John Walton Lang

Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry

3 May 1937 - 1 August 1938

 

 

John W. Lang was born in Pass Christian, Mississippi on February 26, 1884.

He entered the US Military Academy on August 1, 1903, and graduated on June 14, 1907,
64 out of a class of 84. His best subjects were History and English, and his worst subjects
were Mathematics and Chemistry. Lang was a Lieutenant of Company A, in the Battalion organization
of the Corps of Cadets.

 

Photo of John W. Lang as a cadet at the US Military Academy from The Howitzer 1907

 

 

 

John W. Lang's listing at the US Military academy at West Point from The Howitzer 1907

 

 

Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry. In 1908 he sailed with the Regiment
to the Philippines, and from June 15, 1908, to August 20, 1909, he was stationed at Camp Overton, on Mindanao,
where he primarily did mapping work. For one month he commanded the 9th Company of Philippine Scouts.
He was at Parang, Mindanao from August 20, 1909 to February 8, 1910. While at Parang, on January 1, 1910,
he was appointed Presidente of Municipality of Parang, Head man of two Moro Tribes, and Tribal Ward Justice.
During this time he was also the Representative of the Provincial Engineer, and Deputy to the Clerk of Court
of Land Registration of the Philippines.

Lang was transferred to the 9th Infantry on April 26, 1910. He served with his Company at Fort San Pedro,
Iloilo, from July 18 to August 15, 1911. On September 18, 1911 he was detailed to the US Military Academy
as an Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages, the detail lasting until August 23, 1913. He spent
June 6 to August 28, 1912, in Spain, studying the Spanish language. He was temporarily assigned to the 3rd Infantry
at Madison Barracks, New York, from November 11 to 23, 1912, in order to enable him to complete the academic
year at the Military Academy.

Lang was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Infantry on April 3, 1913, and assigned to the 29th Infantry on July 2, 1913.
His detail to the Military Academy ended and he joined the 29th Infantry at Fort Porter, New York, on August 23, 1913.
His official duty station was at Fort Porter until March 16, 1915. He was at Sparta, Wisconsin, and at Camp Douglas,
Wisconsin, in a joint camp with the National Guards of Minnesota and Wisconsin, during July 1914, and at Grayling,
Michigan, in August 1914. He was at Plattsburg Barracks, New York, for maneuvers, in September-October 1914.

Lang went with the 29th Infantry for duty in Panama, guarding the Canal Zone, starting on March 17, 1915, at
Culebra and at Gatun, where he commanded a company. On September 16, 1916, he was promoted to Captain
and transferred to the 33rd Infantry. The 33rd had been formed in Panama in July 1916, as part of the expansion
of the Army, due to the growth of the war in Europe. Lang remained with the 33rd Infantry on guard duty in Panama
until June 20, 1917. From June 20 until November 15, 1917, he was an instructor at the Reserve Officers'
Training Camp at Plattsburg, New York. From November 15 until December 26, 1917, he was an instructor
at the Army War College in Washington, D.C.

Lang was then officially "en route" to Spain, including leave time and travel time. On January 10, 1918 he was promoted
to the temporary rank of Major of Infantry. He assumed the duties of Military Attache at the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain, on
February 17, 1918. In August 1918 he was with a Commission of Spanish Army Officers, on a tour of the American
Expeditionary Forces in Europe. On February 24, 1919, he ended his duties at the Embassy in Madrid. On March 1, 1919,
he became the Assistant Executive Officer in the Provost Marshall General's Department, at the General Headquarters of
the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

 

The signature of John W. Lang on his application for a passport in order to travel to Spain to become
Military Attache there, dated December 15, 1917. Lang has signed his name as "John W Lang Capt 33 Inf"
(Captain 33rd Infantry). On the application he made note that his last passport was obtained July 1910 in Peking
under the name of J.W. Erlanger while he was doing "Confidential work" and that passport was still in his possession.

 

 

Captain John W. Lang 33rd Infantry 1917

 

 

 

Lang was temporarily promoted to Lt. Colonel of Infantry (U.S.A.) on May 11, 1919.

