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Dale Eldon Buchanan
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Birth: Nov. 20, 1918
Neosho County
Kansas, USA
Death: Mar. 25, 2005
Jefferson County
Iowa, USA


Dale Eldon Buchanan was born in Chanute, KS, the second of three sons of railroad man Guy R. Buchanan and his wife, Hazel Coonrad Buchanan. Dale had a carefree youth, spent playing tennis and quarterbacking a high school football team that was undefeated his senior year. He attended Kemper Military School for two years and upon graduation, he received Kemper's honor school appointment to West Point.

At USMA, Dale was captain of the tennis team his First Class year. He was also very active as Sunday School superintendent, hop manager, and cadet commander of G Company during his First Class year. On Graduation Day, 29 May 1942, Dale married his hometown sweetheart, Orpha Louise Ackerman, in a simple ceremony in the Old Cadet Chapel at West Point.

Upon graduation, Dale was assigned to the Artillery School at Ft. Sill, OK, for the Battery Officers Course. There, Dale and Orpha lived with Dale's classmate Al Hunter and Al's wife, Nancy in a small, new, two-bedroom house. The four became lifelong friends. After graduation in September 1942, Dale was assigned to the 89th Infantry Division in Camp Carson, CO, and was further assigned to Battery C, 341st Field Artillery Battalion. Dale served with the 341st until July 1945. While serving as commander of C Battery, his unit was chosen to fire the 21-gun salute for President Roosevelt when he visited Camp Carson.

In January 1945, Dale was ordered to Europe. There, he was the S-3 gunnery officer of the 341st Field Artillery Battalion and controlled the fires of about 32 artillery battalions when the 89th Division was crossing the Rhine River at St. Goar. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Europe.

In July 1945, Dale returned stateside to attend the Command and General Staff School. Afterwards, he served a short tour of duty with Headquarters, V Corps Artillery, at Ft. Jackson, SC, and in the Foreign Liaison Office, Washington, DC.

Dale then volunteered for overseas duty and was assigned as a personnel staff officer in G-1, General HQ, Far East Command, serving in Tokyo until January 1949. On returning to the States, he was ordered to Washington, DC, with the Logistics Division, General Staff, U. S. Army. In July 1950, Dale was selected to attend Ohio State University to study personnel management. The outbreak of the Korean conflict, however, led to the termination of his studies after one quarter. He was ordered to the IX Corps Artillery at Camp McCoy, WI, for duty as the S-4. In January 1951, he accompanied this unit to Korea and assumed command of the 92nd Field Artillery Battalion in September 1951.

In February 1952, Dale returned to the States and assumed command of the 6th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, school troops, at Ft. Sill, OK, but this assignment was short-lived. Four months later, Dale was reassigned as an instructor of mathematics at the Military Academy in June 1952. In June 1954, he was promoted to associate professor of mathematics.

Dale left West Point in the summer of 1955 to attend the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, VA. On graduation, he
was briefly assigned to the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison and was then assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Army as a military assistant to then-Secretary of the Army Wilbur M. Brucker. Completing this assignment in August 1958, he attended the Army War College. Subsequently, he was assigned to the staff and faculty at the Army Command and General Staff College, remaining at Ft. Leavenworth to become chief of staff, Combined Arms Group, until he retired from the Army in June 1963.

After retiring, Dale taught mathematics at Parsons College, Fairfield, IA, for ten years. In 1967, he earned a master of science in applied mathematics from the University of Iowa. He then continued his career for another eight years, working with a local civil engineering firm in Fairfield, IA.

Dale loved serving in the Army, but he retired early to care for his family. Throughout his military career, he strove to be an officer and a gentleman—a gentle gentleman. He accomplished this mission. Reflecting upon Dales life, his daughter-in-law wrote to him:

"Sometimes our day-to-day existence robs us of the vision to see ourselves as we should. We, as your family and recipient of your life, esteem you highly and love you deeply for the standards you have placed before us in the daily living of your life. My girls probably don't think about it much as they take it for granted to a large extent, but one day they will look more intently and realize what I have come to know. You are a man of greatness, born of another man of greatness. I am honored and pleased that you are the grandfather of my children and with that heritage they too might achieve that stature. I prefer to speak my thoughts to you on this now while you can have full understanding of how you impact our lives. I thank you for being you!"

Per his wishes, COL Dale E. Buchanan and his beloved wife are resting side by side in the Old Cadet Chapel Columbarium at West Point. 
Family links: 
  Guy R Buchanan (1893 - 1991)
  Hazel R Buchanan (1894 - 1973)
  Orpha Louise Ackerman Buchanan (1919 - 2004)
United States Military Academy Post Cemetery
West Point
Orange County
New York, USA
Plot: Inurned at West Point Cemetery Old Chapel Columbarium
Created by: Sonia Sanchez
Record added: Dec 07, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 101868982
Dale Eldon Buchanan
Added by: Sonia Sanchez
Dale Eldon Buchanan
Added by: Sonia Sanchez
Dale Eldon Buchanan
Added by: Sonia Sanchez
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USMA Class of 1942
 Added: Mar. 12, 2014

- Sonia Sanchez
 Added: Jan. 22, 2013

- Sonia Sanchez
 Added: Dec. 27, 2012
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