Zais, Melvin, GEN

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00G3-Army General Officer (G3)
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1973-1973, Allied Land Forces Southern Europe (LANDSOUTH)
Service Years
1937 - 1973

US

General



Ten Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

15 kb

Home State
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Year of Birth
1916
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Zais, Melvin, GEN USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Fall River
Last Address
Beaufort, SC

Date of Passing
May 07, 1981
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Sec 1 Grave 150-F

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff US European Command Allied Forces Central US Army Retired

Army Staff Identification Belgian Fourragere Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
 
Place of birth Fall River, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1937-1973
Rank General
Commands held 1st Infantry Division
101st Airborne Division
XXIV Corps
Third Army
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War
 

General Melvin Zais (May 8, 1916, in Fall River, Massachusetts - May 7, 1981) was a United States Army general.
 

General Zais attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. In 1937 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He attended the U.S. Command and General Staff College, and was also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, and the National War College. He was promoted to Brigadier General, June 1, 1964; Major General, May 1, 1967; and Lieutenant General, August 1, 1969.He was named Commanding General, Allied Land Forces, Southeast Europe, Turkey, effective August 1973 following his promotion to General on July 13th the month prior.


He was a veteran of World War II and Vietnam War. His assignments included Commander, 1st Infantry Division, United States Army, Vietnam, 1966; Director of Individual Training, Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., 1966-68; Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1968-69; Commanding General, XXIV Corps, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1969-70; Director for Operations, J-3, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., 1970-72; Commanding General, Third Army, 1972-73.
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Personal Story - Submitted by: FA Hudson, Ronald (MajHud), MAJ
I was at LZ Nancy on April 13, 1970, when that base was overrun by NVA. I was attached to HHB 1st/39th FA, 108th Artillery Group. In the morning after the attack and after we had killed or captured any Sappers remaining in our area, I was near the Bn. CP when the Generals helicopter came in with the big blue heart on its side. There were several of us near the Aid Station when Gen. Zais walked over to us and as we rose to told us to sit down. He asked how we were and did anyone have any needs. A courageous troop said we hadn't seen a PX in months. He said he would see what he could do. That afternoon a Ch47 flew in and a group of starched rear type troops piled out. They set up a perimeter and a cash register and we went through the line buying everything they had! He was my hero that day. Our battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation for that action. I hope this info is of some interest. Ronald L. Hudson

 

   
Other Comments:

GENERAL (RET) MELVIN ZAIS, U.S. ARMY

 

General Melvin Zais, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1937 with a Bachelor of Art in Political Science. He began his military career after graduation as a U.S. Army Reserve Second Lieutenant.


He was recalled to active duty in 1940 after a year in civilian life and served at Fort Benning, Georgia where he volunteered for the original paratroop battalion in the Army, the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion.


After graduation from the Command and General Staff College in 1943, General Zais organized and trained the 3rd Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment and led them into combat in Italy and France. Service as Regimental Executive Officer during combat in Belgium and Germany was followed by command of the Regiment upon its return to Fort Bragg.


General Zais was selected as Brigadier General on June 1, 1964. Between 1964 and 1966, he became Deputy Commanding General, Field Force and Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. His second tour in Vietnam was served as Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division and XXIV Corps during the period of July 1968 to June 1970. He assumed command of the Third United States Army at Fort McPherson, Georgia in June 1972 which position he held until June 1973. He was named Commanding General, Allied Land Forces, Southeast Europe, Turkey, effective August 1973 following his promotion to General on July 13th the month prior.


His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal on five occasions; the Silver Star twice; the Legion of Merit four times; the Distinguished Flying Cross twice; the Bronze Star Medal; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal twice; the Purple Heart; and numerous foreign awards and honors.


General Zais had two sons with Marjorie Aileen Emert Zais, Barrie E. and Mitchell M. Zais both of whom are officers in the United States Army. Marjorie Zais passed away and General Zais subsequently married Patricia V. Light at Fort Myer, Virginia, becoming the stepfather of David R. and John P. Light.
 

