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GEN Paul Donal Harkins

Photo added by Bill McKern

GEN Paul Donal Harkins

  • Birth 15 May 1904 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 21 Aug 1984 Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
  • Burial West Point, Orange County, New York, USA
  • Plot Section IX, Row A, Grave 053
  • Memorial ID 28864918

US Army General. A 1929 West Point graduate, he was a career officer. During World War II he was Third Army's Deputy Chief of Staff, and played a key role in planning the offensives that established George Patton's and the Third Army's legendary reputations. As Commandant of Cadets at West Point in 1951, Harkins dismissed more than 90 cadets after being made aware that several, mainly football players, were cheating on academics, or knew but didn't report it. In 1962 Harkins was appointed the first commander of Military Assistance Command - Vietnam (MACV), and the initial US buildup of forces occurred under his command. Harkins and his staff repeatedly expressed optimism about the course of the conflict, but reporters felt that these comments did not match their own observations and comments from off the record sources. Though his defenders claimed reporters treated him unfairly, the perception that he was not honest about Vietnam helped foster a widespread distrust of authority that continued throughout the 1960s. He retired in 1964 and was succeeded by General William Westmoreland. Harkins's awards included the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. He later wrote a book about his World War II experience, "When The Third Cracked Europe: The Story of Patton's Incredible Army", and was a consultant for the 1970 film "Patton", starring George C. Scott.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 8 Aug 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28864918
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for GEN Paul Donal Harkins (15 May 1904–21 Aug 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28864918, citing United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .