McCown, Hal Dale.

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McCown, Hal Dale, born 26-11-1916 in in Arkansas, United States, his father, George Malcolm McCown, was 44 and his mother, Myrtle June Snell, was 29. Hal had two brothers, George Snell McCown and Winston Barnard McCown  Hal married Rowena Merle Harmon on 24-05-1942. They were the parents of at least 2 sons and 2 daughters..Ann McCown, David McCown. Hal Jr. McCown, and Marion McCown.  He attended Louisiana State University.

During World War II he served as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 119th Infantry Regiment. During the Battle of the Bulge, McCown was captured by Joachim Peiper’s “Jochen”  Kampfgruppe on 21 December. As Peiper’s unit was surrounded at La Gleize, Peiper negotiated with McCown to release the U.S. prisoners and eventually the prisoners were released when Peiper’s men fled on foot towards German lines. McCown later testified at Peiper’s 1946 war crimes trial

    that he had not seen any American prisoners mistreated by the SS.

The Malmedy massacre was a German war crime committed by soldiers of the Waffen-SS on 17-12-1944, at the Baugnez crossroads near the city of Malmedy, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945). Soldiers of Kampfgruppe Peiper summarily killed eighty-four U.S. Army prisoners of war (POWs) who had surrendered after a brief battle.  The Waffen-SS soldiers had grouped the U.S. POWs in a farmer’s field, where they used machine guns to shoot and kill the grouped POWs; the prisoners of war who survived the gunfire of the massacre then were killed with a coup de grâce gun-shot to the head.

 

Besides the summary execution of the eighty-four U.S. POWs at the farmer’s field, the term “Malmedy massacre” also includes other Waffen-SS massacres of civilians and POWs in Belgian villages and towns in the time after their first massacre of U.S. POWs at Malmedy; these Waffen-SS war crimes were the subjects of the Malmedy massacre trial (May–July 1946), which was a part of the Dachau trials (1945–1947).

The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. Hitler planned the offensive with the primary goal to recapture the important harbour of Antwerp. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. United States forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred the highest casualties for any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany’s war-making resources.

About 610,000 American forces were involved in the battle, and 89,000 were casualties, including 19,000 killed. It was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the United States in World War II.  During the Korean War he served in the 7th Infantry Division   commanding the 17th Infantry Regiment from June 1951.During the Vietnam War he first served in South Vietnam as IV Corps adviser from 1962 to August 1963 and commanded Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann.  At the end of his advisory tour McCown overoptimistically reported that “during 1963 the posture of the VC Vietcong has clearly deteriorated in IV CTZ… we are winning clearly, steadily and, as far as I can see, inexorably.”

He served as commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command, Thailand from June 1967 to 1969 and was instrumental in organising the deployment of the Royal Thai Volunteer Regiment to South Vietnam and the later deployment of the Royal Thai Army Expeditionary Division.: 34–7 

Death and burial ground of McCown, Hal Dale.

   

He served as chief of staff of II Field Force, Vietnam and then as senior adviser, Delta Regional Assistance Command from January 1970 to April 1971.

McCown retired from the Army in 1972 as a Major General and died age 82 on 06-07-1999, in North Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas and is buried at Little Rock National Cemetery. Section 22, Site 659.

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