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Gen William Pelham Yarborough
Birth: May 12, 1912
Seattle
King County
Washington, USA
Death: Dec. 6, 2005
Southern Pines
Moore County
North Carolina, USA

US Army officer, he is considered the Father of the Army’s Special Forces (also known as the Green Berets). The son of Army Colonel Leroy W. and Addessia Yarborough, he attended high school at San Raphael Military Academy in California, and graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 1936. His initial assignment was with the 57th Infantry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) at Fort McKinley, Luzon, and in 1940, he was transferred to the 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. In late 1940, he joined the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, taking command of Company C. He helped to design the paratroopers’ boot, the paratrooper’s uniform, and most importantly (his most lasting influence) the parachutist’s badge. Promoted to Major in 1942 and selected by General Mark Clark to be his airborne advisor, he planned the airborne phase of the North African invasion, and joined in the airborne assault on Youks les Bains Airfield near Tebessa, Algeria. In March 1943, he was promoted to Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and participated in the Sicily invasion. He later made the parachute assault into southern France, and in 1945, was promoted to Colonel, to command the 473rd Regimental Combat Team. At the end of World War II, Yarborough was promoted to Brigadier General, and named as Provost Marshal for US Forces in Austria. He had a number of assignments in the postwar years, and in 1961 to 1965, he was Commandant of the US Army’s Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, NC, where he oversaw the buildup of the Army’s Special Forces. He established courses such as foreign language instruction, the Unconventional Warfare Course, and the Counter Terrorism Course. In 1961, he arranged for President John F. Kennedy to visit the school, and requested that the Green Beret be authorized as the official headgear for the Special Forces, a request that President Kennedy soon granted. Following his assignment at the JFK Center, General Yarborough was assigned to the UN Military Armistice Commission at Panmunjom, Korea, and in the final years of his military career, he was assigned as Chief of Intelligence at the Pentagon. He frequently prepared study papers for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and directed a study of Southeast Asia after the end of the Vietnam Conflict. General Yarborough’s numerous awards include Honorary Member of the British SAS Regiment, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit (4 awards), the Italian Cross of Valor, the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, and parachutist badges from Cambodia, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and South Vietnam. General Yarborough also wrote two books, “Bail Out Over North Africa,” and “So You Want a Volunteer Army?” (Bio by John Michael)
 (bio by: John Michael) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Norma Mae Tuttle Yarborough (1918 - 1999)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: SECTION 4 SITE 3099-D
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: John Michael
Record added: Jun 28, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14757836
Gen William Pelham Yarborough
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Gen William Pelham Yarborough
Added by: Lorenzo Brieba
 
Gen William Pelham Yarborough
Added by: John Michael
 
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- Johnny
 Added: Oct. 1, 2014
Sunday morning Blessings, and sent with love...
- Patty Valentino
 Added: Sep. 21, 2014

- Maggie
 Added: Sep. 21, 2014
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