Lieutenant General Thomas Weldon Dunn, (September 12, 1908 -January 19, 1983) a native of Texas, was born in Fort Worth, Texas.
He graduated high school and entered the United States Military Academy from there. Upon graduation in 1930, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 12th Field Artillery at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City. It is one of the four U.S. military service academies, and one of the five U.S. service academies.
He left Fort Sam Houston in August 1933 to attend the Battery Officers Course at the Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He completed the course in 1934 and joined the 11th Field Artillery Regiment at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He returned to the mainland in December 1936 and was assigned to the 17th Field Artillery at Fort Bragg, N. C. Three years later he became a gunnery instructor in the Field Artillery School and in July 1941 was named a gunnery instructor in the Officer Candidate School there.
The 11th Field Artillery Regiment is a Field Artillery Branch regiment of the United States Army first formed in 1916. A parent regiment in the U.S. Army Regimental System, one battalion of the regiment is currently active, the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
December 1942 he was transferred to Brisbane, Australia to be Chief Branch Instructor in the Officer Candidate School for U.S. Forces, Southwest Pacific Area. He became Assistant Director of Training at the school in June 1943 and Director of Training in November 1943. In April 1944 he was designated Assistant Artillery Officer, Headquarter, Sixth U. S. Army and served in that position, in combat, in New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon. He was also with the initial occupation forces in Japan.
Sixth Army is a field army of the United States Army. The Army service component command of United States Southern Command, its area of responsibility includes 31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is headquartered at Fort Sam Houston.
He returned to the Field Artillery School in February 1946 as Assistant Director of Gunnery. In July 1947 he was transferred to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he became an instructor in the Department of Analysis and Research. In 1949 he attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. from which he graduated in 1950 to become a member of the Policy, Training, and Organization Section of the Joint Strategic Plans Group, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In July 1951 he was appointed assistant to the Director of the Joint Staff.
The National War College (NWC) of the United States is a school in the National Defense University. It is housed in Roosevelt Hall on Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., the third-oldest Army post still active.
The Director of the Joint Staff (DJS) is a three-star officer who assists the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a cabinet of senior military officers within the United States Armed Forces who advise the Secretary of Defense and President on military matters. The Director assists the Chairman in managing the Joint Staff and with the management and organization of the staff's members. The Director also chairs meetings of the Operations Deputies, a subsidiary body comprising the Director and a three-star delegate from each service who preview or resolve issues before they are escalated to the four-star level of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In February 1953 he was named Division Artillery Commander of the 40th Infantry Division in Korea and later as Commanding General of I Corps Artillery.
The 40th Infantry Division is a modular division of the United States Army. Following the army's modularization the division has become a four-brigade combat team with National Guardsmen from throughout the Pacific/Western United States and Oceania. Its division headquarters is located at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California.
I Corps is a corps of the United States Army headquartered in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. It is a major formation of United States Army Forces Command and its current mission involves administrative oversight of Army units in the Asia-Pacific region.
Upon his return from Korea in February 1954 he became Chief of the Organization and Training Division in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Department of the Army. In August 1954 he was appointed Deputy Commandant, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He served as Acting Commandant for a brief period. He was transferred from there in July 1956 and named Commanding General, US Army Training Center (Field Artillery), Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
In January 1958 he was assigned to Paris, France, where he was named Assistant Chief of Staff, Programs, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). He returned to the United States in August 1960 and was named the Commandant of the Army War College.
In March 1962, he was designated Commanding General, III Corps (STRAC) and took command of the Corps and Fort Hood, Texas. The two headquarters were integrated in April 1962 as Headquarters III Corps and Fort Hood at the recommendation of Dunn.
December 1963 he assumed command of I Corps (Group) in Korea. In March 1965 Dunn was assigned as Commanding General, First U.S. Army and Senior U. S. Army Representative to the United Nations Military Staff Committee.
Dunn was the last commanding general of U.S. First Army while it was headquartered at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York.
With the consolidation of U.S. Second Army into First Army at Fort Meade, Maryland in January 1966, Dunn was assigned the post of commanding general of U.S. Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
While there one of his aides, Major Richard H. Pearce defected with his 5-year old son to Cuba in May 1967. Pearce flew from Key West, Florida, on what was a short pleasure flight and landed in Cuba, requesting asylum, publicly stating he could no longer live in the United States. Pearce was on leave at the time and had concluded a divorce and was experiencing custody problems. Pearce returned to the United States on his own accord in November 1979. He pleaded guilty at a court-martial in 1980 and was sentenced to one year. The sentence was dismissed, but he forfeited $200,000 in pay and allowances and was dismissed from the Army.
Dunn died on January 19, 1983, in San Antonio, Texas. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit w/1 OLC, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines), and Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).
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