Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware was surveying a Vietnamese battlefield in a helicopter to get a better sense for his infantry division’s offensive when he came under enemy fire. The aircraft crashed in a fiery wreck seven miles from the Cambodian border, military officials said later that day, and all eight men on board were killed.
The Sept. 13, 1968, incident robbed the U.S. Army of one of its most respected general officers at the time. Ware first joined the Army as a draftee in 1941, and was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s top decoration for combat valor, for leading his battalion on Dec. 26, 1944, through a fierce battle near Sigolsheim, France. As a lieutenant colonel, he went 150 yards ahead of the front elements of his unit, eventually leading a small patrol forward to capture four enemy machine-gun positions and kill numerous German riflemen.
Craig and I were chatting about general officer casualties this morning after word came down of the green-on-blue murder in Kabul today.
Ware was the first of several that popped into my mind, and to refresh my memory, I hit the wiki on him. I’d forgotten his Medal of Honor (and it’s pretty rare for an MoH recipient to rise above Colonel).
But what really caught my eye today was the fact that he was drafted in 1941, and went to OCS in 1942, and by late 1944 was not only a battalion commander, but a Lieutenant Colonel.