General Orders

No. 32


GO 32

Washington, DC, 4 September 1974

The death, of General Creighton Williams Abrams, Chief of Staff, United States Army, which occurred on 4 September 1974 at 0035 hours is announced with deep regret. Throughout his brilliant military career, which spanned more than 38 years, General Abrams proved himself a leader of untiring zeal and outstanding merit. With his passing, the Nation has lost a faithful servant, and the Army a distinguished and dedicated leader.

General Abrams was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on 15 September 1914. He graduated from Agawam High School, Massachusetts, in 1932, and from the United States Military Academy in 1936 where he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Cavalry. He spent his first four years as a troop officer in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1940, he was assigned to the 1st Armored Division, where he served several months as a tank company commander before assignment to the newly-formed 4th Armored Division. He served in the 4th Armored Division from its activation in 1941 until VE Day (1945) in positions of regimental adjutant, regimental executive officer, battalion commander, and combat command commander. He participated in all campaigns of the 4th Armored Division as a battalion or combat command commander, and was one of the best known and most respected combat commanders of that war.

Following VE Day, General Abrams was assigned to the War Department General Staff with duty as a member of a Board which was to determine Army Post-independence base requirements in the Philippines, and later with the Plans Section of the Army Ground Forces headquarters in Washington, DC. From 1946 to 1948, he was Director of Tactics at the Armor School. Following this, he attended the Regular Course of the Command and General Staff College. In 1949, he returned to Europe and commanded the 63d Tank Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division and subsequently commanded the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Returning to the United States in 1953, he attended the Army War College and then was assigned to Korea, where he served successively as Chief of Staff of I Corps, X Corps, and IX Corps. He returned stateside in 1955 and was assigned as Chief of Staff of the Armor Center at Fort Knox.

General Abrams was promoted to Brigadier General in February 1956 and assigned as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Reserve Components, General Staff, Department of the Army.

In 1959, he returned to Europe to be Assistant Division Commander, 3d Armored Division. In April 1960, he was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, United States Army, Europe; and in June 1960, he was promoted to Major General. He returned to the 3d Armored Division in October 1960 and commanded it until he returned to Washington in May 1962 for assignment as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations (International Civil Affairs). On 23 July 1962, he was appointed as Director of Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations. On 15 October 1962, he assumed the duties of Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations (Requirements and Programs). In April 1963, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development. He again returned to Europe and on 15 July 1963 became Commanding General of V Corps, and was promoted to Lieutenant General on 1 August 1963.

On 3 August 1964, General Abrams was appointed Acting Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army. He was promoted to General on 4 September 1964 and sworn in as Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army.

President Johnson announced General Abrams' assignment as Deputy Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam on 6 April 1967. He became its Commander in July 1968.

On 12 October 1972, General Abrams was appointed as Chief of Staff, United States Army.

General Abrams received the following United States decorations and awards during his career : Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster ; Defense Distinguished Service Medal : Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters ; Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster ; Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device; Joint Service Commendation Medal ; American Defense Service Medal ; American Campaign Medal ; European-African-Middle Eastern Medal with silver service star ; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ; World War II Victory Medal ; Army of Occupation Medal ; National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster ; Korean Service Medal with bronze service star ; Vietnam Service Medal, with two silver and four bronze service stars; United Nations Service Medal; Presidential Unit Citation; and the General Staff Identification Badge.

General Abrams' foreign awards and citations include: French Legion of Honor, Chevalier; French Croix de Guerre with Palm; Great Britain Distinguished Service Order; 2nd Rank Order for Bravery in Service (Russia) ; Czechoslovakia War Cross ; Republic of Korea Ulchi Distinguished Military Service Medal with Gold Star; Korean Order of National Security Merit, 2nd Class; The Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, First Class—Knight Grand Cross ; Philippine Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Lakan ; Korean Order of National Security Merit, 1st Class ; The Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, 1st Class—Knight Grand Cross (Thailand) ; National Order of Vietnam, 1st Class ; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm ; Order of Military Merit, Taeguk (Korea) ; Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, 1st Class ; Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal, 1st Class ; The First Class of the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan) ; National Order of the Legion of Honor, Rank of Commander (France) ; Philippine Liberation Ribbon ; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; French Fourragère; and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

As a mark of respect to the. memory of General Abrams, the National flag will be flown at half-staff at all installations, activities and vessels of the Department of the Army in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States, its Territories and possessions, and overseas, from day of death until retreat on the day of interment.

Funeral services will be conducted at Fort Myer Memorial Chapel at 1100 hours on Friday, 6 September 1974. Interment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery. Commanders having personnel and capability will render cannon salute honors in accordance with paragraph 6-6, AR 600-25.

By Order of the Secretary of the Army :

General, United States Army
Vice Chief of Staff

Major General, United States Army
The Adjutant General

To be distributed in accordance with DA Form 12-4 requirements.