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William C. Gribble, Jr.
Lieutenant General William C. Gribble, Jr.
Born (1917-05-24)May 24, 1917
Died June 2, 1979(1979-06-02) (aged 62)
Place of birth Ironwood, Michigan
Place of death Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Chief of Engineers (1973–1976)
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)

William C. Gribble, Jr. (born May 24, 1917, in Ironwood, Michigan – June 2, 1979) graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1941 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers.

During World War II, he served on the staff of the 340th Engineer General Service Regiment as it first built a section of the Alaska Highway in western Canada and later assisted MacArthur's drive in New Guinea and the Philippines. At the end of the war he commanded the 118th Engineer Combat Battalion, U.S. 43d Infantry Division. Gribble then worked in the Los Alamos laboratory and in the Reactor Development Division of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. As Alaska District Engineer he oversaw construction of a nuclear power plant at Fort Greely, Alaska. He headed the Army's nuclear power program in 1960–61. In 1963 he was the Corps' North Central Division Engineer. Gribble's scientific skills led to his service as Director of Research and Development in the U.S. Army Materiel Command in 1964-66 and as the Army's Chief of Research and Development in 1971–73. In 1969-70 he commanded the Army Engineer Center and Fort Belvoir and was Commandant of the Army Engineer School. He became Chief of Engineers in 1973, and retired in 1976. Gribble received a master's degree in physical science from the University of Chicago in 1948 and an honorary doctorate in engineering from Michigan Technological University. He was also an honorary member of the United Kingdom's Institute of Royal Engineers. His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Brazilian Order of Military Merit. General Gribble died at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on June 2, 1979. He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.[1]


  • On May 2, 1975, at a ceremony commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Corps, General Gribble began the tradition of the Gold Castles insignia of General Douglas MacArthur (who began his career serving the Corps) to be worn by the Chief of Engineers, forming the basis for the current "Castle" logo of the Corps as well.


  1. "Commanders of the Corps of Engineers: Lieutenant General William C. Gribble, Jr". Headquarters United States Army Corps of Engineers. United States Army. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2012. "His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Brazilian Order of Military Merit" 
Military offices
Preceded by
Frederick J. Clarke
Chief of Engineers
Succeeded by
John W. Morris

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