Brigadier General William B. Fulton receives Distinguished Service Medal aboard the USS Benewah – September 1967.
Lt. General William B. Fulton, USA, Ret., who served as the Association of the United States Army’s director of industry affairs, died Jan. 20 in Arlington, Virginia. He was 87. Joining the AUSA staff shortly after retiring from the service as the director of the Army staff at the Department of the Army, Fulton was in charge of the Association’s Sustaining Member Program, advertising for both ARMY Magazine and AUSA NEWS, the Annual Meeting and Exposition and the growing symposia program � a series of professional development forums held around the country each year dealing with timely topics affecting national defense, the posture of the Army and the men and women who serve. Fulton served with AUSA from May 1977 to January 1985. A native of Berkley, Calif., Fulton graduated from the University of California at Berkley in 1938 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a commission in the United States Army. He was an honor graduate of the Reserve Officer’s Training Program (ROTC).
As a newly commissioned second lieutenant of infantry, Fulton was assigned to an infantry replacement center in Oregon. He then entered Word War II and joined the 91st Infantry Division in North Africa where he commanded a platoon. As a captain, Fulton commanded a company that moved into Italy and fought in the Rome-Arno Campaign, experienced combat in the North Appenines to Bologna and then saw action in the Po Valley — its final campaign of the war. For his gallantry and heroism in combat, he was awarded the nation’s second highest award for valor — the Distinguished Service Cross. Returning to the United States to attend the Command and General Staff College, Fulton then held a variety of assignments first in Germany, and then an instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. During the Korean War, he was on the planning staff, and later G1, with Headquarters, Army Forces Far East Advanced, before joining the 4th Infantry Division as a battalion commander. After an assignment in the Pentagon in research and development, Fulton attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, served as a member of a special study group in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was a member of the Army War College’s staff and faculty during which time he completed his studies for a master’s degree in international relations from George Washington University.
Fulton then joined the re-activated 9th Infantry Division � the “Old Reliables” — at Fort Riley, Kan. As the United States increased its troop commitment to Southeast Asia, Fulton became the commander of the division’s 2nd Brigade and, under his leadership, his unit expanded from a handful of officers and noncommissioned officers into a full-strength, combat-ready fighting unit that was deployed to Vietnam in late January 1967. While in country, Fulton launched combat operations in the Mekong River Delta and later, because of its combat efficiencies in this new endeavor, the brigade teamed up with Navy Task Force 117 to form the Mobile Riverine Force � an effective and proficient joint fighting unit of historic proportions. To record the successes of these operations, Fulton later authored a monograph titled “Vietnam Studies � Riverine Operations, 1966 �1969.” After becoming the 9th Division’s assistant division commander, Fulton served in several key staff assignments in Washington and also as the deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Training Center (Infantry), Fort Polk, La.; commanding general, 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash., and commanding general, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Fort Sheridan, Ill. In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, Fulton’s other awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal (14 awards), the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge (two awards). “General Bill Fulton was truly an American hero and a ‘Soldier’s Soldier,” the president of the Association of the United States Army said. “Serving in the Army for over 31 years in Italy, Germany, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the United States, General Fulton had a vision for the future of our Army � especially in Vietnam was he was a pioneer in joint operations when he joined his forces with a Navy unit in the historic Riverine Operations,” Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., said. He added, “He brought that vision, dedication and dynamic leadership to AUSA after he retired from active duty. He led this Association to new heights and helped put our Annual Meeting and Exposition on the path to becoming the world’s largest and best land warfare forum.” Fulton is survived be his wife, the former Nancy Tuttle. They are the parents of four children, Claire, Judith, Laurie and William Jr.
General Fulton awards Spec 4 Ronnie Gann his 2nd Purple Heart. Ronnie was with the 4th Platoon, Charlie Company, 4th/47th in 1966 & 1967. This was Ronnie’s 21st Birthday and he and The General celebrated with beer and cup cakes.
Rollie Gangler, General Fulton, Bill Reynolds, and Stan Cockerell chatting briefly prior to the General giving a speech at MRFA’s Veteran’s Day Reunion, Year 2000. It was a thrill for us to meet General Fulton!
Colonel William Fulton and 5 Star General Omar Bradley at Dong Tam. I will never forget the day in August 1967 when General Bradley and a huge entourage of soldiers visited with several of us 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company troopers as we prepared for another patrol out of Dong Tam. We were simply astonished that such a famous General would take time to talk with us.