Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: George

Last Name: Underwood

Birthplace: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Vernon

Date of Birth: 17 December 1913

Date of Death: 03 August 1984

Rank: General

Years Served: 1937-1973
George Vernon Underwood, Jr.

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

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


George Vernon Underwood, Jr.
General, U.S. Army

George Vernon Underwood, Jr. was born on 17 December 1913 in Indianapolis, IN. He graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in 1931 and attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville for two years. Underwood graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1937 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.

Prior to World War II, he served as a battery grade officer with artillery units at Fort Scott in San Francisco, CA; at Fort Kamahameha in the Territory of Hawaii; and at Fort Rodman in New Bedford, MA. He attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1941.

After serving as Operations and Training Officer of the Harbor Defenses of Narragansett Bay, Fort Adams, RI, Underwood was selected to attend the Task Force Staff Officers' Course conducted by the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff. Upon completing the course, he was retained in the Operations Division where he served until 1945. In August, 1945, he was assigned to Headquarters, China Theater, where he served as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5, (Civil Affairs), then as Chief of the Control Section of the Office of the Chief of Staff, and finally as Chief of the Plans Division.

In June 1946, Underwood was sent to Washington, DC, to serve as Assistant to the Special Representative of General George C. Marshall, who was then the Presidential Envoy to China. Underwood returned to China in October 1946 as Executive Officer to General Marshall. Upon his return from China in May 1947, he was assigned to the Plans and Operations Division, War Department General Staff.

Underwood graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in July 1949. He then commanded the 867th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion in Alaska until May 1951. From May 1951 until March 1953, he served as Deputy Director, and then Director, of the Executive Offices of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC. Underwood graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1954 and remained as a member of the faculty until 1957. As Commanding Officer, 2d Artillery Group, he commanded the Nike Defense of the Niagara-Buffalo Area from August 1957 until December 1958.

After eighteen months of study at University of Wisconsin–Madison, he received a Master of Arts in Journalism in 1960. He joined the Office of the Chief of Information, Department of the Army, in July 1960 and served as Assistant Chief of Information until January 1961. He was designated Deputy Chief of Information in January 1961 and Chief of Information in February 1963. He became a Major General on 24 July 1963.

In February 1966, Major General Underwood was assigned as the Commanding General, 32d Artillery Brigade, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. On 11 May 1966, the 32d Artillery Brigade was re-designated the 32d Army Air Defense Command (AADC). Underwood was commander of Fort Bliss in 1967-68 and later was Commander, Aerospace Defense Command and Commander, Fifth United States Army.

As a four-star General, he served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO) from 1971 to 1973.

General Underwood retired from the Army in 1973.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Commendation Ribbon with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Office of Secretary of Defense Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge

He also received the Special Breast Order of Yun Hui (Chinese).


He married Heistand Scott on 16 June 1948 and they had three children: Scott, Molly and Mary Kate.

Death and Burial

General George Vernon Underwood, Jr. died on 3 August 1984. He is buried at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso, TX, in Plot C1, 0, 1174.

Honoree ID: 346   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image