U.S. Army JAG School Oral History Interview Conducted With Colonel (Ret.) Edward W. Haughney

Authors:Golembiewski, Jessica Jenks, Chris

Edward W. Haughney was born in Brooklyn, New York on 8 December 1917. He is the oldest of four children; he has a younger brother and two younger sisters. He attended elementary, junior high, and high school in Brooklyn. During two summers while in high school he worked as an apprentice stream fitter for the Luckenbach Steamship Company. In 1935, at the age of 17, he entered Brooklyn College but left after one semester and began working in Luckenbach's claims department. He later enrolled in night school at Brooklyn College. In 1939, at the start of World War II in Europe, he completed two years of college and a law qualifying certificate from New York State, and began law school at Saint John's University. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he entered the Army on 15 January 1942.

He attended basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, following which he was assigned clerical duties. He then attended Officer Candidate Prep School at Fort Bragg before traveling to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for Office Candidate School (OCS). Following his graduation from OCS he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He was initially assigned to Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 18th Artillery Regiment at Fort Sill, which trained new soldiers attending the Field Artillery school.

On 15 May 1943, while stationed at Fort Sill, he married Regina Smith and she moved from New York to join him in Lawton, Oklahoma. In the fall of 1943, while attached to the 90th Infirmary Division, he participated in a series of desert maneuvers under General Patton at Camp Iron Mountain in the California desert, acting as the survey officer for an artillery battalion. On 12 February 1944, along with is artillery unit, he sailed from Boston to Scotland. Arriving ten days later, his unit traveled to England and occupied a manor house west of Birmingham. His unit, reflagged the 687th Artillery Battalion, prepared to enter combat and continued to train their 105 mm howitzer crews in both England and Wales.

In June 1944 he arrived at Normandy, France, and participated in combat operations in the hedgerows of the Normandy beachhead. In September 1944 he participated in liberating Brest from German occupation. He served as a forward observer for a variety of infantry units, including the 2nd and 8th Infantry Divisions and the 5th Ranger Battalion. Fighting across France, in October 1944 he arrived in Luxembourg and the Siegfried line, the German counterpart to the French Maginot line.

In December 1944 he participated in the Battle of the Bulge, earning a Bronze Star. His participation in the Battle of the Bulge began by being separated from his unit. He led two of his soldiers cross country, escaping and evading, on foot, for two days over frozen ground and fighting through direct fire contact with the enemy, including being pinned down by machine gun fire, attacked by German paratroopers, and being bombed by German planes. When he linked up with his artillery battalion, he assumed command as a Lieutenant, at times employing howitzers in a direct fire mode against attacking German tanks. His artillery battalion was the only functioning artillery in their sector. One Battery, reduced to three howitzers, fired continuously for almost an hour, and fired over 1,200 rounds in an eleven hour period, at times bringing indirect fire as close as 25 years to U.S. forces. His artillery battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation for their action during the Battle of the Bulge, the only artillery battalion to receive that award by itself and not as part of an Infantry unit.

After fighting their way across Germany his unit occupied the German city of Weimar, which was capital of Germany after World War I. He was made the occupation Mayor of Weimar, responsible for ensuring law and order and that basic services were provided. While Mayor, and with the war not yet over, he made the difficult decision to not only reinstate the German police, but to arm them. He also dealt with the aftermath of the newly discovered Buchenwald concentration camp and its 20,000 occupants.

As World War II ended, he redeployed to Fort Bragg where he investigated claims. In February 1948 he returned to law school, graduating in January 1949. In February 1949 he passed the bar and transferred from the Field Artillery to the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. He spent the summer of 1949 at the Pine Camp New York, which is now Fort Drum. In the fall of 1949 he conducted an observation tour at the Pentagon and in the spring of 1950 he changed station to Japan, arriving at the start of the Korean War. Assigned to a command responsible for administering the post war occupation, he served as military prosecutor. While in Japan, he utilized military commissions to deal with captured North Korean saboteurs and he participated in the high profile military prosecution of an American civilian spouse, the daughter of a four star general, for the murder of her husband, a Colonel. After spending threes years in Japan, in 1953 he returned to the JAG School in Charlottesville, where he attended the graduate course and authored a thesis on mental responsibility. Following the graduate course he stayed on the faculty at the JAG school, teaching International Law. He also taught Martial Law and, following Operation Alert, a nationwide civil defense exercise, became the Department of Defense subject matter expert on Martial Law, traveling to various locations to teach.

Following his time at the JAG school, in 1958 he was assigned as the Chief of the International Affairs Branch for the U.S. Army Europe. While in Europe, he dealt with another high profile overseas prosecution of an American civilian spouse for the murder of her service member husband. In 1962 he returned to the United States where he attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, following which he served as the Assistant Chief of the International Affairs Branch at the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OTJAG). While assigned to the OTJAG, he deployed to the Dominican Republic during Operation Powerpack to help create the Inter American Force on behalf of the Organization of American States.

Following his return from the Dominican Republic he attended the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he wrote a provocative paper on whether doctrinal changes were necessary in fighting the Vietnam War. In the summer of 1966, following the War College, he traveled to Vietnam to serve as the Staff Judge Advocate for General Westmoreland and Military Assistance Command in Vietnam. While in Vietnam he established Article V tribunals to determine the status of captured enemy personnel. He also initiated military prosecution of civilians accompanying the force.

Upon his return to the United States in 1967 he served as the Chief of the International Affairs Branch at OTJAG until 1969, when he returned to Europe to serve as the legal advisor to the European Command (EUCOM). While at EUCOM he was sent to Spain where he serves as the lead U.S. negotiator for an executive agreement with Spain. He was also sent to France and Turkey along with representatives from the White House to investigate heroin production and distribution.

He retired from the Army following his tour at EUCOM in 1972 and began teaching law at Dickinson College of Law. For thirty-three years he taught a variety of courses, including law classes at Dickinson and the United States Military Academy, and public administration classes at Pennsylvania State University. As part of his duties at Dickinson, he also worked for the Public Utilities Commission, first reviewing and publishing decisions, and later writing the Commission's revised procedural titles. Throughout his time teaching, he was active with Dickinson's "Capitals of Europe" program in which he taught law courses in Europe over the summer, often with one or more U.S Supreme Court Justice.In the summer of 2005 he retired from active teaching and assumed Emeritus status. He and his wife have three daughters and a son.

Haughney, Edward W. , 1917-, Interviews, Judge advocates, United States
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Source Citation:

Golembiewski, Jessica, Chris Jenks. U.S. Army JAG School Oral History Interview Conducted With Colonel (Ret.) Edward W. Haughney. Charlottesville, Va., 2005

The Judge Advocates Generals School
Published Date:

JAGC Regimental Oral History 2005 Haughney

Contents: Significance of oral history, Biography, Organization of interview transcript,
Interview transcript, Index to transcript, Photos, Presidential Unit citation, Bronze Star citation, Insurgency paper.