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William Eugene DePuy

Date of birth: October 1, 1919
Date of death: September 9, 1992
Place of Birth: North Dakota, Jamestown
Home of record: Jamestown North Dakota

William DePuy retired as a U.S. Army General, after being highly decorated in both World War II and the Vietnam War.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while Commanding the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces in Germany, on 13 March 1945. On that date, Colonel DePuy was charged with the mission of crossing the Moselle River at Lof, Germany, and securing the town of Brodenbach. He personally made a reconnaissance under fire to choose a crossing site, and when the attack was launched, led his men across the river under intense fire, inspiring them by his bold, fearless leadership. Following Colonel DePuy, the troops charged up a precipitous slope through the enemy defenses and swept on to take the town. The determination he displayed his heroic leadership and courageous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 90th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, Third U.S. Army, General Orders No. 109 (May 18, 1945)

Action Date: March 13, 1945

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 357th Infantry Regiment

Division: 90th Infantry Division

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Major General William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving as Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division. Major General DePuy distinguished himself by repeated exceptionally valorous actions during the period 4 November 1966 to 16 November 1966 while serving as Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division. On 4 November during Operation ATTLEBORO, General DePuy flew to the sites of two large-scale armed clashes between U.S. Forces and numerically superior Viet Cong Forces. With complete disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly braved intense hostile fire to observe the disposition of the battle, to direct the tactical moves necessary to outmaneuver the enemy and to solidify friendly positions. On 5 November he assumed command of Operation ATTLEBORO which involved eighteen U.S. combat battalions and five ARVN battalions. Throughout the period of this operation General DePuy performed repeated heroic acts. On 7 November, ignoring the dangers of landing in the middle of a pitched battle, General DePuy personally picked up a captured enemy prisoner and flew him to a battalion command post for immediate interrogation. This act proved invaluable as the information gleaned from the prisoner revealed the battle plan of the enemy and enabled U.S. Forces to maneuver and catch the Viet Cong off guard at the inception of a major campaign. His command of the operation, both from his command and control helicopter and on the ground, involved frequent exposure to hostile fire. He repeatedly made numerous low-level passes through intense hostile fire to direct the battle, to gain first-hand knowledge of the disposition of enemy and friendly forces and to observe the progress of the battle. This enabled him to make tactical decisions which resulted in Operation ATTLEBORO becoming one of the major victories of the counterinsurgency efforts in the Republic of Vietnam. Major General DePuy's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 588 (February 7, 1967)

Action Date: November 4 - 16, 1966

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 1st Infantry Division

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General [then Brigadier General] William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, as Assistant Chief of Staff, J-3 (Operations), U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, during the period from May 1964 to March 1966. General DePuy's extraordinary achievement is in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 36 (August 19, 1966)

Action Date: May 1964 - March 1966

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, as Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division during the period from March 1966 to February 1967, in the Republic of Vietnam. During this time, General DePuy performed his multitudinous duties with integrity, tenacity, and the highest degree of professional competence. Demonstrating consummate skill, great leadership and astute guidance, he earned for himself the admiration and respect of his superiors and subordinates alike. The personal interest he exhibited in the enlisted man was of invaluable significance in developing the high espirit de corps and aggressive fighting spirit which characterized the men of the 1st Infantry Division. General DePuy has always displayed absolute understanding and incisive foresight in conducting brilliant and unprecedented tactical maneuvers. His phenomenal comprehension of each situation was apparent by judicious employment of combat and support units in every aspect of numerous complex operations. Through his initiative, resourcefulness, adaptability to change, and readiness to resort to the expedient, he devised ingenious and imaginative stratagems which have been unparalleled in the fight against the Viet Cong. During his entire tenure, his consistently displayed extraordinary ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable tactical obstacles and thereby contributed immeasurably to the United States counterinsurgency effort in the Republic of Vietnam. General DePuy's extraordinary achievement is in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 18 (April 18, 1967)

Action Date: March 1966 - February 1967

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 1st Infantry Division

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, during the period March 1968 to January 1969, as the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this assignment, General DePuy displayed extraordinary breadth and depth of professional knowledge, intellectual brilliance and exceptional judgment and initiative. He proved a unique contribution to the success of the national effort in Vietnam by his continuing efforts in four critical areas: national military strategy in Southeast Asia, planning and execution of pacification programs in Vietnam, modernization and improvement of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, and the conduct of international negotiations with the North Vietnamese. Throughout this period General DePuy was also charged with the supervision, coordination and guidance of a whole range of counterinsurgency activities extending from development of joint doctrine and training to the conduct of complex, highly sophisticated counterinsurgency operations. Further, General DePuy was responsible for Joint Staff supervision and inter-departmental coordination of sensitive special operations programs. General DePuy's exemplary performance of duty has reflected the highest credit upon himself, the United States Army and the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 13 (1969)

