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America's 
Most Decorated Military Heroes

Welborn Griffin Dolvin

Lieutenant General
U.S. Army

February 8, 1916 - May 17, 1991

Born: Siloam, Georgia
Appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from Georgia, and graduated, Class of 1939.

Branch: Armor

Combat Service: WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Awards:

Distinguished Service Cross (Korea), 4@ Army Distinguished Service Medals, Silver Star (WWII), 3@ Silver Stars (Korea), 2@ Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, 3@ Purple Hearts, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, American Defense Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Area Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross w/Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

 

Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the 89th Tank Battalion (Task Force DOLVIN), 25th Infantry Division. Lieutenant Colonel Dolvin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Changgo-ri, Korea, during the period 25 through 27 May 1951. On 25 May 1951, Colonel Dolvin led his task force several miles behind enemy lines with the mission of seizing a key terrain feature and holding the objective until additional friendly forces could link-up with the task force. Fighting their way past several strongly defended antitank positions and enemy roadblocks, the task force reached its objective before nightfall on 25 May 1951 and organized a tight defensive perimeter. During the next two days, Colonel Dolvin constantly exposed himself to enemy fire in personally directing the hit-and-run tactics of his unit, thereby successfully disrupting the enemy's defenses. Under the audacious and brilliant leadership of Colonel Dolvin, the task force Succeeded in capturing many prisoners, killing a large number of the enemy, and destroying a vast amount of enemy weapons and ammunition. The aggressive leadership of Colonel Dolvin resulted in the task force holding the objective until the main body of friendly troops could reach the area and the extraordinary heroism he displayed throughout the operation reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.

 

(First Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Major General, U.S. Army, for eminently meritorious service from August 1963 to September 1966, while serving in positions of great responsibility as the United States Program Manager and the United States Army Project Manager of the United States/Federal Republic of Germany Main Battle Tank Development Project, Headquarters, United States Army Materiel Command, Washington, D.C. In this dual role, General Dolvin displayed dynamic leadership in directing the United States/Federal Republic of Germany Main battle Tank-70 Program through the initial organizational and management phases, through the joint concept selection stage, and through the design cycle to its release for the pilot building of the weapons system. He contributed materially to the formulation of doctrine and design for the use of a weapons system that can survive on all terrains and in all atmospheric conditions. His achievements were of major importance to the long-range strategic and tactical planning of the armed forces and to the United States defense effort. Through his sound judgment and comprehensive guidance, he also played a foremost role in developing the mutual industrial productive capability in the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany which established the foundation to attract similar participation by other allied nations. His success in creating a viable international management model for other United States materiel programs insured the progress of the National economy program by providing a means to reduce costs in research and development, production, supply and maintenance for all countries concerned. General Dolvin's distinguished performance of duty and outstanding achievements throughout this period are in the finest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of his country.


(Second Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Major General, U.S. Army, for eminently meritorious service in consecutive positions of great responsibility as Commanding General, 3d Armored Division, and as Chief of Staff, Central Army Group, and Commanding General, United States Army Element, Central Army Group, from October 1966 to January 1970. Displaying outstanding qualities of leadership and determination, General Dolvin was responsible for making significant improvements in the preparedness of the 3d Armored Division during a demanding tour of duty. He introduced new concepts of training and testing which enhanced the realism and effectiveness of field and command post exercises, and achieved an outstanding state of combat readiness throughout the division despite the challenge of severe personnel turbulence. General Dolvin's thorough understanding of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) objectives was evident in the guidance and direction which he provided as the Chief of Staff, Central Army Group and Commanding General, United States Army Element, Central Army Group. Numerous plans and studies were developed under his supervision, and his skill, tact and diplomacy in presenting and negotiating those studies at high-level, multi-national conferences were instrumental in enabling Central Army Group to better perform its vital mission. He reorganized Central Army Group to enable the headquarters to more effectively direct the NATO forces under Central Army Group control, and reorganized United States Army Element, Central Army Group to insure maximum support and efficiency. In promoting the welfare of assigned personnel, in evaluating mission preparedness, and in the testing of NATO war contingency plans through participation in NATO exercises, General Dolvin brought to the command high standards and a strength of purpose which contributed greatly to the maintenance of the defenses of the free world. General Dolvin's distinguished performance of duty in especially challenging assignments has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects the highest credit on himself and the United States Army.


(Third Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, for outstandingly meritorious service to the Government in positions of great responsibility during the period March 1970 to March 1972. While serving as the Chief of Staff, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and as Commanding General XXIV Corps. As Chief of Staff, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, he was required to deal with rapidly changing mission priorities inherent in the Vietnamization of all combat activities. The formulation of solutions to unprecedented problems in the areas of force structure, logistical support, operational plans, and redeployment of United States forces were testimony to his leadership, innovation, sound judgment and selfless dedication to duty. The Vietnamization program required extensive efforts to improve the total capabilities of the Vietnamese Armed Forces at a time when the United States combat forces were being deployed from the Republic of Vietnam. Under his exceptional leadership and direction, these diverse programs were successfully achieved. As Commanding General, XXIV Corps, he drew upon his leadership and professional experience to enhance the military capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam I Corps while meeting both the United States and the Government of Vietnam pacification goals. He directed the military operations f the XXIV Corps combat force and ably allocated the forces so as to provide the best support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in Military Region I. In his role of Senior Advisor to the Commanding General, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, I Corps, he demonstrated an exceptionally high degree of leadership, technical competence, and diplomacy in the successful accomplishment of his assigned responsibilities. His keen insight, patience, and deep personal empathy with the Vietnamese people have immeasurably enhanced the Government of Vietnam's pacification program. He brought all available resources to bear in a highly effective and efficient manner to solve problems in the military and socio-economic areas. General Dolvin's outstanding achievements were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflected great credit on himself and the United States Army.

