BG Harrison Shaler
United States Army • No. 6072 • Class of November 1918
Died November 18, 1976, in Laguna Hills, California, at the age of 78
Harrison Shaler was born on February 17, 1898, in Washington, DC. His father was General Charles Shaler, Class of 1867, a Civil War veteran. Harrison entered West Point in June 1916 and, because of World War I, graduated in November 1918.
He was ordered on a tour of the battlefields in Europe, followed by duty in Germany and later to Warsaw, convoying a trainload of equipment and supplies to the Polish Typhus Relief Expedition. This was followed by courses at the Field Artillery School, the Ordnance School at Watertown Arsenal, a two-year course, plus one year of study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During this time he had transferred to the Ordnance Corps.
He became an expert in the design, manufacture, storage, and issue of ammunition. By 1942 he attained the rank of Colonel and participated with General Patton’s Western Task Force in North Africa. He also served in Italy and became Assistant Deputy High Commissioner in Austria at the end of the war.
Upon return to the United States, he was successively the head of the Ordnance Board, which developed the doctrine, organization and equipment of the Ordnance Corps; Chief of Personnel and Training in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, where he received his brigadier general’s star; and commander of the Red River Arsenal, Texas. His last assignment before retirement was in Japan as Ordnance Officer of the American Forces, Far East.
When he retired in 1954 his decorations included the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and several foreign decorations. In 1956 he began a new career as Army advisor to the Aerojet-General Corporation of Azusa, California, from which he retired in 1965.
He is buried in his father's gravesite as is his wife, Dorothy Williams Shaler, 1899-1978.
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