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John William Hudachek

No. 1987521 May 1930 - 17 September 2010

Died: Springfield, VA

Interred: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

John William Hudachek was born in Cedar Rapids, IA, on 21 May 1930 to Lewis and Agnes Hudachek, who lived on a farm near Mechanicsville, IA. His sister Mary was born in 1932. In the late 1930s, John’s father learned to fly and bought a small plane. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, John’s father was recruited by the U.S. War Training Service to train U.S. Army Air Corps pilots. John went to school and worked the farm. Following World War II, his father taught John to fly.


John graduated from Mechanicsville High School in 1948 and entered the University of Iowa, majoring in mechanical engineering, pending his appointment to West Point. He reported to the Academy in the summer of 1950.


During his Yearling year he met his future wife, Anne Hamilton, the daughter of COL Paul Hamilton ’26, and niece of MG Mel Coburn ’35.


Having chosen Armor, upon graduation, he attended the armor officer basic course at Ft. Knox, KY, and then airborne school at Ft. Benning, GA. He then was assigned as a tank platoon leader in D Company, 13th Tank Battalion, 1st Armored Division. In December 1954, Anne and John were married in San Francisco, CA, where she was completing her degree in nursing at Stanford. Upon Anne’s graduation in March 1955, she joined John at Ft. Hood, TX. In December 1955, following Operation Sage Brush, John and Anne moved to Ft. Polk, LA, with the 1st Armored Division.


In November 1956, John became a platoon leader in D Troop, Second Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Kissingen, Germany, patrolling the East-West Germany border. John and Anne spent three years in the regiment, during which time they had two children, Mary and Mike. In mid-1959, John was sent to Ft. Knox, KY, to attend the armor officer advanced course.


John and Anne then moved to Atlanta, GA, and John attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for two years, earning a master of science degree in automotive engineering. During this time, they had two more children, Terry and Susie. Upon graduation in 1962, John went to Ft. Knox to conduct service tests at the Armor Board on new Army trucks and tanks. In the summer of 1965, he joined the Military Assistance Command - Vietnam as a deputy province advisor in Kien Hoa Province.


John next attended the Command & General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, and in 1967 was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Force Development as the system staff officer for the Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle. In early 1970, John took command of the 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, TX.


In mid-1971, John deployed to An Khe, Vietnam, to command the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry. After four months, he stood the squadron down and managed its redeployment. He then was assigned as deputy senior advisor to the 1st ARVN Division in the Central Highlands.


In mid-1972, John transferred to Ft. McNair, Washington, DC, to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. After ICAF, John was assigned to the U.S. Army Concept Analysis Agency for about a year and then commanded the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Nurnberg, Germany.


John frequently said that this command was the most gratifying of his career because of the regiment’s border patrol mission and the professionalism of its troopers and officers. After two years in command, he became chief of staff of the 1st Armored Division in Ansbach, Germany.


John was promoted to brigadier general in 1977 and assigned as project manager of the U.S. Army managed Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Shortly after arriving in Saudi Arabia, John and Anne’s two older children, Mary and Mike, returned to the U.S. to attend Mary Washington College and West Point, respectively. Their two younger children, Terry and Susie, went to high school in Italy. After two years, John was assigned to head the U.S. Army Computer Systems Command at Ft. Belvoir, VA.


In mid-1980, following his promotion to major general, John commanded the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Ft. Carson, CO. During his two years in command, the division participated in two REFORGER operations to Europe and two brigade rotations to the National Training Center in California. John was instrumental in procuring the Pinon Canyon maneuver area in Colorado for the U.S. Army. In the summer of 1982, he was transferred to Yongsan, South Korea, as chief

of staff, U.S. Forces in Korea and Eighth Army.


In the fall of 1984, John was reassigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics as director of resources and management.


In the fall of 1985, he retired from active duty. John was awarded the following decorations and badges: the Distinguished Service Medal; three Bronze Stars; three Meritorious Service Medals; two Air Medals; two Army Commendation Medals for Valor; the Combat Infantryman Badge; and the Parachutist Badge.


After retiring, John served as an usher and helped Anne with coffee and donuts at Saint Bernadette Catholic Church in Springfield, VA. He also worked part time as a consultant with a Bethesda-based firm.


Anne passed away on 20 Feb 2010 after several months of illness. A number of John’s West Point classmates, friends and family attended the funeral mass at Saint Bernadette Catholic Church. Anne’s ashes will be buried with John.


John is survived by three daughters, one son, and six grandchildren. The oldest daughter, Mary, has a Ph.D. in computer science and is a college professor. The middle daughter, Terry, is a general officer in the Air Force. The youngest daughter, Susie, has a master’s degree in communications and is a computer program consultant. John’s son Mike is a 1981 graduate of West Point and president of a financial company.


—John and his children


Originally published in TAPS, July 2011

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