Edwin Anderson Walker was born on Nov. 10, 1909, in Center Point, Tex. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1931.
During World War II, the then Colonel Walker commanded a special operations force comprised of Americans and Canadians in the Aleutian Islands, Italy and France. This unit, known as the Special Service Force, was trained for airborne, amphibious, mountain and ski operations; it fought and secured the bloody Anzio beachhead in Italy and played a key role in the Normandy Invasion of occupied France. A movie about this, the most elite of the allied elite units, was made starring actor Cliff Robertson. He later commanded the 417th Infantry Regiment, attached to the Third Army, and at V-E Day he was commanding a special task unit in Oslo.
During the Korean War, he commanded the Third Infantry Division’s Seventh Regiment with distinction in some of the war’s fiercest engagements and was senior adviser to the First Korean Corps. He later served as military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek of Nationalist China. In 1957, as commander of the Arkansas military district, General Walker led the troops ordered to Little Rock by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to quell disturbances resulting from the integration of public schools there.
By this time Walker had established himself as one of our military’s most gifted and accomplished officers. His career seemed on a fast track to four stars and even appointment to the Joint Chiefs. It should be noted that had General Walker not resigned from the Army in 1961, he might have very well ended up appointed as the U.S. Forces Commander during the Viet Name War. But alas, it was not to be.
In 1959, General Walker’s stellar career led him to a command of the famous 24th Infantry Division, then stationed in Germany. The Division was a crucial force in the defense of Western Europe from the Warsaw Pact Forces. It was an assignment indicative of someone who was expected to rise to the upper most echelons of the U.S. Army.
General Walker’s command of the 24th Division was praised by senior leaders throughout the Army. By early 1961 his term as the Division’s commander was nearly over and Walker was about to receive promotion to Lieutenant General when his fortunes seemed to change in an instant.
In that year, several months after the inauguration of President Kennedy, signs of tension between the Kennedy administration and the Pentagon began to surface. The Kennedy administration did not trust the military and feared public embarrassment over the consensus among military leaders that Kennedy lacked any firm commitment in the world wide struggle against Communism. The failure of Kennedy to authorize the requested air support during the Bay of Pigs invasion was the lynchpin of the operation’s failure for which Kennedy took sole responsibility. In short, the nation’s military establishment believed Kennedy was in “over his head” and his appointment of leftist ideologues to the Defense Department further alienated the brass.
Lacking the public support to challenge the Joint Chiefs directly, Kennedy and his people were looking for someone to make an example of in hopes of keeping the military in check.
They found what they were looking for when an obscure overseas newspaper, which was circulated among the G.I.s stationed in Europe, and billed as the Leftist alternative to The Stars and Stripes, published libelous and unsubstantiated charges that General Walker had made unflattering comments about certain prominent American liberals and further that he was “indoctrinating” his soldiers with material from the rightist John Birch Society. In fact, both charges, which Walker had vehemently denied all along, were later proved to be completely false by the official government inquiry into the matter. Unfortunately, not before Walker was summarily relieved of his command by liberal academic turned Kennedy Secretary of the Army Elvis Stahr. A purge of other lower level “anti-communist” flag officers followed.
This resulted in considerable outrage among millions of veterans in America. Having been publically humiliated, General Walker chose to resign rather than subject himself to further character assassination.
Upon returning to his home state of Texas, General Walker was welcomed to Dallas by the Mayor and over a thousand of the city’s most prominent citizens. A video of this event is embedded above showing General Walker receiving an award from the Mayor of Dallas. Soon thereafter, General Walker began to speak out as a private citizen often lambasting the Kennedy administration over its shiftless foreign policy and political correctness. In fact, the Case of General Walker and those who followed him mark the first real appearance of a leftist political correctness from any level of government.
General Walker began attracting large crowds to his speeches while Kennedy’s popularity in the Southern and Western states began to wane. Walker’s image was placed on the cover of Time magazine and the clarion call he was sounding to America was quickly gaining an ever widening audience.
In the State of Mississippi, after making a public statement with the state’s Governor, a riot erupted on the campus of the University of Mississippi in protest of the federal government’s forced integration of the college. At one point during the clash with federal authorities, General Walker climbed a statute on the campus and made a public and forceful plea for the violence to stop and for the protestors to return home.
Despite this, then Attorney General Robert Kennedy indicted General Walker, his brother’s political nemesis, on charges of inciting a riot. The charges never even got past the grand jury and were dismissed as baseless. Yet before this, the Kennedys had Walker committed to a Federal Insane Asylum to discredit him publically. This unwarranted and politically motivated action shocked many in the psychiatric medicine community at the time especially as it was a common ploy of the communist leadership in the former Soviet Union to place political dissidents in mental hospitals.
General Walker’s reputation and career were perhaps the first in a long succession of those of other military officers to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Many more would follow and will continue to do so until the patriots of this country take their land and culture back.
Edwin Walker’s decorations included the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with cluster and the Legion of Merit, as well as honors from France, Britain, Norway and South Korea.