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Robert Wesley Colglazier, Jr.
Born (1904-10-18)October 18, 1904
Died January 23, 1993(1993-01-23) (aged 88)
Place of birth St. Louis, Missouri
Place of death San Antonio, Texas
Place of burial Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1925-1966
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held U.S. Army Europe Communications Zone
Fourth United States Army
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Order of the British Empire
French Legion of Honor
French Croix de Guerre
Other work President, Colglazier Construction Company,
Councilman-At-Large, Texas A&M University Association of Former Students

Robert Wesley Colglazier, Jr. (1904–1993) was a United States Army Lieutenant General. He was prominent as the highest-ranking member of the Army Reserve on duty with the Regular Army in the 1960s, and as commander of the Fourth United States Army. In the 1950s and 1960s Colglazier was recognized as one of the military's foremost experts on logistics management.[1]

Early life

Colglazier graduated from Texas A&M University in 1925 with a degree in civil engineering, and began employment with his family's construction company, San Antonio's Colglazier Construction Company.[2][3]

During the Great Depression Colglazier worked as director of the operations division for the Works Progress Administration in Texas.[4]

Start of military career

Colglazier received a commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduating from college, and began a career in the Army Reserve.[5][6]

World War II

In 1941 Colglazier was called to active duty for World War II. After returning to active duty as a Captain, he played a key role in the planning and organization for construction of the Pentagon.[7][8]

He attained the rank of Colonel while carrying out engineer staff officer assignments in Northern Ireland, England, North Africa Italy and France. From 1942 to 1943 Colglazier was an engineer plans officer for the Mediterranean Base Section.[9]

Post World War II

After the war Colglazier returned to San Antonio as President of the family business, now reorganized as Colglazier McKennon Construction, while also continuing to serve with the Army Reserve.[10]

Korean War

In 1951 Colglazier was recalled to active duty for the Korean War. His assignments included several positions in the office of the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, G4, where he coordinated the flow of supplies and equipment into South Korea and was recognized for his expertise in the field of military logistics management.[11][12][13]

Post Korean War

After the Korean War Colgaizer was assigned as commander of U.S. Army Europe’s Communications Zone, serving from 1956 to 1957.[14][15]

From 1957 to 1959 Colgaizer was the Army's Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics.[16]

In 1959 he was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, receiving promotion to Lieutenant General and serving until 1964. At the time of his promotion Colgaizer was the highest ranking reservist serving on active duty. During this assignment Colglazier oversaw modernization of weapons and vehicles and an increase in procurement as the Army's effort in Vietnam increased.[17][18][19][20][21]

Vietnam War

From 1964 to 1966 Colglazier commanded the Fourth Army in San Antonio.[22][23][24] During his command he was dispatched to Louisiana by President Lyndon Johnson to coordinate disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Betsy.[25][26]

During his command Colgaizer also generated headlines when he reduced the sentence of Private First Class Winstel R. Belton, who had gone on a hunger strike to protest orders to report to Vietnam. Belton was originally sentenced to five years imprisonment, but Colglazier reduced the penalty to a one year suspended sentence, provided that Belton report to Vietnam, which he did.[27][28][29][30]

Awards

His personal decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Order of the British Empire, French Legion of Honor and French Croix de Guerre.[31][32][33]

Military retirement and later career

Colglazier retired from the Army in 1966. In retirement he remained active with Texas A&M, serving as councilman-at-large for the Association of Former Students. He was named a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus in 1971.[34] In 1997 he was inducted to the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor.[35]

Death and burial

Colglazier resided in San Antonio and died there on January 23, 1993.[36][37] He was buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Section AI, Plot 644.[38]

