Herbert B. Powell

Herbert Butler Powell (July 13, 1903 – April 3, 1998) was a United States Army general and diplomat. He served as Commanding General of the United States Continental Army Command, and was later United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

Herbert B. Powell
Herbert B Powell.jpg
Major General Herbert B. Powell c. 1956
Born(1903-07-13)July 13, 1903
Monmouth, Oregon
DiedApril 3, 1998(1998-04-03) (aged 94)
Williamsburg, Virginia
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1919–1963
Commands heldUnited States Continental Army Command
Third United States Army
United States Army Pacific
25th Infantry Division
17th Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (3)
Purple Heart
Air Medal
Other workUnited States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa (1963–67)

Early life and careerEdit

Powell was born in Monmouth, Oregon on July 13, 1903.[1] He joined the Oregon National Guard as a private in 1919, rising to the rank of sergeant.[1] He received his commission in 1927 after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism.

During World War II, Powell was chief of staff of the 75th Infantry Division, fighting in Europe.[1] In the Korean War, Powell commanded the only American regiment, the 17th Infantry, to reach the Yalu River. Powell later commanded the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, where he was known as the "Soldier's General." He briefly commanded the United States Army Pacific for three months, from April to July 1956, as an interim commander for General Blackshear M. Bryan. He later received promotions to lieutenant general and general. Subsequent commands included Commanding General for the Third United States Army in Fort McPherson, Georgia, and Commanding General of the United States Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Other significant duties for Powell were Commandant of the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Deputy Commanding General for Reserve Forces at Fort Monroe. After his retirement in 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed him the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, a post he filled from 1963 to 1967. He died on 3 April 1998 in a nursing home in Williamsburg, Virginia.[2]

Awards and decorationsEdit

Powell's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal. He was also a qualified army aviator.[1] Powell was inducted posthumously into the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication Hall of Achievement on October 14, 2004.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Arlingtoncemetery.net entry
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Powell
  3. ^ "Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Careers". Archived from the original on 2006-09-13. Retrieved 2007-08-07.

  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "[1]".

Military offices
Preceded by
Robert F. Sink
Commanding General of the Third United States Army
Succeeded by
Thomas J. H. Trapnell
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anthony B. Akers
United States Ambassador to New Zealand
Succeeded by
John F. Henning
United States Ambassador to Samoa