Collier, William Albert

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Collier, William Albert, born in Bristol, England, 02-01-1896. His family migrated to the United States on 31-08-1907 and settled in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Boston area public schools and was active in the Episcopal Church. William Collier enlisted in Company K, 5th Infantry Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard on 07-12-1914. He attended and successfully completed, as a cadet, the Massachusetts National Guard Officer Training School, in 1916. Upon completion, he was transferred to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Massachusetts Field Artillery. He served as Sergeant Bugler, due to his being underage for commission, with the Regiment when it was ordered to duty on the Mexican Border in 1916. On 15-08-1917, he was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry Section, Officer’s Reserve Corps of the Army of the United States and was assigned to the Machine Gun Company, 47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division . He accompanied the Regiment overseas to France and participated as a Platoon Leader and Company Commander in the Champagne-Merne, Aisne-Marne, ST. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Defensive Sector Campaigns during World War I. He then served with the 47th Infantry Regiment during the Army of Occupation and returned to the United States to Camp Dodge, Iowa. In 1919, He went with the Regiment to Gary, Indiana during the steel strikes when martial law was declared. In 1920-1924, the then Captain Collier was assigned as the Regimental Operations Officer, 7th US Infantry Regiment , which was stationed at Vancouver Barracks and Camp Lewis, Washington. During this period he was instrumental in the development of the 7th US Infantry Regiment’s Distinctive Unit Insignia. In 1929-1933, he was assigned to the 15th US Infantry Regiment in Tientsen, China where he served as a company and battalion commander. In 1933 he returned to the United States to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he attended the US Army Command and General Staff College. After graduation from the Staff College in 1935, he was assigned as the Brigade Operations Officer and Brigade Executive Officer for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Ontario, Oswego, New York. The then Major Collier attended The Army War College, Washington, D.C. 1935-1937. After graduation from the War College he was assigned as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, I Corps Area at Boston, Massachusetts from 1937-1941. As a Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, he was assigned as the Assistant Director of the Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1942, Colonel Collier was assigned as the Chief of Staff, 78th Infantry Division , Camp Butner, North Carolina, under General Major, Edwin Pearson Parker, Jr

  . Parker died old age 91, on 07-06-1983. The 78th had the next casualties during the European campaign: total-6728, killed in action 1.427; wounded in action 6.103 and dead of wounds 198. Soon thereafter, Colonel Collier was reassigned as Chief of Staff, IV Armoured Corps , under the command of Walton Harry Walker which served in the California Desert and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In 1943, the IV Armoured Corps was redesigned as the XX Corps and was stationed in England, France and Germany during World War II. In November 1944, Colonel Collier was promoted to Brigadier General. General Collier then served as The Chief of Staff for the Eighth Service Command in Dallas, Texas and Chief of Staff, Fifth Army, Chicago, Illinois. In 1948 he was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Forces in Seoul, Korea before being assigned as the Commander, Kobe Base, Japan. In 1950, when the Korean War broke out, he was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff Eighth Army with the duty position of Combat Chief of Staff in Korea serving under Generals Walton Walker, 4* General, Matthew Bunker Ridgway

   James Van Fleet and Mark Clark. He was later reassigned as Deputy G-4, General Headquarters, Far East Command in Tokyo, Japan until 1953. General Collier’s last tour of duty was as the Executive Officer, Review Board Council, Office of the Secretary of the Army until he retired in August 1954. After retiring from the Army, General Collier served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross as the Fairfax County, Virginia, Chapter Chairman and the Red Cross Eastern Area Disaster Consultant until the 1980s.

Death and burial ground of Collier, William Albert.

General Collier died, old age 88, on 24-09-1984 in Springfield, Illinois and is buried on Arlington National Cemetery, in Section 34. Close by in Section 34 the graves of Air Force General, Commanding General U.S. Army Forces, Henry “Happy” Arnold and Major General, Commander 1st Infantry Division “The Big red One” , James Collins. Their casualties during the European campaign; total battle casualties: 20,659, killed in action: 3,616, wounded in action: 15,208, missing in action: 499 and prisoner of war: 1,336.

 

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