NO. 17731 • 29 October 1926 – 13 January 1988
Died 13 January 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 61 years
Interment: Arlington Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia
WILBUR MOORE WARREN II was born in Savannah, Georgia on 29 October 1926. He was the only child of Madeline Low Warren and Wilbur Moore Warren.
Will spent his early years in Atlanta, Georgia and Wilmington, North Carolina, graduating from New Hanover High School in Wilmington in 1944. As a boy, he spent many afternoons listening to an elderly Wilmington neighbor, Mrs. Bellamy, describe her Civil War experiences. This fascination with the Civil War, and warfare in general, manifested itself in later life as he became a Civil War scholar and a soldier in his own right. His classmates recall that, when Will arrived at West Point, he was an expert on Civil War incidents that most of them never knew occured.
Will also was shaped by his experiences in scouting, Not only did he achieve the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, but he went on as a man to become a scoutmaster and a lover of the outdoors, especially when it involved camping and hiking. Even after his retirement, his Sunday afternoons in Atlanta regularly included a trek up Stone Mountain. Another strong influence in his life was his aunt, with whom he spent much of his time. She assisted him in obtaining an appointment to the Military Academy and, after a short stint in the Air Corps and the USMA Preparatory School, Will entered USMA on a hot July day in 1946.
Will is remembered by his classmates with affection. They describe him as "One of those genuinely nice people that we meet so seldom in this world." They also recall that he seemed to enjoy the rigors of cadet life and maintained his good humor and positive attitude even when, "There was no earthly reason to be optimistic." He also is fondly remembered as the only cadet in Company D2 who enjoyed small talk at reveille formation. In June 1950, Will successfully completed his life as a cadet and graduated into the Infantry. For his first assignment, he picked the 7th Infantry. Almost immediately, for Will and many of his classmates, war emerged from the history books to become a harsh reality. He served as an Infantry lieutenant in Korea. His Combat Infantry Badge was always a source of pride to him.
His subsequent assignments included The Infantry School and a tour as aide‑decamp at Fort MacPherson in Atlanta. While serving there, he met and courted Dorothy Dale (DeDe) Johnson. They were married in Columbia, Mississippi in May of 1953. Soon after, the couple found themselves in Bamberg, Germany, where Will was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment as a company commander. While there, son Wallace Hugh and daughter Amanda Low were born.
In the mid‑50s, the Warrens returned with the regiment to Fort Riley. A year at The Infantry School followed and, after graduation, the Warrens moved to Charleston, South Carolina where Will served as an ROTC instructor at the Citadel. While in Charleston, a second daughter, Patricia Johnson, was born.
After The Citadel, Will was assigned to XII Corps in Atlanta, followed by a tour with one of the early advisory groups in Vietnam (1960 ‑ 61). Then came a period of relative stability for the Warrens at Fort Leavenworth where Will was first a student and, later, an instructor at the C&GSC. In the late 60s, Will served a tour in Hawaii at CINPAC, where he was known to his boss, ADM McCain, as Mr. "Korea."
Will's active duty military service ended in 1970 when he retired and he and DeDe returned to Atlanta. For his service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.
In Atlanta, Will approached civilian life with all of the resolve that he had exercised on active duty. Soon after he retired, he took a position as general manager of a large shopping mall, and he surely enjoyed his job as much as any he had ever held. When the mall was sold, Will worked for a while with the former owner and, in addition to some private consulting, was associated with a local camera store.
In addition to his love of family and the military, Will had a fascination with photography. In retirement he pursued his hobby. With his 1938 Leica, he photographed the Atlanta skyline, the yellow daisies on Stone Mountain and the lions in the Atlanta Zoo. All of it was done with the precision and attention to detail that was so typical of his approach to life.
On 13 January 1988, Will died following a heart attack and stroke resulting from complications of the diabetes he had battled in later years. We remember Will as a good friend and classmate and as a loving father and husband. In addition to his family, he loved the ocean, zoos, cooking out, photography, history and iced tea. We called him "Will," a name that suited him well. He was a quiet but powerful man who shunned trivialities; a cheerful Southern gentleman who believed that we must all forge our own happiness.