Major General S.H. Matheson

IF you have a personal recollection about the General, send it to David J. and I will post it here.

This is the latest on date and time of Iron Duke’s burial at Arlington. I received from Michael McFadden a former CO in 2/502 and a friend of the Matheson’s.
No Slack,

I have been advised by the Matheson Family that a final date/time has been established for Gen Matt’s burial at Arlington. Please note that neither the day nor time is one of the two previously provided. At this time the scheduled burial (which they indicate is “firm”) is … April 29th at 1045 hrs. This is a friday and the weather should be hospitable. I was asked to pass this information along to all of you in hopes you could assist in notifying others.

CSM (RET) Joe Bossi just called with sad news, former 1st Brigade Commander “IRON DUKE” S. H. Matheson passed away this morning Jan. 8, 2005.
General Matheson led the 1st Brigade from Jan. 1967 to Jan. 1968 and was one of the original Easy Co. Band of Brothers.
Yankee Jim

It is truly a sad day!
Rich Luttrell Co. A 2/327 Vietnam 67-68

What a sad day for 1st BDE. He looked so good at the reunion in Phoenix, this year. May he live in God’s hands.
Above the Rest Gen.!
Jungle Jim Grainger

Major General (Ret.) S. H. Matheson “Iron Duke” Commander 1st Brigade (Separate) 101st Airborne Division (HHC-CG

1/67-1/68. General Matheson,War Time Commander of the Always First Brigade, started his Airborne Career as a original member of Easy Company 506th Infantry World War II, passed away this AM. His passing was reported to CSM.(Ret) Robert Young, former Brigade Sergeant Major and 101st Airborne Division Sergeant Major, by the Generals wife, Funeral Home information is not available at this time. As soon as the funeral information is received I will forward the information. General Matheson will be missed he was a Mountain of a Man a Screaming Eagle and Brother.
Joseph M. Bossi CSM. (Ret) Honorary Sergeant Major 327th Infantry Regiment

I met Gen. Matheson at the 1st Brigade Separate reunion in Phoenix in September this year. He was in his element with his former soldiers and he was genuinely happy and moved by the love, respect and attention he was shown by those who served under him. He will be missed by all of us. He devoted his life to serving his country. God Rest his soul.
Above The Rest,
Ken Potts

Dear fellow Screaming Eagles: Tonight it is my duty to report to you that this afternoon I received word that our hero and beloved leader in Vietnam died today. Although he and I live just four miles apart, I was not aware of any acute illness or other health problems. Colonels Mike Mc Fadden and Jerry Morse both called me to pass on the sad news. They had heard it from Generals Ben Harrison and Rip Collins respectively. I know that he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at some future, yet unknown date. I have no other details at this time.

Those of you present at the 1st Brigade reunion in Phoenix had an opportunity to see and hear the old warrior in action once again despite his frailties. Carolyn and I had the honor of accompanying General Matt and Pat on the return flight from Phoenix to Monterey. It was the last time we saw them. Please forward this email to others whom you believe would like to know of Salva A. Matheson’s passing. He was a great leader…the next time you raise a glass, remember the guy who never forgot Joe Tentpeg, and would not let us forget him as well. May he rest in peace.
No Slack, Airborne all the way,
Ray Millard
[email protected]

I served under the General’s Command in Vietnam and he will be missed by those of us who where his Troops. As a Commander, Soldier’s under his charge always came First and as a Soldier serving his Country from his start as a young officer in Easy Company 506th to his Command of the Always First Brigade he will be remember. We the Veterans of the Brigade were his Band of Brother’s and till the last one of us joins him we will never forget.
Joseph M. Bossi CSM.(Ret)Honorary Sergeant Major 327th Infantry Regiment

I’m very saddened by The Man’s passing. Ain’t never personally known all that many Gen’rals in my life, but I remember well the day we threw this one’s fully-dressed ass in the ocean in Chu Lai, and he came out a-sputtering “That’s my boys, my boys!”.
RIP Boss….

