Acuff, Earl Clyde, BG

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
003-Commander
Last MOS Group
Signal Corps (Officer)
Primary Unit
1970-1980, 00G1, HQ, US Army Cadet Command/ROTC Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Cadre)
Service Years
1942 - 1980

Infantry


Ranger
Brigadier General



Six Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

855 kb

Home State
Iowa
Iowa
Year of Birth
1918
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Acuff, Earl Clyde, BG USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Whiteburg, Iowa
Last Address
Blacksburg, Virginia
Buried at Memorial Gardens of the New River Valley, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Date of Passing
Feb 13, 2013
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Unknown

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007)


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Military Figure, Athelete, Educator. Acuff was a Brigadier General, former commandant of cadets at Virginia Tech, racquetball champion, and last surviving member of Castner's Cutthroats. He began his Army career as an ROTC student on a football scholarship at the University of Idaho. After his first duty station at Fort Ord with the 82nd Airborne Division, the Lieutenant was deployed to the Aleutian Islands as an executive officer of the 1st Alaskan Combat Intelligence Platoon (Castner's Cutthroats). On a remote island for months without breaking radio silence, Acuff was presumed dead and a rescue mission ensued. "I was living like a king. I was diving for king crab and eating fresh seafood and fowl - wild ptarmigan, ducks and geese - for dinner. They told me not to break radio sound unless I saw a Japanese plane, so I didn't. When the Alaskan Scouts came to 'rescue' me, they started thinking that maybe they'd like to stay with me." After the war, Acuff was a bush pilot, big game guide, and teacher near Cook Inlet. He re-entered service in 1949 at the Army's request, teaching Arctic survival. During the Korea War, he fought with the 7th Infantry Divison at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and the Battle of Old Baldy, earning a Purple Heart, a Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Bronze Star with four Oak Leaf Clusters and Valor Device, and his second Combat Infantryman Badge. In 1965, he was invited to evaluate the Ranger training program at Fort Benning, Georgia. At 47 years old, he became the (then) oldest soldier to graduate from United States Army Ranger School. In 1966, he received a Master's degree in International Studies from George Washington University and worked for the State Department on Latin American affairs. During the Vietnam War, Acuff served as Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and the Deputy Post Commander at the U. S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. He began teaching military science at Virginia Tech in 1970, and was subsequently promoted to Brigadier General and became the Commandant of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in 1974. In his later years, Acuff was an accomplished athelte. He was the winner of 25 U.S. national and world senior gold medals, including nine U.S. national singles titles. He won the men's 75+ doubles crown at the Ektelon 31st U.S. National Doubles Championships (his seventh national doubles championship), the 1998 men's 80+ world title, and three other world seniors crowns. He was named a member of the University of Idaho Sports Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and the USRA Racquetball Hall of Fame.

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Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
Start Year
1968
End Year
1968

Description
This campaign was from 30 January to 1 April 1968. On 29 January 1968 the Allies began the Tet-lunar new year expecting the usual 36-hour peaceful holiday truce. Because of the threat of a large-scale attack and communist buildup around Khe Sanh, the cease fire order was issued in all areas over which the Allies were responsible with the exception of the I CTZ, south of the Demilitarized Zone.

Determined enemy assaults began in the northern and Central provinces before daylight on 30 January and in Saigon and the Mekong Delta regions that night. Some 84,000 VC and North Vietnamese attacked or fired upon 36 of 44 provincial capitals, 5 of 6 autonomous cities, 64 of 242 district capitals and 50 hamlets. In addition, the enemy raided a number of military installations including almost every airfield. The actual fighting lasted three days; however Saigon and Hue were under more intense and sustained attack.

The attack in Saigon began with a sapper assault against the U.S. Embassy. Other assaults were directed against the Presidential Palace, the compound of the Vietnamese Joint General Staff, and nearby Ton San Nhut air base.

At Hue, eight enemy battalions infiltrated the city and fought the three U.S. Marine Corps, three U.S. Army and eleven South Vietnamese battalions defending it. The fight to expel the enemy lasted a month. American and South Vietnamese units lost over 500 killed, while VC and North Vietnamese battle deaths may have been somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000.

Heavy fighting also occurred in two remote regions: around the Special Forces camp at Dak To in the central highlands and around the U.S. Marines Corps base at Khe Sanh. In both areas, the allies defeated attempts to dislodge them. Finally, with the arrival of more U.S. Army troops under the new XXIV Corps headquarters to reinforce the marines in the northern province, Khe Sanh was abandoned.

Tet proved a major military defeat for the communists. It had failed to spawn either an uprising or appreciable support among the South Vietnamese. On the other hand, the U.S. public became discouraged and support for the war was seriously eroded. U.S. strength in South Vietnam totaled more than 500,000 by early 1968. In addition, there were 61,000 other allied troops and 600,000 South Vietnamese.

The Tet Offensive also dealt a visibly severe setback to the pacification program, as a result of the intense fighting needed to root out VC elements that clung to fortified positions inside the towns. For example, in the densely populated delta there had been approximately 14,000 refugees in January; after Tet some 170,000 were homeless. The requirement to assist these persons seriously inhibited national recovery efforts.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1968
To Year
1968
 
Last Updated:
Jan 7, 2019
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Cavalry Division (Unit of Action)

I Corps/29th Civil Affairs Company

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  12439 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adams, John, LTC, (1966-2001)
  • Adkisson, Jim, (1966-1969)
  • Agard, George R, SP 5, (1968-1971)
  • Agner, Stanley Eugene, SGT, (1969-1971)
  • Aho, Milt, SP 5, (1969-1971)
  • Akins, Donald, CW4, (1963-1985)
  • Akridge, William, COL, (1966-2007)
  • Aldridge, Jon, SP 5, (1968-1971)
  • Alexander, Brian, SP 4, (1970-1973)
  • Alfred, Harry, SGT, (1967-1969)
  • Allen, Lee, SP 4, (1966-1968)
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