#VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Willard C. Matthias


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Willard C. Matthias. Willard served during World War II.

When WWII began, Willard was working as an assistant professor of political science at Miami University. He was drafted in 1943 and began his career as an infantryman. He was soon transferred and put in charge of interviewing soldiers upon arrival and deciding what jobs were right for them. He was later transferred to the Military Intelligence Division in Washington D.C. In D.C., he was in charge of intelligence for the Southeast Asia branch, and he looked at translations of documents and reported on the military affairs of Southeast Asia. He wrote reports that were top secret and circulated to only the highest political and military leaders. He liked this work so much that he continued to do it as a civilian, after his discharge in 1946.

In the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency created the Office of National Estimates and Willard was appointed chief of the estimate staff. In this position, he supplied political leaders with security estimates that would help form national policy. He retired from this position in 1973. After retiring, he traveled around Europe and wrote the book America’s Strategic Blunders. He married his wife, Sally, in 1937, and she passed away in 2001. Willard died of cancer four years later in February 2005. More of his story can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.24789/

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

Graphic By Lilian Vo: Lilian Vo is an undergraduate senior at George Mason University studying Global Affairs and Intelligence Analysis.


Savannah Labbe

Savannah Labbe is a senior at Gettysburg College studying history and religious studies. She is originally from Belgrade, Maine and is currently a writing intern at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


  1. Robert Bostic    

    We honor the service of Army Veteran Willard C. Matthias who served during World War II.

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