James Van Fleet
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1892
Date of Death: 1992
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Soldier
Spouse: Helen (d. 1984)
Children: Three
Military Branch: United States Army (World War I, World War II, Korean War)
Turtledove Appearances:
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
James Alward Van Fleet (March 19, 1892 – September 23, 1992) was a U.S. Army officer during World War I, World War II and the Korean War. Van Fleet was born in New Jersey, was raised in Florida, and graduated from the United States Military Academy. He served as a regimental, divisional and corps commander during World War II and as the commanding General of U.S. Army and other United Nations forces during the Korean War. His son, James A. Van Fleet, Jr., a B-26 bomber pilot, was killed during the war.

Van Fleet died in his sleep a few months after his 100th birthday, when he was the oldest living general officer in the United States.

James Van Fleet in Joe SteeleEdit

James Van Fleet commanded the U.S. forces near the Japanese demilitarized zone in the years after the Japanese War. President Joe Steele's last meeting with his "Pain Trust" on March 5, 1953 was ostensibly to discuss Van Fleet's concerns that his troops didn't have enough ammunition in reserve in case the North Japanese attacked. His immediate superior, Dwight Eisenhower, had dismissed Van Fleet's concerns. However, the issue went unresolved, as Steele suffered a fatal stroke not long into the meeting.[1]


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 405.