Texas Military Forces
Hall of Honor
General (Brevet) Jay A. Matthews, Jr., was born 13 April 1918 in St.
Louis, Missouri. Educated in California, he trained with the U.S.
Maritime Service and attended San Jose State College in 1939.
He entered military service in 1941 and served with the 7th, 95th and
97th Infantry Divisions in World War II. He served in Europe and with
the occupation forces in Japan, attaining the rank of Warrant Officer,
Junior Grade. He was released from active duty 23 January 1946 and
joined the Texas National Guard in November 1946. He was appointed a
second lieutenant as Chief, Enlisted Personnel Section, Adjutant
General's Department in 1947 and in 1951 became the Detachment Commander
of the State Headquarters Detachment. He served in various positions in
the State Headquarters and ended his career as a colonel in 1971 as
Chief of the Emergency Operations Division. Among his many notable
accomplishments was the organization of the Military Support to Civil
Authorities Branch of the Department. This was accomplished during the
trying times of riots and demonstrations during the Vietnam era and the
threat of nuclear war.
In addition to his military accomplishments, General Matthews served as
Chairman of National Security Committee of the U.S. Jaycees and Director
of Civil Defense for the City of Austin.
After his retirement, he served as a consultant to the Adjutant General
on historical and public affairs and it was during this period, 1973 to
1979, he researched and caused to be reproduced the "Ten Battle Flags of
the Texas Revolution." He also researched and had constructed replicas
of the "Twin Sisters" and organized the "Texas Bicentennial Guard" which
today is known as the Guard of the Republic. He was responsible for the
establishment of the "Muster Day" program and the Texas Guard Hall of
Honor to recognize the service of distinguished Texas Guardsmen.
He was very active in the National Guard Association of Texas serving as
chairman of the Military History Committee for four years and as such,
founded and edited the "Texas Military History" magazine for 27 years.
The most notable of his accomplishments as a military historian was his
publication of the ten volume set of the "Military Papers of the Texas
Revolution, 1835-1836." He is a fellow and past governor of the Company
of Military Historians and an honorary life member of the Instituto
Historia de Militar de Mexico.
In recognition of his vast and dedicated service, General Matthews was
awarded the Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal in addition to
numerous other federal and state awards. His service was further
recognized by his promotion to Brevet Brigadier General on 8 September
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