Gen. Andrew Pick O’Meara
Gen. Andrew Pick O’Meara USA (Ret.), 98, of Arlington, Va., passed away on Friday, Sept. 30, 2005 at his home.
He was born on March 23, 1907 in West Bend to the late Thomas F. O’Meara, attorney, and Emma Pick O’Meara.
He was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Field Artillery School, Command and General Staff College and National War College.
He served as a lieutenant and captain in field artillery units and as a physics instructor at West Point.
At the time of Pearl Harbor he was serving in the 4th Armored Division.
In 1942, O’Meara was ordered to Headquarters Armored Force, Ft. Knox, Ky. He wrote the doctrine for the Armored Field Artillery and the first manual for tank gunnery.
He was assigned to the staff of General Bradley’s Army group prior to the Normandy invasion, and was made deputy commander of VII Corps Artillery when Germans counterattacked in the Ardennes.
In 1946, O’Meara became director, gunnery department, the Field Artillery School. He oversaw the consolidation and simplification of the methods of gunnery used in World War I and World War II.
He was the only officer to have headed gunnery departments in both Armored and Field Artillery schools.
He commanded artillery groups at Ft. Sill in 1947-1948.
As deputy director for the Plans, Logistic Division, European Command from 1948-1951, he laid out and negotiated the U.S. Army line of communications across France and the establishment of its headquarters and depots.
O’Meara was promoted to Brigadier General and took command of the 7th Division Artillery in Korea in July 1952. He commanded artillery at Pork Chop Hill and at the battle for Triangle Hill (598).
In June 1953, O’Meara took command of IX Corps Artillery.
At the end of the Korean War, he was assigned to Army General Staff where he was deputy director or director of Research and Development, 1953-1957. In August 1957, O’Meara assumed command of the 4th Armored Division, Ft. Hood, Texas and moved the division to Germany in December 1957.
In March 1959 he became director of Military Assistance in the U.S. European Command, Paris, with responsibility for all NATO countries, North Africa and the Middle East, including Pakistan.
In February 1961, O’Meara was promoted to lieutenant general and became commander-in-chief Caribbean, the U.S. Unified Commander having military responsibility for Latin America.
He was promoted to general in June 1963, and changed the name of Caribbean Command to U.S. Southern Command.
O’Meara ejected the Panamanian rioters from the Canal Zone in January 1964.
He was named commander-in-chief of United States Army Europe, and NATO Central Army Group in March 1965.
Among other duties, he moved all troops, families, headquarters, communications and 1,500 tons of ammunition and supplies out of France.
He retired June 1, 1967.
He believed his major accomplishments were:
- To force, over great opposition, the funding of development of the turbine engine, which makes the Abrams the great tank it is.
- To command an armored division in a free maneuver against an infantry division which resulted in all infantry divisions in Europe being mechanized.
His decorations included: DSM with cluster, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with cluster, Bronze Star with V with cluster, Air Medal and awards by 10 foreign countries.
He married his cherished wife, Ellen Aldridge Fraser of German-town, S.C. and Leesburg, Va. (died Nov. 10, 1995), and they had two daughters, Ellen Johnson (died March 1, 2000) and Louisa Heiberg, married in Army, and a son, Col. Andrew P. O’Meara Jr. USA (Ret.).
He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 26-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9:45 a.m., at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Va.
Interment, with full military honors, will follow in Arlington Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to The Knights of Malta, Federal Association USA, 1730 M St., N.W., Suite 403, Washington D.C. 20036.
The Murphy Funeral Home, Arlington, Va., is assisting the family.