General Frederick C. Weyand (Ret),
American Patriot, dies at 93
receives a promotion from Gen. W.C. Westmoreland 1967
"General Weyand was Division Commander when
I got to the 25th Infantry in 1963, and he trained us up
and led us in the deployment to Vietnam in 1966.
I got to know him very well when I co-chaired
the fundraising committee for the
of which he was a strong supporter.
A powerful leader, but a kind, humble and gentle man."
military career that spanned three wars and included commissions as
commander of U.S.
Army forces in the Pacific
and Army Chief of
Staff, retired Gen. Frederick C. Weyand distinguished
himself as a clear-eyed, no-nonsense leader
unconcerned with shifting political landscapes and the fickle tides of
Friends and family remember Weyand, who died Wednesday night at his Kahala
Nui retirement residence at the
age of 93, as a humble, loyal husband and father who enjoyed golfing,
playing the saxophone and cracking jokes
— usually at his own expense — almost as much as he did devoting his time
to community service.
"Fred was in a class by himself as a patriot, hero and loving family man,"
said longtime friend and fellow
Rotary Club member
Ed Carter. "He was dedicated to his country and his family.
And even though he was the most powerful soldier in the world,
he never lost his sense of humor and humility or his loyalty to the men
and women under his command."
Weyand's eldest daughter, Carolyn Harley, called her father "the most
loving, funny, fabulous father anyone could ask for.
"He had tremendous integrity and he was extremely honest," she said. "He
was like that in the military, but he was also
that way at home. He had no pretension. I felt I could talk to him about
anything and he would give his opinion, which was
almost always the wisest opinion."
Weyand grew up in tiny Arbuckle, Calif., and graduated
University of California-Berkeley
The irony of having graduated from a school now known for its liberal
leanings wasn't lost on the conservative Weyand,
who once quipped to Carter that he "wouldn't go back to that campus in a
In 1940, the same year he married the former Arline Langhart, Weyand was
assigned to active duty with the 6th
Artillery. After graduating from the
Command and General Staff College
at Fort Leavenworth,
Kan., he served in various
leadership posts in the Office of the Chief of Intelligence for the
General Staff and the
World War II,
Weyand served as chief of staff for intelligence for Army forces in the
middle Pacific. After
graduating from the U.S. Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1950, he
assumed command of the 1st Battalion,
7th Infantry Regiment, and served as
assistant chief of staff of the
3rd Infantry Division
during the Korean War.
After the war, Weyand served in numerous leadership posts and graduated
from the Army
War College in 1958.
best known for his service during the
Vietnam War. He served as commander
of the 25th Infantry
stationed in Hawaii, from 1964 to 1967 before being named commander of the
force responsible for the 11 provinces
Drawing on his intelligence background, Weyand was one of the first in the
upper echelons of the
U.S. military to
recognize the difficulty of operations in Vietnam and one of the first to
express significant doubt about the prospects
for American success in the conflict.
following the death of Gen.
William Westmoreland, commander of
operations in Vietnam, it
was revealed that Weyand was the unnamed source in a high-profile New York
Times article published in 1967 that
contributed to a change in public perception about the war.
In the article, Weyand, identified only as "a senior American general"
remarked: "I've destroyed a single division three
times. I've chased main-force units all over the country and the impact
was zilch. It meant nothing to the people.
Unless a more positive and more stirring theme than simple anti-communism
can be found, the war appears likely
to go on until someone gets tired and quits, which could take
The assessment, which eventually proved prescient, reportedly enraged
and other leaders.
those who knew Weyand say his willingness to express his honest assessment
was consistent with his character.
"As a young officer, I didn't have access to whatever discussions he had
with other commanders, but I knew he
was always concerned about the mission," said retired Army Gen. David
Bramlett. "As I got older, I realized more
about what he did. He always kept an eye on what should be done. He had a
basic sense of responsibility.
"Would he have equivocated because his position was unpopular? No. He
would tell his bosses what he thought
very candidly. But he would also follow whatever the orders were."
Weyand's strategic acumen was key in the infamous
At Weyand's urging, U.S. forces were redeployed from the Cambodian border
closer to Saigon. While the offensive
is popularly viewed as a political and public relations turning point in
favor of the North Vietnamese, historians note
that the additional forces allowed the U.S. to repel the North Vietnamese
assault and inflict such heavy casualties
among Viet Cong
guerrillas that it crippled them as a
The following year, Weyand was named military adviser to Ambassador
Henry Cabot Lodge
at the Paris Peace Talks.
After posts with the
Military Assistance Command, he was
named Army chief of staff and oversaw the withdrawal
of U.S. forces from Vietnam.
Bramlett said his lasting impression of Weyand is of a natural leader
whose very presence put those under his
command at ease.
presence , his bearing, gave you the confidence that everything was going
to be OK," Bramlett said. "After Vietnam,
when the draft was discontinued and the Army was trying to put itself back
together, he reassured us that everything
was going to work out. He was a warm, caring man who had a special concern
for soldiers and their families."
retired from the military in 1976 after serving as commander of
U.S. Army forces
in the Pacific and Army
chief of staff.
He proved to be as active in retirement as he was during his distinguished
military career. He took a position as
a vice president and corporate secretary for First Hawaiian Bank.
"At his first meeting," Carter, Weyand's longtime friend, recalled, "he
said that he had discovered that his duty was
to make sure each director had a pad of paper and a pencil.
"That was who he was. He had been the highest-ranking soldier in the Army
but he always kept a sense
of humor about himself."
would go on to serve as a trustee of the now-dissolved Damon Estate. He
also held positions with
a host of local community organizations , including the Rotary Club, for
whom he served one term as president.
Weyand's wife, Arline, died after a long illness. He later married
longtime friend Mary Foster.
"He was a remarkable soldier and leader as well as one of the great
contributors to our Hawaii community,"
said Bill Paty, a longtime friend and fellow World War II veteran. "He
just had solid, good common sense and
he was a master of self-deprecation.
no-nonsense. He wasn't afraid to say 'this is how it is.' He wasn't there
to pat anybody on the back
or get somebody to put him on a committee. ... He was just a great, great
Weyand is survived by daughters, Carolyn Harley and
son, Robert; wife Mary; stepdaughters,
Laurie Foster and Whitney White; stepsons, Dow Foster and
and 10 grandchildren.
Article reprinted from the Honolulu Advertiser
General Frederick C. Weyand
Lieutenent General Weyand
as Commander of II Field Force