William Wilson Quinn

Lieutenant General William Wilson "Buffalo Bill" Quinn (November 1, 1907 – September 11, 2000)[1][2] was a United States Army officer, who served in intelligence during World War II. Born in Crisfield, Somerset, Maryland and a 1933 graduate of West Point, Quinn retired as a lieutenant general on March 1, 1966 as the commanding general of the Seventh United States Army. He died in Washington, DC at Walter Reed Army Hospital at 92 years old.[3]

William Wilson Quinn
Director of the Strategic Services Unit
In office
April 3, 1946  June 30, 1947
PresidentHarry Truman
Preceded byJohn Magruder
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1907-11-01)November 1, 1907
Crisfield, Maryland, U.S.
DiedSeptember 11, 2000(2000-09-11) (aged 92)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
EducationSt. John's College, Maryland
United States Military Academy (BS)
Military service
Nickname(s)"Buffalo Bill"
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1930–1966
Rank Lieutenant General
UnitUnited States Army Europe
17th Infantry Regiment
Commands34th Infantry Regiment
17th Infantry Regiment
United States Army Europe
7th Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
  Operation Dragoon
  Siegfried Line Campaign
  Battle of the Bulge
  Siege of Bastogne
  Operation Nordwind
Korean War
  Battle of Inchon
Vietnam War
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Legion of Honour (France)
Croix de guerre (France)
Order of St. George (Russia)
Gallantry Cross (Vietnam)


Quinn graduated from Crisfield High with the class of 1925 and then from United States Military Academy with the class of 1933, and in 1938 attended United States Army Infantry School. In 1942 he graduated from Command and General Staff College. In August 1947 he graduated from the National War College.[4]

Commands Held

From 1933–1935 at Fort McKinley Quinn was the commanding officer of Company L, 5th Infantry Regiment. 1935–1936 General Quinn was assigned to Company D and then from 1936–1938 assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 31st Infantry. In 1940 he was the Command of Headquarters Company of the 4th Infantry Division, and the Commanding Officers of Company D, 8th Infantry Division. In July 1942 he became the Chief of Staff of the G-2, IV Army Corps. In 1949 Quinn was the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. In April 1949 he became Chief of the Training Sub-section, I Corps. In January 1950 he became the Assistant Chief of Staff of the G-3, I Corps from February to March. In January 1951, Quinn was the Commanding Officer of the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Division in Korea. In 1952 Quinn became the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Pentagon and Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning Coordination of the Office of Chief of Staff, and then eventually became the Chief of Staff of the Pentagon. In 1953 Quinn was transferred to Greece and to be the Head of the Army Section, Joint Military Aid Group to Greece. In January 1957 he was the Commanding Officer of the 4th Infantry Division of the Strategic Army Corps at Fort Lewis. In July 1958 he became the Deputy Chief of Staff for the G-2 Intelligence of the United States Army. From 1959–1961, Quinn served as the Army's Chief of Information, and in 1959 he became the Chief of Public Information of the Department of the Army. In 1961 Quinn became the Deputy Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency and promoted to lieutenant general. From 1964–1966, Quinn was the Commanding General of the United States Army Europe and Seventh United States Army, commonly referred to as 7th Army, in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany. On March 1, 1966 Quinn retired but became Honorary Colonel of the 17th Infantry, The Buffalos. He was chief of operations of the CIA.[5][6][7][8]

World War II

Quinn participated in the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Dragoon and on January 1, 1945 he was part of Operation Northwind.[9]


Quinn was in Korea from 1951 to 1952 and in August 1951 Quinn was wounded in Korea. While in Korea he won and was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star with the "V" Device. He was also in the Battle of Inchon. While he was in Korea he was the commanding Officer of the 17th Infantry Regiment which was part of the 7th Infantry Division (the 17th Infantry was, and still is, nicknamed "the Buffalo's").[10]


He was Vice President of the Aerospace Group program at Martin Marietta Corporation until 1972; and then afterwards he established Quinn Associates, a consulting firm.[11]

Awards and decorations

  Combat Infantryman Badge
  Glider Badge
  Army Staff Identification Badge
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with V Device and oak leaf cluster
Purple Heart
Air Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters
Army Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters
American Defense Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with arrowhead and 5 campaign stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal (Korea)
Korean Service Medal with arrowhead and 5 campaign stars
Vietnam Service Medal
Order of the Legion of Honor, class of Officer (France)
Order of St. George (Third Class) (Russia)
Croix de guerre (France)
Gallantry Cross with palm (Republic of Vietnam)
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
United Nations Korea Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal



Quinn was married to Sara Bette Williams, who is buried next to him at Arlington National Cemetery. Together they had three children: Donna, William Jr., and Sally Quinn.


Government offices
Preceded by
John Magruder
Director of the Strategic Services Unit
Position abolished
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