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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Seedlock

Birthplace: Newark, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Francis

Date of Birth: 06 February 1913

Date of Death: 05 May 2004

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Robert Francis Seedlock

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1937


Robert Francis Seedlock
Major General, U.S. Army

Robert Francis Seedlock was born on 6 February 1913 in Newark, NJ. He spent most of his childhood in Cleveland, where he graduated from Cathedral Latin School. After two years at the Case School of Applied Science (now Case Western Reserve University), he won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1937. A skilled musician, he was a member of the West Point orchestra as a Violinist. He received a Master's degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940.

He built the eastern half of a supply route linking China and India on a route traveled by Marco Polo and referred to as the Burma Road. The project involved 1,000 American engineers and 20,000 Chinese laborers and ended the Japanese blockade of China when opened on 20 January 1945. He was a member of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission in 1963. He was promoted to Major General in 1962.

His last assignment was as Commander of Fort Belvoir, VA, in 1966. Although the Army had been integrated since the 1950s, housing near the base was not. Seedlock let it be known, through private channels, that if landlords would not allow African-American soldiers in their apartments, no soldiers would live in them. For this quiet but decisive act, the General received a personal commendation from Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

He retired from the Army as a Major General in 1968.

Medals and Awards

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2 Awards) and many more awards from the U.S., China and France.

In Retirement

After retiring from the Army, Seedlock held a variety of high-level engineering positions. He managed projects to build rapid-transit systems in Pittsburgh and Atlanta and, from 1977-81, supervised construction of Jeddah International Airport (now King Abdul Aziz Airport) in Saudi Arabia. In the early 1980s, while working for the Ralph M. Parsons Co., he was in charge of rebuilding hundreds of miles of railroad tracks in Amtrak's northeastern corridor.

He lived in Florida and in his wife's home town of Savannah, GA. After her death in 2000, he moved to Arlington, VA.


He married Hortense Norton in 1937.

Death and Burial

Major General Robert Francis Seedlock died of heart disease on 5 May 2004 in Arlington, VA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Survivors include his four children - retired Army Colonel Robert F. Seedlock Jr. of Brentwood, TN; Elizabeth Morrisette of Pensacola, FL; Walter N. Seedlock of Fairfax; and Mary Seedlock of Tucker, GA; a sister, Helen Sexton, of Charlottesville; six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 3061   Created by: MHOH




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