Robert Miller Montague

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Robert Miller Montague
Robert Miller Montague.jpg
Montague as commander of the Sandia Missile Base
BornAugust 7, 1899 (1899-08-07)
Portland, Oregon
DiedFebruary 20, 1958 (1958-02-21) (aged 58)
Balboa, Panama
Allegiance United States
Service/branchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service1918–1958
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held83rd Infantry Division Artillery
83rd Infantry Division
Sandia Missile Base
I Corps
U.S. Caribbean Command
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star

Robert Miller Montague (August 7, 1899 – February 20, 1958) was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. He achieved prominence as the deputy commander of Fort Bliss, Texas and commander of the Sandia Missile Base in New Mexico during the start of modern ufology and head of the U.S. Caribbean Command.

Early life[edit]

Montague was born in Portland, Oregon on August 7, 1899. He attended the University of Oregon and then transferred to the United States Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1918 with a commission as a second lieutenant of Artillery.[1][2][3]

World War I[edit]

Having graduated in November during a wartime expansion of the West Point student body, Montague began his career too late for active combat in World War I. As many other students from his class did, Montague carried out a European observation tour for most of 1919, enhancing his professional knowledge by visiting battlefields in France, Belgium, and Germany, compiling after action reports, and interviewing battlefield veterans.[4][5]

Post World War I[edit]

Montague completed the Field Artillery Basic Course in 1920.[6]

He then carried out numerous assignments throughout the United States, including serving as an instructor at the United States Military Academy in the 1930s.[7][8]

In 1933 Montague graduated from the Field Artillery Advanced Course.[9]

Montague completed the Command and General Staff College in 1938.[10]

World War II[edit]

From 1944 to 1945 Montague was commander of the 83rd Infantry Division Artillery in the European Theater of Operations. He also served as acting division commander on several occasions.[11][12]

Post World War II[edit]

From 1945 to 1947 Montague served as deputy commander of the Army’s Air Defense Artillery Center at Fort Bliss, Texas.[13]

From 1947 to 1951 Montague was the commander of the Sandia Missile Base near Albuquerque, New Mexico.[14][15][16][17][18]

Montague served as the head of plans, operations and training, G-3, for the United States European Command from 1951 to 1952.[19][20]

From 1952 to 1955 Montague was assigned as deputy commander of Army Field Forces, based at Fort Monroe, Virginia.[20][21][22]

Montague commanded the U.S. I Corps in South Korea from 1955 to 1957.[19][23][24]

Connection to UFO studies[edit]

As deputy commander of Fort Bliss with supposed jurisdiction over the White Sands Missile Range at the time of the Roswell Incident, and later as commander of the Sandia Base, Montague is presumed by many UFO researchers to have been made aware of an alleged spacecraft crash near Roswell, New Mexico or to have had a hand in covering up evidence of the alleged crash, and his name routinely appears in UFO magazines, books and other media.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Commander, U.S. Caribbean Command[edit]

In 1957 Montague was appointed to command the U.S. Caribbean Defense Command, the post he was still serving in when he died.[33][34][35]


General Montague was stricken with an intestinal illness in January, 1958 after traveling extensively in South America. He did not recover, and died on February 20 from a cerebral hemorrhage at Gorgas Hospital, Balboa, Panama Canal Zone.[36][37][38][39]

Robert M. Montague is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 30, Site 533 RH.[40]

Awards and decorations[edit]

General Montague received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and two awards of the Bronze Star.[41][42]


Montague Road at Fort Sill is named for him as is Montague Loop at Fort Bliss.[42][43]


Robert Miller Montague was the father of Brigadier General Robert M. Montague, Jr., (October 22, 1924 – October 15, 1996), who graduated from West Point in 1947 and was one of the early U.S. strategists of the Vietnam War. After retiring from the Army the younger Montague served as executive director of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation and the Special Olympics.[38][41][44][45]

