Monday, August 1, 2011

The Stuff of Heroes - Lt. Col. John H. Michaelis

Lieutenant Colonel John H. Michaelis, known as “Iron Mike,” was a 1936 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was an outstanding tactician and a highly respected leader who always led from the front. He assumed command of the 502 PIR in June in Normandy, France, and led the regiment in Operation Market Garden. He was seriously wounded on September 22, 1944, “Black Friday,” when a German shell exploded near him killing Pfc. Garland Mills and several staff officers. After healing from his wounds, he returned to the division during the Battle of the Bulge and was appointed chief of staff of the 101st Airborne Division in December 28, 1944. He served as chief of staff until the end of the war. After World War II, he served as aide-de-camp to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and was publicly praised by Eisenhower as one of four lieutenant colonels in the army “of extraordinary ability.” He commanded the 27th Infantry Regiment, the Wolfhounds, during the Korean War and was awarded the Distinguish Service Cross for heroism. He rose to the rank of general and served as the commander in chief, UN command/commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA) from 1969 to 1972.

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