- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Herbert G. Sparrow, 95, retired general

Herbert G. Sparrow, a retired Army major general, died of congestive heart failure July 7 at his residence at the Arleigh Burke Pavilion in McLean. He was 95.

A native of the District, Gen. Sparrow graduated from Central High School and Staunton (Va.) Military Academy. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1933, and went on to serve through World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Commissioned in the field artillery, Gen. Sparrow commanded troops at all levels from horse-drawn gun batteries in the 1930s to a guided-missile brigade in the 1960s. In the 1950s, he commanded the 42nd Field Artillery Group, armed with atomic cannon, the first tactical nuclear weapons under control of the U.S. 7th Army commander in Germany.

During World War II, he served in the Pacific. He was with the 25th Infantry Division and 6th Army during the liberation of Luzon in the Philippines, and then was chief of staff of the 98th Division in Japan. Later, he served with Allied Forces Southern Europe in Italy, with U.S. military assistance groups in Southeast Asia and in France, and on the Army General Staff in Washington.

He served three tours at the Pentagon.

A graduate of the Army War College in 1953, he later commanded XX Corps in the mid-1960s. He retired in 1970 as chief of the Army Audit Agency, but was recalled to become director of the Army Council of Review Boards. On completing 40 years of active duty, he retired a second time in 1973.

His Army decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (three times), the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Ribbon. He was the last man in his West Point class to retire from continuous active duty.

His activities in retirement included freelance writing on military-related subjects and four years as treasurer of the Army Distaff Foundation. He compiled a history of the West Point Class of 1933, of which he was vice president and scribe, and in his later years, president.

Gen. Sparrow is survived by his wife of 71 years, Virginia Monroe Sparrow of McLean; a son, Herbert G. Sparrow III of Grosse Pointe, Mich; two daughters, Virginia S. Smith of Manchester, Conn., and Kathryn S. Cotton of Bethlehem, Pa.; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Donations can be made to the West Point Fund, Association of Graduates, 698 Mills Road, West Point, N.Y. 10996.

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