|Edwin Anderson Walker|
Major General Edwin A. Walker
November 10, 1909|
Center Point, Kerr County, Texas
|Died||October 31, 1993
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1931 - 1961|
|Commands held||24th Infantry Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (2)
Major General Edwin Anderson Walker (November 10, 1909 – October 31, 1993) — known as Ted Walker — was a United States Army officer who fought in World War II and the Korean War. He became known for his ultra-conservative political views and was criticized by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower for promoting a personal political stand while in uniform. Walker resigned his commission in 1959, but Eisenhower refused to accept his resignation and gave Walker a new command over the 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany. Walker again resigned his commission in 1961 after being publicly and formally admonished by President John F. Kennedy for calling Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman "pink" in print and for violating the Hatch Act by attempting to direct the votes of his troops. Kennedy accepted his resignation.
In early 1962 Walker ran for governor of Texas, and lost to John Connally. Later that year, Walker was arrested for leading riots at University of Mississippi in protest against admitting a black student, James Meredith, into the then-all-white university. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ordered Walker committed to an insane asylum for a 90-day evaluation in response to the riots, but psychiatrist Thomas Szasz protested and Walker was released in five days. Attorney Robert Morris convinced a Mississippi grand jury not to indict Walker. Walker was the target of an assassination attempt on April 10, 1963 that has been linked to Lee Harvey Oswald. From the period of President Kennedy's assassination forward, Walker wrote and spoke publicly about his belief that there were two assassins at his "April Crime", the same assassin who killed the President, and another one never found.
Early life and military career
Walker was born in Center Point in Kerr County in the Texas Hill Country. He graduated in 1927 from the New Mexico Military Institute. He then attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1931. Walker's background was as an artilleryman, but during World War II, he commanded a sub-unit of the Canadian-American First Special Service Force. Walker took command of one of the force's three regiments while still in the United States, and commanded the 3rd Regiment throughout its time in Italy. Their first combat actions began in December 1943, and after battling through the Winter Line, the Force was withdrawn for redeployment to the Anzio beachhead in early 1944. After the fight for Rome in June 1944, the force was withdrawn once again to prepare for Operation Dragoon and in August 1944, Walker succeeded Robert T. Frederick as the unit's second, and last, commanding officer. The FSSF landed on the Hyeres Islands off of the French Riviera in the autumn of 1944, taking out a strong German garrison. Walker was in command of the FSSF when it was disbanded in early 1945.
Next Walker became the commander of the Arkansas Military District in Little Rock, Arkansas. During his years in Arkansas, he implemented an order from President Eisenhower in 1957 to quell civil disturbances during the desegregation of Central High School. Osro Cobb, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, recalls that Walker "made it clear from the outset ... that he would do any and everything necessary to see that the black students attended Central High School as ordered by the federal court... he would arrange protection for them and their families, if necessary, and also supervise their transportation to and from the school for their safety."
During that time, Walker repeatedly protested to President Eisenhower that using Federal troops to enforce racial integration was against his own conscience. So, although Walker obeyed orders and successfully integrated Little Rock High, he also turned toward anti-Communist literature and radio programs, including those of segregationist preacher Billy James Hargis and oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, whose anti-Communist "Life Line" radio program was the launching platform for conservative activist and publisher Dan Smoot. One accusation by most anti-Communist activists (in 1957-1959) was that Communists controlled key portions of the U.S. government and the United Nations; in fact, Soviet spies and agents did occupy prominent positions within the U.S. Federal government, e.g. some of the Silvermaster group.
In 1959, General Walker met publisher Robert Welch. Welch had just founded the John Birch Society to promote his anti-Communist views, one of which was that President Eisenhower was in reality a Communist. This assertion shocked General Walker, who took it to heart because it coincided with the segregationist preaching of Reverend Billy James Hargis, that the Civil Rights Movement for racial equality in America was a Communist plot.
