The Special Operations community lost a giant last week as Samuel V. Wilson passed away at the age of 93. Wilson rose from the rank of private in World War II to Lieutenant General at his retirement and served the Special Operations Forces both in and out of uniform.

He was a member of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) in WWII the forerunner to both the US Army Special Forces and the CIA. He commanded the 6th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg and played a key role in the formation of the Army’s Delta Force and the military’s Special Operations Command.

Known simply as “General Sam,” Lt. Gen. Wilson enlisted in the Army during World War II and served with the Office of Strategic Services and the famed Merrill’s Marauders, who fought the Japanese in northern Burma.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo, the commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, called Lt. Gen. Wilson a true Army special operations pioneer.