Emerson, Henry Everett (Hank), LTG

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1975-1977, 00GC, XVIII Airborne Corps
Service Years
1947 - 1977

US

Lieutenant General


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
1925
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Emerson, Henry Everett (Hank) (Gunfighter(DSCw/OLC)), LTG.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Washington
Last Address
Helena, Montana

Date of Passing
Feb 04, 2015
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) 101st Airbone Division 25th Infantry Division




 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
HELENA, Mont. - Henry Everett "Hank" Emerson, a retired Army lieutenant general, best known for being the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea during the mid-1970's when Colin Powell served as a battalion commander, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.
Gen. Emerson was born in Washington, D.C., on May 28, 1925, the son of Brig. Gen. Govenor Vincent Emerson, M.D., and Marie McLaughlin. He graduated from West Point in the class of 1947 as a second lieutenant of infantry and served as a company commander with the 5th Regimental Combat Team during the Korean War. He then served on the staff and faculty of the infantry school, followed by an assignment as a tactical officer at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was a graduate of the Navy Command and Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College.
Gen. Emerson was best known as a combat commander in three wars: a company commander in the Korean War; a battalion commander in the Dominican Republic; and brigade commander in the Vietnam War. His general officer assignments were as the assistant division commander, 82nd Airborne Division; commanding general, 2nd Infantry Division; commanding general, John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance; and the commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps.
According to those that knew him best, such as Colin Powell, who would go on to become the Secretary of State, what set him apart as a combat commander was his great love for his soldiers and his concern for their welfare.
During his command in the Vietnam War, he conceived aerial reconnaissance and combat methods that employed effectively against the Viet Cong. These included a checkerboard concept that involves small groups covering grid squares to seek out an enemy, and jitterbug tactics which are complex maneuvers using helicopters to surround an enemy. This would seem jittery like the dance when Eagle Flights, which were helicopters loaded with local soldiers, were flown in quickly to assist foreign troops in certain situations. He demonstrated that American soldiers could effectively "out-guerrilla" the Viet Cong. Emerson also developed the "seal-and-pile-on technique" (the rapid build-up of combat power to surround and destroy an enemy force).
Gen. Emerson, who was fraternally called "The Gunfighter" by his troops, was one of the most decorated officers in the history of the Army. He received a Master Parachutist Badge, a Combat/Infantry Badge with Star, two Distinguished Service Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, five Silver Stars, and two Purple Hearts among others.
Gen. Emerson had a saying on his wall "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." Today, the general has "faded away" and we salute him one last time.
Gen. Emerson is survived by his nephew, Richard Emerson Wilkins of Wilmington, N.C.; a niece, Marie Page Riggle, of Towson, Md.; a grandniece, Elizabeth Page Wilkins of Melrose, Mass. and her husband, Lt. Col. Joseph G. Marine, USMA; and two great-grandnephews, William Quinn Hardisty and Joseph William Marine.
Memorial services and interment will be held in Arlington National Cemetery later this spring and will be announced at a later date.
Donations should be made to the Fisher House, 12 Bassett St., Fort Bragg, NC 28307
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   
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Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
Start Year
1968
End Year
1968

Description
This campaign was from 30 January to 1 April 1968. On 29 January 1968 the Allies began the Tet-lunar new year expecting the usual 36-hour peaceful holiday truce. Because of the threat of a large-scale attack and communist buildup around Khe Sanh, the cease fire order was issued in all areas over which the Allies were responsible with the exception of the I CTZ, south of the Demilitarized Zone.

Determined enemy assaults began in the northern and Central provinces before daylight on 30 January and in Saigon and the Mekong Delta regions that night. Some 84,000 VC and North Vietnamese attacked or fired upon 36 of 44 provincial capitals, 5 of 6 autonomous cities, 64 of 242 district capitals and 50 hamlets. In addition, the enemy raided a number of military installations including almost every airfield. The actual fighting lasted three days; however Saigon and Hue were under more intense and sustained attack.

The attack in Saigon began with a sapper assault against the U.S. Embassy. Other assaults were directed against the Presidential Palace, the compound of the Vietnamese Joint General Staff, and nearby Ton San Nhut air base.

At Hue, eight enemy battalions infiltrated the city and fought the three U.S. Marine Corps, three U.S. Army and eleven South Vietnamese battalions defending it. The fight to expel the enemy lasted a month. American and South Vietnamese units lost over 500 killed, while VC and North Vietnamese battle deaths may have been somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000.

Heavy fighting also occurred in two remote regions: around the Special Forces camp at Dak To in the central highlands and around the U.S. Marines Corps base at Khe Sanh. In both areas, the allies defeated attempts to dislodge them. Finally, with the arrival of more U.S. Army troops under the new XXIV Corps headquarters to reinforce the marines in the northern province, Khe Sanh was abandoned.

Tet proved a major military defeat for the communists. It had failed to spawn either an uprising or appreciable support among the South Vietnamese. On the other hand, the U.S. public became discouraged and support for the war was seriously eroded. U.S. strength in South Vietnam totaled more than 500,000 by early 1968. In addition, there were 61,000 other allied troops and 600,000 South Vietnamese.

The Tet Offensive also dealt a visibly severe setback to the pacification program, as a result of the intense fighting needed to root out VC elements that clung to fortified positions inside the towns. For example, in the densely populated delta there had been approximately 14,000 refugees in January; after Tet some 170,000 were homeless. The requirement to assist these persons seriously inhibited national recovery efforts.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1968
To Year
1968
 
Last Updated:
Jan 7, 2019
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Cavalry Division (Unit of Action)

I Corps/29th Civil Affairs Company

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  13526 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adams, John, LTC, (1966-2001)
  • Adkisson, Jim, (1966-1969)
  • Agard, George R, SP 5, (1968-1971)
  • Agner, Stanley Eugene, SGT, (1969-1971)
  • Aho, Milt, SP 5, (1969-1971)
  • Akins, Donald, CW4, (1963-1985)
  • Akridge, William, COL, (1966-2007)
  • Aldridge, Jon, SP 5, (1968-1971)
  • Alexander, Brian, SP 4, (1970-1973)
  • Alfred, Harry, SGT, (1967-1969)
  • Allen, Lee, SP 4, (1966-1968)
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