On August 4, 1959 General Walker submitted his resignation to the U.S. Army. President Eisenhower denied Walker's request for resignation and instead offered him command over more than 10,000 troops in Augsburg, Germany, specifically over the 24th Infantry Division. Walker promptly accepted that command, and just as promptly began promoting his "Pro-Blue" indoctrination program for troops, which included a reading list of materials from Billy James Hargis and the John Birch Society.
The name "Pro-Blue," said Walker, was intended to suggest "anti-Red."  He later wrote that the Pro-Blue program was based upon his experiences in Korea, where he saw "hastily mobilized and deployed soldiers 'bug out' in the face of Communist units with inferior equipment and often smaller numbers. American soldiers, unprepared for the psychological battlefield, needed to know why they had to beat the enemy as well as the how."
The Pro-Blue program brought General Walker into conflict with a tabloid newspaper named the Overseas Weekly. Their conflict blew up every few months, until on April 16, 1961, the Weekly published a front page article accusing him of brainwashing his troops with John Birch Society materials supplied to him by Hargis.
Because the John Birch Society regularly claimed that all U.S. presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt forward had been Communists, its positions were perceived as too politically controversial for a U.S. general to advocate. Walker was quoted by the Overseas Weekly as saying that Harry S. Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Dean Acheson were "definitely pink." Additionally, a number of soldiers had complained that Walker was instructing them to vote in the forthcoming American election by using the Conservative Voting Index which was biased toward the Republican Party. According to Walker, his alleged instruction to soldiers as how to vote would later be disproved, as the allegation was based on an article in the division newspaper which provided information as to how to fill out absentee ballots.
On the day after the Overseas Weekly story appeared, Walker was relieved of his command by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara while an inquiry was conducted. In October, Walker was reassigned to Hawaii to become assistant chief of staff for training and operations in the Pacific.
Instead, Walker chose to resign from the Army a second time, following an investigation into the allegations put forth by the Overseas Weekly. Because the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Walker, the Secretary of the Army chose to admonish the general, an action which could not be appealed by Walker. The Secretary also stated that Walker would not be permitted to take command of VIII Corps, as the President had seen fit to withdraw his name for promotion. In protest, Walker, choosing political activism over his 30-year military career, did not retire but resigned his post, thereby forfeiting his pension. This time the President accepted his resignation.
Walker said: "It will be my purpose now, as a civilian, to attempt to do what I have found it no longer possible to do in uniform."
In December 1961, as a civilian, Walker embarked on a career of political speeches, along with Hargis. Walker enjoyed enthusiastic crowds all over the United States, who frequently gave him a dozen standing ovations at every speech. His message of anti-Communism was popular. He also pressed the McCarthyist belief that Communists were inside the United States government; while McCarthy's and Walker's claims may have been overstated or unverified Soviet agents in this era did in fact occupy positions of prominence and influence in the American Federal government (e.g. Some of the Silvermaster group). Walker's home base was Dallas, Texas, then considered a conservative city. Walker received considerable support from the citizens of Dallas, in particular from oil billionaire, publisher and radio host H.L. Hunt, who supported Walker's first election campaign for governor of Texas.
In February 1962, Walker entered the race but finished last among six candidates in a Democratic primary election that was won in a runoff election by John B. Connally, Jr., the choice of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Other contenders were the sitting Governor Price Daniel, Highway Commissioner Marshall Formby of Plainview, Attorney General Will Wilson, and Houston lawyer Don Yarborough, the favorite of liberals and organized labor.
Though he had followed orders to compel the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Walker organized protests in September 1962 against the use of Federal troops to enforce the enrollment of African-American James Meredith at the racially-segregated University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi. On September 26, 1962, Walker went on several radio stations to broadcast this message:
Mississippi: It is time to move. We have talked, listened and been pushed around far too much by the anti-Christ Supreme Court! Rise...to a stand beside Governor Ross Barnett at Jackson, Mississippi! Now is the time to be heard! Thousands strong from every State in the Union! Rally to the cause of freedom! The Battle Cry of the Republic! Barnett yes! Castro no! Bring your flag, your tent and your skillet. It's now or never! The time is when the President of the United States commits or uses any troops, Federal or State, in Mississippi! The last time in such a situation I was on the wrong side. That was in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957-1958. This time -- out of uniform -- I am on the right side! I will be there! 