 


(Fourth Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, for exceptionally meritorious service in positions of high responsibility and trust from October 1966 to February 1975. During this period, which represents the capstone of an illustrious and distinguished military career, spanning more than 35 years of active service, Lieutenant General Dolvin epitomized the high traditions of the military profession and exemplified the best in leadership, achievement, perceptive management, and concern for his soldiers and fellow officers, serving successively as Commander, 3d Armored Division, United States Army, Europe; Chief of Staff, Central Army Group, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; in the Republic of Vietnam as Chief of Staff, and Commander, XXIV Corps; and in Japan as Commander, IX Corps and the United States Army, Japan. Lieutenant General Dolvin's ability, direction, and accomplishments were consistently recognized as outstanding, as was his ability to lead persuasively and to develop and inspire his subordinates. Throughout the period cited, and his entire career since graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1939, Lieutenant General Dolvin brought honor and distinction to the Army during a difficult and changing era in the Nation's history. He has indeed earned the admiration of all with whom he has associated and his achievements reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the military service.

 

(First Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against an armed enemy while serving with Headquarters, 191st Tank Battalion, 45th Infantry Division, in action against the enemy on 14 April 1945, near Albertshof, Germany. As an Infantry company, supported by tanks, advanced toward Albertshof, it was confronted with enemy anti-tank and flak gun fire. Colonel Dolvin made a personal reconnaissance over exposed terrain in order to deploy his tanks effectively against the opposition. Returning quickly, he leaped onto the lead tank and led his unit toward the anti-tank gun position, overrunning the enemy. Immediately turning his tanks toward the flak emplacement, he overran the position, killing the crew and enabling the coordinated strength of tanks and infantry to quickly move toward their objective. Colonel Dolvin's gallant performance removed a major obstacle to the advance of his organization and exemplifies the high traditions of the Army of the United States.


(Second Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving with the 89th Medium Tank Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, in action against an armed enemy near Chinju, Korea, during the period 25 September to 29 September 1950. On this date, Colonel Dolvin was placed in command of a task force consisting of a tank and infantry team with supporting service units and assigned the mission of crossing the Nam River in the vicinity of Chinju, Korea, and attacking along the axis of advance to Kunsan. On the morning of 25 September 1950, lead elements of the task force moved out and established contact with another task force which was attacking north toward Chinju. When reports indicated that a bridge was damaged, Colonel Dolvin made a personal reconnaissance to locate a crossing site for heavy equipment. He found a site and directed the crossing. He then led the task force in a rapid advance, repeatedly exposing himself to hostile fire to direct elimination of pockets of enemy resistance. By late in the day of 25 September the entire task force had completed the crossing of the Nam River. On the morning of 26 September 1950, Colonel Dolvin again led the task force in a rapid advance toward the primary objective, negotiating numerous enemy mine fields, strongpoints, and natural barriers. Relentlessly pursuing the retreating foe, the task force continued its advance on 27 September and 28 September 1950, capturing many prisoners and large amounts of enemy material. On 29 September 1950 the task force had successfully completed its mission, having covered one hundred and thirty-eight miles in four days. Throughout the period 25 September to 29 September 1950, Colonel Dolvin, although frequently subjected to hostile fire, remained with the lead elements of the task force by his courage, physical stamina, and leadership. The gallantry displayed by Colonel Dolvin reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.

 


(Third Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Commanding Officer of the 89th Medium Tank Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, in action against an armed enemy near Ipsok, Korea, from 26 to 27 November 1950. On 25 November Colonel Dolvin directed Task Force DOLVIN in an attack north of Ipsok and drove the enemy forces back some five thousand yards. During this attack, he maintained a tactical command post within five hundred yards of the leading elements, and was continually present with his forward units under direct enemy fire. On the night of 25 - 26 November, the enemy forces were heavily reinforced, and his Task Force became part of Task Force WILSON. Task Force WILSON consolidated positions captured with Task Force DOLVIN, but Colonel Dolvin continued to command the lead units of the combined Task Force. During the night of 26 - 27 November, Task Force WILSON was attacked by elements of the 39th Chinese Communist Army in overwhelming strength. The enemy attack was in sufficient strength to envelop Task Force WILSON and reached as far back as the artillery positions. Two enemy battalions attacked to the front, one battalion slashed at the vital Command Post area, and another battalion attacked the reserve battalion of Task Force WILSON some one thousand yards in the rear of the Command Post. Colonel Dolvin personally conducted the fighting against the front line and against the envelopment of the command Post throughout the night. He maneuvered his elements skillfully, encouraged them by personal example and finally stopped the attack against the Command Post at daylight , at which time it had reached within one hundred yards of the area. Shortly after daylight, Task Force WILSON was ordered to withdraw. In order to accomplish this withdrawal without undue loss of men and equipment, it was necessary for Colonel Dolvin to hold the forward positions for eight hours against heavy enemy pressure in order to sustain.

 


(Fourth Award)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star Medal to Welborn Griffin Dolvin (0-21980), Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while serving as Commanding Officer of the 89th Medium Tank Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, in action against an armed enemy from 6 to 11 February 1951. During that period, Lieutenant Colonel Dolvin's Task Force launched a series of determined assaults on strong hostile positions north of Anyang, Korea. On one occasion, when the advance was blocked by a mine field, he advanced through the obstacle, directed its neutralization and led the force forward to renew the attack. Although consistently exposed to heavy enemy fire, he remained with the attack elements and supervised the tactical deployment and fire of the force so effectively that the enemy were driven into a virtual rout. Lieutenant Colonel Dolvin's calm demeanor, aggressive spirit and unremitting devotion to duty were an inspiration to his men and are in keeping with the high traditions of the United States Army.

 

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