William Stevens Lawton

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William Stevens Lawton
William Stevens Lawton.jpg
Brigadier General Lawton in 1947 as Commandant of the Seacoast Branch of the Field Artillery School
Born (1900-05-16)May 16, 1900
Newport, Rhode Island
Died February 26, 1993(1993-02-26) (aged 92)
Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1926-1960
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Service number 0-14924
Commands held Seacoast Branch, U.S. Army Field Artillery School
Korean Communications Zone
US Army Comptroller
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Other work Vice President, Government Loan Services Savings and Loan Association Inc.

William Stevens Lawton (May 16, 1900 – February 26, 1993) was a lieutenant general in the United States Army and served as the Army's Comptroller.

Early life[edit]

Lawton was born on May 16, 1900, in Newport, Rhode Island,[1][2] and graduated from Newport's Rogers High School in 1917.[3][4]

From 1917 to 1918, Lawton attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He then transferred to the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1922.[5][6][7]

Start of military career[edit]

In 1923, Lawton graduated from both the Army's Primary Flying School and its Advanced Flying School Special Observation Course.[8]

After completing his aviator qualification, Lawton was assigned to Coastal Artillery Corps postings, including Fort Adams, Rhode Island.[9]

Lawton graduated from the Artillery School Battery Officer Course in 1930.[10] He then carried out Coastal Artillery postings throughout the US and overseas, including the 61st Coast Artillery Battalion at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, assignment to the Philippines, and a tour of duty at Fort Winfield Scott.[11][12]

In 1939, Lawton graduated from both the Chemical Warfare Field Officer Course[13] and the Command and General Staff College.[14]

World War II[edit]

From 1941 to 1943, Lawton was Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army's Hawaiian Department. He was present at the attack on Pearl Harbor and later gave Congressional testimony about his experience and observations.[15][16][17]

Lawton was Deputy Chief of Staff US Army Forces Mid-Pacific, with duty in Hawaii from 1943 to 1946.[18][19]

Post-World War II[edit]

In 1947, Lawton was appointed Assistant Commandant of the Army's Field Artillery School and Commandant of the school's Seacoast Branch.[20][21]

From 1950 to 1951, Lawton served as Chief of Staff of Army Field Forces, with duty at Fort Monroe, Virginia.[22][23]

In 1952, Lawton was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Relations at the US Far East Command, serving until 1953.[24][25][26]

Korean War[edit]

Lawton was appointed to command the Korean Communication Zone in 1953, and served in this position until 1954.[27][28][29][30][31] In this high profile rear echelon command, Lawton took steps to improve the perception of the US military among South Korean civilians by implementing Operation Good Will, a successful effort to generate from members of the US military and American civilians contributions of money and other needed items for orphanages, schools and other institutions.[32]

Post-Korean War[edit]

In 1955, Lawton was assigned as Director of the Budget Division in the Army's Office of the Comptroller.[33][34]

Lawton was named Comptroller of the Army in 1957, serving until his retirement from the military.[35][36][37][38]

From 1958 to 1959, he served as President of the Association of Military Comptrollers.[39]

General Lawton retired in 1960.[40]

Awards and decorations[edit]

His awards and decorations included multiple awards of the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit, as well as the Bronze Star Medal.[41][42]

In 1973, General Lawton was inducted into the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity's Order of Achievement.[43]

Subsequent career[edit]