This is his televised public statement on September 29, 1962:
This is Edwin A. Walker. I am in Mississippi beside Governor Ross Barnett. I call for a national protest against the conspiracy from within. Rally to the cause of freedom in righteous indignation, violent vocal protest, and bitter silence under the flag of Mississippi at the use of Federal troops. This today is a disgrace to the nation in 'dire peril,' a disgrace beyond the capacity of anyone except its enemies. This is the conspiracy of the crucifixion by anti-Christ conspirators of the Supreme Court in their denial of prayer and their betrayal of a nation.
After a violent, 15-hour riot broke out on the campus, on September 30, in which hundreds were wounded, two people were killed and six federal marshals were shot, Walker was arrested on four federal charges, including sedition and insurrection against the United States. He was temporarily held in a mental institution on orders from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. RFK demanded that Walker receive a 90-day psychiatric examination.
However, the attorney general's decision was promptly challenged by famous psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, who insisted that psychiatry must never become a tool of political rivalry. The American Civil Liberties Union joined Thomas Szasz in a protest against the attorney general, completing this coalition of liberal and conservative leaders. The attorney general had to back down, and Walker spent only five days in the asylum.
Walker posted bond and returned home to Dallas, where he was greeted by a crowd of some two hundred supporters. After a federal grand jury adjourned in January 1963 without indicting him, the charges were dropped. Because the dismissal of the charges was without prejudice, the charges could have been reinstated within five years.
According to the Warren Commission, around this time, Walker got Lee Harvey Oswald's attention. Oswald's wife, Marina Oswald, said that Oswald, a self-proclaimed Marxist, considered Walker a "fascist" and the leader of a "fascist organization." A front page story on Walker in the October 7, 1962, issue of the Worker, a Communist Party newspaper to which Oswald subscribed, warned "the Kennedy administration and the American people of the need for action against [Walker] and his allies." Five days after the front page news on January 22, 1963 that Walker's federal charges had been dropped, Oswald ordered a revolver by mail, using the alias "A.J. Hidell."
In February 1963, Walker was making news by joining forces with Hargis in an anti-Communist tour called "Operation Midnight Ride". In a speech Walker made on March 5, reported in the Dallas Times Herald, he called on the United States military to "liquidate the scourge that has descended upon the island of Cuba." Seven days later, Oswald ordered by mail a Carcano rifle, using the alias "A. Hidell."
According to the Warren Commission, and to the later House Select Committee on Assassinations Oswald began to put Walker under surveillance, taking pictures of Walker's Dallas home on the weekend of March 9–10. Furthermore, people involved with Oswald in those and prior weeks admitted to have been criticizing Walker with Lee Harvey Oswald included Dallas engineer, Michael Paine, oil geologist, George De Mohrenschildt and oil engineer, Volkmar Schmidt.
Oswald planned the assassination for April 10. Oswald's wife Marina said that he chose a Wednesday evening because the neighborhood would be relatively crowded because of services in a church adjacent to Walker's home, and he would not stand out and could mingle with the crowds if necessary to make his escape. He left a note in Russian for his wife Marina with instructions should he be caught. Walker was sitting at a desk in his dining room when Oswald fired at him from less than a hundred feet (30 m) away. The bullet struck the wooden frame of the window, which deflected its path. Walker was injured in the forearm by fragments.
According to Dallas Police Department records, neighbors witnessed two men at the scene of the crime, running into a car and speeding away. To the end of his life, Walker believed that there was another man serving as Oswald's accomplice, and he spent decades attempting to learn the identity of that accomplice.
