California and the Military
Major General Arthur R. Wilson, Oroville Native
Obituary Oroville Mercury-Register (11 August 1956)
GEN. ARTHUR WILSON DIES IN S.F.; SHOCK TO HIS FRIENDS - Follows Coronary Two Days Ago; Oroville's Most Famed Soldier - Taps sounded today for Major Gen. Arthur R. Wilson (Ret.) 63, Oroville's most famous soldier-son, who died early this morning at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco. Death came at 3:30 a. m. as a result of a heart attack early this week after Gen. Wilson had been taken to the hospital suffering from a bladder ailment. Only yesterday friends in Oroville were informed that Gen. Wilson appeared to be recovering from the heart attack and doctors at the hospital said his condition was satisfactory. Gen. Wilson was born at Cherokee, one of three sons of Agnes and Alex M. Wilson, pioneer Butte county residents both of whom were born in Butte county. He attended grammar school in Cherokee and was a graduate of Oroville Union High School. He later graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, but left school in 1916 to begin his military career that was to lead him to the four comers of the world.
Up from the ranks. Gen. Wilson served as an enlisted man with the California National Guard on the Mexican Border under General John A. Pershing in 1916. He entered the army in World War I as a second lieutenant, August, 1917 and was commissioned in the regular army as a first lieutenant of field artillery effective July 1, 1920. Meanwhile, he had managed to complete his college education and received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California in 1919. During World War I Gen. Wilson served with the 346th Field Artillery at the Presidio, in San Francisco and at Camp Lewis, Wash. He joined the American Expeditionary Force with his regiment on July 13, 1918 and served at Camp De.Souge, France. After the armistice he served with the American Army of Occupation in Germany.
After The War. General Wilson's post-war service included duty with the 76th Field Artillery at the Presidio and with the 13th Field Artillery at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He was an instructor in the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., from 1935 to 1937 when he became war department liaison officer with the Works Progress Administration in Washington, D. C. He rose in rank to become a full colonel 1937 and was assigned as chief of the Federal Works Agency. Subsequently he was assigned to the general staff of the War Department and later was named liaison officer with the Truman investigating committee of the Senate.
Attended Army War College. As the clouds of World War 11 began to gather on the horizons of the world, Gen. Wilson attended the Army War College, the command and general staff schools, the field artillery school and the chemical warfare school, gaining the military education that was to make him one of the nation's top soldiers. When war broke out on December 7, 1941, Gen. Wilson was ready to take his place among the leaders of the greatest army ever assembled. By January, 1942, he had been advanced to the rank of brigadier general and was recognized as an expert in logistics and supply. His first assignment under his new rank was to lead the first American troops in the Southwest Pacific Theater of War in the early spring of 1942. As quartermaster general of the United States forces in that theater, he assisted in working out a vital lend-lease agreement with the top officials of the Australian government.

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