External Resources

References

  1. Newspaper article, Leaves Army, Reading Eagle, January 15, 1966
  2. Army Reserve Magazine, published by US Army Reserve, Volume 12, 1966
  3. Keepers of the spirit: the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University, 1876-2001, by John A. Adams, 2001, page 315
  4. Engineering News-Record, published by McGraw-Hill, Volume 126, Part 2, 1941, page 114
  5. Army and Navy Journal, 1936, Volume 74, Issues 1-26, page 39
  6. The Military Engineer, published by the Society of American Military Engineers, 1948, Volume 40, page 137
  7. The Pentagon: a History; the Untold Story of the Wartime Race to Build the Pentagon -- And to Restore it 60 Years Later, by Steve Vogel, 2008, page 38
  8. Robert W. Colglazier entry, Guide to the Oral History Collection, Texas A&M University, published by the University, 1988, page 25
  9. Hearing record, Hearings On Sundry Legislation Affecting the Naval and Military Establishments, US Senate Armed Services Committee, Issues 1-9, 1962, page 829
  10. The Military Engineer, published by Society of American Military Engineers, 1951, Volume 43, page 478
  11. Hearing record on H.R. 8873, Department of Defense Appropriations for 1955, US Senate Appropriations Committee, 1954, page 421
  12. Newspaper article, Army Called Too Weak for Global War, Los Angeles Times, June 1, 1954
  13. Newspaper article, Army Can't Fight Global War With Cutbacks, Congress Told, by United Press International, published in Palm Beach Post, June 1, 1954
  14. Newspaper article, Army Orders French Cars for Staff Use, Portsmouth (Ohio) Times, July 5, 1956
  15. Hearing Record, Military Posture Briefings: Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, US House of Representatives, 1961, page 829
  16. Hearing record, Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives on Subjects Affecting the Naval and Military Establishments], 1958, page 339
  17. Army, Navy and Air Force Journal, published by Army and Navy Journal Inc., 1959, Volume 96, Issues 27-52, page 1336
  18. Newspaper article, New Weapons Needs Laid To Earlier False Economy, Baltimore Sun, February 10, 1963
  19. Newspaper article, Army Plans Funds For Battle Copters, Christian Science Monitor, February 3, 1964
  20. Newspaper article, Army's M48 Tanks Upheld At Hearing, Baltimore Sun, August 26, 1960
  21. Women's Army Corps, 1945-1978, by Bettie J. Morden, 1990, page 182
  22. Newspaper article, Navy, Army Brass Shifted, Promoted, Chicago Tribune, March 25, 1964
  23. Newspaper article, Phase-out of Reserves to be Slow, by Associated Press, published in Victoria (Texas) Advocate, December 13, 1964
  24. Newspaper article, 4th Army Head Retires, New York Times, February 1, 1966
  25. Newspaper article, Johnson Speeds Aid To Stricken Louisiana, Hartford Courant, September 12, 1965
  26. Texas Highways, Texas Highway Department, 1965, Volumes 12-13, page 162
  27. Newspaper article, Hunger Strike Sentence Will be Suspended, by Associated Press, published in Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph-Herald, September 30, 1965
  28. Newspaper article, Probe Asked on Leniency to PFC Belton, Milwaukee Journal, October 11, 1965
  29. Newspaper article, Rip Leniency for GI Balking at Viet Duty, Chicago Tribune, October 10, 1965
  30. Newspaper article, Ex-Hunger Striker on Way to Viet Nam, by Associated Press, reported in Sarasota Journal, October 14, 1965
  31. Valor Awards for Robert W. Colglazier, Military Times Hall of Valor, accessed may 28, 2011
  32. Biographical sketch, Robert W. Colglazier, Hearing record, Committee for Special Investigations, US Senate Armed Services Committee, 1963, Volume 2, page 788
  33. Legion of Merit is Awarded to 20; Fifteen Officers and Five Enlisted Men are Honored by the Army, New York Times, September 7, 1943
  34. Newspaper article, Texas A&M Names 3 San Antonians, San Antonio Light, August 8, 1971
  35. 1997 List of Inductees, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor, accessed May 28, 2011
  36. Social Security Death Index
  37. Newspaper obituary, Colglazier, 88, Army general, San Antonio Express, January 25, 1993
  38. Nationwide Gravesite Locator, Department of Veterans Affairs, accessed May 28, 2011

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