LT. GEN. ORWIN Clark TALBOTT IN MEMORY of Lt. Gen. Orwin C. Talbott who died April 26, 2011, in Washington, D.C., at age 92. Talbott, who grew up in Los Molinos, was the son of Ernest O. and Violet S. Talbott. Ernest was principal of Los Molinos High School, and Violet Talbott was an elementary school teacher in Vina. Talbott was commander of the First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1968-69 and was commanding general at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., when it became his decision as base commander in late 1969 whether to try Lt. William Calley for murder in the notorious My Lai massacre incident. Talbott decided to try Calley, and the subsequent court martial received worldwide attention.
Talbott was an infantry company commander in Normandy, landing on Utah Beach on June 7, 1944, after his troop ship, the Susan B. Anthony, was sunk off Omaha Beach by mines. Talbott was with the 359th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division, throughout the war, ending as a major and battalion commander.
In 1959-63, Talbott served as executive officer to the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, continuing with Lemnitzer when he became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later Supreme Allied Commander Europe in Paris, France. These were some of the tensest moments of the Cold War, including the shooting down of the U-2 spy plane flown by Francis Gary Powers in 1960 and the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
After he retired from the Army in 1975 as a lieutenant general, Talbott was director of the Maryland Historical Trust in Annapolis for six years, and he took up sailing. During the 50th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy in 1994, Talbott gave the introduction for President Bill Clinton at June 6 ceremonies at Utah Beach.
Talbott, who was born in San Jose, graduated from Los Molinos High in 1936 and attended the University of California at Berkeley but never graduated. He was a graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C. Talbott's decorations include the Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Soldier's Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the French Legion d'honneur, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm. Talbott is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
90th Infantry Division (World War II)
Another member of the "Tough Ombres" and on the Susan B. Anthony on June 7, 1944 with Talbott was then Assistant Division Commander, BG Samuel Tankersley Williams.
Artifacts: Lt. General Class A, Dress Greens.
#Leadership #Duty #LifelongLearning #90thInfantryDivision #toughombres #1stInfantryDivision #BigRedOne #PurpleHeart
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