Throckmorton, John Lathrop [LtCol CO 2ndBn5thRCT]


5th RCT

John L. Throckmorton

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John L. Throckmorton
General John Lathrop Throckmorton
Born February 28, 1913
Kansas City, Missouri
Died February 13, 1986 (aged 72)
Washington, D.C.
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1935-1973
Rank  General
Commands held Strike Command
Third Army
XVIII Airborne Corps
82nd Airborne Division
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star

General John Lathrop Throckmorton (February 28, 1913–February 13, 1986) was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 28, 1913. After graduating from Culver Military Academy in 1931 he attended and graduated from the United States Military Academy on June 12, 1935, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry.

In World War II, he was assigned to the G3 Section, First Army in the European Theater from 1943 to 1946. After the war, he served in the TAC Department at West Point from 1946 to 1949.


He took command of a battalion in the 5th Regimental Combat Team in Hawaii from 1949 to 1950 and later 8/15/50 became the regimental combat team commander from 1950 to 1951 during the Korean War.

After the war, he attended the National War College in 1954, and later became Commandant of Cadets at West Point from 1956 to 1959.

He served from 1959 to 1960 as Assistant Commanding General,101st Airborne Division, followed by an assignment as Secretary General Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff Army from 1960 to 1962.

He took command of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1962 to 1964, then deployed to Vietnam as Deputy Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, from 1964 to 1965. His service in Vietnam was followed by an assignment as Deputy Commander, Office of the Chief Army Reserve from 1965 to 1966.

Throckmorton also served a tour of duty in 1967, commanding Task Force Detroit during the Detroit riots


As commanding general of XVIII Airborne Corps (right), discussing Joint Operation Clove Hitch III with Second Fleet commander Bernard A. Clarey (right), April 1967.

He held successive commands as Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps (1967); Commanding General, Third United States Army, (1967–1969); and Commander in Chief, United States Strike Command, (1969–1973).

General Throckmorton retired in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1973. He died on February 13, 1986 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to his wife, Regina Theresa Higgins, whom he married on October 16, 1937.The library at Fort Bragg is named in his honor.

August 12, 1950

Bill Kean's choice to replace Ordway did cause surprise. He was the 2/5 commander, John L. Throckmorton, a cool and brainy West Pointer who stood high in the class of 1935. Throckmorton, thirty-seven, became the youngest regimental commander in Korea and the first battalion commander in Korea to move up to command a regiment.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Throckmorton was the son of a recently retired Army colonel. At West Point he was a scrub football player and cadet battalion commander for three years and was very nearly selected for cadet captain. After graduation he fell under the influence of Bill Kean, who was tough" but who significantly helped his early career. In Throckmorton's first troop assignment, Kean was his company commander. Later, while working under Bradley in the G1 section of the War Department, Kean sprung Throckmorton from a teaching post (chemistry) at West Point and got him assigned to an infantry division. Still later, when Kean became chief of staff of Bradley's First Army, he drafted Throckmorton for his G3 section, where Throckmorton remained for the rest of the war. During the peacetime years Throckmorton had been a member of the Army's celebrated Rifle Team, and in 1940 he was its coach. In the postwar years he qualified as a paratrooper.