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Julius Becton at time of interview

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Cold War; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps; Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: US Army Operational Test and Evaluation Center; 9th Infantry Regiment; 542nd Heavy Construction Company; 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division; 2nd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division; 1st Cavalry Division; VII Corps; 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
  • Location of Service: Korea; Germany; Vietnam; France
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant General
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/75519

View full service history

"We had the spirit of [the cavalry] and the spirit of airborne--you combine those two things, you become almost untouchable...at least we thought we were, anyhow." (Video interview, 1:03:05)

The son of a janitor from Pennsylvania, Lieutenant General Julius Becton's career in the Army spanned multiple decades, conflicts, and continents--as well as profound changes within the military itself. Commissioned as an officer in August 1945, he served with a racially segregated unit in Moratai and the Philippines; after the war, he went back to civilian life, only to return to the Army following desegregation of the military. Departing for Korea in 1950, he led troops through a number of harrowing situations and was wounded twice himself. He received further training and additional promotions during the interwar period, and in 1967, he deployed to Vietnam, where he served as commander of a cavalry squadron of the 101st Airborne Division. Throughout his distinguished career--he reached the rank of Lieutenant General in 1978, and retired from the Army in 1983--he stayed true to his guiding philosophy of integrity above all.

Interview / Recording

About this Item

Title

  • Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. Collection

Names

  • Thomas J. Wiener
  • Becton Jr., Julius Wesley
  • Billington, James H.
  • Veterans History Project
  • Library of Congress

Home State

  • Virginia

Headings

  • -  Becton Jr., Julius Wesley
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army Air Forces/Corps.
  • -  Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.
  • -  Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.
  • -  Cold War -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • Black or African American

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Army Air Forces/Corps
    • Service Unit/Ship: 542nd Heavy Construction Company; 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Infantry Division; 2nd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division; 1st Cavalry Division; VII Corps
    • Location of Service: France
    • Highest Rank: Lieutenant General
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1983
    • Military Status: veteran
  • Korean War, 1950-1953

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: 9th Infantry Regiment
    • Location of Service: Korea
    • Military Status: veteran
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
    • Location of Service: Vietnam
    • Military Status: veteran
  • Cold War

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: US Army Operational Test and Evaluation Center
    • Location of Service: Germany
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2010-11-02; 2010-11-02)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2010-11-02; 2010-11-02)
  • Manuscript: Biographical information [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Video: VHS [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2006-01-07; 2006)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 2006-01-07; 2013-02-08)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 2015-09)
  • Video: Digital File [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2010-11-02; 2019-04-15)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/75519

Cite as

  • Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. Collection (AFC/2001/001/75519), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Thomas J. Wiener, Julius Wesley Becton Jr, James H Billington, Veterans History Project, and Library Of Congress. Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.75519/.

APA citation style:

Thomas J. Wiener, Becton Jr, J. W., Billington, J. H., Veterans History Project & Library Of Congress. (1943) Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.75519/.

MLA citation style:

Thomas J. Wiener, et al. Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.75519/>.