Edward Almond

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For the politician, see Edward Almon.
Edward Almond
Edward Almond.jpg
Birth name Edward Mallory Almond
Nickname(s) "Ned"
Born (1892-12-12)December 12, 1892
Luray, Virginia, United States
Died June 11, 1979(1979-06-11) (aged 86)
Anniston, Alabama, United States
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, United States
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1916–1953
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Unit USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held 92nd Infantry Division
X Corps
United States Army War College
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Korean War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross (2)
Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star (2)
Purple Heart

Lieutenant General Edward Mallory "Ned" Almond (December 12, 1892 – June 11, 1979) was a senior officer of the U.S. Army who fought in both World War I and World War II, where he commanded the 92nd Infantry Division in the Italian Campaign. He is perhaps best known as the commander of the Army's X Corps during the Korean War.

Early biography[edit]

Born in Luray, Virginia, Almond graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1915 and became an infantry officer in 1916, serving in France with the 4th Division during the final months of World War I.[citation needed]

He graduated from the Command & General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1930. After a tour of duty in Philippines he attended the Army War College in 1934.[citation needed]

From 1934 to 1938 he was attached to the Intelligence Division of the General Staff. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1938, he completed the course at Naval War College in 1940, and in January 1941 was assigned staff duty at VI Corps HQ, Providence, Rhode Island.[citation needed]

He was promoted to the temporary rank of colonel in October 1941, and then brigadier general March 1942, when he was named assistant commander of the 93rd Infantry Division in Arizona.[1]

World War II and postwar occupation in Japan[edit]

Almond was for a time highly regarded by George Marshall, also a VMI graduate, who was Army Chief of Staff during World War II. This regard accounted in part for Almond's promotion to major general ahead of most of his peers and subsequent command of the 92nd Infantry Division, made of almost exclusively African-American soldiers, a position he held from its formation in October 1942 until August 1945. He led the division in combat in the Italian campaign of 1944-1945.[citation needed]

Although George Marshall picked Almond for this assignment because Marshall believed Almond would excel at this difficult assignment, the division performed poorly in combat with Almond blaming the division's poor performance on its largely African-American troops, echoing the widespread prejudice in the segregated Army that blacks made poor soldiers[2]—and went on to advise the Army against ever again using African-Americans as combat troops.[citation needed] Almond told confidants that the division's poor combat record had cheated him of higher command.[3]

"No white man wants to be accused of leaving the battle line. The Negro doesn't care.... people think being from the South we don't like Negroes.(sic.) Not at all, But we understand his capabilities. And we don't want to sit at the table with them."

— Edward Almond[4]

In 1946 Almond was transferred to Tokyo as chief of personnel at General Douglas Macarthur's headquarters, normally a dead-end job. Almond very effectively handled the sizable challenge of staffing the occupation forces in Japan as American forces rapidly demobilized, standing out among MacArthur's lackluster staff. Having won MacArthur's confidence as capable and loyal,[5] Almond was the logical choice to become Chief of Staff in January 1949, when the incumbent, Paul Mueller, rotated home.[2]

Korean War and X Corps[edit]

After the initial North Korean attack, Macarthur decided to counterattack with an amphibious invasion at Inchon. MacArthur split X Corps from the 8th Army, then placed Almond, who had no experience with amphibious operations, in command of the main landing force just before the landings.

