Eisenhower, John S. D.
1974 TLS to the Army War College Commandant, mentions Army Reserve recent promotion and his pleasurable 2 weeks at the College
Autograph ID: 7207
Condition: Very good, pencil, blue & red ink dockets at top right, small 1″ repaired tear at lower right edge
Description: “(1922-2013) USMA 1944 (graduated the day of Normandy landings), Army officer, diplomat, military historian, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His decorated military career spanned from before, during, and after his father’s presidency, retiring from active duty in 1963, then all together in 1974. He was US Ambassador to Belgium 1969-71. He served in WW II and in Korea, retiring as a brigadier general. A decorated soldier, Eisenhower’s WW II military career thwarted by fears for his safety and concern from the top brass that his death or capture would be a distraction to his father. He was assigned to intelligence and administrative duties. This issue arose again in 1952 when Major Eisenhower was assigned to fight in a combat unit in Korea while his father ran for President. He saw combat in Korea with an infantry battalion, reassigned to the safety of 3rd Division HQ. During his father’s presidency, John Eisenhower served as White House Asst. Staff Secretary on the Army’s General Staff, under General Andrew Goodpaster. In Nixon’s administration, he was Ambassador to Belgium 1969-71. In 1972, President Nixon appointed him Chairman of the Interagency Classification Review Committee. In 1975, he was President Ford’s chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee on Refugees. A military historian, Eisenhower wrote several books, including “The Bitter Woods”, on the Battle of the Bulge, “So Far from God”, a history of the Mexican-American War, and “Zachary Taylor: The American Presidents Series: The 12th President, 1849-1850” (2008).
TLS on his 10 ½ x 7 ¼ personal letterhead, Valley Forge, Penna., July 29 1974, to Major General DeWitt C. Smith Jr., Commandant, US Army War College. Eisenhower thanks Smith for Smith’s letter on Eisenhower’s recent promotion in the army Reserve, noting he has not been active in all his reserve career but it is “incumbent on me to try even harder in the future.” He looks back with pleasure on the SRCOC (Senior Reserve Component Officer Course) given by the College, “the two weeks were well-spent, providing perspective and a feeling of being ‘in on things’ which would be difficult to duplicate elsewhere.”
DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. In 1942, he joined the US Army and commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, served with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. He was wounded 3 times and awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars for Valor, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged in 1946, he returned to active duty for the Korean War and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Gen. Maxwell Taylor, served in the “Old Guard” at Fort Myer, and was a battalion executive officer and commander in Germany. He served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. He commanded a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry Div. in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.”