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James Van Fleet
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Military Personnel
    (March 19, 1892-September 23, 1992)
    Born in Fort Lee, New Jersey
    Commanded the 17th Machine Gun Battalion during World War I
    During World War II, commanded the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th and 90th Infantry Divisions, and III Corps of the Third Army
    Advisor to the Greek government during the Greek Civil War (1946-50)
    Succeeded Matthew B. Ridgway as commander of the 8th Army in Korea (1951)
    Retired as a four-star general (1953)
    His promotion past regimental commander was held up when General George C. Marshall confused him with an alcoholic officer with a similar name.
    He controversially testified to Congress that he had been held back from fully pursuing the Communist forces in Korea.
    He said Adlai Stevenson should have been fired as US representative to the United Nations for failing to support the Bay of Pigs invasion.
    He was fullback on West Point's undefeated football team (1915).
    While heading the University of Florida's ROTC program, he also served two years as head coach of the Florida Gators football team, compiling a respectable 12-3-4 record (1923-24).
    He earned three Distinguished Service Crosses, three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts.
    His only son, a B-26 pilot, disappeared during a bombing run over Korea and was presumed dead.
    He said, 'I never want to command by fear. I wouldn't want to be accused of abuse of power.'
    President Harry S Truman said, 'General Van Fleet is the greatest general we have ever had. I sent him to Greece and he won the war. I sent him to Korea and he won the war.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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