External Resources[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Federal Census, 1900 entry for Charles D. Montague family
  2. ^ Annual Catalogue, published by the University of Oregon, 1917, page 318
  3. ^ Assembly, published by the West Point Alumni Association, Volumes 16-17, page 97
  4. ^ Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy, by George Washington Cullum, edited by Wirt Robinson 1920, Volume VI B, page 2070
  5. ^ Official Army Directory, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1920, page 153
  6. ^ Official U.S. Army Directory, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1922, page 153
  7. ^ U.S. Federal Census Entry, Robert Miller Montague, 1930
  8. ^ Roster of Officers and Troops, published by United States Military Academy, 1932, page 4
  9. ^ Official U.S. Army Directory, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1949, page 376
  10. ^ Official U.S. Army Directory, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1954, page 524
  11. ^ Order of Battle, 83rd Infantry Division in World War II, U.S. Center of Military History
  12. ^ The Thunderbolt Across Europe: a History of the 83rd Infantry Division, 1942-1945, published by the 83rd Infantry Division, 1945, Page 18
  13. ^ Newspaper article, Dept. Working On Secret Weapon, Palm Beach Post, July 16, 1947
  14. ^ Atomic Cave Tale Spreads, Milwaukee Journal, August 25, 1947
  15. ^ Newspaper article, A-Bomb Plant Fire Kills 14, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 9, 1950
  16. ^ Newspaper article, News in Review, The Southeast Missourian, February 13, 1951
  17. ^ Above Top Secret: The Worldwide U.F.O. Coverup, Timothy Good, 1988, page 259
  18. ^ Need to Know: UFOs, the Military, and Intelligence, Timothy Good, 2007, page 129
  19. ^ a b Who Was Who in America, 1963, Volume 3, page 609
  20. ^ a b Assembly, published by the West Point Alumni Association, 1951, Volumes 10-11, page 24
  21. ^ The New International Year Book, 1953, page 336
  22. ^ Official Register of the United States, published by U.S. Government Printing Office, 1954, page 146
  23. ^ Official U.S. Army Directory, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1956, page 596
  24. ^ Newspaper article, Lowe is Named for Guam Post, The Spokane, Spokesman-Review, October 3, 1956
  25. ^ Crash at Corona: The U.S. Military Retrieval and Cover-Up of a UFO, by Don Berliner and Stanton T. Friedman, 2004, page 63
  26. ^ Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at MIT, by Courtlandt Dixon Barnes Bryan, 1995, page 192
  27. ^ The Occult Connection: UFOs, Secret Societies and Ancient Gods, Ken Hudnall, 2004, Volume 1, page 41
  28. ^ Out There: the Government's Secret Quest for Extraterrestrials, by Hoard Blum, 1990, page 247
  29. ^ Conspiracies and Secret Societies: the Complete Dossier, by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger, 2006, page 275
  30. ^ The Day After Roswell, by Philip J. Corso and William J. Birnes, 1998, page 72
  31. ^ Flying Saucers and Science: A Scientist Investigates the Mysteries of UFOs, by Stanton T. Friedman
  32. ^ The UFO Magazine UFO Encyclopedia, William J. Birnes, 2004, page 12
  33. ^ Previous Commanders page Archived 2002-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Southern Command web site
  34. ^ Newspaper article, Gen. Montague Shifted; Commander of Corps in Far East Will Go to Canal Zone, New York Times, October 9, 1956
  35. ^ Newspaper article, President of Panama Sees US War Games, Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1957
  36. ^ Newspaper article, Loses Fight With Illness, by Associated Press, published in Centralia (Washington), Daily Chronicle, February 20, 1958
  37. ^ Newspaper article, Gaither Caribbean Forces C.O., by United Press International, Pacific Stars and Stripes, March 6, 1958
  38. ^ a b Social Security Death Index
  39. ^ Panama Canal Zone, Gorgas Hospital Mortuary Records, 1906-1991
  40. ^ Nationwide Gravesite Locator, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  41. ^ a b Official U.S. Army Directory, published by U.S. Army Adjutant general, 1957, page 602
  42. ^ a b Names of Fort Sill Streets and Buildings, published by Fort Sill Office of Administrative Services
  43. ^ Fort Bliss garrison web site, History page
  44. ^ Memorial Service for Robert M. Montague, Jr., Delivered by Sargent Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics International, October 23, 1996
  45. ^ Newspaper article, Gen. Robert Montague Jr. Dies; Was Head of Special Olympics, Washington Post, October 17, 1996