of Staff of the U.S. Army during the late years
of the Vietnam War
Creighton Williams Abrams, Jr.
was born in Springfield, Massachusetts,
on September 15, 1914. He attended high school in
Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, and subsequently
entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he ranked 185th in
his 1936 class of 276.
Timeline of His
a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Cavalry Division.
June 1939 Promoted to First
September 1940 Promoted to
World War II
1941 Tank company commander in the 1st
1942-1943 Battalion commander in
the 37th Armored Regiment.
February 1943 Promoted to
September 1943 Promoted to
1943-1945 Commanded the 37th
Tank Battalion and Combat Command B, 4th Armored
Division, in Allied operations across Europe,
under General George S. Patton.
April 1945 Promoted to temporary
1945 Served on
the Army General Staff.
1945-1946 Served in the War
Plans section of the Army Ground Forces
1946-1948 Director of Tactics of
the Armored School at Fort Knox.
June 1946 Promoted to permanent
rank of Captain.
July 1948 Promoted to permanent
rank of Major.
1949 Graduated from the Command
and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
1949-1951 Commanded the 63rd
Tank Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, United
States Army, Europe.
June 1951 Promoted to temporary
1951-1952 Commanded the 2nd
Armored Cavalry, United States Army, Europe.
1953 Graduated from the Army War
1953-1954 Was successively Chief
of Staff of the I, X, and IX Corps, United States
Army Air Forces, Far East, Korea.
Chief of Staff of the Armor Center at Fort Knox.
February 1956 Promoted to
temporary Brigadier General.
1956-1959 Deputy Assistant Chief
of Staff for Reserve Components.
1959-1960 Assistant Division
Commander of the 3rd Armored Division.
1960 Deputy Chief of Staff for
Military Operations, United States Army, Europe.
June 1960 Promoted to temporary
1960-1962 Commander of the 3rd
June 1961 Promoted to permanent
1962-1963 Assistant Deputy Chief
of Staff and Director of Operations, Office of
the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
1963 Assistant Chief of Staff
for Force Development.
1963-1964 Commanded V Corps in
February 1963 Promoted to
permanent Brigadier General.
August 1963 Promoted to
temporary Lieutenant General.
August 1964-April 1967 Acting
Vice Chief of Staff and Vice Chief of Staff of
the United States Army.
September 1964 Promoted to
August 1965 Promoted to Major
Commander and then Commander of United States
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
Chief of Staff of
the United States Army, October 12,
1972-September 4, 1974
Supervised the withdrawal of American troops from
the Vietnam war zone, overall reductions in Army
strength, elimination of the draft, and execution
of a major reorganization.
General Creighton Abrams died
of cancer in Washington, D.C., on September 4,
1974. He is buried in Arlington National
During World War II,
Abrams was well known as an aggressive armor
commander who consistently exploited the speed
and reliability of his vehicles to defeat German
forces who had superior armor, guns, and troops.
He was twice decorated with the Distinguished
Service Cross, for actions of September 9, 1944
and December 26, 1944.
Abrams and his wife, Julia, had
three daughters and three sons. All three sons
became Army officers, and all three daughters
married Army officers. Julia is buried next to
him at Arlington National Cemetery.
On April 23, 1945, Will Lang,
Jr., wrote a biography called "Colonel
Abe" for Life magazine. He also
graced the covers of three issues of Time
magazine -- October 13, 1961, April 19, 1968 and
February 15, 1971.
The Army's M1 Abrams Tank was
named in his honor.
Arlington National Cemetery www.arlingtoncemetery.net/abrams.htm
United States Military Academy
World War II
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