Mom and I also met General Matheson; I took a photograph of him coming out of the Hospitality Suite at the Phoenix Reunion of the 1st Brigade.
When I heard the cheers and greetings of respect given him at the Banquet of the Reunion, I was touched beyond words. The entire room lit up with the most wonderful sounds, the most powerful ovation with the room up on their feet!

On the day of the Memorial Service, I looked at him and saw as all were leaving and stopping to say things to each other–I was able to walk over to him, kiss him and say, “I love you.” Our eyes understood each other and my heart also understood the significance of the day. His wife was regal as she sat with him there. Love, History, and Love abounded in that space and time.
My heartfelt prayers are with all through the loss and through the tributes to The General. I heard the roar of your hearts when in Phoenix and his name was called. Mom’s heart is also with you.

It’s a sad day at Black Rock. Gen. Matheson was a great leader of men and we were all His greatest concern in that God forsaken land so many years ago.

I remember the time when Gen. Matheson, Gen. Westmorland, Gen. Harold K. Johnson (from D.C.) & one more Guy (can’t remember his name) and our Battalion Surg. Dr. Brad Muchler, (often known as, The Duke of Pahduka Ky,) due to His Carrizmatic ability to make Men smile, when We wanted to cry & of course, He was alway’s a Gentleman, & funnier than Hell.. ( The Halkeye Peirce of 1st Batt..)

So anywho, They sucked T.F. out of the jungle and up to a Toc Cp for security for the incoming General’s one day (can’t remember the date or the Cp’s name) up out of Chu Lie I think? They were coming to find out How ? We were getting so many Gook’s & not looseing many of our guy’s, & age wise. + It seem’s as though We had reached the 100,000 th mark on Daid Gookage? not positive on that.

So, here come’s this chopper landing on the Cp. and all these General’s are laughing like hell, and Dr. Muthchler is grinning like a moose eating applesause. The good Dr. had been entertaining them on the flight, something about, how he put himself through Med school by selling His sperm, to several differant, Sperm Bank’s in and around Kentucky.. I swear to God, I didn’t think Gen. Matheson & Westy were ever going to regain their composier. but, they finally did.
Then, Ghostrider, Capt. Magaha & some other Brass (CRS) had Their meeting in front of a big map, under an open air canvas. I tryed too hear what was disgust & took a super 8 flick of part of the meeting, but? only a few minute’s & no sound, of course.. I have long sense been seperated from the short flick though, due to x-wive’s & My lack of intrest back in the 70’s & 80’s .
Wish I still had it just so I could share it with You Guy’s..

The most talked about answer too Their question’s on & age’s, seemed too be (Our Ambushing ability’s & Night Move’s.) That was also the first time I heard the word’s (pink zone’s) & what pink zone’s were. Pink Zone’s were A.O.’s that had been covered with Chu Hoi leaflet’s and other warning’s for the Villager’s & Farmer’s & Such, to go to certain place’s and stay there until the word came for them too return too their villages & farm’s, After We Routed Out The Enemy. As We all know, Most or? Alot of them didn’t leave . They then became (Pink) and were considered to be either The Enemy or? Enemy Sympathizer’s helping The Enemy against Us, & Doing so in Free Fire Zone’s .

After the meeting Gen. Matheson Saluted Us All & said somthing? like, good hunting or? somthing like that. He was the only one of the General’s that Saluted Us that day & I have alway’s felt realy good, about that, & The Man Himself.. RIP GENERAL MATHESON !
Doug Teeters.

Thank you for forwarding Sergeant Bossi’s announcement of General Matheson’s passing. He was a great soldier, leader and commander through three wars and much conflict. He cared for his men, insisted on top performance by his officers and NCO leaders, and maintained exceptionally high personal and professional standards by his personal example. Our great country, our Army, the Screaming Eagles, the Always First Brigade and the many troopers who benefited from his leadership all owe him a great debt of gratitude.

I did not serve in the First Brigade during the period when General Matheson commanded (January 1967-January 1968). However, two tours with the Always First in Vietnam (June 1965-June 1966), and September 1968-June 1970) ensured knowledge of his legendary leadership and accomplishments.