After leaving the Army, Lawton resided in Bethesda, Maryland.[44] He accepted a position as Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Board for Government Loan Services Savings and Loan Association, Inc., where he remained until retiring in the 1980s. In 1989 Lawton moved to the Fairfax retirement community at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he died February 26, 1993.[45][46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, by George Washington Cullum and Edward Singleton Holden, published by United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, Volume 9, 1950, p. 379
  2. ^ World War I draft card, William Stevens Lawton
  3. ^ Newspaper article, 5 Rogers High School Classes Hold reunions at Homecoming, Newport News, August 26, 1957.
  4. ^ Annual Report of the School Department of the City of Newport, Rhode Island, published by the department, 1917, p. 37
  5. ^ The Purple, Green and Gold of Lambda Chi Alpha, published by the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, 1919, Volume 6, p. 267
  6. ^ The Journal of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, published by the institute, Volume 22, 1919, p. 256
  7. ^ The Cross & Crescent, published by Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Volume 32, Issue 1, 1945
  8. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1949, p. 312
  9. ^ Aviation magazine, published by McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1923, Volume 15, page 557
  10. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1957, p. 496
  11. ^ Coast Artillery Journal, published by US Coast Artillery Association, Volume 73, Number 1 (July, 1930), p. 68
  12. ^ Newspaper article, Army Orders and Assignments, New York Times, March 12, 1938
  13. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1956, p. 491
  14. ^ Newspaper article, Obituary, William Stevens Lawton, Washington Post, March 2, 1993
  15. ^ Report, Hearing Testimony, Joint US Congressional Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor, published by US Government Printing Office, 1946, Parts 22-23, p. 9
  16. ^ Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy, by Pearcy L. Greaves, Jr., 2010, p. 377
  17. ^ Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History, Gordon W. Prange, Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon, 1991, p. 391
  18. ^ Newspaper article, Lawton is Made a General, New York Times, September 28, 1944
  19. ^ All About Hawaii: The Recognized Book of Authentic Information on Hawaii, Combined With Thrum's Hawaiian Annual and Standard Guide, published by Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1945, p.309
  20. ^ Infantry Journal, published by National Infantry Association, 1947, Volumes 60-61, p. 49
  21. ^ Magazine article, General Lawton Assumes Command of Seacoast Branch, Coast Artillery Journal, September–October, 1947, p. 56
  22. ^ Raiders or Elite Infantry? The Changing Role of the U.S. Army Rangers from Dieppe to Grenada, by David W. Hogan, 1992, p. 115
  23. ^ Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force, 1907-1960, Robert Frank Futrell, 1989, p. 377
  24. ^ Truce Tent and Fighting Front, by Walter G. Hermes, published by U.S. Army Office of Military History, Volumes 2-992, p. 364
  25. ^ From the Danube to the Yalu, Mark Wayne Clark, 1954, p. 133
  26. ^ Newspaper article, US Houses to be Vacated, Turned Over to Japan Government, Pacific Stars and Stripes, February 2, 1953
  27. ^ Newspaper article, Gen. Clark Revises Set Up in Far East, New York Times, June 13, 1953.
  28. ^ Newspaper photo caption, General Greets Aide, Yonkers Herald Statesman, January 28, 1954
  29. ^ Newspaper article, KcomZ Chief Reassigned to DC Post, Pacific Stars and Stripes, February 13, 1954
  30. ^ Newspaper article, Gen. Lawton Completes Taipei Trip, Pacific Stars and Stripes, March 15, 1954
  31. ^ Free China Review, by W.Y. Tsao,1954, Volume 4, p. 67
  32. ^ Newspaper article, Good Samaritans in Uniform, by Staff Sergeant Bob McNeill, Pacific Stars and Stripes, December 15, 1953
  33. ^ Report, Hearing Testimony, Defense Appropriations, Supplemental Appropriation Bill for 1956, US Senate Appropriations Committee, published by US Government Printing Office, 1955, p. 1
  34. ^ Report, Hearing Testimony, Second Supplemental Appropriation Bill for 1956, US Senate Appropriations Committee, published by US Government Printing Office, 1955
  35. ^ Newspaper article, Newspaper article, Maj. Gen. Lawton up for Promotion, Pacific Stars and Stripes, May 12, 1957
  36. ^ Newspaper article, Asst. Army Secretary, Army Comptroller Visit, The Redstone Arsenal Rocket, August 20, 1958
  37. ^ Report, Testimony, Defense Department Budget for 1958, US Senate Committee on Appropriations, published by US Government Printing Office, 1957, p. 713
  38. ^ The Armed Forces Comptroller, published by the American Society of Military Comptrollers, 1960, Volumes 5-8, page 12
  39. ^ List of Past Presidents, Armed Forces Comptroller Magazine, January 1, 2008
  40. ^ The Cross & Crescent, published by Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Volume 47, Issue 3, 1960
  41. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1954, page 432
  42. ^ Official US Army Register, published by US Army Adjutant General, 1960, page 622
  43. ^ List of recipients, Lambda Chi Alpha Order of Achievement, sponsored by the fraternity, accessed December 22, 2010
  44. ^ DAV magazine, published by Disabled American Veterans, Volume 15, Issues 1-4, 1973, p. 33
  45. ^ Newspaper article, Gen. William Lawton dies at age 92; was in two wars, ex-Army comptroller, Providence Journal, March 23, 1993
  46. ^ Social Security Death Index

External links[edit]