Wolff, Herbert, MG

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1977-1981, 00GC, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)/US Army Support Command, Hawaii (USASCH)
Service Years
1943 - 1981

Special Forces
Major General

Eight Overseas Service Bars

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Wolff, Herbert, MG USA(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Honolulu, HI

Date of Passing
Apr 17, 2009
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Army Maj. Gen. Herbert Wolff
Museum Society's founder also active in Isle community
By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Herbert Wolff, a decorated veteran of three wars and active member of the military and civilian communities in Hawai'i, died April 17 in Honolulu. He was 83.
Among his accomplishments, Wolff led the effort to save Battery Randolph at Fort DeRussy and create a museum dedicated to the men and women who served in the Pacific arena. In 1976, he founded the nonprofit Hawaii Army Museum Society to support the development of the museum and served as its president for more than 30 years.
Vicki Olson, executive director of the Hawaii Army Museum Society and a friend of Wolff, said Wolff worked tirelessly to build the museum and dedicated his life to it.
"He was a visionary," Olson said. "He saw that this was a story that needed to be told, and it preserved a green space and it preserved a historic building and it's the center of Waikiki."
Wolff's community work didn't end with the museum. He also served on the boards of the Girls Scout Council of Hawaii and Boy Scouts Aloha Council, Pacific Asian Affairs Council, USO-Hawaii, Armed Services YMCA, March of Dimes and the Honolulu Rotary Club.
He worked with the Association of the United States Army and served as honorary consul general for Malaysia since 1985. In 1993, Wolff was awarded the honorary title of Dato' by the king of Malaysia.
"Some people you think, 'How do they do all that they do?' " Olson said. "He was just remarkable, extraordinary and very generous."
Wolff was born on May 24, 1925, in Cologne, Germany. His family moved to the United States in 1939 to escape the increasing Nazi threat.
Wolff joined the Army soon after graduating from high school and began a 38-year career that would see him serve in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He rose quickly through the ranks and at age 29 was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
In 1970, Wolff served in Hawai'i for the first time as commander of the U.S. Army Security Agency-Pacific. After a tour in Germany, he returned to Hawai'i in 1977 to command the U.S. Army CINCPAC Support Group
While here, he created the U.S. Western Command and became active in the community. Among his activities, he helped form the Wai'anae Military Civilian Advisory Council to help better relationships. He also formed the Pacific Army Management Seminar, an annual meeting of Army leaders of Pacific nations.
Wolff retired in October 1981. During his service, Wolff received three Distinguished Service Medals, which is the Army's highest award for service; two Silver stars; four Legions of Merit; the Distinguished Flying Cross; four Bronze stars; and a Purple Heart.
Although retired, he remained active. He joined First Hawaiian Bank and rose to a senior vice president position. Olson said Wolff continued to work with the museum and other organizations despite his declining health.
"He loved what he was doing," she said. "He really believed in what he was doing. He believed in giving back to society and the community, set a wonderful example. He a remarkable man."
Wolff is survived by sons, Rick and Allen; and eight grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Borthwick Mortuary and again from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday at Central Union Church; service at 10 a.m. Burial at 1 p.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Contributions may be made to the Hawaii Army Museum Society, P.O. Box 8064, Honolulu, HI 96830.
Other Comments:
Major General Herbert Wolff was born 24 May 1925 in Cologne, Germany, but his family relocated to the United States in 1939 to escape the harsh rule of the Nazi Party. He commanded what is today the US Army, Pacific from December 1977 until his retirement in 1981. He was instrumental in elevating the US Army, Pacific to a component command within the Pacific Command (PACOM), on par with the other services.
After the outbreak of World War II, Wolff tried to enlist in the Army, but was rejected as an “Enemy Alien.” Ironically, the Army drafted him in 1943. He served in the Pacific Theater and during the struggle on Luzon as a private first class, he earned the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action. He volunteered to serve with the Alamo Scouts, an all volunteer commando unit. In January 1945, while assigned to the Alamo Scouts, he participated in a daring raid on a Japanese prisoner of war camp at Cabanatuan (Philippines) that rescued 511 American POWs. For his demonstrated leadership, bravery, and extraordinary competence, Wolff earned a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant in 1945. During the Korean War he commanded two companies and a battalion in combat, earning his second Silver Star. 
Wolff earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University, a Bachelor of Science in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University during his various military assignments. He also graduated from the Army War College.
Among Wolff’s major duty assignments were Commanding Officer of the Infantry Training Center at Fort Benning, Georgia, from 1967-1968; Commanding General of the Capital Military Assistance Command in Vietnam in 1970; and the Commanding General of the US Army Security Agency, Pacific in Hawaii from
1970-1972. He came to Fort Shafter in 1977 as Commander of the US Army CINCPAC Support Group and US Army Support Command, Hawaii (USASCH). Thanks to his vision and persistence, this command converted to the US Army Western Command (WESTCOM), of which Wolff was the first commander, in March 1979.
Wolff’s other significant duty assignments include Deputy Commanding General of the US Army Training Center at Fort Dix, New Jersey from 1968-1969; Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1969-1970; three tours with the Central Security Service at Fort Meade, Maryland from 1970-1975; and Deputy Commander for V Corps in Germany from 1975-1977.
In addition to the Silver Star Wolff earned many awards during his career, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart. In 2006 he received awarded the Ihe Award from the Hawaii Army Museum Society.
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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Aviator Badge (Basic)

Master Parachutist
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 Unit Assignments
6th Army/Alamo Scouts6th ArmyInfantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA1st Infantry Division
Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACVArmy Security Agency (ASA)V CorpsUS Army Pacific (USARPAC)/US Army Support Command, Hawaii (USASCH)
  1944-1945, 745, 6th Army/Alamo Scouts
  1945-1946, 1542, 6th Army
  1967-1968, 1542, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
  1969-1970, 00GD, 1st Infantry Division
  1970-1970, 00GC, Military Assistance Command Vietnam MACV
  1970-1972, 00GC, Army Security Agency (ASAPAC) Pacific
  1975-1977, 00GD, V Corps
  1977-1981, 00GC, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)/US Army Support Command, Hawaii (USASCH)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Mindoro
  1945-1945 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle for Manila
  1945-1945 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Raid on Cabanatuan
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
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