COLLEGE STATION - Retired Army Lt. Gen. James F. Hollingsworth, a 1940 Texas A&M graduate who has been honored with placement of a statue on the campus of his alma mater in recognition of his long and exemplary military career, died Tuesday (March 2) in San Antonio at age 91, university officials have been informed.
A posting by Porter Loring Mortuaries in San Antonio states that graveside services will be held May 20 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
"Gen. Hollingsworth was unquestionably one of the most distinguished military officers ever produced by Texas A&M - as attested by the fact that a statue honoring him has been prominently placed in the Corps of Cadets quad, where thousands of current and former students have seen it and been inspired by the all-too-brief account of his long and valiant service to his country," Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said upon learning of the general's death. He fought and led troops during an Army career that spanned more than three decades, including combat assignments that began in World War II and continued through the Vietnam conflict. General Hollingsworth will be sorely missed, and, on behalf of Aggies everywhere, I extend my condolences to his family."
By some accounts, Hollingsworth was the most decorated general officer ever to graduate from Texas A&M, with his array of medals and ribbons stemming from his combat service and command positions in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
During Gen. Hollingsworth's last public appearance at his alma mater, when his statue was unveiled in September of 1999, the following account was released by the university:
It was reminiscent of the famous scene from the movie "Patton" - the general addressing the troops. Instead of it being Gen. George Patton in a World War II setting, it was retired Lt. Gen. James F. Hollingsworth addressing the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets.
Hollingsworth could take his cue from Patton because he "served heroically under General George Patton in World War II," as is stated on the plaque adjacent to the bigger-than-life statue of the 1940 Texas A&M graduate.
Hollingsworth now looms larger in bronze than Patton. Lawrence M. Ludtke, the sculptor for the newly unveiled statue, said it stands three feet higher than the one at West Point depicting Patton. Ludtke was also the sculptor for Texas A&M's statue of the late Gen. Earl Rudder.
The Hollingsworth statue bears the inscription "Danger 79er," which was the general's radio call sign for more than 20 years, including the time of his command in Vietnam.
In paying tribute to Hollingsworth, Texas A&M University System Regent Dionel Avilés said, "he was not just a soldier, he was a warrior." Avilés is a retired Army Reserve general.
The corps - with all of its 2,000 cadets assembled Friday - received an array of sage advice in an off-the-cuff but from-the-heart talk by the 81-year-old retired general.
"You are the elite organization in this state," Hollingsworth told the cadets. "You are the role models for the future."
He urged the cadets to embrace accountability and responsibility - and told them "war stories" of his own experiences to drive home his points. For example, he told of ordering artillery to fire into Cambodia when fired upon, which was against Washington policy until Hollingsworth did it and accepted responsibility. It then became policy to return fire across the border.
"Remember God and country," he said in concluding his farewell to the corps.
After chatting with the corps and about 200 guests, including former Gov. Bill Clements, Gen. Hollingsworth and his wife, Janie, were honored with a formal military review. The general stood in blazing sun to return the salute of each unit as it passed by the reviewing stand.