Almond earned the scorn of Marine officers when, during the early phase of the Inchon landing, he asked if the amphibious tractors used to land the Marines could float.[6] The invasion succeeded, but Almond did not pursue effectively and most of the routed North Korean Army escaped northwards.[citation needed]

During this time, Almond had many conflicts with Major General O. P. Smith,[6] commander of the 1st Marine Division, which was part of X Corps (and therefore under Almond's overall command) from October until December 1950.[citation needed]

Almond also had a poor relationship with Lieutenant General Walton Harris Walker, commander of the 8th Army.[citation needed]

Historians have criticized Almond for the wide dispersal of his units during the X Corps advance into north-eastern part of North Korea, in November–December 1950. This dispersal contributed to the defeat of X Corps by Chinese troops, including the destruction of Task Force Faith, and the narrow escape of the Marines at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.[3] Almond was slow to recognize the scale of the Chinese attack on X Corps, urging Army and Marine units forward despite the huge Chinese forces arrayed against them. Displaying his usual boldness, he underestimated the strength and skill of the Chinese forces, at one point telling his subordinate officers "The enemy who is delaying you for the moment is nothing more than remnants of Chinese divisions fleeing north. We're still attacking and we're going all the way to the Yalu. Don't let a bunch of Chinese laundrymen stop you." As stated by a close associate: "When it paid to be aggressive, Ned was aggressive. When it paid to be cautious, Ned was aggressive."[2] Despite these mistakes and partly due to his close relationship with General MacArthur, the new Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway retained Almond as head of X Corps. Ridgway admired Almond's aggressive attitude, but felt he needed close supervision to ensure his boldness did not jeopardize his command. Almond and X Corps later took part in the defeat of the Chinese offensives during February and March 1951, as well as the Eighth Army's counter-offensive, Operation Killer.[2] Almond was promoted to lieutenant general in February 1951.[citation needed]

General Alexander Haig served as aide-de-camp to General Almond in the Korean War.[citation needed]

Post Korea[edit]

In July 1951, Almond became head of the U.S. Army War College.[7] He retired in 1953 and worked in insurance until his death in 1979.

He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery.[1]

Decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Cross.
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal.
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star.
Legion of Merit.
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
V
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Award numeral 1.pngAward numeral 6.png
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
World War I Victory Medal
Bronze star
American Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Distinguished Service Cross w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Distinguished Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross w/ 2 Oak Leak Clusters
Bronze Star w/ V device and Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
Air Medal w/ numerals "16"
Army Commendation Medal w/ 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Mexican Border Service Medal
World War 1 Victory Medal
Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ 3 Campaign Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal w/ "Japan" Clasp
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal w/ 4 Campaign Stars
Order of Abdon Calderón 1st Class (Ecuador)
Order of Solomon (Ethiopian Empire)
Honorary Member, Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
Commander, Legion of Honor (France)
Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with palm (France)
Order of Military Merit (Brazil)
Cheon-Su National Security Medal (South Korea)
Presidential Unit Citation (South Korea)
United Nations Medal for Korea

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Edward Mallory Almond Lieutenant General, United States Army". Arlington National Cemetery website. Retrieved October 12, 2014. Notes that his son (Edward Mallory Almond, Jr.) is buried with him at Arlington National Cemetery. 
  2. ^ a b c d Blair, Clay (1987). The Forgotten War. New York: Times Books. pp. 32, 572. 
  3. ^ a b Halberstam, David (2008) [2007]. The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (reprint ed.). New York: Hyperion Books. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-7868-8862-7. 
  4. ^ Atkinson, Rick (2 October 2007). The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (The Liberation Trilogy Book 2). 7635: Henry Holt and Co. 
  5. ^ Fehrenbach, T. R. (1998) [1963]. This Kind of War. Dulles, VA: Brassey. p. 163. 
  6. ^ a b Coram, Robert (2010). Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine (illustrated ed.). Little, Brown and Company. pp. 207, 213. ISBN 978-0-316-75846-8. Retrieved 2011-01-05. 
  7. ^ "Carlisle Barracks History". U.S. Army. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Blair, Clay (1987). The Forgotten War: America in Korea: 1950-1953. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-1670-0. 
  • Fehrenbach, T.R. (1963). This Kind of War. Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's. ISBN 1-57488-259-7. 
  • Halberstam, David (2007). The Coldest Winter - America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0052-4. 
  • Russ, Martin (1999). Breakout – The Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Korea, 1950. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-029259-4. 

External links[edit]