ALFRED H. M. SHEHAB, LTC, U.S. Army (Ret.) Lieutenant Colonel Alfred H. M. Shehab, U.S. Army Retired, of Odenton, Maryland, passed away on December 12, 2020. He was born in Cape May, NJ, on September 18, 1919 and was educated in the United States and Lebanon, majoring in Political Science and History. He is the son of the late His Highness Emir Haleem Mahmoud Shehab, descended from al-Hareth, a Companion of the Prophet Mohammed, a member of the ruling Quraysh tribe. The princely title of “Emir” is one of the most ancient of the Arab world, as granted to al-Hareth by the first Caliph Abu Bakr.
Alfred Shehab was a professional Soldier and a dedicated Cavalry officer who served in the European Theater during World War II, including fighting in the largest battle of the war, the “Battle of the Bulge.” During the war, he served with the 102d Cavalry Group (Jersey Essex Troop) in the 38th Cavalry Squadron (Mechanized). He also served in a variety of troop and staff assignments in Armored Divisions and Cavalry Regiments throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East and as Armor Advisor to Saudi Arabia, 1952-1953.
As a teenager, because of films portraying the actions and panache of horse Cavalry Soldiers. He volunteered for the Free French Forces in 1941 but his father quickly ended that adventure. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1942. He attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry in August 1942 at Fort Knox, KY. In 1958, he served as Special Assistant to General Paul D. Adams, Commander, American Land Forces, Middle East (Lebanon), in support of Lebanese forces and earned the highest acclaim from for his unique qualifications and outstanding duty performance in this capacity.
His final military assignment was with the Inspector General Section, Second U.S. Army, Fort George G. Meade, MD, and he retired at Fort Meade in February 1963. Following his distinguished Army career, he worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Center, MD, 1964-1984.
Alfred Shehab was active in numerous veterans organizations, various foundations, and civic associations. He often assumed leadership positions such as President of the National Association of Arab Americans, the Greater Odenton Improvement Association, Battle of the Bulge Historical Foundation, and the Fort Meade Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. He was the founder and President of the West Anne Arundel County Republican Club. Additionally, he served as Commander at all levels in the Military Order of the World Wars from Chapter to Department to Region culminating in his election as Commander-in-Chief, 1998-1999. He was appointed Chairman of the Fort Meade Coordinating Council, the Odenton Town Center Growth Management Committee, and the Anne Arundel County Impact Fee Study Committee. He also was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 386, Cape May, NJ.
His memberships and affiliations were with the General Abrams Chapter, Armor Association; the 11th Cavalry Association; U.S. Horse Cavalry Association; Fourth Armored Division Association; Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame; the Order of Saint George (Armor/Cavalry); La Societe Des Chehabi Emirs; Order of Saint Stanislaus, Chevalier; Post 7, American Legion; and the Maryland Military Installations Council.
His awards include the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device for valor and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Battle Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany), the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the French Croix de Guerre (WWII) with Bronze Palm, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre (WWII) with Bronze Palm. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor in February 2013.
Lieutenant Colonel Shehab is survived by his daughter Nanette J. Speer, two granddaughters, and three great granddaughters. He also leaves behind his companion, LTC Ruth L. Hamilton. He is preceded in death by his wife of 37 years, the former Betty J. Quenin.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Military Order of the World Wars, 435 North Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2301. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all services are private. Burial with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
The above obituary was published in The Washington Post on Dec. 20, 2020.
From One of Our Friends in Germany