Newgarden, Paul Woolever “Pistol Paul”.

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Newgarden, Paul Woolever, born on 24-02-1892 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a United States Army medical officer, Lieutenant Colonel George Joseph Newgarden and Margaret Woolever Newgarden. George died 25-03-1942, age 77, about two years before his son.

As a boy Paul lived on a number of Army posts until his father’s retirement due to physical disability in the line of duty in 1907. Seeking an Army career, he obtained an appointment at large to the United States Military Academy and entered on 01-03-1909 from Washington, D. C. at the age of 17.

As a cadet he was popular, and early on showed the basic elements of leadership which would mark him for early selection to command. Throughout his four years as a cadet he worked industriously in the gym and made several athletic squads, including baseball, broadsword, indoor meet, and hockey. He took an intense interest in marksmanship, earning the nickname “Pistol Paul”. He became a Distinguished Pistol Shot and a member of the Infantry Pistol Team which, in 1923, won a national championship from the Marines.

An ardent believer in the Infantry as the backbone of the Army, he joined the 21st Infantry Regiment nickname “Gimlet”, at Vancouver Barracks in 1913, and was also assigned to several training camps on the west coast as an instructor just prior to World War I. In 1919 he was National Junior Saber Champion. Next he was assigned as a tactical officer at West Point, which prevented him from going overseas in World War I. He saw those battlefields when after the war he accompanied a group of early graduates on a trip through France, Germany and Italy.

While at the Infantry School in 1921-1922 he continued his interest and training in marksmanship. He served in 1924 with the 27th Infantry Regiment in Hawaii as a Major, and completed his tour in the Islands with a year as Inspector of the Hawaiian Division. Upon his return to the United States he completed The Command and General Staff School, and was then assigned to command the Infantry Demonstration Battalion at The Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, from 1927 to 1931. His experience in tactics was rapidly broadening, and his interest in sports continued. He took part in polo, tennis, swimming, and hunting, and also taught tennis at Fort Sill, as he had done in Hawaii. While at Fort Sill he met and married Priscilla Quinby of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, in December 1927.

Following courses at the Army War College in 1931–1932, he had duty in the Training Section, Office of the Chief of Infantry. By now his ability for higher echelon jobs was well established and he became G-l of the First Army in its initial organization from 1934 to 1936, and later G-3 of the Sixth Corps Area in Chicago. However, his main love was straight duty with troops. In 1940 he organized and trained the 418th Infantry Regiment . During this period General George Smith Patton said of him on his efficiency report: “Colonel Newgarden is the best regimental commander I know. He is a natural leader. He will go far”. His rise in command was fast.

On 15-01-1942 he was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded Combat Team A of the 2nd Armored Division. Shortly thereafter, on 22-06-1942, he was promoted to temporary Major General, and assigned to organize and train the 10th Armored Division  at Fort Benning.

Said Newgarden, “We of the 10th Armored Division have chosen to call ourselves ‘Tigers’ because of the tiger’s many soldierly characteristics. Tenth Armored ‘Tigers’ should be able to describe to their friends, as well as be able to impress their enemies, with these tiger qualities. The ‘Tiger’ is primarily a field soldier. He is at home in the field, jungles, or woods. His motto is to ‘Terrify and Destroy’. He is able to carry out his motto because of his marvelous muscular development, smooth coordination, his ability to maneuver and surprise his prey, and when he hits, he hits hard, and shoots straight at the mark with devastating accuracy. No one ever saw a fat ‘Tiger’—he keeps himself in perfect condition—not to mention his coat, which is always clean and neat. The ‘Tiger’ has one weak spot—he hates water, but he can be taught to swim. The ‘Tiger’s’ favorite attack is made in the dark—he has such a good sense of direction, and he has worked so much in the dark, that he never gets lost. The ‘Tiger’ never quits. He is the most ferocious fighter in the animal kingdom. We have 12,000 ‘Tigers’ that will never be licked.”

Official visitors were impressed with the superior results he obtained. Among those visitors were the President, the Army Chief of Staff, and various general officers high in the training organization of the Army as well as distinguished British leaders, including Anthony Eden.

While Major General William Henry Morris Jr. took the “Tigers” into battle, Newgarden was the first to command and train them, and the 10th Armored Division played key roles in several engagements during World War II. Casualties of the 10th during the European campaign, total battle casualties: 4,031, killed in action: 642, wounded in action: 3,109, missing in action: 64 and prisoner of war: 216.

Death and burial ground of Newgarden, Paul Woolever.

On 14-07-1944, while traveling in a military aircraft from an Armored Force conference at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to his Division Headquarters at Fort Benning, Georgia, Newgarden learned that one of his junior officers could have a few hours with his family by rerouting the plane through Chattanooga, Tennessee. He approved the change. The new route was unexpectedly blanketed with a violent storm, resulting in a fatal crash.

Newgarden, age 51, was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit on 12-10-1944, the presentation being made to his widow. The citation read, “For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as Commanding General, 10th Armored Division, from its activation 15-07-1942 to his death 15-07-1944”.

Newgarden was survived by his widow, Priscilla Quinby Newgarden, who lived in Brunswick, Maine; his stepmother Mrs. George J. Newgarden of Washington, D. C. and his brother, Colonel George J. Newgarden, Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired) . who died 25-01-1974, age 79, in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

The likeness of General Newgarden, , was drawn in charcoal by T/4 Louis J. Short of the Tiger Division.

“Pistol Paul” Newgarden is buried at Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, Section 4 Lot 3291-A

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