View Full Version : Lt. Gen. W. P. Yarborough, 93, Army Airborne Forces Leader, Dies

11 December 2005, 13:08
December 9, 2005
Lt. Gen. W. P. Yarborough, 93, Army Airborne Forces Leader, Dies

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C., Dec. 8 (AP) - Lt. Gen. William P. Yarborough, who was an early leader of the Army's airborne forces, died here on Tuesday. General Yarborough, who won President John F. Kennedy's blessing for Special Forces soldiers to wear green berets, was 93.

He died after complications from recent hip surgery, said Rudi Gresham, his longtime aide

General Yarborough was born on May 12, 1912, in Seattle, graduated from West Point in 1936, served in the military until his retirement in 1971, and held high-level posts in the Army's Airborne, Special Operations and intelligence branches.

He was made commander of the Army's Special Warfare Center, now the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1961 as the Vietnam War was increasing the demand for stealthy combat skills.

In 1941, according to his official Army biography, he designed the paratrooper's boot and uniform and the winged insignia given to qualified paratroopers.

General Yarborough led paratroopers into battle in North Africa, Salerno and Anzio in Italy, and southern France in World War II. After the war, he was placed in charge of police activities in Vienna, where he organized patrols of American, Soviet, French and British troops.

As head of the special warfare center in 1962, he tapped a former West Point classmate who was a military aide to Kennedy to press his case to allow the green beret to become part of the uniform of Army Special Forces soldiers. Kennedy was visiting Fort Bragg to see a demonstration of Special Forces units and said he wanted to see the troops in the berets.

General Yarborough's military service is also commemorated with a knife named after him and issued only to current or former Green Berets. Each Yarborough knife bears a serial number registering its owner.

General Yarborough is survived by his daughter, Patty Reed, and his son, Lee Yarborough, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Special Forces.

19 December 2005, 01:06
RIP, General -- I'm sure you'll be greatly missed...

Dark Helmet
19 December 2005, 01:13
RIP. And we lose another legend.

22 December 2005, 09:12
I just read his bio in Paraglide yesterday.

RIP Sir, thank you for everything.

23 December 2005, 11:20
RIP Sir, and Thank You.

Raider Rakkasans
23 December 2005, 11:53

23 December 2005, 14:29
And we lose another legend. I don't think we've lost a legend, rather he is now going to be even bigger in Army Lore and legend. RIP Hero.

23 December 2005, 23:05
RIP, you have earned it Sir!

24 December 2005, 20:38
RIP, Brother!