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Acuff, Earl Clyde, BG USA(Ret).
Home Town Whiteburg, Iowa
Last Address Blacksburg, Virginia Buried at Memorial Gardens of the New River Valley, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Date of Passing Feb 13, 2013
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Unknown
Last Known Activity Military Figure, Athelete, Educator. Acuff was a Brigadier General, former commandant of cadets at Virginia Tech, racquetball champion, and last surviving member of Castner's Cutthroats. He began his Army career as an ROTC student on a football scholarship at the University of Idaho. After his first duty station at Fort Ord with the 82nd Airborne Division, the Lieutenant was deployed to the Aleutian Islands as an executive officer of the 1st Alaskan Combat Intelligence Platoon (Castner's Cutthroats). On a remote island for months without breaking radio silence, Acuff was presumed dead and a rescue mission ensued. "I was living like a king. I was diving for king crab and eating fresh seafood and fowl - wild ptarmigan, ducks and geese - for dinner. They told me not to break radio sound unless I saw a Japanese plane, so I didn't. When the Alaskan Scouts came to 'rescue' me, they started thinking that maybe they'd like to stay with me." After the war, Acuff was a bush pilot, big game guide, and teacher near Cook Inlet. He re-entered service in 1949 at the Army's request, teaching Arctic survival. During the Korea War, he fought with the 7th Infantry Divison at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and the Battle of Old Baldy, earning a Purple Heart, a Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Bronze Star with four Oak Leaf Clusters and Valor Device, and his second Combat Infantryman Badge. In 1965, he was invited to evaluate the Ranger training program at Fort Benning, Georgia. At 47 years old, he became the (then) oldest soldier to graduate from United States Army Ranger School. In 1966, he received a Master's degree in International Studies from George Washington University and worked for the State Department on Latin American affairs. During the Vietnam War, Acuff served as Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and the Deputy Post Commander at the U. S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. He began teaching military science at Virginia Tech in 1970, and was subsequently promoted to Brigadier General and became the Commandant of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in 1974. In his later years, Acuff was an accomplished athelte. He was the winner of 25 U.S. national and world senior gold medals, including nine U.S. national singles titles. He won the men's 75+ doubles crown at the Ektelon 31st U.S. National Doubles Championships (his seventh national doubles championship), the 1998 men's 80+ world title, and three other world seniors crowns. He was named a member of the University of Idaho Sports Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and the USRA Racquetball Hall of Fame.