   
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Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
From Month/Year
December / 1965
To Month/Year
June / 1966

Description
This campaign was from 25 December 1965 to 30 June 1966. United States operations after 1 July 1966 were a continuation of the earlier counteroffensive campaign. Recognizing the interdependence of political, economic, sociological, and military factors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that American military objectives should be to cause North Vietnam to cease its control and support of the insurgency in South Vietnam and Laos, to assist South Vietnam in defeating Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam, and to assist South Vietnam in pacification extending governmental control over its territory.

North Vietnam continued to build its own forces inside South Vietnam. At first this was done by continued infiltration by sea and along the Ho Chi Minh trail and then, in early 1966, through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). U.S. air elements received permission to conduct reconnaissance bombing raids, and tactical air strikes into North Vietnam just north of the DMZ, but ground forces were denied authority to conduct reconnaissance patrols in the northern portion of the DMZ and inside North Vietnam. Confined to South Vietnamese territory U.S. ground forces fought a war of attrition against the enemy, relying for a time on body counts as one standard indicator for measuring successful progress for winning the war.

During 1966 there were eighteen major operations, the most successful of these being Operation WHITE WING (MASHER). During this operation, the 1st Cavalry Division, Korean units, and ARVN forces cleared the northern half of Binh Dinh Province on the central coast. In the process they decimated a division, later designated the North Vietnamese 3d Division. The U.S. 3d Marine Division was moved into the area of the two northern provinces and in concert with South Vietnamese Army and other Marine Corps units, conducted Operation HASTINGS against enemy infiltrators across the DMZ.

The largest sweep of 1966 took place northwest of Saigon in Operation ATTLEBORO, involving 22,000 American and South Vietnamese troops pitted against the VC 9th Division and a NVA regiment. The Allies defeated the enemy and, in what became a frequent occurrence, forced him back to his havens in Cambodia or Laos.

By 31 December 1966, U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam numbered 385,300. Enemy forces also increased substantially, so that for the same period, total enemy strength was in excess of 282,000 in addition to an estimated 80,000 political cadres. By 30 June 1967, total U.S. forces in SVN had risen to 448,800, but enemy strength had increased as well.

On 8 January U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched separate drives against two major VC strongholds in South Vietnam-in the so-called "Iron Triangle" about 25 miles northwest of Saigon. For years this area had been under development as a VC logistics base and headquarters to control enemy activity in and around Saigon. The Allies captured huge caches of rice and other foodstuffs, destroyed a mammoth system of tunnels, and seized documents of considerable intelligence value.

In February, the same U.S. forces that had cleared the "Iron Triangle", were committed with other units in the largest allied operation of the war to date, JUNCTION CITY. Over 22 U.S. and four ARVN battalions engaged the enemy, killing 2,728. After clearing this area, the Allies constructed three airfields; erected a bridge and fortified two camps in which CIDG garrisons remained as the other allied forces withdrew.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
December / 1965
To Month/Year
June / 1966
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Cavalry Division

174th Aviation Company (AHC)

29th Civil Affairs Company, I Corps

1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment

630th Military Police Company

545th Military Police Company

300th Military Police Company

212th Military Police Company

66th Military Police Company

272nd Military Police Company

716th Military Police Battalion

504th Military Police Battalion

1st Military Police Company, 1st Infantry Division

615th Military Police Company

148th Military Police Detachment, 759th Military Police Battalion

95th Military Police Battalion

557th Military Police Company

500th Military Police Detachment

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  2816 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adkins, Bennie G., CSM, (1956-1978)
  • Allman, Timothy, SGT, (1965-1973)
  • Anderson, Malcolm, 1SG, (1964-1991)
  • Anderson, Phil 'Red', SGT, (1964-1968)
  • Andrews, James, SP 4, (1965-1967)
  • Antalick, Steven, SGT, (1966-1967)
  • Anthony, Michael, SP 5, (1965-1967)
  • Arbuthnot, Frank, SP 6, (1963-1971)
  • Arnett, Arthur, 1SG, (1962-1985)
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