LongTabSigo sends this sad news about a real American hero (and Someone You Should Know). I never met General Yarborough, but I've read about him for decades:
It is my sad duty to report that at approximately 11:30 hrs, December 6, 2005, LTG (R) William P. Yarborough passed away.
For those who don't know who he is, he's the guy that designed and (held) the patent for the jump wings every paratrooper wears. He also designed the first "jump boots". He also is directly responsible for gaining Presidential approval for the Green Beret of the Special Forces. And none of those are even his important accomplishments.For those in NC or can get there, there are two services:
The first service will be on Saturday 10 December 2005 at 1400 hours at the Southern Pines Episcopal Church. The service is planned for family, friends and some military. The service is open to the public, (please note that the church holds about 350 persons and the good bet is that it will be packed).Southern Pines Episcopal Church340 E Massachusetts AveSouthern Pines, NC(910) 692-3492A second service will be held at the JFK Chapel on Fort Bragg, Tuesday 13 December 2005, 1000 hours (Interesting historical note: This Chapel is the one General Yarborough had constructed upon the death of President John F. Kennedy).Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery. Date/time to be announced.The family requests that all donations and flowers sent to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation or the Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, NC in memory of LTG William P. Yarborough.Here's his bio, which is a history lesson on Special Forces and the Airborne:William Pelham YarboroughWilliam P. Yarborough was born on May 12, 1912 in Washington. A 1936 graduate of West Point with a BS in Engineering, Yarborough was first assigned to the 57th Infantry Regiment in the Philippines. Upon his return to the United States in 1940 he was assigned to the 29th Infantry battalion at Fort Benning, GA. He was then assigned as a company commander with the 501st Parachute Infantry at Fort Benning, and worked on the early development of airborne operational doctrine. While at Fort Benning, he designed the U.S. Parachutist Badge (for which he received a patent), the jump boot and the parachutist uniform.His service in World War II started with his service on the staff of GEN Mark Clark as Clark's primary advisor on airborne operations. He was instrumental in the planning for Operation TORCH, America's first airborne combat operation into North Africa. He served as the executive officer for the Airborne Task Force prior to taking command of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. As a member of the 509th, he was part of Operation TORCH. He detailed the story in his book Bail Out Over North Africa. He subsequently commanded parachute battalions that jumped in Sicily and Southern France.
A veteran of nine campaigns in World War II, General Yarborough's last command was with the 505th Regimental Combat Team. Along with the famous 442nd Infantry Division, they liberated Genoa, Italy. After the German surrender, Yarborough remained in Europe as Provost Marshal of the US Forces in Vienna, Austria where he was responsible for organizing the International Patrol, which consisted of British, French, Soviet and American members and was dramatized in the film "The Third Man." During this time, Yarborough met the ailing Russian ballet star Vaslav Nijinsky and his wife Romola, and aided in smuggling the couple through the Russian sector to freedom in England.
Following assignments at the Armed Forces Information School in Pennsylvania and the British College in England, Yarborough attended and later taught at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA. From 1956 to 1957, he was assigned as Deputy Commander of the US Military Assistance Command - Cambodia. He traveled throughout Southeast Asia during this time, his fluency in French serving him well in working with the Cambodian higher political and military echelons. He then went to be the Commanding Officer for the 1st Battle Group, 7th Infantry where he moved the entire unit from Fort Benning, GA to Germany. He later commanded the US Army 66th Counterintelligence Corps Group in Germany, serving as a liaison between the Allied counterespionage, intelligence and police agencies.In January 1961, he was appointed commander/commandant of the US Army Special Warfare Center/School for Special Warfare at Fort Bragg, NC. Remaining until 1965, he was instrumental in the build-up of Special Forces, overseeing the activation of four new Groups. He also worked diligently to increase the professional and academic standard of the JFK School, bringing in national figures in anthropology, history, science, and inviting leading political figures to speak. He initiated an exhaustive review of training programs and doctrine, and wrote numerous monographs on subjects pertaining to Special Operations, which are still relevant today. It was also under his management that foreign students were fully integrated into training and language instruction was expanded. He established five new courses including the Military Assistance Training Advisor School, the Unconventional Warfare course and the Counter-Terrorism course. He also initiated a staff study that later resulted in the movement of the US Army Civil Affairs School from Fort Gordon, GA to Fort Bragg.
It was during his tenure as Commander of the Special Warfare Center that in 1961, he arranged for President Kennedy to visit Fort Bragg, resulting in the authorization of the Green Beret for wear as the official headgear of Special Forces.
After his tenure at the Special Warfare School, he served as Senior Member, UN Command Military Armistice Commission, Panmunjom, Korea where he was the chief spokesman and negotiator for the UN Command in talks with the North Koreans and Chinese. He then was assigned as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Special Operations in the Pentagon with the responsibility of all Special Forces, PSYOP and Civil Affairs units and activities. In this position, he completed exhaustive studies on the state of insurgencies in Thailand and Latin America. A year later, he became the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence on the Army General Staff where he monitored the Army's intelligence training programs, provided finished intelligence materials to the Army General Staff and directed the Army's personnel security program. He also directed the programs in which foreign military attaches assigned to Washington were involved and was responsible for their accreditation by DA.
During the final years of his career, Yarborough was the Army's top intelligence officer at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. He assumed the command of I Corps in Korea in 1968, a position he held for a year. I Corps consisted of both conventional and nuclear weapons, two American divisions and three Korean Divisions, and a Korean Marine Corps Brigade, numbering approximately 100,000 men. In 1969, he was assigned as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander in Chief, US Army Pacific, responsible for directing a wide variety of Army activities in the Pacific Rim, including planning joint training exercises, response to natural disasters and monitoring intelligence operations. He retired from the Army in 1971.
In 1971, the Army tasked him to prepare a classified Asian study on the state of the Asian continent after the Vietnam Conflict. He also was a guest speaker for the National Strategy Information Center where he gave talks such as the Changing Balance of Military Power or the history of Special Forces to various groups around the country. He also was asked to visit various countries such as Rhodesia and Mozambique for the State Department. From his visits, he wrote various talking papers still in use today.
Lieutenant General Yarborough was a member of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. He is also an honorary member of the British SAS Regiment and a member of the St. John's Lodge 260, F&AM. He wrote two books: Bail Out Over North Africa and So You Want A Volunteer Army. General Yarborough was married to his wife Norma for over 60 years. They had three children: 2 girls and one boy. Mrs. Yarborough passed away in 1999. He was honored in the fall of 2005 with the donation of a bust in his honor at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC.
(On a personal note: I had the honor of meeting him in 1987 soon after Chapter 38 of the SF Association first named the Chapter in his honor. A guy on my Team won a bottle of Wild Turkey in a raffle and LTG Yarborough joined us in a toast. He made time to talk to every guy there who wanted to speak with him. He made and forgot more Airborne and Special Forces history than anyone you'll ever meet. A truly Great American!)Requiescat in Pace, my General!
AIRBORNE! All the Way!
De Oppresso Liber!