Colt Automatic Pistol and Revolver Information - 20 years of Service to Colt Firearms Collectors

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Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP - Issued to General Ben Harrell, USA

Colt Model M .32 ACP serial number 561487 issued to General Ben Harrell, USA - Military Model M .32 ACP pistol, arsenal refinished finish, parkerized trigger, thumb safety and grip safety, with U.S. PROPERTY mark on right side of frame and ordnance mark punch dot on left front trigger guard bow.  Pistol is documented as having been issued to General Ben Harrell and is pictured with its original holster.

Copy of original index card from Rock Island Arsenal documenting issue of "1 ea Pistol Auto Colt Cal.. .32" to Brigadier General Ben Harrell.  Pistol was shipped on March 29, 1956 to the Chief, Information Branch, Career Management Division, Room IE-542, The Pentagon, Wash. 25, D.C.

General Ben Harrell, USA

Ben Harrell was born in Medford, Oregon, March 15, 1911. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy by the late Representative Hawley of Oregon, and was graduated from the Military Academy on June 13, 1933.

Following various pre-Pearl Harbor Infantry assignments as a junior officer, General Harrell served a series of assignments in the 3d Infantry Division such as S-3 of the 7th Regiment which he later commanded in the Mediterranean Theater, He also commanded the 15th Regiment of the 3d Division, served as G-3 VI Corps and finally G-3 of the Fifth U.S. Army in this Theater.

In these assignments General Harrell was instrumental in the preparation of tactical plans for the amphibious landings in North Africa in November 1942; for mounting the invasion convoy of more than 1000 ships -- world's largest at that time -- which landed in the southern beaches of Sicily in July 1943; and for the sweep across this island which terminated at the Straits of Messina in August, 1943, and drove the shattered German Army back to the continent of Europe.

After several months in combat in the Volturno and Cassino areas of Italy, he made the landing at Anzio as deputy chief of staff of the 3rd Infantry Division, going then to VI Corps as G3 to take part in planning the tactical maneuvers for the defense of Anzio against German counter-attack, the eventual breakout from the confining Anzio beachhead, and the pursuit north to capture Rome.

Still as G-3 to VI Corps, General Harrell landed in the invasion of Southern France on 15 August 1944. A few days later he took command of the Seventh Infantry Regiment of the 3d Division and led it through numerous combat actions until it captured Strasbourg, Germany, in December, 1944. He then returned to Italy as G3 of the Fifth Army, remaining in this assignment until the end of the war and his return to Fort Benning in December, 1945.

At the Infantry School he served in the Academic Department, as Director of the Combat Requirements Section and commanded the School Troops Regiment. At the age of 37 he won his Parachutist's Badge, following which he served as G-3 of the 11th Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, commanded its 511th Airborne Regiment, and finally became its Chief of Staff in 1950.

After a year as a student at the National War College he was graduated and went to Paris in August, 1953, for another year as an operations and training staff officer in Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. He moved from Paris to Berlin, assuming command of the 6th Infantry Regiment in August, 1953, and a year later became chief of staff for the United States Commander in Berlin.

General Harrell was then assigned to the Pentagon in August, 1955, and, after six months as executive officer for the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Forces), was named to head the Infantry Branch, Career Management Division, Office of The Adjutant General in January, 1956. His promotion to brigadier general followed the next month.

On completion of this assignment he went to the Far East in July, 1958, where he commanded the 7th Infantry Brigade and served as assistant commander of the 7th Infantry Division, one of the two United States Army divisions then in Korea. Promoted to major general on August 1, l959, he returned to the United States during the same month for assignment to Headquarters, United States Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia. In June 1960, he was transferred to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he was assigned as Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division. General Harrell departed Fort Campbell in August 1961 for another tour at Fort Benning, Georgia, this time as the Commanding General of the USA Infantry Center and Commandant, USA Infantry School.

