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Special Edition          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS          August 3, 1968




Major General Ellis W. Williamson

Major General Ellis W. Williamson



Page 2-3                           TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           August 3, 1968


25th's General Commands:



The Finest Division Going!


Page 4                          TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS                           August 3, 1968, 1968




Major General Ellis W. Williamson   Major General Ellis W. Williamson, new 25th Infantry Division Commander, assumed command during ceremonies held at Cu Chi Saturday morning, August 3, 1968.
   He replaces Major General F. K. Mearns, who moves to Saigon to become Deputy Commander, II Field Force and Commanding General, Capital Military Assistance Command.
   General Williamson was born in Raeford, North Carolina on June 2, 1918.  Through high school and college, he was a member of the 120th Infantry Regiment, North Carolina National Guard.
   Upon graduation from Atlantic Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1940, he entered the Federal Service with his unit.
   General Williamson remained with the 120th Infantry Regiment throughout World War II serving in rank from Private to Colonel.  Following commissioning as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in March, 1941, he served as a commander at platoon, company, battalion and regimental level and as a battalion and regimental staff officer.  He  was regimental Commander at the time of the unit's return to state control in January, 1946.
   The same year, he was integrated into the Regular Army.  For three years he was an instructor of tactics at the Infantry School. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 1950 and was assigned to Headquarter X Corps in Korea.  He participated in the amphibious landing at Inchon as Assistant Operations Officer, X Corps, later becoming Operations Officer.
   General Williamson was assigned in 1952, to the Office of the Army Chief of Staff, next attended the Armed Forces Staff College, and then returned to Washington for duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
   He assumed command of the 13th Infantry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado, in 1956 and took this unit to Germany on Operation Gyroscope.  After 27 months as Regimental Commander, he became Chief of the Training Division, Headquarters, 7th U.S. Army.  He returned home to qualify as a parachutist and attend the National War College.
   Following three years in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel at Department of the Army, General Williamson assumed command of the 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate) upon its activation in Okinawa in July 1963.  He organized and trained this unit for its mission as Pacific Theatre Reserve Force during the next two years.
   After extensive training on the Pacific islands of Okinawa, Taiwan, Irimote, and the Philippines as well as in Korea and Thailand, General Williamson's brigade, in May, 1965, became the first U.S. Army ground combat unit to enter the conflict in Vietnam.
   Under his command, the 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate) participated in actions designed to protect friendly installations and to destroy enemy forces in the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau-Ben Cat areas and into the mountain plateau areas of Pleiku and Kontum.
   In addition to the 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate), General Williamson's command in Vietnam included all Australian and New Zealand combat elements, plus some Vietnamese units.
   He served in five campaigns in Europe during World War II and seven during the Korean conflict.
   General Williamson assumed command of the U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, November 1, 1966, and comes to the 25th Infantry Division from that post.

Major General Williamson has received the:

Distinguished Service Cross 
Distinguished Service Medal 
Silver Star with five Clusters 
Legion of Merit with Cluster 
Bronze Star Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with nine Clusters 
Army Commendation Medal 
Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters
American D e f e n s e Service Medal
American Campaign Medal 
European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal 
World War II Victory Medal 
Army Occupation Medal (Germany)
National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster 
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal 
Vietnamese Service Medal 
Distinguished Unit Emblem 
Department of Defense Identification Badge
Army General Staff Identification Badge
Combat Infantryman's Badge 
Master Parachutist's Badge 
British Distinguished Service Order 
French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star
National Medal of Vietnam Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, with Palm 
Vietnamese Army Distinguished Service Medal, First Class
Belgian Fourragere
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Badge



MG Williamson Is Div's 22d CG


Maj. Gen. Maxwell Murray
Maj. Gen. James L. Collins 
Maj. Gen. Charles L. Mullins 
Brig. Gen. Everett E. Brown 
Maj. Gen. William B. Kean 
Maj. Gen. Joseph S. Bradley 
Maj. Gen. Ira P. Swift
Maj. Gen. Samuel T. Williams 
Maj. Gen. Halley G. Maddox 
Maj. Gen. Leslie D. Carter 
Maj. Gen. Herbert B. Powell 
Maj. Gen. Edwin J. Messinger 
Maj. Gen. Archbald W. Stuart 
Maj. Gen. John E. Theimer 
Maj. Gen. J. O. Seaman
Maj. Gen. James L. Richardson 
Maj. Gen. E. F. Easterbrook 
Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Boyle 
Maj. Gen. Fred C. Weyand
Maj. Gen. John C. F. Tillson III 
Maj. Gen. F. K. Mearns 
Maj. Gen. Ellis W. Williamson

October 1941.
May 1942
December 1943
May 1948
August 1948
February 1951
July 1951
July 1952
August 1953
May 1954
November 1954
December 1955
September 1957
October 1958
June 1960
September 1960
April 1962
March 1963
August 1964
March 1967
August 1967
August 1968


MAJOR GENERAL F. K. Mearns, who has led the 25th Infantry Division since last August, has left for Saigon, where he will assume duties as Deputy Commander, 11 Field Force, and Commanding General, Capital Military Assistance Command. Major General F. K. Mearns



The TROPIC LIGHTNING NEWS is an authorized publication of the 25th Infantry Division. It is published weekly for all division units in the Republic of Vietnam by the Information Office, 25th Infantry Division, APO San Francisco 96225. Army News Features, Army Photo Features, Armed Forces Press Service and Armed Forces News Bureau material are used. Views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army. Printed in Tokyo, Japan, by Pacific Stars and Stripes.

MG Ellis W. Williamson  . . . Commanding General
MAJ Andrew J. Sullivan  . .  Information Officer
2LT Don A. Eriksson  . . . . .  Officer-in-Charge
SP4 Stephen Lochen   . . . . .  Editor
SP4 Bill Berger . . . . . . . . . . .  Editorial Assistant



Thanks to
Allan Azary, 1st Bn. (Mechanized), 5th Inf. for sharing this issue,
Kirk Ramsey, 2nd Bn., 14th Inf. for creating this page.

This page last modified 8-12-2004

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