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First Name: William

Last Name: Maddox

Birthplace: Newburgh, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: J.

Date of Birth: 22 May 1921

Date of Death: 05 January 2001

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
William J. Maddox, Jr.
'Gray Ghost'

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


William J. Maddox, Jr.
Major General, U.S. Army

William J. Maddox, Jr. was born on 22 May 1921 in Newburgh, NY.

A graduate of Michigan State University, he was commissioned in 1943 and served in the Philippines at the end of World War II. During his career he amassed over 10,500 flying hours, almost 4,000 of those in combat over Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. He served three tours in Vietnam, the last as the commander of an Armored Division.

A pilot's pilot, he was known for flying into landing zones to discuss events with the ground commanders, and providing immediate aerial support when required. His hands-on approach earned "Gray Ghost" an honorary membership in the Wolfhound, a brotherhood of infantry soldiers. He was instrumental in identifying the need for air mobility and developing a management structure that ensured the Army met its aviation objectives. In 1976, while commanding the Army Aviation Center, he was inducted into the Army's Aviation Hall of Fame.

He retired as a Major General in 1977.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal (4 Awards)
Legion of Merit (5 Awards)
Distinguished Flying Cross (8 Awards)
Soldier's Medal
Bronze Star Medal (4 Awards)
Purple Heart (4 Awards)
Air Medal (127 Awards)
Army Commendation Medal (3 Awards)
ROK Order of National Security Merit, Cheon-Su Medal
National Order of Vietnam, 5th Class (Degree of Knight)
ARVN Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class
RVN Gallantry Cross w/ 3 Bronze Palms & 2 Silver Stars
Combat Infantryman Badge (Korea)
Army Master Aviator Wings

In Retirement

He was an adviser to King Hussein of Jordan, serving as Commandant of the Jordanian Aviation Academy. He was later the managing director of Arabian Helicopters and Bell Helicopters in Asia.

Death and Burial

Major General William J. Maddox, Jr. died of sepsis on 5 January 2001 at a hospital in Bedford, TX. He had a blood disorder. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2796   Created by: MHOH




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