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Cold War Files: All Units: People: Creighton W. Abrams

Creighton W. Abrams
Creighton W. Abrams
b. September 15, 1914 - d. September 4, 1974

Creighton Williams Abrams Jr., was a United States Army General who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War from 1968-72. He succeeded General William Westmoreland as the head of the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam and introduced what was referred to as Vietnamization. Vietnamization was designed to wind down the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and have South Vietnam responsible for executing the war.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from West Point in 1936 and served with the 1st Cavalry Division and later, following its creation, the 1st Armored Division. During World War II, he was promoted swiftly, becoming a battalion commander and then combat command [armor regimental-level] commander.

He married Canadian Julia Abrams (1915-2003) who founded the "Arlington Ladies" and who devoted a great deal of her time to humanitarian causes.

Abrams was known as an aggressive and successful armor commander. General George Patton said of him, "I'm supposed to be the best tank commander in the Army, but I have one peer: Abe Abrams. He's the world champion." Abrams was one of the leaders in the relief effort which broke up the German entrenchments surrounding Bastogne and the 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge.

He served in Korea from 1953 to 1954 as Chief of Staff for I, IX and then X Corps and in West Germany from 1960 to 1962 before becoming vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, being promoted to the rank of general in 1964. General Abrams served as overall military commander in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972. Following this role, he served as Army Chief of Staff from 1972 until his death of lung cancer in 1974. He is buried with his wife in Arlington National Cemetery.

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