William S. deCamp

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deCAMP Major General (Ret.) WILLIAM S. deCAMP, PhD On September 3, 2009, General Bill deCamp, 74, departed this life from his home in Fairfax, Virginia. He is survived by his beloved wife, Elizabeth Debora deCamp; his three sons, Colonel William S. deCamp, Jr., (USA, Retired) of Charlottesville, VA, Lieutenant Colonel Philip D. deCamp, (USA, Retired) of Williamsburg, VA, and Mr. Timothy L. deCamp of Vienna, VA; three stepchildren; eight grandchildren and seven step-grandchildren. His first wife, Anne Draper deCamp, passed away in May 1989 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. General deCamp, a third-generation Army officer, was born at Fort Monroe on September 24, 1934, where his father was an instructor at the Coast Artillery School. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1956 as the Cadet Commander and a distinguished military graduate, General deCamp was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Armor. General deCamp''s first assignments included service in the 5th Infantry Division in California, the 4th Cavalry and US Army Pacific in Hawaii, and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Maryland. General deCamp then attended Tulane University, earning a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, followed by three cherished years as an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His attachment to his fellow officers and the institution of West Point led to his instatement as an honorary member of the USMA Class of 1956. In 1968, General deCamp deployed to the Republic of South Vietnam and commanded the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry assigned to the 4th Infantry Division operating in the central highlands, where his awards and decorations included the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Upon return from Vietnam, he attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science from Tulane. General deCamp was then assigned to the Pentagon in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army. After completing an Army War College fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, he returned to the Pentagon to serve as the Chief of the Mutual and Balanced Forces Reduction Treaty and as an Army Planner in the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. During this period he bought and finished the house of his dreams, cheered on the Washington Redskins, and served the community as a Little League baseball coach, Elementary School PTA President, and as an adult leader in Boy Scouts. In 1975, General deCamp was assigned to Europe to command the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, West Germany, followed by assignments as the special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander in SHAPE, Belgium; Assistant Division Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division in Kitzingen, West Germany; and as the Joint Chiefs representative to the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions negotiations in Vienna, Austria. In 1980, General deCamp returned to the Pentagon, where he served as the Director of the Inter-American Region in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal. General deCamp retired from active duty in June 1984. In retirement, Bill split his time between Fairfax and his beach house near Charleston, SC, where he enjoyed hosting get-togethers with friends and family. To his last day, he was a soldier. Visitation will be held on Wednesday evening, September 9, 2009 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Murphy Falls Church Funeral Home, 1102 W. Broad St., Fall Church, Virginia. Online condolences may be made at www.murphyfuneralhomes.com . A memorial service will be held at the Fort Myer Chapel at 11 a.m. on December 3, 2009. Immediately following the service, General deCamp will be interred with Full Military Honors alongside his first wife, Anne, at the Arlington National Cemetery.

Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 6, 2009
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Falls Church, VA   (703) 533-0341
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