Francis William Billado

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Francis W. Billado
Francis W. Billado.jpg
Francis W. Billado, Vermont National Guard Adjutant General, 1955-1966.
Born March 3, 1907 (1907-03-03)
Rutland, Vermont
Died September 13, 1966 (1966-09-14) (aged 59)
Burlington, Vermont
Buried at Fort Ethan Allen Cemetery
Colchester, Vermont
Allegiance  Vermont
 United States
Service/branch Flag of the Vermont Republic.svg Vermont National Guard
Seal of the US Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1923 – 1966
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held 1st Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment[1]
Vermont National Guard
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Legion of Merit
Other work Attorney

Francis William Billado (March 3, 1907—September 13, 1966 ) was a Vermont Attorney and military officer who served as Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard.

Early life[edit]

Francis W. Billado was born in Rutland, Vermont on March 3, 1907.[2] He graduated from Norwich University in 1933, and was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity.[3] He then studied law, attained admission to the bar, and became an attorney in Rutland.[4]

Start of military career[edit]

Billado joined the Vermont National Guard’s 172nd Infantry Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division in 1923. He continued to serve during his high school and college years, and received his commission in 1933. He maintained his membership in the military after beginning his law practice.[5]

He was mobilized for World War II and commanded 1st Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment. He also carried out staff assignments with the 43rd Infantry Division, War Department General Staff, I Armored Corps in the North African Campaign and Seventh United States Army during the invasion of Sicily.[6][7]

Post-World War II[edit]

After the war Billado returned to practicing law in Rutland. A Republican, he served in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1947, 1953, and 1955. He also served in local offices, including President of the Rutland School Board.[8]

Billado also continued to serve in the National Guard, becoming Lieutenant Colonel and second in command of the 172nd Infantry Regiment in 1946.[9]

Billado's military education included completion of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[10]

Adjutant General[edit]

In 1955 the Vermont General Assembly elected Billado Adjutant General.[11] (Since the 1860s, the Vermont General Assembly elects the Adjutant General for a two-year term. Elections take place in February of each odd-numbered year, and terms start in March.) He was promoted to Major General, and served until his death. Billado resided in Burlington after becoming Adjutant General.

In 1957 Billado made national headlines when he called for the firing of Secretary of Defense Charles Erwin Wilson after Wilson called the National Guard a haven for “draft dodgers” during the Korean War.[12]

Death and burial[edit]

Billado died suddenly at his home in Burlington on September 13, 1966 as the result of accidentally choking on a piece of food.[13][14][15][16] He was buried in Colchester’s Fort Ethan Allen Cemetery, across the road from the Vermont National Guard headquarters at Camp Johnson.[17]


Billado was a recipient of the Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal, and Vermont Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, he received the American Campaign Medal, American Defense Medal, World War II Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Battle Star, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with gold and bronze hourglass devices.[18][19]

Additional honors[edit]

The National Guard armory in Williston, Vermont was named for him.[20]

Billado was a member of the Lake Champlain Yacht Club. In his honor the club created the Billado Trophy, awarded annually to the club member whose boat finishes first on corrected time in the seasonal handicap races sailed with novice crews.[21]


In 1938 Billado married Ruth Bourquin (April 6, 1908 – March 13, 2005).[22] They had three children: Francis William, Barrie Lynne (Cohen), and Virginia Helen (Farrell).[23][24][25]


  1. ^ National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guardsman, Volume 20, 1966, page 67
  2. ^ Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, birth record for Francis Wm. Billado, retrieved December 16, 2013
  3. ^ Theta Chi fraternity, The Rattle of Theta Chi, Volume 19, 1930, page 30
  4. ^ H. A. Manning, Manning’s Rutland Directory, 1938, page 32
  5. ^ National Guard Association of the United States, Official Proceedings, Annual Meeting, Volumes 87-92, 1967, page 194
  6. ^ Vermont of Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory, 1950, page 670
  7. ^ Theta Chi Fraternity, The Rattle of Theta Chi, Volume 55, Issue 2, 1967, page 30
  8. ^ H. A. Manning Company, Manning’s Rutland Directory, 1952, page 139
  9. ^ Vermont Adjutant General, Annual report, 1950, page 6
  10. ^ Theta Chi Fraternity, The Rattle of Theta Chi, Volume 55, Issue 2, 1967, page 30
  11. ^ Associated Press, Bennington Banner, Francis Billado Named Adjutant General of State, February 18, 1955
  12. ^ Associated Press, Bennington Banner, Maj. Gen. Billado Demands Ouster Of Secretary Wilson, January 30, 1957
  13. ^ Associated Press, Portsmouth Herald, General Dies, September 14, 1966
  14. ^ Vermont Adjutant General, Annual Report, 1966, page 3
  15. ^ Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008, entry for Francis W. Billado, retrieved December 16, 2013
  16. ^ U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2013, entry for Francis W. Billado, retrieved December 16, 2013
  17. ^ Francis William Billado at Find a Grave, retrieved December 16, 2013
  18. ^ Vermont Adjutant General, Annual Report, 1966, page 3
  19. ^ Theta Chi Fraternity, The Rattle of Theta Chi, Volume 55, Issue 2, 1967, page 30
  20. ^ Associated Press, Bennington Banner, Gen. Billado is Honored; Williston Armory is Dedicated, February 3, 1959
  21. ^ Lake Champlain Yacht Club, Weekend Series — Spinnaker Overall Winner / Billado Trophy, 2012
  22. ^ Vermont, Marriage Records, 1909-2008, entry for Francis William Billado, retrieved December 16, 2013
  23. ^ Marquis Who's Who, Who Was Who in American History: The Military, 1975, page 47
  24. ^ Federation Genealogie, Obituary, Ruth Bourquin Billado, originally published in Burlington Free Press, October 16, 2005
  25. ^ Ruth Borquin Billado at Find A Grave, retrieved December 16, 2013

External links[edit]

Francis William Billado at Find a Grave, retrieved December 17, 2013

Military offices
Preceded by
Murdock A. Campbell
Vermont Adjutant General
Succeeded by
Reginald M. Cram