Herbert G. Sparrow

2006
Herbert G. Sparrow, 95, a retired major general whose Army career covered a span from horse-drawn gun batteries to guided
missiles, died of congestive heart failure July 7 at Arleigh Burke Pavilion in McLean, where he lived.
Gen. Sparrow was born in Washington and attended Central High School before graduating from Staunton Military Academy in
Virginia.
He received a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1933 and was commissioned in the field
artillery. He commanded horse-drawn gun batteries during the 1930s and in World War II served in the Pacific with the 25th
Infantry Division and 6th Army during the liberation of Luzon in the Philippines. He also served as chief of staff of the 98th
Division in Japan.
After the war, he served with Allied Forces Southern Europe in Italy, with U.S. military assistance groups in Southeast Asia and
France, and on the Army general staff in Washington. He graduated from the Army War College in 1952 and from 1954 to '55
commanded the 42nd Field Artillery Group. The unit was armed with atomic cannons, the first tactical nuclear weapons under
control of the U.S. 7th Army Commander in Germany. In 1964-65, he commanded the XXth Corps at Fort Hays, Ohio.
Gen. Sparrow retired in 1970 as chief of the U.S. Army Audit Agency but was recalled to become director of the Army Council of
Review Boards. He retired a second time in 1973 after 40 years of active duty.
His decorations include three awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Ribbon.
He was the last man in his West Point class to retire from active duty.
In retirement, he wrote extensively on military-related subjects and was treasurer for four years of the Army Distaff Foundation.
He compiled a history of the West Point Class of 1933, of which he was vice president, scribe and, in later years, president. He
also wrote what his family called "poem letters," more than 75 ruminations on some of his favorite poetry, which he
bound and presented to his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Virginia Monroe Sparrow of McLean; three children, Herbert G. Sparrow III of Grosse
Pointe, Mich., Virginia S. Smith of Manchester, Conn., and Kathryn S. Cotton of Bethlehem, Pa.; 10 grandchildren; and 11
great-grandchildren.