Hall of Honor
West, a native of Illinois, enlisted in the Missouri National Guard in
1928, was mobilized with the Oklahoma National Guard in 1940 and served
on the War Department General Staff and in the Southwest Pacific during
World War II.
He joined the Texas National Guard's newly activated 49th Armored
Division in 1947 and served as its G-3 chief of staff and, in 1955, as
assistant division commander.
General West was appointed to command of the 49th in 1961 and promoted
to major general. Three months later the division was ordered to active
duty at Fort Polk, Louisiana, during the Berlin Crisis. General West
assumed the additional responsibility of commanding and developing the
newly re-activated ghost facility to a busy post of 25,000, concurrently
training the division and its supporting units to a state of combat
readiness and deployability.
Demobilization in 1962 brought the greater challenge of rebuilding the
49th into a state of readiness following release from active duty. He
delayed his retirement to do this and his success was commended by the
Commanding General of the Fourth U.S. Army.
"General West has commanded in an exceptional manner and there is no
question that the upward trend to the accomplishment of high general
efficiency has been in response to his great energy, dedication and
uncompromising demand for high quality performance in the 49th Armored
He was appointed a brevet lieutenant general upon retirement.
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