Born on September 12, 1893, he joined the Indiana National Guard in 1916 and served along the Mexican Border.
He was commissioned a Captain in the Regular Army in 1920. He lost the vision in his left eye in a Polo accident. He served in the Army for more than 62 years and was the only four-star general in Army history to reach that rank without ever having served in a combat role.
He served as Director of the Selective Service System during the Vietnam War and, as such, became the focal point for many who opposed that war. He was subsequently removed from that position by President Richard Nixon who then named him to be a presidential advisor and promoted him to full General.
He refused to retire on his own and the Army involuntarily retired him in April 1973. he died on May 5, 1977 and was buried in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery.
His wife, Elln Dygert Hershey (September 7, 1892-April 1, 1977) is buried with him. Her stone reads:
“Beloved wife for 60 years.
Adviser and counselor for 70 years.”
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