Harrison, William Kelly, Jr., LTG

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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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
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 the Site Administrator to remember Harrison, William Kelly, Jr., LTG USA(Ret).
 
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)










 
   
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Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
Start Year
1944
End Year
1945

Description
The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. Hitler planned the offensive with the primary goal to recapture the important harbour of Antwerp. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. United States forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred the highest casualties for any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany's war-making resources.

The battle was known by different names. The Germans referred to it as Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein ("Operation Watch on the Rhine"), while the French named it the Bataille des Ardennes ("Battle of the Ardennes"). The Allies called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive. The phrase "Battle of the Bulge" was coined by contemporary press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps and became the best known name for the battle.

The German offensive was supported by several subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Greif, and Währung. As well as stopping Allied transport over the channel to the harbor of Antwerp, Germany also hoped these operations would split the British and American Allied line in half, and then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favor. Once that was accomplished, Hitler could fully concentrate on the eastern theatre of war.

The offensive was planned by the German forces with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Despite their efforts to keep it secret, the Third U.S. Army's intelligence staff predicted a major German offensive, and Ultra indicated that a "substantial and offensive" operation was expected or "in the wind", although a precise date or point of attack could not be given. Aircraft movement from the Russian Front and transport of forces by rail, both to the Ardennes, was noticed but not acted upon, according to a report later written by Peter Calvocoressi and F. L. Lucas at the codebreaking centre Bletchley Park.

Near-complete surprise was achieved by a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance. The Germans attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of heavily overcast weather conditions, which grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive around Elsenborn Ridge and in the south around Bastogne blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success; columns that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. This and terrain that favored the defenders threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops. Improved weather conditions permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, which sealed the failure of the offensive. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line.

About 610,000 American forces were involved in the battle,[2] and 89,000 were casualties, including 19,000 killed. It was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the United States in World War II.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1945
 
Last Updated:
Nov 12, 2010
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  355 Also There at This Battle:
  • Accattato, Rocco, PFC, (1943-1945)
  • Adams, Herbert, Pvt, (1941-1945)
  • Bahlau, Frederick Arthur, 1LT, (1942-1945)
  • Beck, Carl, M/Sgt, (1942-1963)
  • Belan, Elmer, T/5, (1943-1948)
  • Bizefski, Joseph Paul, Pvt, (1943-1944)
  • Boehme, Karen
  • Bolio, Robert, Cpl, (1943-1945)
  • Bouck, Lyle Joseph, 1LT, (1940-1945)
  • Brenzel, Frank, T/4, (1944-1946)
  • Burch, Gilbert, T/5, (1944-1946)
  • Burford, Chris
  • Burns, Henry, PFC, (1941-1944)
  • Bush, William Douglas, 1LT, (1942-1951)
  • Carey, Aaron, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Carlson, Martin, T/5, (1943-1944)
  • Carmer, Richard, T/Sgt, (1943-1946)
  • Chase, George, Sgt, (1943-1945)
  • Cole, Chauncey David, LTC, (1938-1960)
  • Costanzo, Anthony, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Dallas, Frank J., LTC, (1942-1970)
  • Davol, Rupert
  • Deitz, Wallace, MSG, (1944-1968)
  • Dobozy Jr, Steve, PFC, (1943-1945)
  • Domino, Anthony, Cpl, (1942-1945)
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