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1972

General John D. Lavelle testifies before Congress

Gen. John D. Lavelle, former four-star general and U.S. Air Force commander in Southeast Asia, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee. He had been relieved of his post in March and later demoted after it was determined that he had repeatedly ordered unauthorized bombings of military targets in North Vietnam. Court-martial charges were brought against him by his subordinates but were dropped by the Air Force because the “interests of discipline” had already been served. Lavelle became the first four-star general in modern U.S. history to be demoted on retirement, although he continued to receive full general’s retirement pay of $27,000 per year.

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