A Soldier's Story: General William Allen Knowlton

General Willam Allen Knowlton was born on June 19, 1920, in Weston, Massachusetts.

He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1943 and was commissioned a cavalry officer and assigned to the 7th Armored Division.

He would deploy to France during World War II and lead an assault platoon in occupied France. He also commanded recon missions into Germany.

After the war, he would be assigned to staff postings and the Command College before deploying to Korea with the 3rd Armored Cavalry for the Korean War.

General William Knowlton would return from Korean War to attend the War College and was then assigned command of a brigade at Fort Knox and a military attache in Tunisia.

After his time in Tunisia, General Knowlton was assigned to the US Army Chief of Staff and then to the Office of the Secretary of Defense before he deployed to Vietnam twice to oversee civilian operations. Finally, on March 23, 1970, he was assigned the 49th Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point. He reaffirmed the academy's right to enforce the school's honor code with the Supreme Court.

After his tenure with the academy, General William Knowlton was assigned command of the Allied Land Forces in Europe.

When General Knowlton retired from service, he continued to lecture at the Armed Forces Staff College and act as an advisor for the Defense Nuclear Agency.

General William Allen Knowlton died on August 10, 2008, and rests in Arlington National Cemetry.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

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