Harrison, William Kelly, Jr., LTG

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
23 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1953-1957, 00G3, Department of the Army (DA)
Service Years
1917 - 1957

US

Lieutenant General



Ten Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
1895
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Trey W. Franklin to remember Harrison, William Kelly, Jr., LTG USA(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Washington, DC
Last Address
Springfield, PA

Date of Passing
May 25, 1987
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 2

 Official Badges 

Army Staff Identification US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 French Fourragere

United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (US) US Army Retired


 Unofficial Badges 

Armor Shoulder Cord




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

William K. Harrison, Jr., a decorated World War II veteran and a senior negotiator in the Korean War cease-fire, died Monday, May 25, 1987. He was 91 and lived in Springfield, Delaware County. A direct descendant of President William Henry Harrison, General Harrison began his career as an officer in the horse cavalry and concluded it 40 years later in the era of nuclear missiles.



In those four decades Harrison had a distinguished career as a commander, staff officer, administrator and peacemaker.



Born in Washington, D.C., Harrison graduated from the United States Military Academy on April 20, 1917, and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry at Camp Lawrence J. Hearn in California. As a cavalry officer, his assignments through the 1920s and 1930s included posts in France, the Philippines and Spain, as well as assignments in the United States, including the Army War College in Washington, D.C.  In 1944, while serving as Assistant Division Commander of the 30th Infantry Division, Harrison was wounded in action in France. It was common for Harrison, machine gun in hand, to tour the front lines amid the action. After the war, from 1946 to 1949, he served on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur during the occupation of Japan.



Harrison became familiar with the Philadelphia-South Jersey region when he was appointed commander of the 9th Infantry Training Division at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In December 1951, he was named Deputy Commander of the Eighth Army in Korea and in January 1952 was picked to serve on the Korean Armistice Delegation under the United Nations Command. His work culminated in July 1953 with his signing the armistice documents as chief delegate for the United Nations Command in a ceremony in Panmunjom, Korea.



A Baptist lay evangelist for many years, Harrison did not smoke or drink and was proud of his religious activities. In 1954, Harrison was visiting his daughter and her family in Springfield and spoke at the Delaware County Christian Day School in Havertown. Harrison, then Chief of the Far East Command, told the youngsters to put their trust in God and "follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I still study not only military subjects but what I consider the most important subject, the Bible."



A month after he retired in February 1957, he accepted the executive directorship of the Evangelical (Child) Welfare Agency in Chicago. He served three years in that post before moving to Largo, Florida, and later to Delaware County.



His medals included Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart.



Had been a member of the Lownes Free Church, the Officers Christian Fellowship and the Alumni Association of the United States Military Academy.



His first wife, the former Eva Toole, and his second wife, the former Forrest King, are deceased. Is survived by three sons, William K. III, W. Terry and Wayne King; a daughter, Evelyn H. Kent; 9 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.



Buried in Arlington National Cemetery. ( 1895-1987).


   
Other Comments:

William Kelly Harrison Jr. (d. 1987; age 91) was a lieutenant general in the United States Army, and the head of the United Nations armistice delegation in the Korean War.
 

A direct descendant of President William Henry Harrison, he graduated in 1917 from West Point, and received a commission in the cavalry and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry at Camp Lawrence J. Hearn in California. Following that posting he returned to teach at West Point and served in France before the end of World War I, this was followed by assignments in the United States and the Philippines. In 1932 he was appointed as the commander of the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, followed by a transfer to the War Department.
 

During World War II he served as assistant commander of the 30th Division, and was wounded in France, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Cluster and the Purple Heart. In 1945 he was appointed as the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division, which was stationed in Czechoslovakia.
 

In 1946, after a brief stint heading Camp Carson in Colorado, he led the reparations section of the occupation of Japan under Douglas McArthur. In 1950 he became the commander of the 9th Infantry Training Division at Fort Dix in New Jersey. In 1951 he became the deputy commander of the Eighth Army in Korea. He was picked to serve on the Korean Armistice Delegation under the United Nations Command. His work culminated in July 1953 with his signing the armistice documents as chief delegate for the United Nations Command in a ceremony in Panmunjom, Korea.
 


