COL Samuel G. Conley was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 06/29/2016 at the age of 85.7
Sierra Vista, AZ
Flight Class 56-12
Date of Birth 10/16/1930
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 611 TC CO in 62-63, 147 ASHC in 66-67, USARV in 67
This information was provided by Theresa Conley (wife)

More detail on this person: Samuel G. Conley Jr. went to be with the Lord on 29 June 2016. He had been a resident of Sierra Vista for the past 33years. Sam was born at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC to Sam and Ellen Conley.

He graduated from the Augusta Military Academy at Fort Defiance, Virginia, in 1947, then attended William and Mary College, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the University of Kansas. Sam was a Soldier from a long line of Soldiers, and entered the US Army in 1955 as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.

After assignments to Fort Carson, Colorado and Heidelberg, Germany, he was selected to command the 611th Aircraft Maintenance Company at Cap Saint Jacques in the Republic of Vietnam from 1962 to 1963.

Upon return he became the Battalion Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In 1966 he returned to the Republic of Vietnam, serving as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer for 147th Assault Support Helicopter Company at Cap Saint Jacques, and the Aviation Plans Officer for Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam, at Long Binh.

From 1968 to 1969 he served as the Aviation Plans Officer for the Department of Rotary Wing Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Alabama, and was then reassigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, serving as the Division Aviation Officer for a year before assuming command of the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry (Mechanized), known as the Black Lions, from 1970 to 1973. Great success in command was followed by a three-year assignment to the Pentagon as a Force Development Staff Officer, where he eventually became the Army Staff's key Action Officer for producing the Program Objective Memorandum - the resource allocation document critical to all US Army funding.

Now known to all as the Army's premier Resource Guru, Sam was promoted to Colonel in 1976 and assigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Army Communications Command, Fort Huachuca, Arizona; in 1979 the Army selected him as the Chief of the Manpower and Force Analysis Resource Management Directorate of the United States Army in Europe, where for three years he directed the changeover of the Army Divisions in Europe to the new Division 86 configuration, a colossal task involving innumerable manpower and force structure changes affecting every Army unit in Europe.

Sam returned to Fort Huachuca in 1983 hoping to resume his previous job as the Army Communications Command Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, but when the Army Chief of Staff directed the Communications Command to radically transform itself into the all new Army Information Systems Command, Sam was immediately assigned to lead this effort: yet another colossal task that took three years to complete. Following this assignment, and after more than thirty years service, he retired from the Army in 1985.

Sam's military education included Infantry Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College, the Industrial War College Strategic Course, Fixed Wing Aviation Course (Flight 56-12), Rotary Wing Course (Flight 58-2), Instrument Class for Fixed and Rotary Wing, Twin Engine Fixed and Rotary Wing Courses. His awards include the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, ten Air Medals, Master Army Aviator Badge, Department of the Army Staff Identification Badge, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Campaign Star for participation in the Vietnam Advisory Campaign, Vietnam Counteroffensive Phases II, III and IV, and the Tet Counteroffensive.

Sam was a life member of the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) and is a past president of both the Fort Riley and Fort Huachuca chapters.

Sam is survived by his loving wife Theresa of Sierra Vista; daughters Bambi and Rebecca, sons Sam Conley III, William and Clifford, sisters Joan Conover and JacqueWatts, brother James, nine grandchildren and one great grandson. Preceding him in death were his Mother Ellen Elizabeth (Lanham) Conley, his father, General Samuel G. Conley, Sr., his sister Alice Conley Merrill, and his uncle, General Charles Lanham.

A reciting of the Rosary will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 11:30 A.M. at St Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church with a memorial Mass at noon, followed by a committal ceremony with full Military Honors and a reception.

Final burial will be with his father, mother, and uncle, General Charles Lanham, in the Arlington National Cemetery,Washington, DC.

Instead of sending flowers, the family requests that you donate to either the Army Emergency Relief Fund (, or to the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center at 6799 East Highway 90, Sierra Vista.


Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

This information was last updated 07/26/2016

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Date posted on this site: 06/15/2024

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