Lee E. Surut, Army major general who led National War College, dies at 89

August 5

Lee E. Surut, a retired Army major general who served as a division artillery commander during the Vietnam war and later as commandant of the National War College, died July 20 at a hospital in Seattle. He was 89.

His daughter, Louisa Greene, said he died of injuries suffered in an auto accident. According to Trooper Richard T. Lee of the Washington State Patrol, Gen. Surut was a passenger in an auto that was struck by another car on State Route 2 near Monroe, Wash. on July 12.

Gen. Surut enlisted in the Army as a student at Harvard College in 1943, two years after the U.S. entry into World War II. He retired in 1983 as commandant of the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington.

In retirement, he was director of the support services division of the Analytic Sciences Corp. in Northern Virginia for nine years.

Lee Eli Surut was born April 10, 1925, in New York City. After World War II he attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., graduating in 1949. At his death, he was president of his West Point class.


Lee E. Surut, the Army major general who led the National War College, has died at 89. (Courtesy of U.S. Army)

During his Army career, Gen. Surut received a master’s degree in English at Columbia University and a master’s degree in international relations from George Washington University.

He was an Army paratrooper and in 1970 commanded the 101st Airborne Division artillery in combat operations in Vietnam, for which he received the Legion of Merit. On retirement, he received a Distinguished Service Medal.

Gen. Surut was a resident of Bethesda and a former senior warden of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Bethesda.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Trudy Tulley Surut of Bethesda; three children, Louisa Greene of Old Greenwich, Conn., Christine Crane of Black Hawk, Colo., and David Surut of Sandy, Utah; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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