Col. Bill Ewald

“Detroit, Our Greatest Generation” WWII Veteran
and “Our Vietnam Generation” Veteran

Colonel (Ret.) William Ewald
112th Field Artillery. Enlisted in 1938 at age 17 in Battery E, 112th Field Artillery (horsedrawn 75mm cannon) New Jersey Army National Guard. The 112th was federalized on 27 January 1941 and shipped to Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 8 February 1941. In 1942 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1SG Ewald was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at fort Knox, Kentucky.

On 12 December 1942, Second Lieutenant (2LT) Ewald was commissioned in the
infantry and assigned to the 13th Armored Division as a tank platoon leader. A fluent
German language speaker, he volunteered for a classified project, was sent to Fort
Ritchie, Maryland, and trained as an interrogator.

9th Infantry Division. In October 1943 he was an interrogator in Prisoner of War
Enclosure Number One in Broadway, England. In early 1944, Captain (CPT) Ewald was
assigned to the G-2 Section of the 9th Infantry Division (9th ID) and landed on Omaha
Beach on 10 June 1944 (D+4).

39th & 47th Infantry Regiments. From 10 June 1944 through 8 May 1945 (VE Day)
CPT Ewald served as the Regimental S-2 intelligence officer and interrogator in the 39th
and 47th Infantry Regiments and became the 39th Regimental S-2 until the 9th ID returned to the United States.

26th Infantry Regiment. As a member of the U.S. Army European Occupation forces,
Major (MAJ) Ewald served as the S-2, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry
Division until 1946.

141st/142nd Infantry Regiments and 41st Armored Infantry Battalion (AIB). Between
1946 and 1948, Ewald advised the 141st/142nd Infantry Regiments of the Texas Army
National Guard and served as the executive officer of the 41st Armored Infantry Battalion
(AIB), 2nd Armored Division.

Infantry School. After Texas, MAJ Ewald was assigned to the Infantry School at Fort
Benning, Georgia and completed the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course in 1949 and
Airborne Training in June 1950.

188th & 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiments. In September 1950, MAJ Ewald was
assigned as the interim battalion commander and then executive officer of the 188th
Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) 11th Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Later he became executive officer of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd PIR (the “Shamrock
Battalion”) commanded by LTC Jack T. “Blackjack” Shannon. IN March 1952 while
commanding 3rd Battalion, 503rd PIR, he volunteered for Special Forces.

Trojan Horse. LTC Ewald arrived at Fort Bragg, NC in September 1952 and was
assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group (SFG) with special duty with the
counterinsurgency Department, Special Forces Department, Psychological Warfare
Center. In February 1953, he was assigned as Commander, FC1, 10th SFG and Director,
10th SFG’s Field Exercises. In November 1953, he deployed with the 10th SFG to
Germany and remained there until 1956.

LTC Ewald returned to the United States in 1956 to attend the U.S. Army Command and
General Staff College (CGSC). After CGSC, he was assigned to Fort McPherson,
Georgia, as the 3rd Army Chief of Infantry Unit Combat Arms Branch until 29 January
1959 when he went to Thailand as the U.S. Advisor to the Royal Thai Infantry School.

77th SFG. Returning to Fort Bragg. on 16 February 1960, LTC Ewald assumed command
of FC1, 77th SFG. In March, the 77th SFG, commanded by COL Donald D. Blackburn,
was alerted to form a Mobile Training Team (MTT) to go to South Vietnam. The MTT’s
mission from April through November 1960 was to train selected South Vietnamese
officers and noncommissioned officers as cadre for the ARVN Ranger Companies. LTC
Ewald was the MTT’s first volunteer and commander.

After the MTT, LTC Ewald returned to the PSYWAR Center and became the director of
the Special Forces Division’s Unconventional Warfare Department and later the
Counterinsurgency Department. In August 1962 he was ordered to Fort Belvoir, Virginia
to the Special Warfare Doctrine and Equipment Group.

He remained at Fort Belvoir until 1965 when he was posted to Hawaii for duty as a
CINCPACJ-5 (Plans) officer for the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). In
1968, LTC Ewald volunteered for duty in Vietnam and became an advisor to the 21st
ARVN Division at Ca Mau in the IV Corps area.

Having completed one six-month tour extension in Vietnam in 1969, his second request
was denied because of the Army’s mandatory retirement policy. His final assignment
was as the advisor to the 300th Military Police Command in Livonia, Michigan. On his
retirement date of 15 May 1971, COL William Ewald’s service totaled thirty years, five
months and sixteen days.



Contact Us