George Anthony Bicher, Jr.
Born February 1, 1929 – Died April 24, 2008
George Anthony Bicher, Jr. was born in the Philippine Islands on 1 February 1929 and was a Presidential appointee to West Point. His roommates recall: “Suppressing natural Brown Boy inclinations, George spent most of his free time mucking with the iron pills or working his way up on the handball ladder. These desires were second only to his ambition to get down to the city on weekends. As he dreamed of ‘stand up and hook up' long before June rolled around, he is one hive glad to put his slapstick aside for a pair of trooper's boots”.
During his cadet days, George was with the Weight Lifting Club; went out for Lacrosse and Special Programs; was a Catholic Acolyte; with the Handball and Russian Clubs; on the Engineer Football Team; and was a Cadet Sergeant his first class year. Upon graduation, George went in the Corps of Engineers and reported to the 16th Armored Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division. His second assignment was as Company Commander with the 194th Engineer Combat Battalion in Korea from 1952 to 1953 where he earned the Bronze Star Medal for distinguished heroism against an enemy. After Korea, he served with the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 82d Airborne Division. He then served with the United States Engineer District, Baltimore from 1954 to 1955. He next obtained a Master of Science degree from the MIT in 1956 and followed that with a postgraduate degree in nuclear engineering from the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology in 1957, George was then assigned to the Army Reactors Program at the US AEC. From 1960 to 1963, George served on the staff and faculty of the U.S. Army Engineer School, Europe. In 1964, George attended the C&GSC, Fort Leavenworth, KS and after that served once again with the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 82d Airborne Division until 1965. George was then assigned as Battalion Commander of the 538th Engineer Construction Battalion and deployed the battalion from Fort Knox to Thai-land for service during 1965 and 1966. He was awarded the Commendation Medal or distinguished service. His next assignment was to Headquarters, U.S. Strike Command in Tampa, Florida from 1966 to 1967. In 1967, George received orders to MACV where he served as a Senior Province Advisor and was decorated with the Legion of merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services.
He was also awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement beyond that normally expected, while participating in aerial flight, the Combat Infantryman Badge; and several Vietnamese awards for gallantry and meritorious service. In 1968, George went to the Office Assistant Chief of Staff, Force Development on the Army General Staff at the Pentagon and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for conspicuously meritorious performance of duty in a non-combat situation. In 1970, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and obtained an MBA from GWU. George's next assignment was to J-5, Office, Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1972 to 1974 and was awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal. Next, he was named Commanding Officer of the 35th Engineer Group, 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NC. from 1972 to 1974 and was awarded a second Meritorious Service Medal for conspicuously meritorious performance of duty. From 1974 to 1977, George joined the Office, Chief of Staff US Army and was awarded a second Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services. George's last military assignment was as District Engineer, Huntington, WV from 1977 to 1979 and was awarded a third Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services. George retired in 1979 from the United States Army as a Colonel. On retirement, George was named Vice President of Chas T. Main in Boston and in 1981 was promoted to Ex-VP. In 1985, he was named Senior VP, Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. in Boston and promoted to President in 1989. While serving as president of Metcalf and Eddy, Inc., George also served as a member of the US Construction Industry Presidents Forum. George retired a second time in 1994. George and his wife Nadine make their principal home in Boston, MA. The November 1997 Assembly noted, “George and Nadine Bicher report from Boston they enjoy their leisure time with lots of travel. They spent two months in Paris while George studied French last fall after the 45th reunion and plan to do the same this year after a trip to East Africa.” During the fall, George and Nadine lived in Paris, France and during the winter in Rancho Mirage, California.
George Anthony Bicher, Sr. is Class of 1924.
He last wrote the class, “What a treat to have election day as MY DAY! I decided to put a few words together while we are still in suspense. If we only do this every four years, then election day is okay for me.
Many who have written before me have said that it is hard to believe that 1951 was so long ago but the memories are still so strong. I remain ever proud to be a member of the Class. I will not recount the military service. It was great and is detailed year by year in the Register of Grads year book. What is not written there are the many times that I would see one or more of you overseas – Korea, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam – , on a post in the States, on an exercise, at the Pentagon, in a school, at a reunion, and in retirement too. That has been a continuing pleasure. I did retire in 1978 from the Army to take an opportunity in the Engineering business in Boston that I could not refuse. I retired again, this time from Metcalf & Eddy, in Boston, some 16 years after that.
Nadine, who has been my loving partner for the past 20 years, retired at the same time from her career as a university French professor. She reminded me that I had promised years ago that we would spend some of our time in France after we retired. As a result, we live life now in thirds – 1/3 in an apartment in Paris, 1/3 in Boston – we just cannot seem to leave – and, 1/3 in the Palm Springs, California, area in the winter since it is just too cold in Boston. We travel often and I have been going to school in Paris on and off for the past 10 years studying French. I guess it helps to keep the brain stimulated and, besides, someone has to keep an eye on the French. I would probably be a lot better if I had started off with French at West Point but I was one of those who got detailed into Russian, which has been forgotten long ago.
Our children, two from Nadine and two from me are spread all over. So far, just 3 grandchildren, from my side.
Enough flat space. Time to Drive On!”
Courtesy of Jose A. “Andy” Chacon on April 25, 2008:
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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