From 1954 to 1972 he was the president of the Officers' Christian Fellowship.


His Father, William Kelly Harrison, Commander, United States Navy, was a recipient of the Medal of Honor and is buried nearby in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.





 

This is to Certify that

The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting

THE 
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
to

 

HARRISON, WILLIAM KELLY, JR.

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to William Kelly Harrison, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Assistant Division Commander, 30th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 25 July 1944, in France. Brigadier General Harrison's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 30th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, Ninth U.S. Army, General Orders No. 134 (1945)










 
   
 Photo Album   (More...



World War I/Meuse-Argonne Campaign
Start Year
1918
End Year
1918

Description
Meuse-Argonne, 26 September - 11 November 1918. At the end of August Marshal Foch had submitted plane to the national commanders for a final offensive along the entire Western Front, with the objective of driving the enemy out of France before winter and ending the war in the spring of 1919. The basis for his optimism was the success of Allied attacks all along the front in August. Furthermore, he pointed out, the Allies already had active operations in progress between the Moselle and Meuse, the Oise and Aisne, and on the Somme and Lys Rivers. Foch acknowledged that the Germans could stave off immediate defeat by an orderly evacuation combined with destruction of materiel and communications. Therefore the overall aim of the fall offensive would be to prevent a step-by-step enemy retirement. As Foch anticipated, the Germans eventually contributed to the success of his strategy. Their High Command could not bring itself to sacrifice the huge stores collected behind the front lines, and so delayed the withdrawal of its armies.

Foch's great offensive, planned to begin in the last week of September, called for a gigantic pincers movement with the objective of capturing Aulnoye and Mézières, the two key junctions in the lateral rail system behind the German front. Lose of either of these junctions would hamper seriously the German withdrawal. Despite grumbling from the English that they lacked the necessary manpower, a chiefly British army was assigned the teak of driving toward Aulnoye. The A.E.F. was designated for the southern arm of the pincers, the thrust on Mézières. Simultaneously the Belgian-French-British army group in Flanders would drive toward Ghent, and the French armies in the Oise-Aisne region would exert pressure all along their front to lend support to the pincers attack.

Pershing decided to strike his heaviest blow in a zone about 20 miles wide between the Heights of the Meuse on the east and the western edge of the high, rough, and densely wooded Argonne Forest. This is difficult terrain, broken by a central north-south ridge that dominates the valleys of the Meuse and Aire Rivers. Three heavily fortified places-Montfaucon, Cunel, and Barricourt-as well as numerous strong points barred the way to penetration of the elaborate German defenses in depth that extended behind the entire front. This fortified system consisted of three main defense lines backed up by a fourth line less well-constructed. Pershing hoped to launch an attack with enough momentum to drive through these lines into the open area beyond, where his troops could then strike at the exposed German flanks and, in a coordinated drive with the French Fourth Army coming up on the left, could cut the Sedan- Mézières railroad.

The task of assembling troops in the concentration area between Verdun and the Argonne was complicated by the fact that many American unite were currently engaged in the St. Mihiel battle. Some 600,000 Americans had to be moved into the Argonne sector while 220,000 French moved out. Responsibility for solving this tricky logistical problem fell to Col. George C. Marshall, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 (Operations), First Army. In the ten-day period after St. Mihiel the necessary troop movements were accomplished, but many untried divisions had to be placed in the vanguard of the attacking forces.