General Harrell returned to the Pentagon in February, 1963 as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army, and was promoted to lieutenant general. He was named Commanding General of the United States Amy Combat Developments Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in May, 1965.

On July 6, 1967, General Harrell assumed command of the Sixth United States Army at the Presidio of San Francisco, California.

General Harrell became the NATO commander of Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe, Izmir, Turkey, 1 July 1968, in the grade of general.

PERSONAL DATA

Date and place of birth: March 15, 1911, Medford, Oregon
Died: July 26, 1981, buried San Francisco National Cemetery

Parents:Father - deceased
Mother - deceased
Marriage: Date: September 6, 1933
Wife: Harriet Campbell of Medford, Oregon
Children: Charles & Hunter
Official Home Address: Eugene, Oregon

EDUCATION

U.S. Military Academy - 1933
The Infantry School - Regular Infantry Officers Advanced Course - 1940
Educational Equivalent to the Command and General Staff College - 1947
Educational Equivalent to the Armed Forces Staff College - 1947
The Infantry School - Basic Airborne Course - 1949
The National War College - 1952

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PROMOTIONS

Promotions Temporary (AUS) Permanent (RA)
2nd Lieutenant   13 June 1933
1st Lieutenant   13 June 1936
Captain 9 September 1940 13 June 1943
Major 16 April 1942 15 July 1948
Lieutenant Colonel 22 October 1942 28 July 1950
Colonel 19 June 1944 1 June 1956
Brigadier General 15 February 1956 25 May 1960
Major General 1 August 1959 6 November 1962
Lieutenant General 28 February 1963  
General 1 July 1968  

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF ASSIGNMENTS

S3, 7th Infantry Regiment 3d Infantry
Division, Port Lewis, Washington
Jan 42 May 42
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, North
African Theater of Operations
Mediterranean Theater of Operations
May 42 Sep 43
Commanding Officer, 15th Infantry Regiment,
3d Infantry Division, Mediterranean
Theater of Operations
Sep 43 Sep 43
Deputy Chief of Staff, 3d Infantry Division,
Mediterranean Theater of Operations
Sep 43 Feb 44
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Headquarters,
VI Corps, Mediterranean Theater of Operations
Feb 44 Aug 44
Commanding Officer, 7th Infantry Regiment,
3d Infantry Division, European Theater
of Operations
Aug 44 Dec 44
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Headquarters,
Fifth Army, Mediterranean Theater of Operations
Dec 44 Dec 45
Assistant Director of Training, Academic
Department, The Infantry School, Fort
Benning, Georgia
Dec 45 Jan 46
Director, Combat Requirements Section, The
Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia
Jan 46 Sep 46
Commanding Officer, 37th Infantry Regiment,
Fort Benning, Georgia
Sep 46 Aug 47
Committee Chief, Operations Training Committee,
Academic Department, The Infantry School,
Fort Benning, Georgia
Aug 47 Apr 48
Committee Chairman, Academic Department,
Company D, Infantry School Detachment,
Fort Benning, Georgia
Apr 48 Dec 48
Student Officer, Basic Airborne Course,
The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia
Dec 48 Feb 49
Committee Chairman, Academic Department,
Company H, Airborne Battalion, Fort
Benning, Georgia
Feb 49 Jul 49
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Headquarters,
11th Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
Jul 49 Dec 49
Commanding Officer, 511th Airborne Infantry
Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, Fort
Campbell, Kentucky
Dec 49 Aug 50
Chief of Staff, Headquarters, 11th Airborne
Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Aug 50 Aug 51
Student Officer, National War College,
Fort Leslie J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
Aug 51 Aug 52
Operations and Training Staff Officer,
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers
Europe, Marlay, France
Aug 52 Aug 53
Commanding Officer, 6th Infantry Regiment
United States Army Europe
Aug 53 Jul 54
Chief of Staff, U. S. Commander of Berlin,
U.S. Army, Europe
Jul 54 Jun 55
Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant
Secretary of the Army (Manpower and
Reserve Forces), Washington, D.C.
Aug 55 Jan 56
Chief, Infantry Branch, Career Management
Division, Office of The Adjutant General,
Washington, D.C.
Jan 56 Mar 58
Chief, Infantry Branch, Officer's Assignment
Division, Office of The Adjutant General,
Washington, D.C.
Mar 58 May 58
Assistant Division Command, 7th Infantry
Division, and Commanding General, 7th
Infantry Brigade, Korea
Jul 58 Aug 59
Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations,
Plans and Training, USCONARC
Sep 59 Mar 60
Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations,
USCONARC
Apr 60 Jun 60
Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division,
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Jun 60 Aug 61
Commanding General, USA Infantry Center and
Commandant, USA Infantry School, Fort
Benning, Georgia
Aug 61 Feb 63
Assistant Chief of Staff for Force
Development, USA
Feb 63 May 65
Commanding General, USA Combat Developments
Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
May 65 Jun 67
Commanding General, Sixth United States Army,
Presidio of San Francisco, California
Jul 67 Jun 68
Commander, Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe,
Izmir, Turkey
Jul 68  

