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Memorial Tributes: Volume 3 (1989)

Chapter:Herbert D. Vogel

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Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page338
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page339
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page340
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page341
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page342
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page343
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page344
Suggested Citation:"Herbert D. Vogel." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page345

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HERBERT D 1900-1984 . VOGEL BY HARRY E. BOVAY HERBERT D VOGEL one of the world leaders in profes- sional engineering and one of the most creative minds in the area of engineering progress, a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and a former engineer adviser of the World Bank, ctied on August 26, 1984, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. General Vogel was born in Chelsea, Michigan, in 1900 and livect in Washington, D.C., at the time of his death. After graduating with a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1924, he obtained an M.S. in civil engineering from the University of California in 192S, a doctorate in hy- draulic engineering from the Berlin Technical University the following year, and a professional civil engineering (C.E.) de- gree from the University of Michigan in 1933. During World War Il. General Vogel served in the South Pacific. Herbert Vogel married Loreine Elliott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Elliott of Washington, D.C., on December 23, 1925, while he was stationed at Fort Humphreys (now Fort Beivoir). Their close and happy marriage produced two sons, Colonel Herbert Davis Vogel, fir., and Richard Elliott Vogel. Colonel Vogel, Jr. (Ret.), is also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and is now vice-president of Merrill Lynch Pierce Penner & Smith Incorporated, and his brother Rich- 339

340 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES ard is an attorney. General ant! Mrs. Vogel were enjoying four grandchildren at the time of his death. Mrs. Vogel, a lovely and active lady, fully supported Herbert in his en(leav- ors for fifty-nine years. Active in military and professional engineering matters throughout his career, General Vogel retiree! from the army in 1954 as division engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of En- gineers' Southwestern Division. During this portion of his ca- reer, he contributed to the control of large waterways by proving and exploiting the validity of hydraulic models, a contribution that brought about a revolution in engineering concepts. The use of these models was prompted by the country's need to find methods of controlling the Mississippi River and its tributaries to prevent recurrences of the disas- trous floods of 1927. Major General Charles G. Holle (Ret.) states! that General Vogel attended the Berliner Technische Hochschule, graduating with the de- gree of doctor of engineering. Next he followed duty with the Missis- sippi River Commission in Vicksburg, Mississippi, to create the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station, which has become so well-known and highly regarded, worldwide. Full credit of the prestige of the WES is due to General Vogel having been the first director, 1929-1934, for the sound establishment and orientation of it, and for his expert coun- seling as the WES developed during the subsequent years. Major General K. D. Nichols (Ret.) also contributed to the facts in this memorial, adcling the following: As a result of his early initiative, Vog combined his intelligence, engi- neering knowledge, superiorjudgment, fierce loyalty to his profession, high professional standards, sensitivity, and humor to become one of the world's outstanding hydraulic engineers, respected by his host of friends and associates worldwide. Once the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station was con- structed and in operation, Vogel and his colleagues opened new areas of research ant! convinced authorities of the rea- sonableness of using new methods ant! techniques for solv-

HERBERT D. VOGEL 341 ing the problems involved in the control of the Mississippi River and other sizable waterways. Their work required the use, for the first time, of extensive, small-scale models of large rivers. Although these models had some vertical distor- tion (because a very small horizontal scale hac! to be used), they were nevertheless useful for waterway control, and new techniques and methods were developed through these models that went far beyond the European concepts. Incleed, the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station has be- come a mode} for practical hydraulic research institutions around the worIc! and is now the most complete and active installation of its kind anywhere. It has been visited by thou- sands of people from all over the globe. In addition, during the past fifty years, hundreds of problems relating to all parts of the United States and many foreign countries have been brought to the experiment station for stucly. Millions of dol- lars have been saved as a result of its work, and major hy- clraulic structure design improvements have been made. General Vogel was appointed chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a position he held until 1963. During his nine years as chair- man, he had executive responsibility for the operation of the largest electric power system in the United States. During this periocl, the capacity of the system was more than doubled; it was supplying electric energy to an area of over eighty thousand square miles. TVA is responsible for the unified development of natural resources over an area of forty-one thousand square miles and for the development of navigation and flood control of the Tennessee River System. Herbert also served as both president and consulting engineer of the Tennessee River and Tributaries Association. George H. Kimmons, retired manager of Tams Office of Engineering Design and Construction, wrote: During one's career there is always one person who stands out above all the others. For me that person is General Herbert D. Vogel. He was respected by his associates for his achievements and leadership abili-

