Gen Walton Harris Walker

Gen Walton Harris Walker

Belton, Bell County, Texas, USA
Death 23 Dec 1950 (aged 61)
Seoul Special City, South Korea
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 34, Site 86-A
Memorial ID 10306023 · View Source
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US Army General. A highly decorated combat officer and tough commander in the manner and style of General George S. Patton, he rose in rank to become the first Commander of the 8th US Army and is remembered for his "Stand or Die" order given during the defense of the Pusan Perimeter in the early stages of the Korean War. The son of a merchant, he graduated from the Wedemeyer Academy at Belton, Texas in 1907 and enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. He later transferred to the US Military Academy at West Point, New York and graduated in June 1912 with a commission as a 2nd lieutenant of Infantry. In 1914 he served in the Vera Cruz, Mexico expedition and spent the early part of his career patrolling the US-Mexican border. In April 1917, following the US entry into World War I, he was sent to France with Company A of the 13th Machinegun Battalion and saw combat at the Battles of St. Mihiel and Argonne Forest during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive from September until November 1918. Following the end of World War I, he served in various staff assignments, attended the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and taught at West Point. In 1939 he was serving as executive of the War Plans Division at Headquarters US Army in Washington DC. He was promoted to the rank of colonel in February 1941 and brigadier general 5 months later and worked for General George S. Patton as he helped to organize US Army's armored forces. In February 1942 he was promoted to the rank of major general and became Commander of the US Army's 3rd Armored Division and later the 20th Corps, deploying with them to England in 1944 in preparation for the Normandy Invasion. As part of Patton's 3rd Army, his forces engaged in combat at Normandy and across Northern France, Belgium, and into Germany, especially at Metz, France and The Battle of the Bulge. In April 1945 his forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany and had pushed into Linz, Austria when Germany surrendered in May 1945. He was then promoted to the rank of major general and after returning to the US, he became Commander of US 5th Army in Chicago, Illinois and in 1948 he was assigned to Tokyo, Japan as Commanding General of the 8th US Army performing occupation duty. When the Korean War erupted in June 1950, he took the 8th US Army to Korea to stem the tide of the invading North Korean Army. Faced with unrealistic demands by General Douglas MacArthur, coupled with the poorly trained South Korean Army and low morale of the 8th US Army, he managed to push the enemy back and gained across the 38th Parallel until the intervention of the Chinese Communist Army, which forced him to retreat and take a defensive position. While on his way to an awards ceremony to decorate some of his troops on the front line, he was killed as a result of a vehicle accident near Uijeongbu, South Korea at the age of 61. Among his military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Cross (with one oak leaf cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), the Silver Star (with two oak leaf clusters), the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross (with one oak leaf cluster), the Bronze Star, the Air Medal (with two silver oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal , the World War I Victory Medal, the post-World War I Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the post-World War II Army of Occupation Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Korea Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal. Following his death, he was promoted to the rank of general. In 2008, a biography of his life was written and published by Charles M. Province entitled "General Walton H. Walker: Forgotten Hero - The Man Who Saved Korea." He was the father of US Army General Samuel S. Walker.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Donald Greyfield
  • Added: 11 Jan 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10306023
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gen Walton Harris Walker (3 Dec 1889–23 Dec 1950), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10306023, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .