Ridgway, Matthew Bunker

Ridgway, Matthew Bunker, 1895–1993, U.S. general, b. Fort Monroe, Va. A West Point graduate, in World War II he was made (1942) assistant division commander and then commander of the 82d Infantry Division. This became the 82d Airborne Division, and Ridgway jumped with his men in the invasions of Sicily, Italy, and France (1942–44). He later commanded the 18th Airborne Corps. Appointed (1950) commander of the U.S. 8th Army in Korea, he replaced (1951) Douglas MacArthur as commander of the United Nations forces in Korea and of the Allied occupation forces in Japan. In June, 1952, Ridgway succeeded Dwight D. Eisenhower as supreme commander of the Allied Powers in Europe and held that post until he became army chief of staff in Aug., 1953. He protested vigorously but unsuccessfully against the Eisenhower administration's overall military policy, which emphasized air and atomic power at the expense of the army and navy. Retiring from the army in June, 1955, with the permanent rank of general, Ridgway was (1955–60) chairman of the board of trustees of the Mellon Institute for Industrial Research in Pittsburgh.

See his memoirs (1956) and book, The Korean War (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies