BG Edgar L. Degraw
- Brigadier General Edgar L. DeGraw was born on March 4, 1922 in Nanuet, New York. His military career began when he enlisted in the New Jersey Army National Guard 16 November 1939. He was ordered to active duty for World War II with his New Jersey Guard Unit on 16 September 1940. On 1 September 1942 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army of the United States after having completed the Engineer Officer Candidate School. He served as a Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and Captain with the 4th Armored Division through 18 September 1945. His service in the 4th Armored Division took him through Normandy, Northern France, Southern France, Rhineland and the Ardennes Battle Campaigns. At the End of World War II, General DeGraw found himself in Czechoslovakia, having served in five major Battle Campaigns. He was awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing two disabled Tanks while under direct enemy fire. He was released from active duty on 15 April 1947 and assigned to the Officer’s Reserve Corps.
On 12 May 1950, General DeGraw reentered the National Guard as Battery Commander, Headquarters Battery of the 135th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, Kansas Army National Guard, in Hays, Kansas. His service with the 135th included assignments to Headquarters, 35th Infantry Division Artillery, Topeka, Kansas as the S-1. On 28 March 1962 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. His service continued with the 35th Infantry Division Artillery until 31 March 1963 during which time he served as the S-3 and Fire Support Coordinator. On 1 April 1963 he was assigned as Executive Officer of the 127th Field artillery Group, Topeka, Kansas. On 1 February 1965 he was assigned to Headquarters Kansas Army National Guard as Chief of the Military Support Section. On 30 March 1965 he was promoted to Colonel and assigned as the Military Support Plans Officer. During his tenure in this position he spearheaded the riot control training that prepared the Kansas National Guard for Riot Control Duty conducted in the 1960s. On 4 February 1971 he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Kansas Army National Guard. Brigadier General DeGraw retired from that position in March of 1982 with almost 40 years of service to his state and nation.
General DeGraw served on many committees with the National Guard Association of Kansas. He was President of the organization in 1977 and 1978. He was one of the two officers who conceived and developed the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame. He was also instrumental in supporting the development and approval of the National Guard Association Distinguished Service Medal which is still in use and worn by many deserving individuals. He is a member of many military and civic organization and honor societies.
The General’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army Occupation Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, Distinguished Unit Badge, French Fourragere, Kansas National Guard Service Medal with 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster, Kansas Emergency Duty Service Ribbon, Kansas National Guard Distinguished Service Medal and the National Guard Association of Kansas Distinguished Service medal. He was inducted into the the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame, 5 November 2000.