Lieutenant General Samuel Vaughan Wilson, U.S. Army, who served as DIA’s 5th Director from May 1976 to August 1977, died June 10, 2017 at his home in Rice, Virginia. LTG Wilson led DIA through a time of transition, reorganizing the agency to focus more on operational intelligence support. Under his direction, DIA completed modernization of the National Military Intelligence Center and strengthened intelligence support to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. military commands. Intelligence efforts during his tenure centered on the death of Mao Zedong, aircraft hijackings, the Israeli raid on Entebbe Airport, unrest in South Africa, and continuing Middle East dissension.
A native of Rice, Virginia, Wilson held an Honorary Doctor in Laws from Hampden-Sydney College, and an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from Longwood University. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in 2014. He entered active service in June 1940 and served in Burma during World War II as a member of the famed “Merrill’s Marauders.” Following his 37-year military career, he joined the faculty of Hampden-Sydney College as a professor of political science and served for eight years as the college’s president.
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