Class III Biographies
Inducted in 2011
 

Major General Charles H. Browne, Jr.

1909-1973


Major General Charles H. Browne, Jr. joined the Kansas National Guard as a Private in 1926, was commissioned in 1939, and was mobilized with the 30th FA Regt, 35th Division, in 1940. Given a battlefield promotion to Major, he served with the 35th Division during the European Campaign throughout WW II. After WW II, he organized the 154th FA Bn, then become Executive Officer, 35th Division Artillery. He became Asst. Division Commander in 1959, and took command of the 35th Division in 1960. When the 35th was inactivated in 1963, he became commander of the 69th Infantry Brigade until his retirement in 1965. He is the only person to hold all enlisted and officer ranks in the 35th Division.

Tech Sergeant William J. H. “Herm” Genrich

1918-2003


Tech Sergeant Herm Genrich signed up for the draft in 1940, received basic training at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, then joined Co C, 134th Inf, 35th Division at Camp Robinson, AR. Training with the 35th Division in California, Alabama, and North Carolina, he landed on Omaha Beach on July 5, 1944. Following the battle at St. Lo, he was promoted to Sergeant, with the battles at Mortain, LeMans, Orleans, Nancy, Morhange, and Sarreguemines following. He received a 35th Division citation for gallantry in action and heroic leadership following the battle at Pevange, France, and the Bronze Star for outstanding leadership during ground combat. After the war, he returned to Nebraska, and died there on June 8, 2003.

Major General Francis S. Greenlief

1921-1999


 

Major General Francis S. Greenlief was mobilized with the 134th Infantry in 1940, and served with the unit throughout WW II, becoming a Platoon Leader in and Commander of Co L, 134th Inf, fighting in the hedgerows of Normandy, the liberation of St. Lo, and the Battle of the Bulge. He was often seen firing his rifle out front of his unit. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Croix de Guerre. After WW II, he returned to Nebraska where he began working for the Nebraska Army National Guard. In 1960, he became Director of the Army National Guard and later the Chief, National Guard Bureau, and Executive Vice President, National Guard Association. He died in 1999.

Captain William Carl Miller

1919-1944


 

Captain William Carl Miller joined Co B, 137th Inf, during the Tennessee Maneuvers. He led the unit onto Omaha Beach as its commander in 1944. He received the Distinguished Service Cross on Aug. 1, 1944, when he took charge of a disorganized battalion at Mortain and personally liquated two German machine gun nests. On Nov. 8, 1944, he received the Silver Star for gallantry in action in directing the fire and movement of his troops, including the destruction of German tanks. He was wounded on Sept. 22, 1944, went AWOL from the hospital to rejoin Co B, 137th Inf, and died of wounds on Dec. 22, 1944 during the battle at Sarraguemines. He is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery, France.

Lieutenant Colonel Henry G. “Hank” Morgan

Born 1920


 

Lieutenant Colonel Morgan graduated from the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, in 1940. Assigned to the 320th Inf Regt, 35th Division, in 1943, he landed on Omaha Beach on July 6, 1944 as Platoon Leader in Co B. The battles at Mortain, the Gremecy Forest, and the Ardennes followed. Wounded on July 11, he rejoined the unit, was wounded again on Nov. 9, and again on Jan. 15. He became the battalion commander during combat action, receiving the Combat Infantry Badge and two Bronze Stars. After WW II, he remained in the Army, retiring in 1968 with 28 years of service and reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In retirement, he has been active in the 320th Inf Regt and 35th Division Associations.

PFC Abelardo R. “Al” Navarrette

Born


 

PFC Abelardo “Al” Navarrette joined Co L, 320th Inf Regt, in California, trained at Fort Rucker, AL and Camp Butner, NC, and landed as First Scout on Omaha Beach on July 7, 1944. Fighting in the hedgerows of Normandy, he took charge of a bazooka, knocking out a German tank. At Mortain he was recognized for his ability to spot Germans. Wounded at Nancy on Nov. 8, a steel plate was placed in his head at a Field Hospital. Assigned to a rear area, he rejoined Co L during the Battle of the Bulge, fighting in succeeding battles. He returned to Texas following the war, raised nine children, and became an active leader in the 320th Inf Regt. In 2004, he served as president of the 35th Div Assn.

Colonel George T. “Tommy” O’Connell

1911-Unknown


Colonel George T. “Tommy” O’Connell rose from the rank of Private to Colonel, commanding the 2d Battalion, 137th Infantry during WW II and seeing combat action during the Battle of St. Lo, the Battle of the Bulge, and the five 35th Division Campaigns during WW II. For his outstanding combat leadership, he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and French Croix DeGuerre. Following WW II, he organized the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, Kansas National Guard. During the Korean War, he commanded the 306th Logistical Command and served as Commandant at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. He retired from the U. S. Army on Feb. 16, 1971.

Major General Jack Strukel, Jr.

Born 1931


Major General Jack Strukel, Jr. enlisted in the U. S. Air Force in 1953, and, upon release from active duty, joined the Kansas National Guard. In the rank of Captain, he commanded the 132d Ord Co and Co A, 3d Bn, 137th Inf, He volunteered as a Captain of Infantry for active duty in 1968 with the 69th Inf Bde, serving in Vietnam with the 505th and 508th Inf Regiments and Hqs, 3d Bde of the 82nd Abn Div. Upon release from active duty, he commanded the 3d Bn, 137th Inf; 1st Bn, 635th Armor; KSARNG Troop Command; 69th Inf Bde (Mech); 89th Army Reserve Command; 122nd Army Reserve Command; and served with Hqs, Dept of the Army, The Pentagon, as Asst. Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. He retired from his Army service in 1991 and served as President of the 35th Div Assn. in 2009. His leadership made the 35th Division Museum and the 35th Division Hall of Fame realities.

 

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