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.
 

   
 Photo Album   (More...



Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
From Month/Year
February / 1969
To Month/Year
June / 1969

Description
This campaign was from  23 February to 8 June 1969. From Tet 1969 through the month of June, the enemy again tried to sustain an offensive. His inability to do so can be largely attributed to aggressive allied ground operations. Between 23 February and 8 June 1969, a total of 70 significant named ground operations were terminated resulting in heavy enemy loss of life and materiel. The main operations concluded during this period were:

(1). The 3d Marine Division's Operation KENTUCKY aimed at preventing enemy infiltration through the Demilitarized Zone in central Quang Tri Province. Throughout the early part of January 1969, Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army forces continued to avoid major contacts with Free World Forces. Their continual movement to avoid friendly forces or to search for food and supplies contributed to a decrease in the enemy-initiated ground attacks and attacks-by-fire in Quang Tri Province.

(2). Operation NEVADA EAGLE, initiated on 17 May 1968 in Thua Thien Province, continued in 1969 as the U.S. 101st Airborne Division continued to defeat enemy personnel, and capture rice caches, material, and installations within its large area of operations, where it undertook offensive sweeps along Route 547 and around Song Bo.

(3). Two battalions of the 4th Marine Regiment were engaged in Operation SCOTLAND II. Initiated on 15 April 1968, this multi-battalion search and clear operation was centered in and around Khe Sanh.

(4). The IV Corps Tactical Zone Dry Weather Campaign began on 1 December 1968 in support of the overall mission to prevent Viet Cong units from interfering with pacification efforts. This operation, "Speedy Express," interdicted lines of enemy communication and denied him the use of base areas. In 1969 the 1st Brigade, 9th U.S. Infantry Division continued the operation in Dinh Tuong Province, using its highly successful night ambush tactics while the 2d Brigade continued its mission with the Mobile Riverine Force. Although engagements in Operation SPEEDY EXPRESS were typically small, the 9th Infantry Division fought several sizeable engagements with impressive results.

On 23 February U.S. Navy units and installations at Da Nang, Tan An, Ben Luc, Go Dan Ha, and Tra Cu came under numerous and widespread attacks associated with a new enemy offensive, but since many units in these areas were poised to meet these attacks they caused only minimal damage. April saw the heaviest cumulative enemy activity in the barrier interdiction camapign to date.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
February / 1969
To Month/Year
June / 1969
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Cavalry Division

173rd Aviation Company (AHC)

29th Civil Affairs Company, I Corps

1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment

630th Military Police Company

18th Military Police Brigade

16th Military Police Group

545th Military Police Company

300th Military Police Company

212th Military Police Company

66th Military Police Company

272nd Military Police Company

716th Military Police Battalion

23rd Military Police Company

504th Military Police Battalion

218th Military Police Company

22nd Military Police Battalion (CID), US Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC)

194th Military Police Company

1st Military Police Company, 1st Infantry Division

615th Military Police Company

720th Military Police Battalion

95th Military Police Battalion

127th Military Police Company

154th Transportation Company

552nd Military Police Company

23rd Military Police Company, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne)

4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery

557th Military Police Company

101st Military Police Company

93rd Military Police Battalion

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  4517 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abate, Sam, SP 4, (1968-1970)
  • Ables, Roger, SP 5, (1968-1970)
  • Adams, James, SFC, (1968-1988)
  • Adams, Ralph, SP 4, (1968-1974)
  • Alkek, James, 1LT, (1967-1974)
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