CLAYTON, Ga. — Retired four-star Army Gen. John H. Michaelis, whose courage on the battlefields of Korea earned him the nickname "Iron Mike" and who served as a commandant of cadets at West Point and an aide to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, has died. He was 73.
An Army spokesman said Michaelis died Thursday of heart failure at Rabun County Hospital in Clayton.
After entering the Army in 1931, Michaelis rose quickly through the commissioned ranks during World War II, emerging as a colonel. His exploits as head of the famed Wolfhound Regiment in Korea led to his promotion to brigadier general in 1951 and to full general at his retirement in 1972.
Often Decorated, Wounded
Michaelis was known for his courage on the battlefield. He was often decorated and often wounded.
During World War II, Michaelis assumed command of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment just before the launching of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. He later led his regiment in an airborne assault on Holland, during which he was wounded twice. After recovering, Michaelis returned to active duty in 1944 as chief of staff of the 101st Airborne Division during its heroic stand at Bastogne, France.
After being hospitalized again with combat wounds, Michaelis was assigned in 1945 to the War Department general staff, where he rose to senior aide to Eisenhower in 1947.