Richard L. Irby Personal Papers
The papers consist of correspondence and memoranda, military orders, printed material, photographs, scrapbooks, speeches, and other material primarily documenting the U.S. Army career (1939-1971) of Major General Richard L. Irby. The collection includes information about the activities of of the 1st Cavalry Division during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
- 1939 - 1971
- Irby, Richard L., 1918-2002 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
10 cubic feet (8 boxes, plus unboxed framed items and albums/scrapbooks)
Biographical / Historical
MAJ GEN Richard L. Irby (1918-2002) had a distinguished career in the United States Army and subsequently served as the Virginia Military Institute's tenth Superintendent. A native of Blackstone, Virginia, he graduated from VMI in 1939 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Irby commissioned in the cavalry branch of the U. S. Army, beginning thirty-one years of military service during which he rose to the rank of Major General. He was a decorated veteran of three wars and twice the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry in combat.
Irby served in the China-Burma Theater during and immediately following World War II. In 1951 he was a battalion commander with the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea, where he won his first Silver Star. During the Vietnam War he served as assistant division commander and commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, and earned his second Silver Star. Following service in Vietnam he was commander of the U. S. Army Training Center, Infantry, at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and in 1970 he was named commanding general at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He retired from active duty in 1971.
Following the completion of his military career, Irby served as Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute from 1971-1981. During his tenure VMI experienced a steady increase in applications and enrollment, and embarked on a successful major capital campaign. He retired from VMI in 1981, continuing to live in Lexington, VA until his death on March 6, 2002.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Generals -- United States -- Biography
- Kentucky -- Fort Knox
- Korean War (1950-1953)
- Louisiana -- Fort Polk
- Orders (military records)
- United States -- Army -- Officers -- Biography
- United States. -- Army. -- Cavalry Division, 1st
- Vietnam War (1961-1975)
- Virginia Military Institute -- Class of 1939
- World War (1939-1945)
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Burma
- Richard L. Irby Personal Papers
- VMI Archives
- Description rules
- Language of description