LIST OF CITATIONS AND DECORATIONS

Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Commendation Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Europe, Africa, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (Germany)
National Defense Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Czechoslovakia Military Cross
Golden Cross of Merit (with swords) - (Poland)
Croix de Guerre (France)
Fourragere in color of Croix de Guerre
Crown of Italy
Order of British Empire
Military Valor of Cross of Italy
War Medal (Brazil)
The Combat Infantryman Badge
The Master Parachutist Badge
General Staff Identification
Six Overseas Service Bars

Born, 15 March 1911   Oregon and admitted to the West Point class of 1933 from same state, Infantry. (Mother's Maiden Name: MCCLAIN)
1942-1945 G3 3d Infantry Division, G3 6 Corps, Commanding Officer 7 Infantry (23 Aug 44), G3 5Ar NATO & European Theater (ETO)  (Silver Star - (2) Legion of Merit medals - 2 Bronze Star Medals-Commendation Ribbon)

Marne Division - The three white stripes represent the number of the division and the three major operations in which the division participated during World War I. The clear field of blue stands for loyalty, steadfastness and undying devotion to the principles of right and justice by the American soldier.

 

December 1949 - July 1951
Chief of Staff, 511 Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
1952   National War College
1952   Operations & Training Division, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Brussels, Belgium (SHAPE)
1956   Chief, Information Branch, Career Management Division, Careen Management Division, The Pentagon
June 1960-July 1961 Major General, Commander, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky

A HISTORY OF THE 101st AIRBORNE DIVISION (Air Assault)

15 February 1963 - 30 June 1965   Lieutenant General, Assistant Chief of Staff, Force Development, Department of the Army

Received Certificate of Ownership for Colt .32 pistol, sn 561487 in January 1965

1965-1967

Commanding General, Army Combat Development Command (Distinguished Service Medal - Combat Infantryman Badge)
July 1967 - July 1968 Commanding General, Sixth Army
1968-1971   Commander, Headquarters Allied Land Forces Central Europe (HALFSEE)
1971   Retired - General
26 July 1981   Died - Fort Ord -  (Carmel, Monterey, CA)
December 1982   Obituary

Harrell, Ben 1911-1981.  Listed in "Who's Who in the World," Second edition, 1974-1975. Wilmette, IL and "Marquis Who's Who," 1973.(WhoWor 2)

7th US Infantry Regiment, Regimental information, Campaigns:

Algeria-French Morocco in WWII
Tunisia in WWII
Sicily in WWII
Naples-Foggia in WWII
Anzio in WWII
Rome-Arno in WWII
Southern France in WWII
Rhineland in WWII
Ardennes-Alsace in WWII
Central Europe in WWII

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