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First Name: Lionel

Last Name: McGarr

Birthplace: Yuma, AZ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: C.

Date of Birth: 05 March 1904

Date of Death: 03 November 1988

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
Lionel C. McGarr

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1928

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


Lionel C. "Spithead" McGarr
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army

Lionel C. McGarr was born on 5 March 1904 in Yuma, AZ.

McGarr graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1928. During his military career, he served in command and staff positions that included assignments in Hawaii, California, Georgia, Europe, Africa, Korea and Vietnam.

He saw extensive combat in Africa and Europe during World War II as Commander of the 30th Infantry Regiment from October 1943 to December 1944; Acting Assistant Division Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, from December 1944 to January 1945; and again Commander of the 30th Infantry Regiment from January to May 1945. McGarr was Assistant Division Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division from 1945-46, and he graduated from the National War College in 1947. He later served in the Intelligence Section of the Army General Staff.

In 1948 he was named Commander of the 350th Infantry Regiment in Austria; in 1949 he became Tactical Inspector for U.S. Tactical Command in Austria; and from 1950-51 he was Tactical Command's Chief of Staff. McGarr went to Korea as Assistant Division Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in 1951 and later Commander, Allied Prisoner of War Command, Korea.

From October 1953 to May 1954, he was Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, and he commanded U.S. Army Caribbean Command from June 1954 to June 1956, when he was appointed Commandant of the Army Command and General Staff College in July 1956.

In September 1960, he was promoted to Lieutenant General and named Commander of Military Assistance Advisory Group - Vietnam (MAAG-V), where he served until July 1962, when U.S. military escalation began and he was succeeded by General Paul Harkins, who commanded MAAG-V's successor unit, Military Assistance Command - Vietnam (MACV).

McGarr retired at the Presidio and then lived in Lafayette, CA, until his death.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Silver Star Medal (3 Awards)
Legion of Merit (3 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal (5 Awards)
Purple Hearts (7 Awards)


Combat Infantryman Badge

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General Lionel C. McGarr died on 3 November 1988 in San Francisco, CA. He is buried at San Francisco National Cemetery in San Francisco, CA.

Honoree ID: 2829   Created by: MHOH




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