Paul J. Mueller
|Paul John Mueller|
Major General Paul J. Mueller in 1949
November 16, 1892|
|Died||September 25, 1964
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1915–1954|
|Commands held|| 81st Infantry Division
86th Infantry Division
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
Army DSM (2)
Silver Star (2)
Paul John Mueller (November 16, 1892 – September 25, 1964) was a highly decorated career United States Army officer. He served overseas during World War I and World War II. He was part of "the class the stars fell on".
Paul Mueller was born on November 16, 1892 in Union, Missouri and after attending the high school, he enrolled at United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in June 1911. He graduated from this institution in June 1915 together with the other future generals as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, James Van Fleet, Henry Aurand or Stafford LeRoy Irwin ("the class the stars fell on").
He was commissioned a Second lieutenant of Infantry on that date and his first assignment was with 21st Infantry Regiment stationed at Vancouver Barracks, Washington. He subsequently served with his regiment in San Diego, California and also participated in border patrol duty near Nogales, Arizona.
With the outbreak of the World War I, Mueller was appointed a camp instructor at the Presidio of San Francisco. He was transferred to the 64th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas for preparing to the transfer to France.
With the arrival to the France in June 1918, Mueller was promoted to the rank of Major and was also appointed a commander of the 1st Battalion. He commanded the regiment during the combats in Marbache Sector near the Moselle River. Mueller was also decorated with the Silver Star for bravery in action near the Bois de Puvenelle, 10 October 1918.
After the war he had assignments to infantry commands, held staff positions and attended schools. He was a member of the occupation army stationed in Koblenz from 1920 to 1922. After leaving Germany, he attended and graduated from the Command and General Staff School in 1923. In 1928 he graduated from the Army War College. From 1931 to 1934 he served with the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff. His next assignment was as an instructor with the General Staff College from 1935 to 1940. He led the training division from 1940 to 1941 for the chief of the infantry command. Later that year he was assigned as Chief of Staff for the 2nd Army and promoted to Brigadier General.
World War II
In August 1942, after the United States entered World War II, he was given command of the 81st Infantry Division at Camp Rucker, Alabama and was soon promoted to Major General. The 81st Infantry Division, known as the Wildcat Division, had been commanded by Maj. Gen. Gustave H. Franke since its reactivation in June 1942. For the next two years Gen. Mueller moved the division to different training locations throughout the United States before it was deployed overseas in the summer of 1944.
General Mueller led the Wildcat Division into its first taste of combat on 17 September 1944 during the Palau Islands campaign. While the majority of the 81st invaded Angaur Island, RCT 321 joined the 1st Marine Division in its assault of Peleliu Island. RCT 321 also assisted in capturing Ngesebus Island, Kongauru and Garakayo Islands. Operating under a naval task force, RCT 323 occupied Ulithi Atoll.
Beginning in November 1944 and continuing into the new year, General Mueller and the 81st captured Pulo Anna Island, Kyangel Atoll, and Pais Island.
After a break for rehabilitation and training, General Mueller led the 81st to Leyte in May 1945 where they helped with mopping up operations until August 12, 1945. On the 18th of September, General Mueller began occupation duty with the 81st Division in Japan.
Postwar and Retirement
In January 1946, the 81st Division was deactivated and General Mueller took over command of the 86th Infantry Division from January 1946 to April 1946, replacing Maj. Gen. Harris M. Melasky. Maj. General Mueller commanded the 86th for a short time until relinquishing command to Maj. Gen. Harry F. Hazlett.
After leaving the 86th Infantry Division, General Mueller served as Chief of Staff to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Tokyo until 1949. Following this assignment he became the Deputy Commander of the Third Army from 1949 to 1950.
His next assignment was as head of the Career Management Division. He continued in this assignment until his retirement in September 1954.
He died in 1964.
|1st Row||Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster|
|2nd Row||Navy Distinguished Service Medal||Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster||Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster||Mexican Border Service Medal|
|3rd Row||World War I Victory Medal with Defensive Sector Clasp||Army of Occupation of Germany Medal||American Defense Service Medal||American Campaign Medal|
|4th Row||Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three service stars and Arrowhead device||World War II Victory Medal||Army of Occupation Medal||National Defense Service Medal|
|5th Row||Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)||Philippine Legion of Honor, Grade Commander||Philippine Liberation Medal with one star||Philippine Independence Medal|
|Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation|
- BIGGEST WEST POINT CLASS JOINS ARMY New York Times, June 13, 1915
- Tucker, Spencer (2001). Who's who in Twentieth Century Warfare. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-23497-9.
- Gayle, Gordon D. (1996). Bloody Beaches: The Marines at Peleliu. Washington, D.C.: Marine Corps Historical Center. ISBN 978-0-7881-3781-5. PCN 190 003137 00. (HTML format)
- Bloody Beaches: The Marines at Peleliu by Brigadier General Gordon D. Gayle, USMC (Ret) Retrieved 2009-02-20
- U.S. Army Retrieved 2009-02-20
- New York Times Retrieved 2009-02-21