History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


William C. Westmoreland

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Outstanding color portrait of General Westmoreland as Army Chief of Staff

William Childs Westmoreland, 1914–2005.  General, United States Army; Army Chief of Staff, 1968–1972.  8" x 10" color portrait photograph signed W. C. Westmoreland.

This is a formal color bust portrait of Westmoreland in his uniform bearing the rank of a General in the United States Army.  Westmoreland, who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1936, received a temporary promotion from lieutenant general to general in August 1964 and achieved the permanent rank of general a year later, in August 1965.  This photograph, which shows four stars on Westmorelandʼs shoulders, was taken January 1, 1969, after Westmoreland had been named Army Chief of Staff.

Westmoreland commanded the American forces in Vietnam for four years, from 1964 to 1968.  He sought to wear down the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong, taking advantage of American superiority in both artillery and air power and pounding the North with strategic bombing.  From some 184,000 American troops in Vietnam at the end of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized a total of 429,000 by August 1966, and by 1968 the number was approximately 550,000.  Westmorelandʼs strategy underestimated the Northʼs will to fight, however, and increasing opposition to the war in the United States as American casualties continued to climb forced Johnson to abandon the idea of increasing the number of American troops in Vietnam to about 700,000.

Westmoreland returned to the United States and was sworn in as Army Chief of Staff on July 7, 1968, and held the position some four years before he retired in July 1972.

This photograph, which bears the Kodak watermark on the back, is in very fine condition.  Westmoreland has signed in purple in the lower white margin.  There is slight brushing to the “la" in “Westmoreland,” and a small bend in the white border across the upper left corner, which is not particularly noticeable, keeps us from grading this photo extra fine.

Unframed.  Click here for information about framing this piece.


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