Westmoreland, William C.

Westmoreland, William C. (Childs)

(1914–  ) soldier; born in Spartanburg County, S.C. A 1936 West Point graduate, he saw extensive combat duty in World War II and the Korean War. He was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy (1960–63). In 1964 he became commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam and oversaw the buildup of U.S. forces to a total of 500,000 by 1968, but his "search and destroy" strategy proved unsuccessful against the communist Vietnamese, and after the Tet offensive of 1968, he was recalled to the U.S.A. to serve as army chief of staff. He retired from the army in 1972 and failed in his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina in 1974.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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