Police Detective D. E. McElroy, commented that "Whoever shot at the general was playing for keeps. The sniper wasn't trying to scare him. He was shooting to kill." Marina Oswald stated later that she had seen Oswald burn most of his plans in the bathtub, though she hid the note he left her in a cookbook, with the intention of bringing it to the police should Oswald again attempt to kill Walker or anyone else. Marina later quoted her husband as saying, "Well, what would you say if somebody got rid of Hitler at the right time? So if you don't know about General Walker, how can you speak up on his behalf?"
Before the Kennedy assassination, Dallas Police had no suspects in the Walker shooting, but Oswald's involvement was suspected within hours of his arrest following the assassination. (The note Oswald left for Marina on the night of the attempt was not found until early December 1963.) The bullet was too badly damaged to run conclusive ballistics tests, but neutron activation tests later determined that it was "extremely likely" the bullet was a Carcano bullet manufactured by the Western Cartridge Company, the same ammunition used in the Kennedy assassination.
Walker orchestrates verbal attack on Adlai Stevenson
The famous attack in Dallas, Texas on the person of United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson on "UN Day," October 24, 1963, was orchestrated by Walker. In mid-October 1963 Walker rented the same Dallas Memorial Auditorium in which Stevenson would speak. He advertised his opposing event as "US Day" and he invited members of the John Birch Society, the National Indignation Convention, the Minutemen and other organizations that were fundamentally opposed to Communism as well as the existence of the United Nations.
On the night before Stevenson's speech, Walker held his "US Day" rally and instructed his audience to "buy all the tickets" they could afford to the Stevenson speech, and to fill the auditorium. Walker then instructed his audience to heckle Stevenson mercilessly, and to bring Halloween noise-makers, and bring their own prepared speeches to recite in the hallways, and generally disrupt the speech in any way that they could.
Walker also instructed his followers to hoist a banner on the ceiling of the auditorium, and fold it, and tie it with a long string, so that when the string was pulled, it would unfurl. On one side of the banner was printed, "US out of UN!" and on the other side was printed, "UN out of US!" This banner was to remain folded until after Stevenson began speaking.
Walker himself did not attend the planned disruption, nor did he take credit for the orchestration. The events in the auditorium proceeded exactly according to plan, so that Stevenson quit speaking before his presentation was finished, and rushed out to his limousine. On his way there, he was spat upon by some protesters, and one protester struck him in the head with her placard. The spitter and the hitter were both arrested. Walker was not charged although his role was well known at the time.
Associated Press v. Walker
Angered by negative publicity he was receiving for his conservative political views, Walker began to file libel lawsuits against various media outlets. One of these suits was in response to coverage of his participation in the University of Mississippi riot, specifically that he had "led a charge of students against federal marshals" and that he had "assumed command of the crowd." Several newspapers were named in the lawsuit, and Walker and his lawyers stood to win up to $30 million if they won every suit.
A Texas trial court in 1964 found the statements false and defamatory. At this point Walker and his lawyers had won over $3 million in lawsuits.
The Associated Press appealed the decision, as Associated Press v. Walker, all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1967 the Supreme Court ruled against Walker and found that although the statements may have been false, the Associated Press was not guilty of reckless disregard in their reporting about Walker. The Court, which had previously said that public officials could not recover damages unless they could prove actual malice, extended this to public figures as well.
Walker, from 1962 through 1967, displayed a full-size billboard on his front lawn with the standard John Birch Society slogan, Impeach Earl Warren. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren was a key figure in the decision of Brown v. Board of Education which mandated the racial integration of all U.S. public schools. Warren was also the Supreme Court justice who heard Walker's case against the Associated Press.
By resigning instead of retiring, Walker was unable to draw a pension from the army. He made statements at the time to the Dallas Morning News that he had "refused" to take his pension. However, he had made several previous requests for his pension dating back to 1973. The army restored his pension rights in 1982.
Walker, then 66, was arrested on June 23, 1976 for public lewdness in a restroom at a Dallas park and accused of fondling an undercover policeman. He was arrested again in Dallas for public lewdness on March 16, 1977. He pled no contest to one of the two misdemeanor charges, was given a suspended, 30-day jail sentence, and fined $1,000.
