William Durward Connor

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William Durward Connor
William Durward Conner.png
Major General William D. Connor
Born(1874-02-22)February 22, 1874
Rock County, Wisconsin
DiedJune 16, 1960(1960-06-16) (aged 86)
West Point, New York
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1897–1938
RankMajor General
Commands heldSuperintendent of the United States Military Academy
2nd Infantry Division
US Army forces in China
American forces in France
63rd Brigade
Battles/warsSpanish–American War
World War I
World War II
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
Commander of the Legion of Honour (France)
Croix de guerre (France)

William Durward Connor (February 22, 1874 – June 16, 1960) was a career United States Army officer who became a superintendent of the United States Military Academy after originally serving in the Corps of Engineers. While stationed in the Philippines, he participated in the Spanish–American War. He later served with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

Early life[edit]

Connor was born in Wisconsin on February 22, 1874. He received an appointment to West Point from Iowa, graduating first in his class in 1897; his Cullum Number is 3742. He received his commission as an engineer.[1]

Military career[edit]

He began his military career as an officer in the Corps of Engineers. During the Spanish–American War, he served in the Philippines as an engineer and was awarded a Silver Star for heroism in combat.[2][3]

Connor (wearing civilian clothes) inspecting a maneuver of the German Reichswehr in July 1929.

From 1909 to 1916, he was with the War Department General Staff and was promoted to colonel and appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces in 1917, following the entry of the United States in World War I. In July 1918, he was promoted brigadier general, and given command of the 63rd Brigade, 32nd Infantry Division. At the Battle of Château-Thierry, he was awarded a second Silver Star.[3]

For his World War I service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.[3] He also received the Order of the Bath from Britain and from France, he received the Croix de guerre and was named a Commander of the Legion of Honour. After the war he served as Commanding General of American forces in France until 1920.[2]

Returning to the United States, Connor served as the Chief of Transportation Service in 1921, Deputy Chief of Staff, US Army, in 1922 and Commanding General of US Army forces in China, 1923 to 1926. He was promoted to major general in 1925, serving as commander of the 2nd Infantry Division until 1927, and as Commandant of the Army War College until 1932. He served as the Superintendent at West Point from 1932 to 1938.[1]

Later life[edit]

Connor retired from the US Army on 28 February 1938 but was recalled for service during World War II as Chairman of the Construction Advisory Committee, War Department on May 7, 1941. He remained in that capacity until March 31, 1942, when he reverted to the retired status.[1][4][2] He died at Walter Reed Medical Center.[2] and is buried at the West Point Cemetery, section 18, row G, grave 75.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Biographical register of the officers and graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., from its establishment, in 1802 : (Supplement, volume IX 1940-1950)". United States Military Academy Library. 1950. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  2. ^ a b c d Davis 1998, pp. 82–83.
  3. ^ a b c "Valor awards for William Durward Connor".
  4. ^ Venzon 1995, pp. 166–167.
  5. ^ William Durward Connor at Find a Grave. Retrieved on 2009-04-29.


Military offices
Preceded by
William Ruthven Smith
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Jay Leland Benedict