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Withers Alexander Burress
File:General Withers A Burress 1944.jpg
Major General Withers Burress as commander of 100th Infantry Division, 1944.
Nickname "Pinky"
Born (1894-11-24)November 24, 1894
Died June 13, 1977(1977-06-13) (aged 82)
Place of birth Richmond, Virginia
Place of death Arlington, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1916-1954
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Virginia Military Institute Virginia Military Institute
100th Infantry Division (United States) 100th Infantry Division
United States Constabulary U.S. Constabulary
United States Army Infantry School U.S. Army Infantry School
VI Corps (United States) VI Corps
VII Corps (United States) VII Corps - NATO
First United States Army First United States Army
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star
Croix de Guerre
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Service Medal

Withers A. Burress (November 24, 1894 – June 13, 1977) was a graduate and commandant of the Virginia Military Institute as well as a career U.S. Army officer and combat commander in World War I and World War II.

Education and early career

Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1894, Burress attended and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1914. On November 30, 1916, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In World War I, he saw combat with the 2nd Infantry Division (United States)'s 23rd Infantry Regiment (United States) as a regimental operations officer. In November 1919, he returned with the permanent rank of captain.

He attended the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and the Army War College at Washington Barracks in Washington, D.C.

From 1935 to 1940, Burress was a professor of military science and served as commandant of the Virginia Military Institute. In 1940, he was assigned to the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C.

World War II and Cold War

In 1941, with the outbreak of World War II, Burress had returned to Fort Benning as Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School. In early 1942, he assigned to the Puerto Rican Department. He was given command of the 100th Division (United States) upon its mobilization at Fort Jackson, South Carolina in November 1942.

Burress continued in his command, taking the division to France in October 1944. As part of Seventh United States Army's VI Corps, the division went into combat in the Vosges Mountains of northeastern France then through the Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central European campaigns until November, 1945, making Burress one of eleven generals to command one of the U.S. Army's 90 divisions from mobilization to the end of the war. On September 22, 1945, he was promoted to command of the 100th Division's corps, the VI Corps (United States) then served as Inspector General for European Command [EURCOM].

In May 1947, he was one of three commanders of the U.S. Constabulary, the post-war occupation police force in West Germany. In 1949, he returned to EURCOM as its intelligence director, then later took command of VII Corps (United States) .

In 1952, his final posting was as commander of First United States Army at Fort Jay at Governors Island in New York, New York. In November 1954, he retired from the U.S. Army after 38 years of active duty. That same month, on November 19, 1954, he received a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes down Broadway in Manhattan, NY.

He died in an Arlington, Virginia nursing home at age 83 on June 13, 1977.


Hofmann, George F. (2007). "Cold War Mounted Warriors: U.S. Constabulary in Occupied Germany". .

"Maj. Gen. W. A. Burress to Succeed Crittenberger as First Army Chief". 1952. pp. 1. Retrieved 2008-02-24. .

"Gen. Withers A. Burress, Head Of First Army During 1950s". 1977. pp. C6. .

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Willis D. Crittenberger
Commanding General of the First United States Army
1953 – 1954
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Herren

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