a contemporary press reports:
Herbert Butler Powell, 94, a retired four-star
Army general who served as ambassador to New Zealand from 1963 to 1967,
died April 3, 1998at a health-care facility at Williamsburg, Virginia.
The cause of death was not reported.
General Powell, who lived in Williamsburg,
retired from active Army duty in 1963. The Oregon native began his military
career with the Oregon National Guard in 1919. He received his Army commission
in 1926 after graduating from the University of Oregon.
During World War II, he served in Europe, where
he became chief of staff of the 75th Infantry Division, participating in
the struggle for France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. After participating
in the Battle of the Bulge, he eventually served in the delegation that
made contact with Soviet Red Army units in Prague near the war's end.
During the Korean War, he commanded the 17th
Infantry Regimental Combat Team, the only U.S. unit to reach the Yalu River.
Later assignments included tours as commander of the 25th Infantry Division,
the Infantry Center at Fort Benning, Ga., and the Third Army, based at
Fort McPherson, Ga.
Over the years, he had directed special Army
panels that studied military justice reforms and that worked on plans for
an advanced Army rifle. He also served as Army commander in the Atlantic
during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was cited by President John F. Kennedy
for contributions he made to the mission.
His last assignment was as commanding general
of the Continental Army Command at Fort Monroe, where he directed more
than half the Army's 960,000 regular soldiers and more than 1 million reservists.
His military decorations included the Distinguished
Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal the Purple Heart and the
Combat Infantryman's Badge.
His first wife, the former Beryl King, whom
he married in 1927, died in 1989. Survivors include his wife of four years,
the former Grace Tuggle, of Williamsburg; three stepchildren; seven step-grandchildren;
and four step-great-grandchildren.
General Powell is to be buried with full military
honors in Section 11, Grave General Powell will be in Section 11, Grave
536-2 of Arlington National Cemetery, with his first wife, on 11 April
Herbert Butler Powell, a former chief of the Continental Army Command and
former ambassador to New Zealand, died on Saturday, April 3, 1998, at a
nursing home in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was 94.
Powell joined the National Guard in his native
Oregon and retired 43 years later, in 1963, as a four-star general. At
the time, he was in command of six armies and their equipment and training
throughout the continental United States, responsible for 315,000 military
personnel, 69,000 civilian employees, and 1.7 million Reservists and members
of the National Guard.
He and his aides at the Army command, at Fort
Monroe, Virginia, were also entrusted with the task of drawing up contingency
plans for mobilization and training, ranging from full call-ups in case
of war to limited build-ups for lesser confrontations overseas.
President John Kennedy rewarded him for his
services in the Cuban missile crisis by appointing Powell ambassador to
New Zealand in 1963. He served in the post in Wellington until 1967.
Powell was born in Monmouth, Oregon. He joined
the Oregon National Guard in 1919, rose from private to sergeant and was
commissioned into the regular Army in 1926 after his graduation from the
University of Oregon. He was also a 1941 graduate of the Command and General
Staff School and a 1949 graduate of the National War College. He reached
flag rank by 1960.
In World War II, he first was a general staff
officer at the War Department, working in operations and training at Army
Ground Forces headquarters. Then he served as chief of staff of the 75th
Infantry Division as it fought its way across France, through the Battle
of the Bulge, into the Rhineland and central Europe.
In the Korean War, he commanded the 17th Infantry
Regiment in an advance that reached the Yalu River, on the border with
China. He also sat on a high-level commission that considered the cases
of American prisoners of war who made false confessions to war crimes,
like germ warfare, after months of interrogation by their North Korean
captors -- the so-called brainwashing issue.
Powell returned to manpower control at the
Army General Staff in the early 1950s. He then commanded the 25th Infantry
Division, the U.S. Army Infantry School, and the 3rd U.S. Army, his last
assignment before taking charge of the Continental Army Command in 1960.
He qualified as an Army aviator. His decorations
included the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal,
the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with two oak
leaf clusters, and the Air Medal.
Powell's first wife, Beryl King Powell, died
in 1989 after 61 years of marriage. He is survived by his second wife,
Grace Tuggle Powell; three stepchildren; seven step-grandchildren; and
Photo (c) Michael Robert
Patterson, September 1999
Page Updated: 11 December 1999 Page Updated: 29 October
2000 Updated: 6 January 2002 Updated: 31 May 2003 Updated: 28 July 2007