Joseph May Swing
Lieutenant General, Unied States Army
of Michael T. Stein:
Lieutenant General Joseph May Swing
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, February 28,
Cadet U.S. Military Academy 1911-15
Second Lieutenant 1915
Served with 4th Field Artillery 1915-16
Distinguished Service Cross
A Personal Remembrance From Cleo M. Browne, 29 May 2004:
My Father served under General Swing in Sapporo, Japan in approximately 1946 - 1948.
My Father was his Provost Marshall and his name was Reneau S. McAlister. My Mother and I joined my Father there and I was just a little 7 year old girl. General and Mrs. Swing were always kind and thoughtful to us. My Father delighted in serving under the General, because he was quite a character and had a good sense of humor.
It was Japan just after the war and we were on Hokkaido, supplies were limited and I had a little birthday party my Mother gave for me and their were no balloons so my Mother and her lady friends improvised (I'll leave to your imagination what can be blown up as balloons...that little children (at least in that day and age) would not know the difference. Anyway that afternoon General Swing said to my Dad that he was aware of the little party in the hotel for me (we lived in the hotel before the camp was built) and why didn't they walk over and surprise us. Well, it was quite the surprise, and my Father thought he would pass out when they got there and saw the "balloons" being batted around. General Swing had a good laugh. He and his wife were good people.
My Father passed away in May of 1986 and my Mother, whose name was Nelle died in June of 1992. I can't close without mentioning that I have this great photo of me, my Mother and Maryann Swing riding in a jeep in Japan. My parents were very fond of Maryann also.
Cleo M. Browne, Sarasota, Florida
NOTE: The General's Father-in-Law, Peyton
C. March, General, United States Army, is also buried in Arlington
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Joseph May Swing (0-3801), Major General, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding General, 11th Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces from 15 to 17 April 1945, at Luzon, Philippine Islands.
Major General Swing displayed superior tactical knowledge and inspiring leadership while personally leading repeated attacks against the strong Japanese defense position at Mt. Macolod, Batangas, Luzon.
He flew many dangerous flights in liaison airplanes at low altitudes over the heavily defended ridges in order to make a thorough estimate of the enemy positions and of the terrain.
Despite the protest of subordinates, he personally, and on foot, led tank destroyers forward through intense enemy machine-gun and mortar fire to place them in more advantageous positions, and directed their fire so effectively that the enemy-held ridge was taken without further delay. He then moved to the south flank where he found the front lines stalemated and weapons unmanned because of heavy enemy fire.
With heroic disregard for his personal safety, General Swing strode fearlessly between tanks and machine guns, calling upon his troops to man their weapons and attack. Inspired by his fearlessness and heroic action, the troops attacked, silenced the Japanese fire, and seized and held the main enemy positions.
Through his inspiring courage and valiant leadership, General Swing made a distinguished contribution to the liberation of the Philippine Islands. His gallant leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 11th Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, 1999
SWING, JOSEPHINE W W/O SWING, JOSEPH M
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 22 April 2004