Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 23/11/1915 Denver, Colorado. d. 13/09/1968 Binh Phuoc, Vietnam.

 

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 26/12/1944 Sigolsheim, France.

 

Ware was born in Denver, Colorado on November 23, 1915. He graduated from South High School and worked at a variety of jobs to help support his family. Ware was drafted into the United States Army in July 1941.

 

He was sent to Officer Candidate School in 1942, emerging a platoon leader stationed at Fort Ord, California. After extensive service in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, he had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel by December 1944, commanding 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.

 

On December 26, 1944, Ware's battalion was attacking a heavily fortified German hilltop position. Finding one of his assault companies stalled and digging in under heavy fire, Ware went forward and made a close reconnaissance of the German positions, deliberately drawing their fire in order to determine their location. After two hours, he returned to the company and organized a small force of eleven men including two officers and a tank in order to renew the attack. Leading the advance, he personally assaulted four enemy machine guns, enabling the tank and the rest of his detachment to destroy the German position. Ware was wounded, and five soldiers of his group were killed before the hill was secured. In April 1945, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

 

Unlike most draftees, General Ware remained in the U.S. Army after demobilization, becoming a career soldier, and one of the first former draftees to reach general officer rank.

 

Ware remained in Europe and took part in the post-war occupation of Germany. He then attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College, after which he was assigned to the Military District of Washington. During this assignment he met his future wife Joyce, and they were married in May, 1947.

 

Ware attended the European Staff Officers' Course at Columbia University, and then studied at George Washington University in preparation for a teaching assignment. Ware was then assigned to the United States Military Academy as an instructor in psychology and leadership, after which he attended the Armed Forces Staff College.

 

After a posting in South Korea from 1955 to 1957, Ware attended the National War College. He then served as an army congressional liaison and completed an assignment in Europe. In 1963 Ware was assigned as assistant division commander of the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas and promoted to brigadier general. From 1964 to 1967 Ware was the Army's deputy chief of information and then chief of information. In 1966 he was promoted to major general.

 

General Ware volunteered for Vietnam and arrived in South Vietnam shortly before the outbreak of the Tet Offensive in early 1968, serving as the deputy commander of II Field Force. Dispatched to Saigon immediately after the start of the Tet attacks, he assumed control of the American forces in the area, forming Task Force Ware; after several days of heavy fighting had stabilized the situation, the task force was dispersed. Following this, Ware was assigned to command the 1st Infantry Division in March 1968.

 

On September 13, 1968, during the Battle of Lc Ninh elements of the division were preparing to attack Hill 222 (11.888°N 106.629°E), 6km north of the town. Ware's command group were flying in his command & control helicopter to view the battle when heavy anti-aircraft fire brought the helicopter down 5km south of Lc Ninh. Ware, his three command staff, and the four helicopter crew were all killed in the crash. General Ware became the second US Army general officer to die in the Vietnam War, after Brigadier General Alfred Judson Force Moody died of a heart attack in South Vietnam on March 19, 1967. On October 25, 1968, General Ware was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

 

MOH CITATION:

 

Commanding the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, attacking a strongly held enemy position on a hill near Sigolsheim, France, on 26 December 1944, found that 1 of his assault companies had been stopped and forced to dig in by a concentration of enemy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire. The company had suffered casualties in attempting to take the hill. Realizing that his men must be inspired to new courage, Lt. Col. Ware went forward 150 yards beyond the most forward elements of his command, and for 2 hours reconnoitered the enemy positions, deliberately drawing fire upon himself which caused the enemy to disclose his dispositions. Returning to his company, he armed himself with an automatic rifle and boldly advanced upon the enemy, followed by 2 officers, 9 enlisted men, and a tank. Approaching an enemy machinegun, Lt. Col. Ware shot 2 German riflemen and fired tracers into the emplacement, indicating its position to his tank, which promptly knocked the gun out of action. Lt. Col. Ware turned his attention to a second machinegun, killing 2 of its supporting riflemen and forcing the others to surrender. The tank destroyed the gun. Having expended the ammunition for the automatic rifle, Lt. Col. Ware took up an M-1 rifle, killed a German rifleman, and fired upon a third machinegun 50 yards away. His tank silenced the gun. Upon his approach to a fourth machinegun, its supporting riflemen surrendered and his tank disposed of the gun. During this action Lt. Col. Ware's small assault group was fully engaged in attacking enemy positions that were not receiving his direct and personal attention. Five of his party of 11 were casualties and Lt. Col. Ware was wounded but refused medical attention until this important hill position was cleared of the enemy and securely occupied by his command.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

Section 30, Grave 258-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keith Lincoln Ware

WARE K L WARE K L GRAVE