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John J. Tolson III was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. During the Vietnam War, he helped implement the airmobile concept use of helicopters in combat with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).[1][2] Tolson gives credit to the U.S Marines for first using helicopters to transport troops into combat in the Korean War, making the ground fight a three-dimensional war, thus freeing our troops from the tyranny of terrain.[3][4] Maj. Gen. Tolson took command of the division in April 1967 and served in that capacity till July 14, 1969. During his command his division played crucial roles during the Tet Offensive at the former Imperial capital at Hue and at Quang Tri City in January 1968. It also participated in the second biggest battle of the war: the relief of the Marine Khe Sanh Combat Base in March 1968 where all three brigades engaged the enemy, as well as the massive air assault into the A Shau Valley in April 1968 where the First and Third Brigades attacked the north end of the valley and leapfrogged south.[5][6]

John J. Tolson III
Born (1915-10-22)October 22, 1915
New Bern, North Carolina
Died December 2, 1991(1991-12-02) (aged 76)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1937-1973
Rank US-O9 insignia.svgLieutenant General
Commands held XVIII Airborne Corps, 1st Cavalry Division
Battles/wars World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross

In World War II John J. Tolson was a member of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Battalion and participated in every jump with that unit including the recapture of Corregidor in 1945.[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lt. Gen. John Tolson, Vietnam Studies: Airmobility 1961–1971. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office (1973).
  2. ^ Lambert, Bruce (6 December 1991). "Gen. John J. Tolson, 76, Dies; Pioneered Army's Helicopter Use". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Lt. Gen. John Tolson, Vietnam Studies: Airmobility 1961–1971. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office (1973): 4.
  4. ^ Robert C. Ankony, Lurps: A Ranger's Diary of Tet, Khe Sanh, A Shau, and Quang Tri, revised ed., Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Lanham, MD (2009):65.
  5. ^ Robert C. Ankony, Lurps: A Ranger's Diary of Tet, Khe Sanh, A Shau, and Quang Tri, revised ed., Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Lanham, MD (2009).
  6. ^ Roberts, E.B. Maj., Gen. The First Air Cavalry Division Vietnam: August 1965 to December 1969, Nippon Printing Co., Tokyo, Japan (1970).
  7. ^ Roberts, E.B. Maj., Gen. The First Air Cavalry Division Vietnam: August 1965 to December 1969, Nippon Printing Co., Tokyo, Japan (1970): 36.