Retired Army Col. Gustave Villaret Jr., 87, who served in both World Wars and as an aide to two U.S. presidents, died of cardio-respiratory failure Tuesday at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Col. Villaret enlisted in the Army in 1909 and received a commission as a second lieutenant of infantry in 1917. During World War I he fought in France and was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded at the battle of Belleau Wood. He also served as an aid on General of the Armies John J. Pershing's staff.
Between the wars he was military aide to president Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge and saw duty with the 15th Infantry Division in China from 1935 to 1937.
He was stationed on Attu Island in the Aleutians during World War Ii. he was chairman of the Army's Discharge Review Board in Washington for about three years before retiring in 1952.
Col. Villaret was a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Harvard University, the Army War College, and the Army's Command and General Staff School. He had lived in McLean for the past 18 years.
Suvivors include his wife, Frances G., of McLean; a son, retired Army Col. Gustave III, of El Paso, Tex.; a daughter, Frances M. Clark of Annandale; a brother, retired Army Col. Eugene, of Washington; a sister, Marie V. Croke of New York City; eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.