Abrams Jr., Creighton W.

TLS as Army Chief of Staff on 4-star letterhead 2 months before his death, congratulating a fellow officer on his promotion to permanent Brigadier General

Price: $125.00

Description:
(1914-1974) USMA 1936, led Vietnam military operations 1968-72. He was Army Chief of Staff from 1972 until shortly before his death. In 1980, the Army named its new main battle tank the M1 Abrams for him. He served with the 1st Cavalry Div. 1936-40, became an armor officer and served with the 4th Armored in WW II (in Patton’s 3rd Army) and commanded Combat Command B, promoted to Lt. Col. 1942. He received the Distinguished Service Cross twice for extraordinary heroism in 1944. Abrams was a leader in the effort that broke up German entrenchments surrounding Bastogne and the 101st Airborne Div. in the Battle of the Bulge. He led the dept. of tactics at the Armored School at Ft. Knox 1946-48, graduated from the Army War College 1953, and was chief of staff of the I, X, and IX Corps in Korea 1953–54. He was promoted to Brig. General and named deputy chief of staff for reserve components at the Pentagon 1956–59. He led the 3rd Armored Div. 1960-62, promoted to Maj. General and transferred to the Pentagon as deputy Chief of Staff for Operations 1962–63, promoted to Lieut. General commanding V Corps in Europe 1963–1964. Abrams was promoted to General 1964 and appointed Vice Chief of Staff. Due to concerns about the conduct of the Vietnam War, he was appointed deputy to his West Point classmate, General Wm. Westmoreland, commander of the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam (MACV) May 1967 and succeeded Westmoreland as commander June 1968. While Westmoreland used search-and-destroy tactics, Abrams implemented clear-and-hold strategies: small units of US forces lived with and trained So. Vietnamese civilians to defend their villages from Viet Cong or conventional NVA incursions with heavy weapons. He also devoted vastly more time to expanding, training, and equipping the ARVN and implemented counterinsurgency tactics focusing on winning the “hearts and minds” of the rural population, carried out with the CORDS program with the CIA under Wm. Colby. This reduced Viet Cong influence in So. Vietnam, but the war increasingly became a war between military forces of South and North Vietnam. After Nixon’s election, Abrams began implementing the “Nixon Doctrine” of “Vietnamization” to decrease US involvement in Vietnam. Abrams decreased US troop strength from a peak of 543,000 in early 1969 to 49,000 in June 1972. Although it occurred before he assumed total command, he bore the brunt of fallout from the 1968 My Lai massacre and the 1970 Cambodia Incursion. In 1972, Abrams stepped down from MACV, appointed Army Chief of Staff by Nixon in June 1972 but not confirmed by the Senate until October, serving to his death in Sept. 1974. Abrams began the transition to an all-volunteer Army. In Jan. 1974, Abrams directed formation of a Ranger battalion, “an elite, light, and the most proficient infantry in the world”. TLS as General, US Army Chief of Staff, on 8 ½ x 7 4-star letterhead, no place, July 9 1974 (4 months before his death), to Major General DeWitt C. Smith, Jr., Commandant, Army War College, congratulating him on his promotion to permanent brigadier general, adding: “This is the Army’s call for greater service, and I am confident it will be forthcoming.” General Abrams died on September 4 as a result of lung cancer. With, upon request, a folder of materials related to his funeral. DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. He attended Oberlin College but joined the Canadian army before US entry in WW II under an assumed name; his father had him discharged. In 1942, he joined the US Army and went to NCO school, then to OCS. Commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, he served with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy until the end of the War. General Smith was wounded 3 times in action and awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars for Valor, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged in 1946, he graduated from the University of Maryland, returned to active duty for the Korean War and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Gen. Maxwell Taylor, served in the "Old Guard" at Fort Myer, and was a battalion executive officer and commander in Germany. He served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. He commanded a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry Div. in Vietnam and came under fire in the Dominican Republic while on the staff of the Secretary of Defense in the mid-60s. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson in Colorado was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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