Walker died of lung cancer at his home in Dallas in 1993. He was never married and he left no children.
Walker (along with air force General Curtis LeMay) was cited  as inspiration for the air force General James Mattoon Scott character in the film Seven Days in May; in fact, Walker himself is mentioned by name in the film. While General Scott is portrayed by Burt Lancaster as smooth and formidable in the film, Walker was usually seen as abrasive and strident.
When Walker appeared before Mississippi U.S. Senator John Stennis's subcommittee investigating "the muzzling of the military" in 1962, Walker testified,
- "It is evident that the real control apparatus will not tolerate militant anti-Communist leadership in a division commander. The real control apparatus can be identified by the effects of what it is doing in the Congo, what it did in Korea..."
Alaskan Senator Bob Bartlett then asked,
- "General, are you saying that there exists in this country - in positions of ultimate leadership - a group of sinister men, anti-American, willing and wanting to sell this country out? Is that the correct inference?"
Walker then replied,
- "That is correct; yes, sir."
Walker is portrayed by Cameron Mitchell as a supporting character in the 1985 film Prince Jack. The movie includes a dramatization from Walker's perspective of Lee Harvey Oswald's attempt to shoot him.
Oswald's attempted assassination of Walker is incorporated into the storyline of 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
|Combat Infantryman Badge with star for Second Award|
|Senior Parachutist Badge|
- Handbook of Texas: "Center Point, Texas." Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Joyce, Ken Snow Plough and the Jupiter Deception: The story of the 1st Special Service Force and the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion, 1942-1945 (Vanwell Publishing Ltd., St. Catharines, ON, 2006) ISBN 1-55125-094-2 p.118
- Joyce, Ken Snow Plough and the Jupiter Deception: The story of the 1st Special Service Force and the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion, 1942-1945 (Vanwell Publishing Ltd., St. Catharines, ON, 2006) ISBN 1-55125-094-2 p.273
- Osro Cobb, "Osro Cobb of Arkansas: Memories of Historical Significance," Carol Griffee, ed. (Little Rock, Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company, 1989), p. 238
- p. 105 Schoenwald, Jonathan M. A Time for Choosing: The Rise of American Conservatism Oxford University Press 2001
- Major General Edwin A. Walker, Censorship and Survival (New York, The Bookmailer Inc. 1961) pp 14, 18
- Minutaglio, Bill; Davis, Steven L. (2013). Dallas 1963. Twelve. ISBN 978-1-4555-2209-5.
- Scott, Peter Dale. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 34, 50. ISBN 0-520-20519-7
- Major General Edwin A. Walker, Censorship and Survival (New York, The Bookmailer Inc. 1961) p.59
- Major General Edwin A. Walker, "Censorship and Survival" (New York, The Bookmailer Inc. 1961) p.60
- "I Must Be Free . . .," Time, November 10, 1961.
- Elections of Texas Governors, 1845–2006.
- "Edwin A. Walker and the Right Wing in Dallas," Chris Cravens, 1993, p. 120
- "Walker Demands a 'Vocal Protest,'" New York Times, September 30, 1962, p. 69.
- Summers, Anthony. Not in Your Lifetime, (New York: Marlowe & Company, 1998), p. 162. ISBN 1-56924-739-0
- "Edwin A. Walker and the Right Wing in Dallas," Chris Cravens, 1993, p. 130
- "Crowd Welcomes Ex-Gen. Walker's Return to Dallas," Dallas Morning News, October 8, 1962, sec. 1, p. 1.
- The Strange Case of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker.
- Radio debate between Oswald and anti-Castro activists Ed Butler and Carlos Bringuier at station WDSU in New Orleans, August 21, 1963.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 1, p. 16, Testimony of Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald.
- "Judge Dismisses Walker Charges," Dallas Morning News, January 22, 1963, sec. 1, p. 1.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 16, p. 511, CE 135, Mail-order coupon in name of Alek Hidell.
