Jump to content
NEW REGISTRATIONS - Please read first! Read more... ×
Research Assistance Donations - your help is appreciated Read more... ×
Walt's Daughter

The passing of General Goodpaster

Recommended Posts

The Greatest Combat Engineer of them all, General Andrew Goodpaster died 16 May 2005. He commanded the 48 Engineer © Bn. in Italy, was severely wounded at the battle of Mt. Portia. He was sent back to the States & became a special assistant to General George C Marshall. After WW11 he was The Commandant at West Point, Chief of NATO & Defense Advisor to President Eisenhower.


Thank you Al Kincer for this announcement. More to follow later...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What lot of sad news you have had to give us lately, Marion! I know it is life and I know we can/should expect this but it never gets easy.


I heard a few days ago that a Bombardier of a B17, the Hick's Hack, passed away. He was one of the crew I managed to get together after 55 years a few years back. I am still frustrated about it.


I hope the General rests in peace.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's more info that Al sent me.


Mr. Kincer: The only information on General Goodpaster that I have at this time is the following: Viewing at the Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday, May 24, 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m. with the service at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer. Internment to follow. - If I receive any other information, I will let you know. We have lost a great American and a dear friend! - Joellen Bland





Andrew Goodpaster; general led West Point past scandals

By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post | May 17, 2005


WASHINGTON -- Army General Andrew J. Goodpaster, the self-effacing presidential adviser and commander of NATO who was summoned from retirement to lead the scandal-tainted US Military Academy at West Point, died yesterday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. General Goodpaster, 90, had prostate cancer.


General Goodpaster spent more than four decades as a soldier and statesman, in which time he saw combat in World War II, served as deputy commander of US forces in Vietnam, and advised four presidents. Having retired as commander of NATO forces in 1974, he returned to active service three years later to become the 51st commandant of West Point, his alma mater.


The school had been pummeled by a cheating scandal in which 152 cadets were dismissed. Also, it had admitted its first class of women to some controversy.


With his avuncular looks and measured manner, he was said to have helped rebuild the academy's reputation by his mere presence after the cheating episode. He also eased the women's transition to the school, telling staff members he would ''escort them to the door with a handshake" should they fail to make the women feel welcome.


He stepped down in 1981 and three years later received the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.


Andrew Jackson Goodpaster Jr. was born Feb. 12, 1915, in Granite City, Ill., where his father worked for the railroad. Hoping to pursue a career as a math teacher, he enrolled at McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill., but he withdrew during the Depression when money was scant. To continue his education, he sought a West Point appointment and entered the Class of 1939.


During World War II, he led an engineering battalion over a minefield and under hostile fire, actions for which he received the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest military award for valor after the Medal of Honor. His other decorations included the Silver Star, two awards of the Legion of Merit, and two awards of the Purple Heart.


After doing war planning for the general staff in Washington, he entered Princeton University, where he received a master's degree in engineering as well as a master's degree and a doctorate in international relations.


His battlefield and academic credentials -- along with a regard for anonymity -- impressed a number of ranking officials. He became special assistant to the chief of staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe from 1950 to 1954 and a favorite of Dwight Eisenhower, the NATO commander. He assisted Eisenhower in forming political and military guidelines for the new treaty organization and was Eisenhower's liaison among such diplomats and politicians as W. Averell Harriman of the United States, Jean Monnet of France, and Hugh Gaitskell of the United Kingdom.


Later, President Eisenhower asked General Goodpaster to serve as staff secretary in the White House. He became known as the president's alter ego for his ability to carry out orders in his wide-ranging national security portfolio with minimal need for instruction. Among his mandate was work on what was called the Solarium Conference to plan for the American role in a post-Stalin Soviet Union.


Some called him ''the man with the briefcase" for his silent but essential backstage role in practically all military matters. General Goodpaster, wrote one reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, ''looks like a business executive and hides his White House importance behind a quiet facade that lends itself neither to anecdotes nor stuffiness."


He remained a key adviser through the Suez crisis, the launching of Sputnik, and the 1960 Soviet downing of the U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers.


With President Kennedy, General Goodpaster advanced through a series of sensitive positions on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President Johnson used him as an intermediary with Eisenhower for military suggestions in the escalating Vietnam War. ''President Johnson asked the question: Can we win in Vietnam and what do we have to do?" General Goodpaster told U.S. News & World Report decades later. ''That question came to me."


He advocated a stronger military role to win the war and became frustrated that the political will never materialized. He served as military adviser to the six-man US team involved in the Paris peace talks with the North Vietnamese in summer of 1968 and spent the rest of the year as deputy to Creighton W. Abrams Jr., commander of US forces in Vietnam.


From 1969 to 1974, he was NATO supreme allied commander and was said to have been greatly displeased when Alexander M. Haig Jr., the Nixon White House chief of staff, was tapped to replace him. He retired quietly and did not show up for Haig's ceremony, a rare public snub.


In later years, General Goodpaster took special assignments from presidents, and he was appointed to positions at a variety of academic and research centers, including the Eisenhower Institute.


Otherwise, he allowed himself the luxury of salmon fishing in Labrador with his wife.


In addition to his wife of 65 years, Dorothy Anderson Goodpaster of Washington, he leaves two daughters, Susan Sullivan of Alexandria, Va., and Anne Batte of Salisbury, N.C.; seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.


© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got this from Al this morning. This is an email from Max Jonah who attended General Goodpaster's funeral.



Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 7:54 AM

Subject: Eisenhower Institute Contact



Al & OO,


I attended the viewings and funeral of AJG. Will cover these in the August "Scoop". Met many familly members. Took lots of pictures. Had long discussion with James H. McCall, Executive Director of the Eisenhower Institute. He is doing a book on Goodpaster. He wants to talk with those who knew AJG well during the 48th Engineers phase of his service. I gave him your names and said I would send him the roster with your names plus Foley & Pessa "goose-egged".


Address, etc. 915 Fifteenth Street, NW Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20005-2311


(202) 628 4444 FAX (202) 628 4445 jmccall@eisenhowerinstitute.org www.eisenhowerinstitute.org


Max Jonah

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest colinhotham

Marion, the internet and websites like yours are so important in laying down the history of WW2 and events up to the present day. The story of General Goodpaster is a prime example, I knew the name but have now a greater idea of this great mans contribution to the 20th century. I assume he never wrote a biography but the book on him will surely make interesting reading.





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Colin and welcome back (or are you corresponding from Sicily?). Just looked at the two photos you sent from Sicily. CORLEONE! That was a good one. :D:D Cape Calava is very beautiful. I should put the two photos side by side later on the forum; the Cape then, "bridge in the sky" and now. Yes, that sound like a good idea.


Can't wait to hear more about your fantastic trip and can't wait to see more of your photos.


I too would like to read more on the General and will certainly take time to read the book in the future.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now