Harrison, William Kelly, Jr., 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
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)










 
   
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Korean War/Korean Summer (1953)
Start Year
1953
End Year
1953

Description
Korea, Summer 1953, 1 May - 27 July 1953. There was little activity anywhere along the front as 1953 began. Then, as spring approached, the enemy renewed his attacks against the Eighth Army 's outpost line. By July these attacks had increased in frequency and intensity until they were nearly as heavy as those of May 1951.

In January 1953 Van Fleet had twelve South Korean and eight U.N. divisions to defend the army front. Total strength of combat, service, and security troops was nearly 768,000. Opposing the U.N. forces were seven Chinese armies and two North Korean corps, totaling about 270, 000 troops. Another 531,000 Chinese and North Korean troops remained in reserve. With service and security forces, total enemy strength in Korea was estimated at more than a million men.

Other than a few patrol clashes, little fighting occurred during January and February 1953. On 11 February Lt. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor took command of the Eighth Army as Van Fleet returned to the United States for retirement. The enemy increased his attacks during March, striking at outposts of the 2d and 7th Divisions and the 1st Marine Regiment. During the period 9-10 March the Chinese were successful in ambushing several U.N. patrols, inflicting heavy casualties in each instance. After these flare-ups the front quieted down until late May, when the enemy struck at the outposts of the U.S. 25th Division that were guarding the approaches to the Eighth Army's western positions. Although the enemy was successful in occupying three of the division outposts, he suffered nearly 3,200 casualties.

On the night of 10 June three Chinese divisions struck the ROK II Corps in the vicinity of Kumsong, attacking down both sides of the Pukhan River. Several attacks forced these units to withdraw about two miles. Both sides lost heavily; the Chinese suffered about 6,000 casualties and the ROK units about 7,400. By 18 June the attacks had subsided. By the end of the month, action along the entire front had returned to routine patrolling and light attacks.

Operation LITTLE SWITCH, an exchange of Allied and Communist sick and wounded prisoners, began on 20 April. When it was completed in the latter part of the month, 684 Allied prisoners had been exchanged for more than 6,000 Communists.

Armistice negotiations were resumed in April. The prisoner-of-war question was settled by providing each side an opportunity to persuade those captives who refused repatriation to their homeland to change their minds. By 18 June the terms of the armistice were all but complete; but on this date President Syngman Rhee ordered the release of 27,000 anti-Communist North Korean prisoners of war unilaterally, in protest against armistice terms which left Korea divided. U.N. officials disclaimed any responsibility for this action; but the enemy delegates denounced it as a serious breach of faith and delayed the final armistice agreement for another month. Enemy forces took advantage of this delay. On 13 July the Chinese launched a three-division attack against the left flank of the ROK II Corps and a one-division attack against the right flank of the U.S. IX Corps, forcing U.N. forces to withdraw about eight miles to positions below the Kumsong River. By 20 July, however, U.N. forces had counterattacked, retaken the high ground along the Kumsong River, and established a new main line of resistance. No attempt was made to restore the original line, as it was believed that the armistice would be signed at any time. Enemy casualties in July totaled about 72,000 men. Out of the five Chinese armies that had been identified in the attacks, the enemy had lost the equivalent of seven divisions.

By 19 July the negotiators at Panmunjom had reached an accord on all points. Details were worked out within a week and the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed at 1000 hours 27 July 1953.
 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1953
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1953
 
Last Updated:
Nov 12, 2010
   
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  270 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbate, Vincent, PFC, (1952-1954)
  • Adomaitis, Antonas, T/Sgt, (1951-1953)
  • Beckwith, Charles Robert, SGT, (1946-1955)
  • Blood, Jerry, SSG, (1952-1973)
  • Castagna, Kay
  • Colvin, Warren Deverne, Sgt, (1952-1954)
  • Gaspard, George Wallace, LTC, (1944-1987)
  • Giles, Eddie, MSG, (1952-1974)
  • Harris, Stanley, Cpl, (1952-1954)
  • Johnson, Paul, SFC, (1944-1964)
  • Kelley, Billie, CSM, (1947-1976)
  • Magoto, Willard, Cpl, (1952-1954)
  • Martin, Joseph, 1SG, (1946-1967)
  • Mosby, Robert, SGT, (1952-1955)
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