William Jordan Verbeck Obituary
Post Standard of Syracuse, N.Y. undated
Maj. Gen. William J. Verbeck, native of Manlius, died Thursday in Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D. C. He resided at 2320 N. Florida St., in Arlington, Va.
He was a member of a distinguished military family, one whose name dots the history of The Manlius School and military service in the state and nation. He attended the Manlius School commencement last June and participated in the Old Boys' reunion.
Gen. Verbeck was the, son of the late Brig. Gen. William Verbeck, who was head of The Manlius School from 1888 until his death in 1930.
Maj. Gen. Verbeck retired June 30, 1963, after 41 years of outstanding Army service. At the time he retired he was commanding general of the XIII Army Corps and Ft. Devens, Mass.
He was born in Manlius on Jan. 20, 1904, and was graduated from the Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry on June 14, 1927. Prior to World War II, Gen. Verbeck handled several infantry assignments, including duty with the Philippine Scouts (Moro) at Zamboanga Philippine Islands, and put in a tour of duty as professor of military science and tactics at The Manlius School. He served with the U. S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
Gen Verbeck attended The Infantry School in 1933-34 and then assumed command of Co. D, 16th Infantry Regiment at Camp Dix, N. J., and Governor's Island, N.Y.
From November, 1941 to June, 1944, he served in Alaska, and for one year was commander of the Alaskan Scouts.
In July, 1944, he was assigned to X Corps in New Guinea. Later he was reassigned to the 21st Infantry Regiment as commanding officer. Subsequently he was chief of staff of the 24th Infantry Division and served in, the campaigns in Le y t e, Mindoro, Luzon and Mindanao in t h e Philippines.
In September, 1945, Gen. Verbeck was commanding officer of troops for a year at the U. S. Military Academy. Then he attended the War College, from which he graduated in June, 1947.
Thereafter he was assigned until December, 1948, on the Department of Army General Staff. After that he was appointed chief of the Army section, U. S. military mission in Brazil. In May, 1951, he was assigned as senior assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Security Council. He served in that capacity until reassigned to Korea in November, 1952. In Korea he was senior advisor to the G3, Republic of Korea Army. Subsequent assignments included those as commanding officer of the United Nations Command prisoner of war camp No. 6, and with headquarters of the 2nd Logistical Command.
Upon completion of Korean service, Gen. Verbeck again served on the Department of the Army General Staff and in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until November, 1954, when he became Chief of the Pennsylvania Military District. In November 1955, he was reassigned to Fort Brooke, Puerto Rico, as commanding general of the U. S. Army Forces, Antilles. He served there until February, 1957, when he became Chief of the Joint Brazil-United States Military Commission, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Early in 1959, Gen Verbeck was reassigned to Washington, D. C., where he served on the Council of Army Review Boards.
On Sept. 1, 1959, he assumed command of the XIII United States Army Corps and Fort Devens and continued in that capacity until he retired.
Gen. Verbeck held 19 major decorations. They were: Distinguished Service M e d a 1, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal with valor device and two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal and Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster.
Also American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with six battle stars, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with three battle stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and United Nations Service Medal. Also, Combat Infantryman Badge, Distinguished Unit Emblem, Presidential Unit Citation Badge (Republic of Korea), the General Staff of Defense Identification Badge.
Gen. Verbeck gained fame as a fierce front line fighter during World War II.
The Legion of Merit he received in 1944 was in recognition of the role he played in the expulsion of the Japanese from the Aleutian Islands.
Prior to the occupation of Amchitka by American forces, Gen. Verbeck, on his own initiative, knowing the lack of information concerning this terrain, personally led a reconnaissance party over the island at a time when it was not known whether it was occupied by the enemy. The subsequent occupation of this island was greatly assisted by the advance information he obtained.
During the battle of Attu, Gen. Verbeck displayed "marked energy, initiative and personal courage by accompanying the advanced elements under heavy fire," a citation said: "Through outstanding ability, resourcefulness and imitative he made an important contribution to the engagement and expulsion of the enemy from the Aleutian Islands." Gen. Verbeck was often praised during the Alaskan campaign because he used his knowledge and familiarity with the language and customs of the Japanese to trick and outwit the enemy.
Gen. Verbeck is survived by his wife, Margaret McDowell Verbeck, and two sons, William McDowell Verbeck, and Charles Henry Verbeck, both of Arlington, and several nieces and nephews.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday in the Fort Myer Chapel in Fort Myer, Va., with interment in Arlington National Cemetery. The family requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions might be made to the American Cancer Society.
The Taro Leaf, Vol 19(4) 1965-1966.