A Salute to Patriotism: The Life and Work of Major General Howard L. Peckham

Written by Jean Peckham Kavale

A Salute to Patriotism is more than the biography of a dedicated army officer, Howard Louis Peckham. It’s also the story of his remarkable family, starting with his ancestors who sailed from England to America in the seventeenth century and their descendants, who bravely served in the Revolutionary War and future wars. It also tells how they dealt with obstacles, tragedy, and success along the highway of life.

Additionally, the author brings well-documented insights into her father’s career and its significant contribution to the military history of the United States. After graduating from West Point, he served for twenty years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1942 he transferred to the Quartermaster Corps and went to Washington, where he headed the Fuels and Lubricants Division of the Quartermaster Corps. While serving concurrently as a member of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board, he testified before Congress about army petroleum needs. For his meritorious work of procuring fuels and allocating them to our armed forces worldwide, he was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal.

In postwar Paris, Howard Peckham headed the American Graves Registration Command and returned more than 80,000 American war dead to the United States. Approximately 60,000 others were interred in ten permanent American cemeteries in Europe, graded and constructed under his command. After his return to the United States, he served in highly responsible positions until his army retirement in 1956.

As a civilian, his patriotic service continued when he worked for the Free Europe Committee and traveled abroad to meet with Western European diplomats. His goal was to get them more involved in the Committee’s work. Nations behind the Iron Curtain peacefully freed from Communist domination, Howard Peckham believed, would ensure more security for the United States. Duty, country, and patriotism would continue to dominate his life to the end. (This book is the author’s Second Edition of “A Salute to Patriotism.”)


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