- "Hargis Says Walker Will Join in Tour," Dallas Morning News, February 14, 1963, sec. 1, p. 16. "Walker Preparing for Crusade," Dallas Morning News, February 17, 1963, sec. 1, p. 16. "Pickets Protest Talks Given by Hargis, Walker," Dallas Morning News, March 28, 1963, sec. 4, p. 18.
- Dallas Times Herald, March 6, 1963.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 17, p. 635, CE 773, Photograph of a mail order for a rifle in the name "A. Hidell," and the envelope in which the order was sent.
- Construction work seen in one of the photos was determined by the supervisor to have been in that state of completion on March 9–10. Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 22, p. 585, CE 1351, FBI Report, Dallas, Tex., dated May 22, 1964, reflecting investigation concerning photographs of the residence of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker.
- A photocopy of Oswald's note, in Russian. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Testimony of Marina Oswald Porter, HSCA Hearings, vol. II, p. 232.
- "HSCA Final Report: I. Findings - A. Lee Harvey Oswald Fired Three Shots..." (PDF). Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- "Officials Recall Sniper Shooting at Walker Home", Dallas Morning News, November 23, 1963, sec. 1, p. 15.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 23, p. 392–393, CE 1785, Secret Service report dated December 5, 1963, on questioning of Marina Oswald about note Oswald wrote before he attempted to kill General Walker.
- Testimony of Ruth Hyde Paine, Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 9, p. 393–394.
- "Oswald Notes Reported Left Before Walker Was Shot At", Dallas Morning News, December 31, 1963, sec. 1, p. 6.
- Testimony of Dr. Vincent P. Guinn, HSCA Hearings, vol. I, p. 502.
- Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 20, p. 271, Undated letter from Lee Harvey Oswald to Arnold S. Johnson, with envelope postmarked November 1, 1963. "Rally Talk Scheduled by Walker," Dallas Morning News, October 23, 1963, sec. 1, p. 7. "Walker Says U.S. Main Battleground," Dallas Morning News, October 24, 1963, sec. 4, p. 1.
- Edwin Walker and the Right Wing in Dallas, 1960-1966, by Chris Cravens, chapter 6, (1993).
- Associated Press v. Walker, 393 S.W.2d 671, 674 (1965).
- "The General v. The Cub", Time, June 26, 1964.
- Associated Press v. Walker, 389 U.S. 28 (1967).
- Warren Weaver, Jr., "Pension Restored for Gen. Walker", The New York Times, July 24, 1983, p. 17.
- "General Walker Faces Sex Charge: Right-Wing Figure Accused in Dallas of Lewdness", United Press International, New York Times, July 9, 1976, p. 84.
- "Catch as Catch Can," Time, July 26, 1976.
- "Trial for Walker Routinely Passed", Dallas Morning News, September 15, 1976, p. D4.
- "Police Arrest Retired General for Lewdness," Dallas Morning News, March 17, 1977, p. B18.
- "General Walker Free on Bond", New York Times, March 18, 1977, p. 8.
- "Judge Convicts, Fines Walker", Dallas Morning News, May 23, 1977, p. A5.
- Eric Pace, "Gen. Edwin Walker, 83, Is Dead; Promoted Rightist Causes in 60's", New York Times, November 2, 1993, p. B-10.
- The presidents we imagine: two centuries of White House fictions ... - Page 170
- National review: Volume 12 books.google.comWilliam Frank Buckley - 1962 - Snippet view Walker, the very model of an old-fashioned Major General, tough, ramrod-stiff and always on the offensive, ... From this point on, throughout the afternoon and the following day, Walker was all but incoherent. ...
- National Review: Volume 12 books.google.comWilliam Frank Buckley - 1962 - Snippet view Walker, the very model of an old-fashioned Major General, tough, ramrod-stiff and always on the offensive, ... From this point on, throughout the afternoon and the following day, Walker was all but incoherent. ...
- America's uncivil wars: the Sixties era from Elvis to the fall of ... - Page 68
- Edwin Walker biography page
- The Strange Case of Maj. Gen. Edwin A. Walker
- The Handbook of Texas Online: Walker, Edwin A.