Zais Melvin

Publié le par Mémoires de Guerre

Melvin Zais (May 8, 1916 – May 7, 1981) was a United States Army general who served in the Second World War and Vietnam War. 

Zais Melvin

Military career

Zais attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 1937 he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve. In 1940 he was a member of the original Parachute battalion later the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. During World War II, Zais was the commander of the 3rd Battalion and, later, executive officer of the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, fighting in Italy, in southern France, and in the Battle of the Bulge.

Zais attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and was also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, and the National War College. He was promoted to brigadier general on June 1, 1964; major general on May 1, 1967; and lieutenant general on August 1, 1969. He was named Commanding General, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe, Izmir, Turkey, effective August 1973 following his promotion to general on July 13 the month prior.

Zais' assignments included Commander, 1st Infantry Division, United States Army, Vietnam, 1966; Director of Individual Training, Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1966–68, during this time he led the army liaison team responsible for the involvement of Federal troops in suppressing the April 1968 Baltimore riot ; 320–2 Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (then designated as Airmobile), Vietnam, 1968–69. He led the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of Hamburger Hill against the People's Army of Vietnam. He then became the Commanding General, XXIV Corps, Vietnam, 1969–70.

After returning from Vietnam, Zais served Director for Operations, J-3, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., 1970–72 and as Commanding General, Third United States Army from 1972 to 1973. On August 1, 1973 Zais was promoted to the rank of four-star general and appointed as Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe. He held the position until his retirement on May 31, 1976. Zais died on May 5, 1981 in Beaufort, South Carolina. 

Awards and decorations

  • Combat Infantryman Badge
  • Basic Army Aviator Badge
  • Master Combat Parachutist Badge with one bronze jump star
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
  • Army Staff Identification Badge
  • Vietnam Master Parachutist Badge
  • 101st Airborne Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
  • 9 Overseas Service Bars
  • Army Distinguished Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
  • Bronze oak leaf cluster
  • Silver Star with oak leaf cluster
  • Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
  • Bronze oak leaf cluster
  • Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Purple Heart
  • Air Medal with Valor device and bronze award numeral 26
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • Bronze oak leaf cluster
  • Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
  • Bronze star
  • American Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four service stars
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Bronze star
  • National Defense Service Medal with service star
  • Vietnam Service Medal with seven service stars
  • National Order of Vietnam, Grand Officer
  • National Order of Vietnam, Officer
  • Unidentified ribbon
  • Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 1st class
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm
  • Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, 1st class
  • Vietnam Civil Actions Medal, 1st class
  • Unidentified ribbon
  • Unidentified ribbon
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
  • Vietnam Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal

Publié dans Militaires

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