On the 20-mile Meuse-Argonne front where the main American attack w to be made, Pershing disposed three corps side by side, each with three divisions in line and one in corps reserve. In the center was the V Corps (from right to left the 79th, 37th, and 91st Divisions with the 32d in reserve), which would strike the decisive blow. On the right was the III Corps (from right to left the 33d, 80th, and 4th Divisions with the 3d in reserve), which would move up the west aide of the Meuse. On the left was the I Corps (from right to left the 35th, 28th, and 77th Divisions with the 92d in reserve), which would advance parallel to the French Fourth Army on its left. Eastward across the Meuse the American front extended in direct line some 60 miles; this sector was held by two French Corps (IV and II Colonial) and the American IV Corps in the St. Mihiel sector. Pershing had available to support his offensive nearly 4000 guns, two-thirds manned by American artillerymen; 190 light French tanks, mostly with American personnel; and some 820 aircraft, 600 of them flown by Americans.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive falls into three phases. During the initial phase (26 September-3-October) the First Army advanced through most of the southern Meuse-Argonne region, captured enemy strong points, seized the first two German defense lines, and then stalled before the third line. Failure of tank support, a difficult supply situation, and the inexperience of American troops all contributed to checking its advance.

In the second phase (4-31 October) the First Army, after the inexperienced divisions had been replaced by veteran units, slowly ground its way through the third German line. The enemy was forced to throw in reserves, drawn from other parts of the front, thus aiding the Allied advances elsewhere. In the face of a stubborn defense, American gains were limited and casualties were severe, especially as a result of the newly devised enemy tactic of attacking frontline troops with airplanes. First Army air unite retaliated with bombing raids which broke up German preparations for counterattacks. By the end of October the enemy had been cleared from the Argonne and First Army troops were through the German main positions. Two notable incidents of this phase of the campaign were the fight of the "Lost Battalion" of the 77th Division (2-7 October), and the feat of Corp. (later Sgt.) Alvin C. York, who single-handedly killed 15 Germans and captured 132 on 8 October.

In mid-October the organization of the Second Army was completed, at Toul in the St. Mihiel sector, to provide means for better control of the lengthening American front and solutions of the diverse tactical problems that it presented. Pershing assumed command of the new army group thus formed.

Before the third and final phase (1-11 November) of the offensive got under way, many of the exhausted divisions of the First Army were replaced, roads were built or repaired, supply was improved, and most Allied units serving with the A.E.F. were withdrawn. On 1 November First Army units began the assault of the now strengthened German fourth line of defense. Penetration was rapid and spectacular. The V Corps in the center advanced about six miles the first day, compelling the German units west of the Meuse to withdraw hurriedly. On 4 November the III Corps forced a crossing of the Meuse and advanced northeast toward Montmédy. Elements of the V Corps occupied the heights opposite Sedan on 7 November, thus finally accomplishing the First Army's chief mission-denial of the Sedan- Mézières railroad to the Germans. Marshal Foch, at this juncture, shifted the First Army left boundary eastward so that the French Fourth Army might capture Sedan, which had fallen to the Prussians in 1870. American units were closing up along the Mouse and, east of the river, were advancing toward Montmédy, Briny, and Metz, when hostilities ended on 11 November.

General Pershing authorized the results of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, the greatest battle in American history up to that time, in his Final Report: "Between September 26 and November 11, 22 American and 4 French divisions, on the front extending from southeast of Verdun to the Argonne Forest, had engaged and decisively beaten 47 different German divisions, representing 25 percent of the enemy's entire divisional strength on the western front.

 The First Army suffered a loss of about 117,000 in killed and wounded. It captured 26,000 prisoners, 847 cannon, 3,000 machineguns, and large quantities of material." More than 1,200,000 Americans had taken part in the 47-day campaign.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1918
To Year
1918
 
Last Updated:
Oct 16, 2017
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  407 Also There at This Battle:
  • Agee, Alfred, PFC, (1918-1919)
  • Anderson, Howard, WAG, (1917-1919)
  • Baesel, Albert (MOH), 2LT, (1917-1918)
  • Balentine, Herman Dwight, Cpl, (1918-1919)
  • Baylor, Bernard, MAJ, (1911-1953)
  • Beckwith, Edward (SS), MAJ, (1895-1925)
  • Bracken, Jessie, PFC, (1917-1919)
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011