Herbert B. Powell

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Herbert B. Powell
Herbert B Powell.jpg
General Herbert B. Powell as a Major General
Born(1903-07-13)July 13, 1903
Monmouth, Oregon
DiedApril 3, 1998(1998-04-03) (aged 94)
Williamsburg, Virginia
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army United States Army seal
Years of service1927-1963
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held17th Infantry Regiment
25th Infantry Division
Third Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
Other workU.S. Ambassador to New Zealand

Herbert Butler Powell (July 13, 1903 – April 3, 1998) was a U.S. Army General, and Commanding General of the U.S. Continental Army Command, and U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand.

Early life & career[edit]

Powell was born in Monmouth, Oregon on July 13, 1903.[1] He joined the Oregon National Guard as a private in 1919, rising to the rank of sergeant.[1] He received his commission in 1927 after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism.

During World War II, Powell was chief of staff of the 75th Infantry Division, fighting in Europe.[1] In the Korean War, Powell commanded the only American regiment, the 17th Infantry, to reach the Yalu River. Prior to coming to Fort Shafter, General Powell commanded the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks where he was known as the "Soldier's General." He briefly commanded the U.S. Army, Pacific for three months, from April to July 1956, as an interim commander for General Blackshear M. Bryan. He later received promotions to lieutenant general and general. Subsequent commands included Commanding General for the Third United States Army in Fort McPherson, Georgia, and Commanding General of the U.S. Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Other significant duties for General Powell were Commandant of the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Deputy Commanding General for Reserve Forces at Fort Monroe. After his retirement in 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed him U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, a post he filled from 1963 to 1967. He died on 3 April 1998 in a nursing home in Williamsburg, Virginia.[2]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Powell's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal. He was also a qualified Army aviator.[1] Powell was inducted posthumously into the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication Hall of Achievement on October 14, 2004.[3]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg  Combat Infantryman Badge

Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star (two oak leaf clusters)
Purple Heart
Air Medal
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".

Military offices
Preceded by
Robert F. Sink
Commanding General of the Third United States Army
Succeeded by
Thomas J. H. Trapnell
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anthony B. Akers
U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand
1963 – 1967
Succeeded by
John F. Henning
Preceded by
Anthony B. Akers
U.S. Ambassador to Samoa
1963 – 1967
Succeeded by
John F. Henning