Action Date: March 1968 - January 1969

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency

Division: Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Lieutenant General William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, from March 1969 to February 1973. As a principal advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff, General DePuy demonstrated unique leadership and managerial ability across a broad range of activities encompassing the entire scope of Army Staff responsibilities. He served as the focal point for Army resource management during a period of intense turbulence with Army manpower reduced from over one and one-half million men, heavily concentrated in Southeast Asia, to a smaller, highly professional force of less than 900,000. Much of the success of the restructuring and realignment in the face of this turbulence is attributable to the planning, programming and reviewing mechanisms he established within the Army Staff. In order to minimize costs, shorten development time, and assure timely high-level management reviews, General DePuy was instrumental in developing and implementing a new management concept for the Army material acquisition process. At the time he assumed the responsibilities of the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, costs and types of automatic data processing and management information systems were spiraling upward. Through his direct supervision, Army management information systems became standardized and are being implemented Army-wide with a concurrent savings in dollars and personnel. Under his guidance the Army has developed a steady management system that provides for efficient high level management exceptions and insures the efficient use of resources for studies and analysis. Under his initiations as director a service of special studies having major impact on the Army was completed. He was instrumental in the development of a concept and plans for re-organization of the Continental United States Army into separate commands to improve force readiness and to integrate training and doctrine and establish separate agencies for analysis and for operational test and evaluations that would be responsive to Department of Army needs. Lieutenant General DePuy has been particularly effective by articulating the Army's programs to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and to the Congress. His exceptional achievements, his perceptive insights into intricacies of defense management, and his dedicated devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Action Date: March 1969 - February 1973

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant General

Company: Assistant Vice Chief of Staff

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Silver Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fifth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, during the period 1 July 1973 to 30 June 1977, while serving as the Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. General DePuy revolutionized the Army's training and combat development by adapting tactics, systems, and organizations to the strategic and technological realities of the concluding quarter of the twentieth century. General DePuy was the driving force behind an in-depth review of tactical doctrine with the result that the Army concentrated intensively on preparation to win the decisive "first battle of the next war." His personal commitment to the foundation of fighting concepts in all aspects of battle to meet the critical challenges of the future battlefield invigorated the areas of training and combat developments to an unprecedented degree. Throughout his tenure, extraordinary advances were initiated in such as the establishment of the United States Army Training Support Center, and development of the Scenario Oriented Recurring Evaluation System, Soldier's Manuals and Skill Qualification Tests, Army Training Evaluation Program, a family of improved training manuals, and preparation of vastly improved cost and operational effectiveness analyses. By numerous other initiatives under the stewardship of General DePuy, the Army has gained new and clearer concepts of how to organize, equip and train for the next war. His resourcefulness, energy and unswerving dedication have contributed greatly to preparing the United States Army and aiding the Armed Forces of the free world to meet the challenges of future decades. General DePuy's exemplary performance of duty reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Action Date: July 1, 1973 - June 30, 1977

Service: Army

Rank: General

Company: Commanding General

Division: Training and Doctrine Command

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major (Infantry) William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Regimental Operations and Training Officer, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, in action in the vicinity of Hinchange, 19 on November 1944. During the crossing of the Mied River, Major DePuy, under extremely heavy enemy artillery and small arms fire, reconnoitered approaches to a bridge site. After completing the reconnaissance, he personally led the leading elements of the infantry forward, enabling the first troops of the 357th Infantry to cross the river. Later, at risk of his life, he led a successful tank assault upon the enemy and took an active part in engaging the enemy in small arms battle at close range. During this action, he captured eleven enemy soldiers. Major DePuy's aggressiveness, courage and inspiring leadership were material factors in the successful accomplishment of the regimental mission. His gallant actions and selfless devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 90th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 226 (December 23, 1944)

Action Date: November 19, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Major

Company: Regimental Operations and Training Officer

Regiment: 357th Infantry Regiment

Division: 90th Infantry Division

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry), [then Major] William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, in the vicinity of *******, from 6 to 16 December 1944. During the ***** operations, the position of an infantry battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel DePuy was subjected to a fierce enemy attack. At risk of his life, he advanced through intense shelling, established an advance observation post in a forward area and, although under aimed small arms fire, directed accurate artillery and mortar fire upon the foe. His gallant act and personal courage inspired his men to superior efforts that routed the attack. Lieutenant Colonel DePuy's gallant actions and selfless devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 90th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 186 (February 26, 1945)

Action Date: December 6 - 16, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 357th Infantry Regiment

Division: 90th Infantry Division

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel William Eugene DePuy (ASN: 0-34710), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, in the vicinity of *******, on 7 February 1945. During an attack on a strategic position near the town, an infantry company was pinned down by mortar, machine gun and small arms fire. When word was received of the critical situation, Lieutenant Colonel DePuy, voluntarily and at risk of his life, led a tank platoon through the devastating fire, personally occupying the turret position of the lead tank. Covering the enemy with a withering barrage of machine gun fire, he inflicted great losses on the enemy, enabled the company to advance and directed its movement to a more favorable position. Lieutenant Colonel DePuy's gallant actions and selfless devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 90th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 267 (March 19, 1945)

Action Date: 7-Feb-45

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 357th Infantry Regiment

Division: 90th Infantry Division