- Donald V. Bennett
Donald V. Bennett
General Donald V. Bennett
Born May 9, 1915
Died November 28, 2005(aged 90)
Asheville, North Carolina
Allegiance United States of America Service/branch United States Army Years of service 1940-1974 Rank General Commands held United States Military Academy
U.S. Army Pacific Command
Battles/wars World War II Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Purple Heart (2)
Donald Vivian Bennett (May 9, 1915 – November 28, 2005) retired as a four star general from the United States Army in 1974. He attended Michigan State University and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1940 then served overseas in World War II. Bennett won the Distinguished Service Cross as well as two Purple Hearts for his service. He was born in Lakeside, Ohio and retired to Asheville, North Carolina. He entered military service from Ohio.
As a Lieutenant Colonel, Bennett, along with the 62nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion on the June 6, 1944 landed with the second wave at 0720 on D-Day. His party was subjected to a tremendous volume of machine gun fire which inflicted 50 percent casualties before they reached the comparative safety of the shingle at the base of the cliff adjoining the beach. Observing that following units were pinned down on the beach, he immediately left his cover and moved about the beach under heavy fire in order to assemble and reorganize the infantry assault companies, four tanks, and an antiaircraft unit.
By redistributing the remaining officers and equipment; by emplacing the .50 calibre machine guns of the antiaircraft unit so as to give close support to the infantry; and by radioing for tank and artillery fire support from the LCTs, he organized a sizeable force and at about 10:00 hours, which successfully assaulted the ridge. He then continued moving about the beach under intense fire and succeeded in locating a protected place to bring his battalion and move it across the beach. Lieutenant Colonel Bennett, in disregarding his own safety under such heavy enemy fire throughout the day and in his clear thinking, contributed immeasurably to the establishment of the beachhead.
General Bennett recounts his World War II experience in his memoir, Honor Untarnished, published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC in 2003. General Bennett also served as superintendent of the United States Military Academy from 1966 to 1968. He was Commander of VII US Corps from June 1968 until September 1969. He retired in 1974 as commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific Command.
Bennett died on November 28, 2005 at the age of 90 and was buried at the United States Military Academy Cemetery in West Point, New York.
Military offices Preceded by
James Benjamin Lampert
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Samuel William Koster
Government offices Preceded by
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
Vincent P. De Poix
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