Paul Francis Oswald – Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

PAUL FRANCIS OSWALD (Age 89), a retired U.S. Army Colonel, died December 17, 2002 at his home in Southern Shores, North Carolina.

Colonel Oswald was born November 11, 1913, in Delaware City, Delaware. In 1927, his family settled in San Antonio, Texas, from where he gained an at-large appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.

Following his graduation in 1936, he served with artillery units in Maryland, Panama and Florida, before joining the 17th Airborne Division. During World War II, he served as the Commanding Officer of the 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, which was cited for extraordinary heroism in action during Operation Varsity, an air assault conducted using gliders to cross the Rhine River in Germany. As a result of their bravery, his artillery battalion was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. Oswald later declared “these troops were the very best that he had the fortune and privilege to command.”

Colonel Oswald was subsequently transferred to the 101st Airborne Division (CO321st) and later to the 82nd Airborne Division (CO319th) as the Division Artillery Executive Officer. In 1948, Oswald moved to Japan and became Chief of Staff of the 11th Airborne Division and later the Deputy Chief of Staff and G-4 of the 7th Infantry Division. With the outbreak of the Korean War, he participated in the amphibious landing at Inchon, the drive to the Yalu River and the withdrawal of allied forces to the partition line.

Colonel Oswald's other assignments were on the Army General Staff, Joint Staff and the Officer of the Secretary of Defense. Oswald earned a BS from the uNited States Military Academy, an MA from George Washington University and was a graduate of both the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College.

Colonel Oswald's decorations included the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with 2 oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star with oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Germany and Japan), National Defense Service Medal, Glider Badge, Combat Parachutist Badge with Star, three campaigns stars for Europe and five campaign star for Korea, United Nations Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea/Presidential Unit Citation.

Following retirement from the Army in 1965, Oswald worked for the U.S. Department of Labor for thirteen years helping to establish the Job Corps Program for disadvantaged youths. He retired again in 1978, to his home in Southern Shores, North Carolina.

Colonel Oswald was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kitty Hawk and a past president and treasurer of the Southern Shores Civic Association. He developed the beach access ways programs and was involved in long-range planning for Southern Shores.

Survivors include his wife, Lillian H. Oswald of Southern Shores; his brother, Louis Alfred Oswald of San Antonio, Texas; his sister, Marguerite Mumford of Harlingen, Texas; four children, Harriet O'Connor of Silver Spring, Maryland, John Oswald of Tampa, Florida, Margo Vandiver of Smithfield, Virginia and Michael Willliams of Alexandria, Virginia; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass was held at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on Friday, December 20, 2002.

A graveside service will Full Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, January 13, 2003 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Military Officers Association of America Scholarship Fund (, American Patriot Scholarship, Dept. 889, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-0889.

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