342 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES ties. Not only was General Vogel an outstanding engineer and a great Army officer, he was also one of the most likeable men with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working. I worked directly with General Vogel during his term as chairman of the board of the Tennessee Val- ley Authority and later when each of us was serving as a member of the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses. As an engineering adviser to the World Bank from 1963 to 1967, General Vogel contributed greatly to the success of the bank, which relies largely on the successful engineering of its projects. He also served in an ex officio capacity as an engineer member of the bank's working party for the Indus Basin Project during its construction, which required many trips to Pakistan. His influence was felt in the supervision of a dam site study and in the authorship of a work entitled "Water and Power Resources of West Pakistan." In his practice as a consultant and founder of Herbert D. Vogel and Associates ~ ~ 967 to ~ 984), his attributes of creative thinking and leadership were highlighted. For example, (lur- ing this time, he presented papers at several meetings of the Permanent International Association of Navigation Con- gresses that cleaned the U.S. position on inIancI navigation problems. This position inclucled the exchange of planning ant! engineering technologies with developing countries and their relationship to improving maritime ports and inland terminals. In more recent years, he expressed the view that the entire watershed of the Potomac River shouIct be devel- oped with a view to meeting the long-range water needs of the Washington metropolitan area. An authority on water and soil conservation and flood con- trol, General Vogel authored] numerous papers ant! articles on hydraulic moclels, river and harbor engineering, and the clevelopment and operation of large electric power systems. As a result, his professional efforts have had a large and ben- eficial impact on society. His small-scale river mode! testings for waterways have proviclecl viable solutions to otherwise unsolvable complex problems; they have also saved millions of dollars in addition to improving and adding increased safety features in hyciraulic structure designs. .

HERBERT D. VOGEL 343 Because of the proof provided by the experiment station as to the validity of models, engineers today do not build large, expensive hydraulic structures until they are first tested on a small-scale basis. Mocle! tests have saved untold millions of clolIars in construction costs and have prevented further heavy losses of life and property resulting from di- sastrous flooding. A planner, builder, ant! former director of the U.S. Water- ways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Vogel also server! as lieutenant governor of the Panama Canal Zone. He was a member of both the Mississippi River Com- mission and the Boars! of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors anal served as chairman of the Arkansas-White-Rect River Basins Interagency Committee. His many awards and honors include the Distinguishec! Honorary Graduate Award of the U.S. Army Engineer School; the Colon Alfaro Medal; the Knight of the Grant} Cross (Thailand); the Distinguished Alumnus Awarc! of the University of Michigan; the Award for Meritorious Service to the Engineering Profession of the Year 1967, given by the Consulting Engineers Council; and the Liberation and In- dependence Medals of the Philippines. General Vogel was also selected in 1972 as the Elected Occupant of the George W. Goethals Chair of Military Construction, Army Engineer School at Fort BeIvoir, Virginia. In 1972 he was also cited by~oint Resolution No. 250 of the House of Representatives and the Senate, State of Ten- nessee. He received the Knight of the Golden Circle Award of the Army and Navy Club of Washington and the Presi- dent's and Honorary Member Award of the American Soci- ety of Civil Engineers in 1979. General Vogel's military dec- orations included the Distinguished Service Mecial and the Legion of Merit. His memberships were extensive and impressive. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977. He was an honorary member of the Public Works Historical So- ciety ant! the Society of American Military Engineers; a fel- low of the American Consulting Engineers Council; and an

344 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES honorary member of the Engineers Club of Pennsylvania. In addition, General Vogel was a member of the Royal Society of Arts in London, the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses, the International Commission on Large Dams, and the National Society of Professional Engi- neers. In reviewing General Vogel's accomplishments, Major General Charles Noble (Ret.) completed his tribute by stating: Never one to retire from the business of humanity, Dr. (General) Vogel died with his boots on, serving to the end the profession he loved. He left behind a loving wife and family and thousands of professional and personal friends. His funeral service at Arlington Cemetery was the occasion for a large assemblage of the most distinguished and famous crowd of professionals and high-ranking service personnel, friends, and West Point classmates, a crowning tribute to the selfless life of a great soldier, engineer, and public servant.

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