Lawrence Harvey Williams – Major General, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Lawrence H. Williams, 76, a lawyer and Army officer who retired as a Major General and as the assistant judge advocate general of the Army, died of cancer May 17, 1999 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia.

General Williams served four years as the Army's assistant judge advocate general before retiring in 1979.

He began his Army career during World War II as a combat aviator, and he flew missions in North Africa, Italy and France.

He was deputy lead navigator for the 9th Troop Carrier Command and participated in the D-Day air drop of paratroopers inland from the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944.

General Williams, a resident of Arlington, was born in Salem, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Minnesota before the war, and he resumed his study there after the war, receiving a law degree in 1947.

General Williams received a doctorate in law at the University of Colorado and returned to military service in 1949.

He served in various capacities in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in Panama, Germany and Vietnam and as assistant chief of staff of an armored division in Germany.

General Williams graduated from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also served in England.

His military decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with Combat V and the Army Commendation Medal.

In retirement, he was a consultant to the American Bar Association.

General Williams was treasurer of the Army Distaff Foundation, first vice president of the National Association of Uniformed Services, trustee of the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association and commander of the General Leigh Wade chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars in

He was president of the Civil War Round Table of Washington and a member of Little Falls Presbyterian Church in Arlington.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Anderson Williams of Arlington; and a daughter, Susan Williams Knowles Saftel of Pikeville, Tenn.

General Williams volunteered for the Aviation Cadet Program in 1942 and was commissioned a navigator in 1943.  He served in North Africa, Italy, England and France, participating in 25 combat missions, including service as the Deputy Lead Navigator for the 9th Troop Carrier Command dropping paratroopers for the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

After leaving the Army in 1946, he completed his studies at the University of Minnesota and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado in 1948.

He was recalled to active duty in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 1948.  In 1975, General Williams was promoted to Major General and appointed The Assistant Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army, a position he held until his retirement in 1979.

General Williams was the Staff Judge Advocate for III Corps and Fort Hood, from 1967 to 1969.

During almost 10 years of service in what would become the Army’s Administrative Law Division, General Williams left a permanent mark on how military judge advocates practice administrative law. Policies and procedures he set in place more than 30 years ago continue in force today.

He retired after 31 years as a judge advocate, but continued to be a mentor to young and old. He was a legend among the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps’ post-World War II leaders.

Lawrence Harvey Williams

  • Born 20 May 1922
  • Died 17 May 1999
  • Residence: Arlington, Virginia
  • Section 30, Grave 42-1
  • Buried 26 May 1999


On Monday, May 17, 1999, of Arlington, VA; beloved husband of Margaret A. Williams; devoted father of Susan Williams Knowles Saftel. Services will be held at Fort Myer Chapel on Wednesday, May 26 at 9 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School, The Memorial Fund, 600 Massie Road, Charlottesville VA 22903-1781.

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