Gen George Vernon Underwood Jr.


Gen George Vernon Underwood Jr. Famous memorial

Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Death 3 Aug 1984 (aged 70)
Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, USA
Burial El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
Plot Section C1, Site 1174
Memorial ID 1269335 View Source

US Army General. He rose in rank to become the Commander-in-Chief of US Southern Command in Doral, Florida from 1971 until 1973. After graduating from Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, Indiana in 1931, he attended Wabash College, in Crawfordsville, Indiana for two years before receiving an appointment to attend the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. In 1937 he graduated from West Point with a 2nd lieutenant's commission in the Coast Artillery Corps and served with artillery units in California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. In 1941 he attended the US Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and was then assigned to the Harbor Defenses of Narragansett Bay at Fort Adams, Rhode Island as the operations and training officer. He then attended the Task Force Staff Officers' Course in Washington DC and was assigned to the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff. In August 1945 he became the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5 at Headquarters China Theater, and worked his way up to the Chief of the Plans Division. In June 1946 he returned to the US and became the Assistant to the Special Representative of US Army General George C. Marshall in Washington DC and the following year he returned to China as General Marshall's Executive Officer. In 1947 he returned to Washington DC and worked in the Plans and Operations Division of the War Department General Staff. Following his graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College at Fort McNair, Washington DC in 1949, he became commander of the 867th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion at Anchorage, Alaska and in May 1951 he returned to Washington DC as the Deputy Director/Director of the Executive Offices of the Secretary of Defense. In March 1954 he enrolled in the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and following his graduation in 1954, he remained on the faculty until the Summer of 1957. From August 1957 until December 1958 he was assigned to the Nike Defense of the Niagara-Buffalo, New York Area as the commander of the 2nd Artillery Group. In 1958 he attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin and graduated in 1960 with a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism. In July 1960 he was assigned the Headquarters US Army at Washington DC and became the Assistant Chief of Information. The following January he became the Deputy Chief of Information and in February 1963 he became the Chief of Information and promoted to the rank of major general the following July. In February 1966 he was sent to Kaiserslautern, Germany as the Commanding General of the 32nd Artillery Brigade and three months later it was designated the 32nd Army Air Defense Command, In 1967 he returned to the US and became Commander of Fort Bliss, Texas, followed by Commander, Aerospace Defense Command and Commander, 5th US Army. In 1971 he was promoted to the rank of general and became Commander-in-Chief of US Southern Command and retired in that position in 1973 with 36 years of continuous military service. Among his military and foreign awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), the Legion of Merit (with three oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Ribbon (with oak leaf cluster), the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (with bronze star), and the Chinese Special Breast Order of Yun Hit. He died at the age of 70.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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