WALKER, WALTON HARRIS (1889–1950). Walton Harris Walker, army officer, son of Sam Sims and May Lydia (Harris) Walker, was born on December 3, 1889, at Belton, Texas. He attended Wedemeyer Military Academy in Belton and Virginia Military Institute, and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1912. Walker served in the Vera Cruz expedition in Mexico in 1914 and during World War I saw service in France at St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne. He was with the Army of Occupation in Germany until 1919. A regular army officer, Walker had attained the rank of major general by World War II. As commander of the IV Armored Corps and XX Corps, he was given special commendations for his military abilities in the European Theatre of Operations by Gen. George S. Patton. Walker was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and in 1948 was made commanding general of the United States Eighth Army in Japan. With the Communist invasion of South Korea on June 28, 1950, the Eighth Army under Walker was directed to stop the invasion. Under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Walker was made commander of United Nations forces in Korea, a position he held until he was killed in a jeep accident on December 23, 1950. His merits as a commander in Korea have been questioned by historians. Often characterized as a tenacious and competent "fighter," Walker has, however, been criticized for his underestimation of the North Korean army, for his reluctance to relieve incompetent commanders, and for his unwillingness to express disagreement with MacArthur on matters of strategy. Walker married Caroline Victoria Emerson in 1924; they had one son, Sam Walker, who followed his father into the army and retired as a four-star general. Walton Walker held seventeen military decorations, among them the Order of the War for the Fatherland and the Medal of Russian Guards Army. Before burial in Arlington National Cemetery, he was promoted to the rank of full general.

Clay Blair, The Forgotten War (New York: Random House, 1987). New York Times, December 24, 1950. Who's Who in America, 1946–47.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "WALKER, WALTON HARRIS," accessed February 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwa26.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...