Lang was the Provost Marshall, British Isles at London, England from May 28-June 24, 1919. Then he was enroute to the
U.S. arriving there on July 10, 1919 and taking a leave of absence. From July 26 to September 14, 1919 he was at
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was the Assistant District Inspector, Reserve Officers' Training Corps. From
September 14-18 he was at Kingston, Rhode Island as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Rhode Island
State College. On September 18 he was assigned as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Lehigh University
at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Lang was honorably discharged from his temporary appointments on January 20, 1920,
and reverted back to his permanent rank of Captain.

He was promoted to Major on July 1, 1920.

In addition to his duties at Lehigh University during the summer of 1920 he was Director of Rifle Practice at the
Reserve Officers' Training Corps Camp at Camp Devens, Massachusetts. In 1921 he was at Plattsburg Barracks,
Pennsylvania as Senior Instructor, Reserve Officers' Training Corps Camp. In 1922 he was at Edgewood Arsenal,
Maryland as the Executive Officer, Reserve Officers' Training Corps Camp. He was relieved of his duties at Lehigh
University on July 15, 1923. He then took a leave of absence from July 16-September 15, 1923.

Lang graduated from the Infantry School Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Georgia on May 31, 1924.

He was assigned to the 24th Infantry on May 31, 1924. While with the 24th Infantry his duties included
Director of Rifle Practice, court martial duty Battalion Comander. From May 31-July 5 he was an
instructor at the Infantry School. From July 5-July 19 he was at Des Moines, Iowa where he was
Senior Instructor, Reserve Officers' Corps Camp.

From July 19, 1924 to July 1, 1926 Lang was an instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
He took a leave of absence from July 1-August 22, 1926. On August 22 he reported to the Command and
General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He graduated from the School on June 30, 1927 with
the distinction of Distinguished Graduate.

 

     

Left: Major John W. Lang
at the Infantry School at
Fort Benning 1924

 

Photo from The Doughboy 1924
Published by the Classes of 1924,
The Infantry School,
U.S. Army, Fort Benning, GA 1924

 

From June 30, 1927 to June 30, 1929 Lang served in the G2 Section of the War Department General Staff
Public Relations Branch. Lang was Chief of the Public Relations Branch , G2 War Department General Staff
from June 30, 1929 to August 13, 1930. He reported to the Army War College as a student officer on
August 14, 1930.

On February 1, 1931 Lang was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry.

He graduated from the Army War College in July 1931. On August 1, 1931 he was detailed
as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

Lang was promoted to Colonel of Infantry on March 1, 1936.

On June 30, 1936 his detail at The Citadel ended and he reported to Fort McClellan, Alabama
to become the Executive Officer of the 22nd Infantry. He was on detached service at Fort Sam
Houston, Texas as an Umpire for the Third Army Command Post Exercises and then took a
refresher course at the Infantry School at Fort Benning.

Lang assumed command of the 22nd Infantry at Fort McClellan on May 3, 1937. While in command of the
22nd Infantry Lang was also Commander of the Post at Fort McClellan, Commander of District D Civilian
Conservation Corps and attended the IV Corps Maneuvers.

He relinquished command of the 22nd Infantry on August 1, 1938 and became the Director of the Regular Class
at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Froom June 21-July 20, 1939 he was
assigned to the Military Intelligence Department at Washington, D.C.

From July 31, 1939 to March 1941, Lang was head of the US Military Mission and Advisor to the War Department
of the Republic of Colombia, at Bogata, Columbia.

On April 1, 1941 he was assigned as the Military Attache at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
where he remained until January 12, 1945. During his service in Argentina, Lang was promoted to the temporary
rank of Brigadier General (A.U.S.), on November 3, 1943, and he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

From July to November of 1945 he was the Military Attache at the US Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.

Lang received a disability in the line of duty and retired from the Army
with the rank of Brigadier General on February 26, 1946.

 

 

John W. Lang's decorations

 

 

 

 

John W. Lang died in Washington, D.C. on July 22, 1967 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery

Section 7 Grave 8157

 

Grave marker for John W. Lang

 

Photo from the Arlington National Cemetery website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top photo of Colonel John W. Lang believed to have been taken while he commanded
Fort McClellan and the 22nd Infantry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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