 5
Lampkin, Larry, SP 5, (1966-1968) AR 11E10 Specialist 5
LLoyd, John, SP 5, (1967-1968) AR 11E10 Specialist 5
Ritchie, Kenron, SP 5, (1968-1971) AR 11E10 Specialist 5
Sheldon, Ronald, COL, (1968-2012) AR 11E20 Specialist 5
Silva, Porfilio, SP 5, (1968-1970) IN 11B10 Specialist 5
Westbrook, James, SP 5, (1970-1971) EN 81B10 Specialist 5
Antonelli, Andrew, SP 4, (1971-1972) AD 16R Specialist 4
Bassett, Ken, SP 4, (1968-1970) IN 11C20 Specialist 4
Breeding, Larry, SP 4, (1971-1973) SC 36K Specialist 4
Campbell Jr., Wendell R., SSG, (1971-1990) AR 11E10 Specialist 4
Carr, David, SP 4, (1971-1977) QM 76R Specialist 4
Cuff, James, SP 4, (1970-1971) FA 13A Specialist 4
Czerniejewski, DJ, SP 5, (1969-1979) FA 82C Specialist 4
Dye, Robert, SP 4, (1966-1968) TC 64B Specialist 4
Holcomb, Rhyse, SP 4, (1970-1976) QM 94B Specialist 4
Inman, Jimmy, SP 4, (1969-1973) TC 632 Specialist 4
Kennedy, Allen, SP 4, (1970-1972) IN 11B10 Specialist 4
Kreese, Bob, SP 4, (1975-1977) IN 11B10 Specialist 4
Kukowski, Lawrence, SP 4, (1970-1971) AG 71H10 Specialist 4
Martin, Lewis, SP 4, (1971-1974) FA 13B Specialist 4
McQuaig, Carroll, SPC, (1968-1976) IN 11B10 Specialist 4
Pichler, John, SP 4, (1970-1971) AG 71H10 Specialist 4
Pierce, George, SP 4, (1970-1972) AR 11E20 Specialist 4
Pohlman, Kenneth, SP 4, (1970-1971) AR 11E10 Specialist 4
Seams, Terry, SP 4, (1966-1968) IN 11B10 Specialist 4
Taylor, David, SSG, (1969-1975) IN 11B10 Specialist 4
VanderPloeg, Ken, SP 4, (1966-1968) FI 73A Specialist 4
Vierling, Keith, SP 4, (1966-1969) MD 91B10 Specialist 4
Warren, Robert, SGT, (1971-1987) QM 76Y Specialist 4
Worden, Richard, SP 4, (1966-1968) IN 112.6 Specialist 4
Youngblood, Harvey, SGT, (1969-1972) AR 11E10 Specialist 4
Bylin, Paul, SP 4, (1967-1970) QM 76Q Private First Class
Gonzales, Angelito, PFC, (1963-1969) IN 111.07 Private First Class
Harper, Cordell, SSG, (1967-1979) AG 71H10 Private First Class
Harper, Cordell, SSG, (1967-1979) AG 71H10 Private First Class
Riling, John, SGT, (1968-1971) SC 36K Private First Class

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