McDonald, David L.

1966 TLS as Chief of Naval Operations, built the Navy’s combat air force in Vietnam War, sends birthday wishes to General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Price: $30.00

Description:
(1906-1997) USNA 1928, Navy aviator and admiral, 17th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) 1963-67, during the Vietnam War era. He spent 1935-38 as a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. He served as flag secretary of the aircraft command of the Atlantic Fleet, commander of the Naval Operational Training Command, EXO of the aircraft carrier USS Essex in the Pacific and assistant chief of staff for operations of the Pacific Fleet, all between 1938 and 1955. During the mid-50s, he commanded the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. In the early 60s, before becoming CNO, he served as Commander, Sixth Fleet. At the time of his selection as Chief of Naval Operations, he was the youngest full Navy admiral, having only received his 4th star a month prior. He is credited with building the Navy’s combat air force in Vietnam. TLS “Dave” on 7 ¾ x 5 ¾ Chief of Naval Operations 4-star blue flag letterhead, Washington, January 13 1966, sends birthday wishes from the officers and men of the United States Navy to General Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and sends wishes for his good health and happiness. Nice association piece! EARLE G. WHEELER (1908-1975) USMA 1932, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1964-70, longest-serving Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to date. Commanded 2nd Armored Division 1958, III Corps 1959, Director of the Joint Staff 1960. In 1962 he was briefly Deputy Commander of US Forces in Europe, named Army Chief of Staff later that year. In 1964 he succeeded Maxwell Taylor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, a surprising choice owing to his relative lack of combat experience. He oversaw and supported the expanding US military role in Vietnam, consistently backed field commander requests for additional troops and operating authority. He often urged President Johnson to strike harder at North Vietnam and expand aerial bombing campaigns, to minimize costs to ground troops. This earned him a reputation as a "hawk." With General Westmoreland and President Johnson, he pushed to raise additional US forces after the Feb. 1968 Tet Offensive. He also was concerned that the buildup in Vietnam depleted military capabilities elsewhere. He called for 205,000 additional ground troops by mobilizing reserves, intended to stay home as an active reserve. After Nixon’s the election, Wheeler oversaw implementation of the "Vietnamization" program, whereby South Vietnamese forces assumed increasing responsibility as US forces withdrew. In 1973 he revealed that, on the personal orders of President Nixon, he directed secret and highly controversial, bombing missions over Cambodia in 1969-70. He retired from the Army in July 1970.

Condition: Very good, docketing at top and bottom left
Type:Letter






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