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News | June 13, 2019

This week in DIA history: Lt. Gen. William Quinn, DIA's first deputy director

DIA Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. William Quinn was assigned to DIA as deputy director on October 1, 1961. As the deputy, Quinn played an important role in standing up the Agency as well as supporting intelligence efforts during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Quinn was the perfect selection as DIA’s first deputy director due to his extensive military intelligence career and stellar reputation.

Quinn began his Army career at the U.S. Military Academy, and started in the intelligence field shortly after Pearl Harbor. As the G2 of the 7th Army, he was responsible for the intelligence efforts for Operation Anvil, the landing in southern France in August of 1944. The loss of only 146 U.S. personnel during the landing reflected the accurate and detailed intelligence on enemy positions his organization established. As the 7th Army advanced into Germany, Quinn was among the first to liberate the survivors of the German concentration camp Dachau on April 29, 1945, just one week before the end of World War II in Europe.

Quinn also served as commander of the 17th Infantry Regiment, “The Buffaloes,” from which he received the nickname “Buffalo Bill.” In 1991, General Quinn published his 486-page book, Buffalo Bill Remembers: Truth and Courage, detailing his time as a soldier during World War II and the Korean Conflict.