Julian Ewell was a career United States Army officer who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He commanded the 9th Infantry Division and II Field Force in Vietnam, and attained the rank of Lieutenant General.
In June 1944, Ewell parachuted into Normandy and led his men into combat for the first time. Despite being unable to immediately account for a majority of his battalion because so many paratroopers had missed their landing zones, Ewell was still able to regroup and engage the Nazi defenses.
On September 17, 1944 Ewell’s battalion parachuted into the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden and Ewell soon moved up to regimental executive officer. With the death of 501st commander Colonel Howard R. Johnson on October 8, Ewell moved up to regimental command.
That winter he commanded the 501st when the 101st Airborne Division was rushed into the emergency defense of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge, and received the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions.
Ewell continued his service after World War II. As a Colonel in the late 1940s he served as Executive Officer to General Maxwell Taylor during Taylor’s command of U.S. forces in Berlin. In 1953, he was assigned as commander of the 9th Infantry Regiment in South Korea.
After the Korean War Ewell attained the rank of Brigadier General, and his assignments included: Assistant Commandant of Cadets at West Point; Executive Assistant to General Taylor during Taylor’s assignment as Military Aide to President John F. Kennedy and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Assistant Division Commander of the 8th Infantry Division; Chief of Staff of V Corps in West Germany; and Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff for Combat Developments Command.
From 1968 to 1969 Ewell commanded the 9th Infantry Division as a Major General. During his command, the division carried out Operation Speedy Express, an effort to eliminate Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers with overwhelming force.
From 1969 to 1970 Ewell commanded II Field Force in Vietnam, receiving promotion to Lieutenant General.
After leaving command of II Field Force Ewell was military advisor to the U.S.-South Vietnamese delegation at the negotiations for the Paris Peace Accords.