To General Matheson’s family, friends, fellow soldiers and admirers, I extend heartfelt condolences and best wishes as we hold to our memories of General Matheson as a guide for our future endeavors.
Charles W. Dyke

I received the below e-mail on MG Salve H. Matheson yesterday. He assumed command of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) on 20 March 1961, assisted by Sergeant Major John Pioletti. He commanded the 1st Brigade (Separate), 101st Airborne Division in the Republic of Vietnam from 1967-1968. I spoke to his daughter last evening, who shared that he died peacefully in his sleep after returning home from the hospital. He was under hospice care for prostate cancer and other complications. MG Matheson will be interred at Arlington Cemetery, with the date to be determined as there is waiting list of up to two months.

Condolences may be sent to
Mrs. Pat Matheson at
26080 Mesa Drive
Carmel, California 92923

Geoff Barker

Here’s a run down of MG Matheson’s service:

Platoon Leader and Battalion S4, 2-506th PIR (1942-1945)
Commander, 1st ABG, 506th Infantry
Commander, 10th SFG (ABN), (1961)
Assistant Division Commander, 101st Airborne Division (1966)
Commander, 1st BDE (Separate), 101st ABN (JAN 1967-JAN 1968)
Commanding General, Fort Campbell, KY (1968-1969)
Commanding General, 2nd Infantry Division

Captain James Page

“AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY” That was what Gen. Matt was and the thing he was most proud of, being a paratrooper and leading paratroopers. As we used to say in the ‘Old Army’ He had the ability to inspire his troops to “Follow him through Hell with a snowball in each hand.” That is the quality that creates the difference between a leader and a great leader. All of the comments here reference his leadership with the 1st Bde (Sep) 101st, however I had the privilege to have served under Iron Duke three times in both unconventional and conventional units. 10th SF Bad Toltz, 506th (ARCT) Ft. Campbell and 2/327 VN. This was as an enlisted man with the first two and as an officer with the last. Gen Matt was a Col. in the first two assignments and the same trait applied in all thee experiences. ‘A good leader inspires trust in his leadership ability, however a great leader inspires trust in oneself’ This was the gift that allowed General Matheson to be that GREAT LEADER!!

I feel that it can safely be said by all who served with you that you will be missed as the green light signals your final jump!
Jim Joiner

In December 66 or Jan 67, BG Matheson departed Fort Campbell to command the First Brigade in Vietnam. His departure ceremony was held at 9 AM, and there was a big shindig at the officers’ club that evening in his honor. LTC George E. Peters, Jr. and I (an SFC) were given the task of preparing a pictorial memento of his tenure as ADC.

We used a 2-inch 3-ring loose-leaf binder covered in plastic to assemble and caption a ton of pictures in document protectors. The PIO office had plenty of shots of BG Matheson out in various places with the troops, in his office, jumping, etc. We had them all inserted in the book a few days before. Colonel Peters was a guy people dream of working for. He knew everybody. He had connections everywhere. His twin brother was also an artillery LTC and he worked in the Pentagon at the time. He could wave his magic wand and produce most anything.

This was long before photo film could be picked up an hour after deposit, but Colonel Peters arranged for PIO to take pictures of Iron Duke’s departure ceremony that morning and had me take them to Clarksville to a friend of his and come back in two hours to pick the prints up. PIO couldn’t get the developed that quickly. I took them to Clarksville, eased over to the FOE club and had a drink while I waited.

We put the pictures in the binder, where we already had the captions ready to stick on, and that book was presented to General Matheson that evening at the officer’s club. Everybody wondered how in the hell it had pictures in it from this morning. Nobody could get same-day photo processing back in those days. Colonel Pete did.

I believe Paul Huff (MOH) was General Matheson’s sergeant major, and I think he took him with him from Campbell to Vietnam. Seems I remember Paul was the Division Re-enlistment SGM at the time. I remember he was the only airborne soldier permitted to wear a mustache in those days. I remember Joe Bossi from somewhere, but I can’t place him. Seems he was an SFC when I knew him. In my old age, my memory is selective, or I should say random.

Iron Duke was a loved and respected man.
Fred Marshall
CSM, USA, Retired