Donald Harry Cowles – Lieutenant General, United States Army

From a contemporary press report

Donald Harry Cowles, 71, a retired Lieutenant General who was a veteran of World War II and the Vietnam War and who left active duty in 1975 as the Army's deputy Chief of Staff  for Operations and Plans, died February 4, 1989 at Alexandria Hospital, Virginia. He had cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

General Cowles, a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, who had lived in this area since 1954, was a native of Westfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts and received a master's degree in forestry from Yale University before being called to active duty in March 1942.

During World War II, he served in a reconnaissance battalion of the 4th Armored Division in Europe. He participated in the Normandy breakout and later was in one of the first tanks to arrive for the famed relief of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, General Cowles studied and taught at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas., served with the U.S. Constabulary during the occupation of Germany and held staff and command posts here and abroad.

He graduated from the Army War College and the Army Command and Staff College in the 1950s.

In 1961, he took command of the armored cavalry regiment at Fort Meade and took it to West Germany, deploying it as part of the buildup during the Berlin crisis. From 1965 to 1968, he served in the offices of the Army Chief of Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as the military assistant to the assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. He then commanded an armored division in Europe, where he also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for personnel of the Seventh Army.

From 1970 to 1972, General Cowles held staff posts in Vietnam, becoming headquarters Chief of Staff of the Military Assistance Command there. In that post, he helped direct the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam.

He received his third star in October 1972 and was named an Army Deputy Chief of Staff. After leaving active duty, he joined the BDM Corp., now a division of the Ford Motor Company, in McLean. He retired from that company as a vice president in 1984.

His military decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, three awards of the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Joint Service Commendation medals and three Army Commendation medals.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, the former Lois Rogers Macomber, and a daughter, Constance C. Bertron, both of Alexandria; a son, Donald T., of Richmond; a brother, Richard, of Westfield, Mass., and 3 grandchildren. WWII, Korea, Vietnam.

General Cowles was buried with full military honors in Section 7-A of Arlington National Cemetery.




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