Albert Gustav Breitwieser, III

NO. 17706  •  18 May 1928 - 19 April 1990

Died 19 April 1990 in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii, aged 61 years
Interment: Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii


ALL ALBERT GUSTAV Breitwieser, III ever wanted was to be an officer in the Army. In his early childhood in Susanville, California ‑  where he was born 18 May 1928, son of Albert II and deForrest ‑ he framed with pride his father's certificate of service in the Tank Corps of World War I, an "Uncle Sam Wants You" poster, and one of West Point. Interest in the military was more fully evidenced when, at about 10 years of age, Al organized his own corps of youthfuI workers to handle his household responsibilities. In this young Army, each job merited points which could lead up to promotion to major. This regimentation prepared him well. While at Lasson Union High School, young Al served as commander of California High School Cadets. He further demonstrated leadership capabilities as president of the student body.

Entering West Point in July 1946. Al was assigned to Company F‑ 1. While at the Academy, he continued his interests in art (serving as club president) and became deeply involved in photography. Whenever possible, Al enjoyed visits to the ski slopes.

Upon his graduation in 1950, he was assigned to the 1st Division Artillery in Germany. This suited Al well in that, besides his work with that fine unit, he was able to engage in outside activities such as skiing, mountain climbing, and the pursuit of the lovely Judy, who eventually became his wife. While on that initial three‑year tour, Al encountered the first of his several bouts with cancer. This resulted in his medical evacuation to the US in 1952 for treatment. Always the fighter, Al licked that setback, brought Judy to the US and was married that year.

The conflict in Korea took Al to the 24th Division in 1953. From there he took an intertheater transfer and brought Judy to Japan. Upon return, Al attended Engineer School at Fort Belvoir and continued his studies at Texas A&M, where he gained a master's degree in engineering and a son. Heading overseas again, Al took his growing family (with adopted daughter Petra and son Albert IV) first to France and then to Holland, where he was able to utilize his engineering degree as an Area Engineer. In 1961, Al was assigned to work with the Ballistic Missile Construction Office in South Dakota. It was there that his second son, David, was bom. A second tour in Germany came in 1963.

When he reported for the first of his tours in Southeast Asia in 1966, Al left his family in his hometown of Susanville. Then, when he was assigned to CINCPAC in 1967, the family reassembled in Hawaii, which he was to call home. Life in the islands was enjoyable; so when Al returned to South Vietnam, Judy and he bought their house in Kailua, where Judy still lives. Completion of his second tour in Southeast Asia brought Al back to Hawaii for duty with the Support Command. After his retirement in 1975, Al immediately began a new career with the state of Hawaii as a nuclear protection planner for civil defense. Here he worked until poor health forced his retirement in 1989. Al fought the cancer attacking him. He had beaten it before, but this time it was too much and took his life in April 1990.

His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Joint Staff Commendation Medal, and the Commendation Medal.

Never one to be idle, Al enjoyed a wide variety of hobbies and activities. From his childhood days, he was an avid skier and mountain climber. Later, the warm waters of Hawaii led him to acquire a 28‑foot sailboat. This, in turn, brought him to several sailing cruises as well as serving as crew on a TransPacific crossing from Hawaii to California.

With so much clear  water, Al truly enjoyed scuba diving - from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to the Pacific. He raced go‑carts in Holland, built scale model airplanes and railroads, photographed, cycled. and lived life to the fullest. He was a dedicated family man, giving his wife and children endless love and devotion. To his friends, he gave his unselfish friendship and a continuous smile. Of all of his many achievements. one of his most notable was the donation of two of his aircraft paintings to the US Air Force Historical Arts Society. One of these paintings he determinedly completed and presented during his last illness.

So it was with Al. Always active, doing for others, a friend to all, and well loved. We shall miss him.

- A Classmate