From a contemporary press report:
Harry A. Griffith, 78, an Army Lieutenant General who retired as Director of the Defense Nuclear Agency, died of lung and heart ailments, July 16, 2003, at Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax, Virginia.
General Griffith began his military career as an enlisted man during World War II and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after the war. He served in the Corps of Engineers and received a master's degree in civil engineering at California Institute of Technology. During the war in Vietnam, he commanded an engineering group.
He was district engineer in Mobile, Alabama, and oversaw construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Later, he was chief of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group in Korea.
On retiring from the Army in 1983, General Griffith was senior vice president of Brown & Root International, where he directed the company's Washington office. This included providing logistical support for U.S. forces in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda and Somalia.
A resident of McLean, General Griffith had lived in this area on and off since the early 1960s. He was born and raised in Boonton, New Jersey.
He was president of the West Point Society of the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1986.
He was a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, St. John's Catholic Church in McLean, and a volunteer with So Others Might Eat.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Ann Griffith of McLean; six children; and 17 grandchildren.
GRIFFITH, HARRY A.
On Wednesday, July 16, 2003. Faithful husband of 47 years, dedicated soldier of 36 years, loving father of six, and grandfather of 17.
Mass of Christian Burial to be held on Monday, July 21, at 1 p.m. at St. John's Catholic Church, 6420 Linway Terrace, McLean, Virginia, followed by interment with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at 3 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimers Association NCA, 11240 Waples Mill Rd., Suite 402, Fairfax, Virginia 22030.
2000 Castle Memorial Award is presented to
Lieutenant General Harry Augustus Griffith, USA (Retired) USMA Class of 1949
The 2000 Castle Memorial Award is presented to Lieutenant General Harry Augustus Griffith for his exemplary service to the Nation, West Point, the West Point Society of the District of Columbia and to the Class of 1949. Lieutenant General Griffith has exemplified the motto “Duty, Honor, Country” through distinguished and selfless service throughout his active duty and subsequent civilian career and retirement.
Beginning with his selection to be First Captain and Brigade Commander of the Corps of Cadets, he has always been looked at by his classmates as the true leader of the Class of 1949. He started his Army career in the Corps of Engineers, and one of his first combat assignments was to destroy large supplies of munitions endangered by the Chinese Army offensive in Korea. During more than thirty-four years of active service, he progressed through command and management of a broad range of challenging Army Engineer activities. He served as Director, Defense Nuclear Agency; Chief of the U.S. Military Assistance Group in Korea; and manager of key technical programs in the Advanced Research Projects Agency. LTG Griffith’s inspirational supervision of the leadership at the Topographic Engineering Center resulted in awards for the most improved and best Army laboratory. Its scientists and engineers had significant impact on the successful outcome of Operation Desert Storm, and the Cold War.
After retirement, LTG Griffith continued his contributions to the nation, to West Point and to its graduates. In his position as a vice president of Brown and Root, he pioneered a Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program. Under his guidance, the company provided logistic support for U.S. forces in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda and Somalia in U. S. peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. He also extended the civilian logistic support concept to the United Kingdom with the assumption by Brown and Root of maintenance for the British Navy.
As President of the West Point Society of the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1986, LTG Griffith inaugurated a number of important programs. One of these enabled graduates entering civilian life to find challenging and rewarding civilian positions. This program contributes to our civilian society the professional training and talents of West Point graduates. Also during his presidency, he started the publication of the Directory of Society members which has become valuable as a networking tool and as a vehicle for employment opportunities.
When he became Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Association of Graduates, serving from 1997 to 1999, LTG Griffith continued to innovate, resulting in a major new direction for the AOG. Working closely with the Chairman of the Board, he succeeded in restructuring the Association and redefining its role for the 21st century. He also provided invaluable technical expertise in guiding the AOG in its development of engineering specifications for the state-of-the-art Lichtenberg Tennis Center. Results of these and other initiatives include significant expansion of information services to graduates via the Internet, a major growth of fund raising activities, and greater involvement of alumni in recruiting outstanding candidates for admission to West Point. His dynamic leadership in these efforts has significantly strengthened the support that the AOG gives to USMA.
In addition to his many higher visibility contributions to West Point and the nation, LTG Griffith has worked diligently in education and in support of food programs for the disadvantaged. He has tutored disadvantaged high school students for many years and continues to prepare food each week for the So Others May Eat program (SOME).
Throughout his career, LTG Griffith continued to play a major role in class activities. In 1994, after the class 50th Reunion Gift Committee had selected its gifts to its alma mater, he led the effort to raise one million dollars from the class. Under his inspirational leadership, his team raised $1.5 million for the Class of 1949 Lodge. Additionally, when the class was preparing for its 50th reunion, it turned to him to chair the Reunion Committee. His proven leadership and the full confidence of his classmates made him a unanimous choice.
In recognition of his long and distinguished service and his many accomplishments after retirement, while displaying outstanding qualities of character, distinguished service, and stature which clearly symbolize the highest ideals of West Point, the West Point Society of the District of Columbia is pleased to honor Lieutenant General Harry Augustus Griffith, USA (Ret), USMA Class of 1949, with the 2000 Castle Memorial Award.
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.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard