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First Name: Fred

Last Name: Walker

Birthplace: Fairfield County, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Livingood

Date of Birth: 11 June 1887

Date of Death: 06 October 1969

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Fred Livingood Walker

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  Mexican Expedition (1916 - 1917)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Fred Livingood Walker
Major General, U.S. Army
Lieutenant General, Texas National Guard

Fred Livingood Walker was born on 11 June 1887 in Fairfield County, OH, the son of William Henry and Belle Mason Walker.

Military Service

During his college days (1907-11) at Ohio State University, Walker was a member of the Ohio Cavalry and graduated as an Engineer in 1911. He entered the U.S. Army that year, following a competitive examination, and as a Second Lieutenant he was stationed in San Antonio, TX. From 1911-14, he served with the Thirteenth Infantry Regiment in the Philippines. From 1914-16 he was stationed in Eagle Pass and served under General John J. Pershing during the Punitive Expedition into Mexico. In 1917, at the beginning of World War I, Walker was sent overseas, and in 1918 he was in the second Battle of the Marne; for exceptional gallantry in combat he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. After the war he was assigned as an Instructor at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA; he was Commandant of Shattuck School in Faribault, MN, from 1927-32; and graduated in 1933 from the Army War College in Washington, DC, where he served as an Instructor from 1934-37. He was then assigned to the Fifteenth Infantry at Tientsin, China. As a Brigadier General, in 1941 he was Assistant Commander of the Second Division in San Antonio.

From September 1941 to July 1944, Walker commanded the Thirty-sixth Texas Infantry Division. In World War II, after a brief period in North Africa, the Thirty-sixth Division made a successful landing on 18 September 1943 at Salerno, in southern Italy; the first American troops to invade the continent of Europe. Walker was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership. He commanded the Division through the battles of the Rapido River, Cassino, and Mt. Artemisio on the drive north through Rome and beyond; all were successful except the battle at the Rapido River, an attempt which General Walker advised against because of insuperable odds, and this failure resulted in heavy casualties for the division. Walker was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster for his part in the Italian campaign.

He left Italy to assume command of the Infantry School at Fort Benning in July 1944. After the war, in January 1946, the Thirty-sixth Division Association, composed of Division veterans, met in Brownwood, TX, and passed a resolution calling for a congressional investigation into the battle of the Rapido River, a defeat which they charged was due to the inefficiency and inexperience of General Mark W. Clark, who had ordered the attack contrary to the repeated recommendations of the subordinate commanders. The U.S. Congressional Committees of Military Affairs in both the House of Representatives and the Senate invited witnesses to appear, but the Congress did not order a full-scale investigation.

Concerning the Italian campaign, Walker wrote "My Story on the Rapido River Crossing" (Army, September 1952) and "The 36th Was A Great Fighting Division" (Southwestern Historical Quarterly, July 1968). His book From Texas to Rome (1969) is his journal of the Division's World War II experience. In recognition of Walker's service with the Thirty-sixth Division, his portrait was hung in the state Capitol in Austin, TX.

After Walker's retirement from the Regular Army as a Major General on 30 April 1946, he was appointed Lieutenant General and Commander of the Texas National Guard by Governor Coke Stevenson, to reorganize the Guard, a post he held for fourteen months.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal with 5 Battle Clasps
Occupation of Germany World War I Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal

Distinguished Service Cross Citation (1st of 2 Awards)

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Infantry) Fred L. Walker, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 30th Infantry Regiment, 3d Division, A.E.F., near the Marne River, France, 15 July 1918. Holding a front of more than 4 1/2 kilometers along the Marne River, Major Walker commanded a front-line battalion, which received the principal shock of the German attack on the French Army Corps front, but inflicted great losses on the enemy as the latter crossed the river. Those who succeeded in crossing were thrown into such confusion that they were unable to follow the barrage; and, through the effective leadership of this officer, no Germans remained in his sector south of the river at the end of the day's action. When one platoon had been cut off by an entire enemy battalion near the river, he sent other units to its relief and captured the entire German battalion, numbering 200 soldiers and 5 officers, including the battalion commander.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders 89 (1919)

Distinguished Service Cross Citation Synopsis (2nd of 2 Awards)

Major General Fred L. Walker, United States Army, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while Commanding the 36th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces from 30 May 1944 to 5 June 1944. Major General Walker's inspiring leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 36th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, Seventh U.S. Army, General Orders No. 83 (September 27, 1944)


Walker was married to Frances "Julia" Martin Messmore on 19 August 1911; they had a daughter and two sons. After Mrs. Walker's death in June 1961, Walker was married to Margaret Millikan on 30 August 1962.

Death and Burial

Major General Fred Livingood Walker died at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, on 6 October 1969. He is buried at Kirkersville Cemetery in Kirkersville, OH, where he had made his home.

The Walker diaries and papers were left in the possession of his son, Lt. Col. Charles W. Walker.

Honoree ID: 3182   Created by: MHOH




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