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First Name: Archelaus

Last Name: Hamblen

Birthplace: San Diego, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Lewis

Date of Birth: 16 October 1919

Date of Death: 27 October 2005

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Archelaus Lewis Hamblen, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1943

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Archelaus Lewis Hamblen, Jr.
Brigadier General, U.S. Army

Archelaus L. Hamblen, Jr. was born on 16 October 1919 in San Diego, CA, the son of a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army.

A 1943 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he saw combat in World War II as a company commander with the "Blood and Fire" 63rd Infantry Division and was severely wounded when his unit breached the Siegfried line in Germany. After recuperating in France, he returned to postwar Germany to establish literacy programs for U.S. troops at the universities of Heidelberg and Frankfurt.

During the Korean War, he was Commander of the 1st Battalions of the 17th and 31st Infantry Regiments. He was also given the enviable task of escorting Marilyn Monroe to a performance for the troops.

After receiving a Master's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1963, he returned to West Point as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Regiment, U.S. Corps of Cadets.

Hamblen volunteered for service in the Vietnam War where he served in the Saigon "War Room" and then as Deputy Senior Adviser to, and commander of, I Corp Advisory Group in DaNang. He was an Adviser to five Vietnam Corps Commanders for the reduction of civil unrest in the northern military zone.

Other assignments included Secretary of the General Staff, 7th Army, in Stuttgart, Germany; Commander of the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry, Mainz, Germany; and Assistant Division Commander of the 24th Infantry Mechanized Division at Fort Riley, KS.

In 1967, he became the Army's Liaison Officer to the White House and President Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as the military's point of contact with retired Generals of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar N. Bradley. He met with Bradley once a month until Bradley's death in 1981. He then helped with Bradley's funeral arrangements and worked to establish the Omar N. Bradley Foundation at Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Hamblen took medical retirement in 1973. His family said that exposure to Agent Orange (while he was an Adviser in Vietnam), a powerful herbicide used to defoliate jungles concealing enemy forces and supply bases, led to two brain tumors.

Unable to work because of his disabilities, he began to devote more time to Falls Church Presbyterian Church, where he was a deacon and ruling elder. He volunteered with a program that helped with the settlement of South Vietnamese families in the Washington area and personally sponsored six families.

General Hamblen was something of a raconteur, and he often played the ukulele or piano for members of his staff. He played the piano daily until shortly before his death.

Medals and Awards

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Legion of Merit with "Valor" Device
Bronze Star Medal (4 Awards, one with "Valor" Device)
Legion of Merit (4 Awards)
Purple Heart (2 Awards)

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Archelaus L. Hamblen, Jr. died on 27 October 2005 in Falls Church, VA, due to complications following a stroke. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

His marriage to Mary K. Miller and Margery "Rundy" Hamblen ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Diana Hudson Hamblen of Falls Church; six children from his second marriage, Katherine Carlone of Cambridge, MA; Jill Jones of Fairfax; Jean Carnavos of Ellicott City; Archelaus L. Hamblen III of Vienna; Jeffrey Hamblen of Oakton; and Stacy Hamblen of Vienna; two stepchildren, Lesley Beck of Fairfax and Tony Bennett of McLean; two sisters; 17 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 2593   Created by: MHOH




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