James Leon Baldwin

James Leon Baldwin

Birth
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
Death 8 Nov 1979 (aged 58)
River Falls, Pierce County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 60, Grave 645
Memorial ID 34524521 · View Source
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US Army General. He attended Kansas State Teachers College before joining the National Guard in 1939, serving with the 35th Infantry Division prior to World War II. In 1942 he received his commission, and he served with the 99th Infantry Division in Europe. Baldwin investigated the massacre by Germans of 11 African-American members of the 333rd Artillery Battalion who were killed after surrendering. His career after World War II included Korean War service as Personnel Staff Officer for the 24th Infantry Division. He received his bachelor's degree from George Washington University in 1954, and graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1955 and the National War College in 1962. In 1970 he was assigned to command the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division in Vietnam, and he served until 1971. He was admonished and reassigned after the Battle of Fire Support Base Mary Ann, in which one of his subordinate units was unprepared when it was attacked. Baldwin and other officers were found to have failed to ensure effective perimeter security, leaving the base vulnerable. He retired in 1972 and was a US State Department consultant. His awards included the Combat Infantryman Badge, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal. In 2012 Thomas E. Ricks cited him in "The Generals" as the last example of an American general being sanctioned for unsatisfactory performance, arguing that in the modern US Army, a general may be punished for personal misconduct, but not for poor performance, thus creating a culture of mediocrity. In recent years, Baldwin's surviving children, especially his son Timothy, have conducted research on the FSB Mary Ann attack in an effort to clear their father's name.


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