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First Name: John

Last Name: Wickham

Birthplace: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Adams

Date of Birth: 25 June 1928

Rank: General

Years Served: 1950-1987
John Adams Wickham

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1950

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John Adams Wickham
General, U.S. Army

John Adams Wickham was born on 25 June 1928 in Dobbs Ferry, NY. He graduated in 1950 from the U.S. Military Academy (where he later served as a Social Sciences Instructor 1956-60). Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.

His first assignment was to the 18th Infantry Regiment, and then the 6th Infantry Regiment, in Berlin. He served as a platoon leader and company executive officer in the 511th Airborne Infantry Regiment and served as Aide-de-Camp to the commanders of the 37th and 10th Infantry Divisions. He received Master's Degrees in Economics and Government from Harvard University and was a graduate of the National War College and Armed Forces Staff College.

Wickham then served as Operations Officer of the 1st Battle Group, 5th Cavalry, in Korea, and was Executive Officer to Army Chief of Staff Harold Johnson. Later he commanded in combat the 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, where he was seriously wounded. He later commanded the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division in Germany, then returned to Vietnam as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), and was responsible for negotiating release of all prisoners of war. He then commanded the 101st Airborne Division; was Director of the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and afterward, as a four-star General, became Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command and Commander of the United States Forces Korea and Eighth Army in Korea.

In 1979, he played a leading role in calming political tensions after the assassination of South Korean President Park Chung Hee. He wrote a book, "Korea on the Brink," about the dangerous period. He also served as senior Military Assistant to Secretaries of Defense James R. Schlesinger and Donald Rumsfeld. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.

General Wickham retired from the Army in 1987 after 37 years of active service.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal (8 Awards from Defense, Army, Navy and Air Force)
Silver Star Medal (2 Awards)
Legion of Merit (4 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Air Medal (11 Awards)

He received 21 foreign medals including the Republic of Korea's highest military award.


Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Air Assault Badge
Parachutist Badge


He was named by Army Times as one of the ten leaders who most changed the Army.

Recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Graduate Award from The Association of Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy.

Recipient of the Infantry Doughboy Award in 2006.

In Retirement

Wickham served as Town Council President in Sun City, AZ, and as an elder at his church. He served as Chairman of the Board for Honeywell Federal Systems and Nortel Federal Systems, and as director of several other corporations.

He was named Vice Chairman for the United States-China National Committee and has served as a member of the Secretary of Defense Policy Board. He is also active in the United Way; a member of the Alfalfa Club; and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Wickham married Ann Lindsley Prior in 1955. They have three children and six grandchildren.


"However, let's heed history's lessons, be more mindful about limits of our power and, above all, be prudent with strategy lest misguided military policies drain our national strength and undermine our international leadership."

Honoree ID: 361   Created by: MHOH




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