Notable Alumni of the 32d Armor Regiment
This section is under development, however we will post findings here as soon as we document them.
Scroll down to view each Notable Alumni:
James “Bonecrusher“ Smith – 2-32 Armor
Lafayette Pool – CW2 Lafayette Pool & Crew of “In the Mood” – Americans greatest Tank killers from 3-32 ArmorWWII.
Lafayette G. Pool was born on July 23, 1919, on a farm in Odem, Texas. He graduated from high school in Taft, Texas in 1938. He attended an all boys Catholic Academy where he graduated as class valedictorian. Afterwards, he enrolled in Texas A and I College, as an engineering major. He left college to enlist in the Army on June 13, 1941. He took basic training at San Antonio, Texas, and then was sent to Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, to the newly forming 3d Armored Division. He landed with his unit at Normandy in June, 1944. As an M4 “Sherman” Tank Commander in Company I, 3d Battalion, 32d Armored Regiment, he led his crew across France and Belgium and led his Task Force in 21 separate attacks. In 80 days he and his crew destroyed 258 German vehicles, captured 250 German soldiers, and killed an estimated 1000 German soldiers. In his final battle SSG Pool was blow from the turret of his tank and his right leg was shattered and had to be removed. He was discharged from the Army in June of 1946. He was recalled to active duty in 1948 to serve as an instructor with 3d Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He retired from the Army on September 19, 1960 as a Chief Warrant Officer 2d Class. His military decorations included Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star, Belgium Fourragere. Lafayette Pool passed away in his sleep on May 30, 1991. There is an extensive section on Pool in the WWII section of the main web site.
Elvis A. Presley – known around the world as the “King of Rock and Roll”, ElvisPresley was drafted and served in the HQ Co.1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32d Armored Regiment from 24 March1958 to 5 March 1960. His Army serial number was US 53310861. He earned a sharpshooter badge for the .45 pistol and M1 rifle and a marksman badge for the M2 carbine. He received a Good Conduct Medal and a 3d Armored Division Certificate of Achievement (for faithful and efficient performance of duty). He was twenty-three years old when he was drafted as a recruit and age twenty-five when he left as a sergeant E-5. More to come.
Axel Rose – well-known rock and roll artist with the group “Guns and Roses”. Axel Rose is believed to have served in the 2-32 Armor at Ayers Kaserne, Kirchgoens, Germany in the early 1980’s. Mr. Rose has a prominent tattoo on his forearm of the 32d Armor Regiment Crest which is highly noticeable in photos of the entertainer. We have only been able acquire a few second hand accounts of Axel’s service, anyone who would have more information, we would appreciate it being passed on.
James “Bonecrusher“ Smith – Bonecrusher Smith is a well known heavy weight boxing champion. It was reported that he served in the 2/32 by another veteran. Anyone who can verify this story or give more details as to the time frame, please contact the webmaster.
General (Retired) Gordon R. Sullivan-Chief of Staff, United States Army, was commissioned a second lieutenant of Armor and awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Norwich University in 1959. He holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire. His military schooling includes the Armor school, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. He has served in a variety of Command and Staff positions including four years in joint and allied assignments. His overseas assignments include four tours in Europe, two in Vietnam and one in Korea. General Sullivan also served in assignments on the Army Staff in Washington, DC, including a tour as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. General Sullivan has commanded at platoon through division level. In United State Army, Europe, He was assigned 3d Battalion 32d Armor as a Captain and later served as 1st Brigade, 3 Armor Division Commander. Gen. Sullivan later served as 3d Armored Division Chief of Staff and the VII Corps Operations officer (G-3). Subsequently, he served as the Assistant Commandant of the Armor School at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, on the NATO staff as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Support of the Central Army Group in Germany, and as the Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He also served as the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, Kansas. In June 1991, General Sullivan became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General (Retired) Ronald H. Griffith –(Former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army & Commanded 1AD in Gulf War) – Commanded 1-32 AR. More to come on Gen. Griffith.
General (Retired) Donn A. Starry, Commanded 1-32 AR in Germany, perhaps best remembered for his influence on the Army as commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), graduated from West Point in 1948 as a second lieutenant of Armor, after having enlisted as a private in 1943. His early career included staff and command positions in the United States, Europe, and Korea. During this same period, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army War College. In 1969, he commanded the llth Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Republic of Vietnam and led its attack into Cambodia in May 1970.
In 1973, he became commanding general, U.S. Army Armor Center and School, and then commander, V Corps, in the Federal Republic of Germany. Later, as commander of TRADOC, Starry formulated AirLand Battle doctrine, which prepared the Army for warfighting into the twenty-first century.
General Starry’s emphasis on soldierly values and sound, realistic, and standardized training led the Army out of the Vietnam era and formed it into a regenerated instrument of national power. General Donn A. Starry was a consummate professional officer whose enormous influence on the Army will be felt for many years.
LT. General Paul J. Kern – (Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (R&D&A)) – Served as an operations officer in 3AD and Commanded 5-32 AR in 24th ID
Lieutenant General Paul J. Kern, as Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, is the senior military advisor to the Army Acquisition Executive and the Army Chief of Staff on all research, development and acquisition programs and related issues. He supervises the Program Executive Officer system, and serves as the Director, Army Acquisition Corps. General Kern, a native of New Jersey, was commissioned in 1967 following graduation from the United States Military Academy. In 1973 he earned Master’s Degrees in Mechanical and Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. His military education includes the Armor Basic Course, Infantry Officer Advanced Course, United States Army Command and General Staff College, Defense
Systems Management College, and a Harvard University Senior Service College Fellowship.
Lieutenant General Kern served as the Commander, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the Army’s Experimental Force; as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.; Military Staff Assistant, Defense Research and Engineering for Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.; and Director of Requirements (Support Systems), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Washington, D.C. General Kern also served as Team Chief, Light Combat Vehicle Team, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Washington, D.C. and as the Program Branch Chief, Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems, Warren, Michigan. He taught weapon systems and automotive engineering at the United States Military Academy and was the department’s research officer.
General Kern’s career includes service as Commander, 5th Battalion, 32d Armor, 24th Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Commander, 2d Brigade 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart and Southwest Asia during Desert Storm; and Assistant Division Commander of the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart.
General Kern served two tours in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment as a platoon leader and troop commander, and as a battalion operations officer with the 3d Armored Division in Germany.
General Kern’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; the Army Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star; Defense Superior Service Medal; two awards of the Legion of Merit; two awards of the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device; three awards of the Bronze Star Medal; three awards of the Purple Heart; five awards of the Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Parachutist Badge; Ranger Tab; Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge; and Army Staff Identification Badge