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Keith Lincoln Ware

Date of birth: November 23, 1915
Date of death: September 13, 1968
Burial location: Arlington, Virginia
Place of Birth: Colorado, Denver
Home of record: Glendale California
Status: KIA

Drafted in 1941, following an O.C.S. commission Keith Ware earned the Medal of Honor and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel In World War II. Continuing in service after the war, he was one of the few draftees in history to rise to General Officer rank. As a Major General in command of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam, General Ware was lost in action in Cambodia after his helicopter was shot down on September 13, 1968. He was the first U.S. Army General Officer to die in that war and the ONLY Medal of Honor Recipient since World War I to be killed in action in a war subsequent to that in which they received their award.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Colonel Keith Lincoln Ware (ASN: 0-33181), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Commanding the 1st Battalion attacking a strongly held enemy position on a hill near Sigolsheim, France, on 26 December 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Ware found that one of his assault companies had been stopped and forced to dig in by a concentration of enemy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire. The company had suffered casualties in attempting to take the hill. Realizing that his men must be inspired to new courage, Lieutenant Colonel Ware went forward 150 yards beyond the most forward elements of his command, and for two hours reconnoitered the enemy positions, deliberately drawing fire upon himself which caused the enemy to disclose his dispositions. Returning to his company, he armed himself with an automatic rifle and boldly advanced upon the enemy, followed by two officers, nine enlisted men, and a tank. Approaching an enemy machinegun, Lieutenant Colonel Ware shot two German riflemen and fired tracers into the emplacement, indicating its position to his tank, which promptly knocked the gun out of action. Lieutenant Colonel Ware turned his attention to a second machinegun, killing two of its supporting riflemen and forcing the others to surrender. The tank destroyed the gun. Having expended the ammunition for the automatic rifle, Lieutenant Colonel Ware took up an M-1 rifle, killed a German rifleman, and fired upon a third machinegun 50 yards away. His tank silenced the gun. Upon his approach to a fourth machinegun, its supporting riflemen surrendered and his tank disposed of the gun. During this action Lieutenant Colonel Ware's small assault group was fully engaged in attacking enemy positions that were not receiving his direct and personal attention. Five of his party of 11 were casualties and Lieutenant Colonel Ware was wounded but refused medical attention until this important hill position was cleared of the enemy and securely occupied by his command.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 47, June 18, 1945

Action Date: 26-Dec-44

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 15th Infantry Regiment

Division: 3d Infantry Division

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Major General Keith Lincoln Ware (ASN: 0-33181), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division. Major General Ware distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 12 and 13 September 1968 as the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division during an operation in the vicinity of Loc Ninh. Elements of the division became heavily engaged with a reinforced North Vietnamese regiment. Although he knew the enemy was utilizing anti-aircraft weapons in the area, General Ware repeatedly directed his helicopter commander to fly at a minimum altitude so he could more effectively direct and coordinate his infantry units' fierce fight. On numerous occasions his ship received fire from the communists' anti-aircraft emplacements, but General Ware continued his low level flights, which gave him maximum control of his troops and the best observation of the North Vietnamese deployment. He was killed when the enemy fusillade directed at his craft hit the ship, causing it to crash and burn. General Ware's personal courage and leadership inspired his beleaguered men to ultimately gain a total victory over the aggressors. Major General Ware's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 4958 (October 25, 1968)

Action Date: September 12 & 13, 1968

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Headquarters and Headquarters Company

Division: 1st Infantry Division

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General Keith Lincoln Ware (ASN: 0-33181), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, during the period from September 1964 to November 1967.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 3 (January 23, 1968)

Action Date: September 1964 - November 1967

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal (Posthumously) to Major General Keith Lincoln Ware (ASN: 0-33181), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, during the period from November 1967 through September 1968.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 8 (February 4, 1969)

Action Date: November 1967 - September 1968

Service: Army

Rank: Major General