William Albert Forbes

November 12, 1924November 7, 2018

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM ALBERT FORBES USA (Ret.)

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM ALBERT FORBES USA (Ret.) died November 7th, 2018 peacefully at his home in Washington, D.C., just shy of his 94th birthday.

Colonel Forbes was born November 12, 1924 in Columbus, Georgia to Albert Marion Forbes and Frances Belle Weaver Forbes. His father, a well known Columbus business man, was in partnership with the Walton-Forbes Printing Company in Columbus, Georgia.

Colonel Forbes began his Army career in December 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1943 at age eighteen, one of the Army's youngest officers. The following year with the 4th Infantry Division on D-Day he led an assault platoon on UTAH beach where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star Medal and received a battlefield promotion to First Lieutenant. He led his platoon throughout the difficult hedgerow battles of the Normandy campaign, leading the attack to seize the town of Montebourg. After street fighting to capture and secure Cherbourg he was selected First Officer of the Day there until his unit moved south to St.Lo for the Northern France campaign. He was then assigned as an instructor at the new overseas Officer Candidate School at Fontainebleau where he met and married a charming French girl and later had four children with her.

Returning to the United States in 1945 he was posted as an instructor at The Infantry School at Fort Benning followed by command and staff assignments in Puerto Rico, Germany, and the 7th Infantry Division in Korea as operations officer and Aide de Camp to the commanding general. A later posting was as Secretary of the General Staff at European Command COMZ.

Following his 1961 graduation from the Army's Command and Staff College he was assigned to the staff of the Secretary of Defense directing International Security Affairs for allied countries in the Near East and South Asia and was appointed military representative to the Under Secretary of State developing U.S. national policy for India and Pakistan.

Retiring from the Army in 1966, Colonel Forbes held staff positions with Computer Sciences Corporation and CACI. Subsequently, he pursued his life long interest in military history authoring a book and military history articles and book reviews. He authored a detailed history of his Forbes family from their first arrival in New York from Scotland in 1684 and in 1988 he was honored with armorial bearings in the name of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II , and is named among all the recorded Nobles of Scotland.

A longtime resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Colonel Forbes held undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland and The George Washington University. He was a member of the Cosmos Club, past President of the Saint Andrew’s Society, a member of the Aztec Club of 1847, The Society of the Colonial Wars, The Order of the Indian Wars and the founder of the Clan Forbes Society.

For his World War II combat service for the Liberation of France, Colonel Forbes was awarded Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, France's highest distinction. He was also awarded the Legion of Merit.

He was predeceased by his wife Mary Jane Colton Forbes and by his first wife Janine M. Forbes. He is survived by his daughters Christine Forbes, Beatrice Forbes, Daphne Forbes (Edward Curtis) and son Ronald Forbes, granddaughter Valerie Curtis (Nick D'Amato), grandsons Micheil McMahon and Daniel Curtis and great granddaughter Morgan D'Amato, and niece Beverly Ogle.


William Albert Forbes

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