Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Gen. William Alexander Cunningham

Male 1911 - 1983  (72 years)


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  • Name William Alexander Cunningham 
    Title Gen. 
    Born 10 May 1911  Athens, Clarke, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 25 Sep 1983  Washington, District of Columbia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • OBITUARY
      United States Military Academy Association of Graduates memorial

      William Alexander Cunningham III was born May 10, 1911 in Athens, Georgia. His father, William Alexander Cunningham Jr. was born in Nashville, Tennessee and had been the head football coach at the University of Georgia for eight years. During World War I, he enlisted in the Regular Army where he served with distinction and retired as a colonel in 1946. Subsequently he served as assistant adjutant general of Georgia. His mother, Ada Ritter of Fairland, Oklahoma, died in 1913. In 1928, he enlisted in the Regular Army as an infantryman, where he served two years as a soldier. From 1929 to 1930, he attended the Army West Point Preparatory School at Fort McPherson, Georgia where he won a competitive appointment to the United States Military Academy. His first assignment was to the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he met Madera Deede Maddux. They married in 1937. His next assigned was with the Hawaiian Division where he served at Schofield Barracks and the Kilauea Military Camp. In 1940, he was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. After that he attended the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia where he graduated in 1942. After graduation, he was sent to Camp Blanding, Florida as battalion commander of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. In August 1942 he was in England and then North Africa. He was severely wounded during the Battle of El Guettar. In September 1943, he was ordered from Walter Reed Hospital to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was the first instructor with World War II combat experience. From January 1945 to February 1946 he served on the joint staff of the Okinawa Island Command 331, as assistant chief of staff G-3 and participated in the Okinawa landings and operations. During 1946 to 1947, he served as assistant chief of staff G-4, Okinawa Base Command and then as executive officer 24th Infantry Regiment until November 1947. He was ordered to the District of Columbia and assigned as chief of the Organization and Training Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Department of the Army. During his assignment the Army Field Forces were reorganized. In 1949, he was ordered to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. After graduation he was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for duty with the Army Air Support Board. He was primarily responsible for organizing the Army Air Support Center and co-authored the air-ground operational doctrine later used in Korean operations. In 1952, he returned to the Pacific Theatre for duty with the Plans and Operations Division, Joint Staff, Headquarters, Commander in Chief Pacific Theatre. As CINC-PAC's plans and policy officer, he participated in the theatre operational planning during the Indo-China conflict and the Quemoy crisis. He was also military coordinator for pacts with allied countries including Anzus, Five Powers and Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). He to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas where he served as commanding officer, 18th Infantry Regiment and division chief of staff. In 1958, he was promoted to brigadier general and ordered to Korea where he served as senior advisor to the Republic of Korea Joint Staff, assistant chief of staff G-3, Headquarters Eighth Army and assistant division commander, 1st Cavalry Division. In January 1960, he returned to the Zone of the Interior and was appointed assistant commandant of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1961, he was promoted to major general and ordered to Headquarters United States Army Europe as deputy chief of staff, G-l until May 1963. He was then assigned as commanding general, 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany. His final assignment was as commanding general, IV Corps in Birmingham, Alabama where he retired in 1966. After retirement, he held three civilian positions: assistant director of an engineering firm in Saigon; director, New York Transportation Authority; and director of Lake Lanier Development in Gainesville, Georgia. In 1974, he and Deede moved to Mathews, Virginia where they lived until his death in September 1983. Survivors included his wife, Madera Deede Maddux Cunningham of Mathews, Virginia; one son of Williamsburg, Virginia and one daughter of the District of Columbia and three grandchildren.
    Buried United States Military Academy Cemetery, West Point, Orange, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I21311  Dickinson
    Last Modified 24 Mar 2018 

    Father William Alexander Cunningham,   b. 9 Jul 1886, Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Aug 1968, Richmond County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Ada Ritter,   b. 21 Mar 1888, Fairland, Ottawa, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Sep 1913  (Age 25 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Family ID F6646  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 10 May 1911 - Athens, Clarke, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 25 Sep 1983 - Washington, District of Columbia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - United States Military Academy Cemetery, West Point, Orange, New York Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set