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Major General Sampson Bass

Major General Sampson H. Bass Jr.

Saturday, March 6th, 2021
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Major General Sampson H. Bass, Jr., US Army Retired, honored member of the Army Chemical Corps' Hall of Fame for his research and development of environmentally-sound chemical weapons disposal, passed away on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at his home in Locust Hill, Va. at the age of 91. He will be interred with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery next to his beloved wife of 72 years, Mary Jewell “Dew” Bass (nee Wells), who preceded him in death on February 22, 2020.

MG Bass was born on April 10, 1929 in Washington, D.C. to Martha L. Bass (nee Mezick) and Sampson H. Bass, Sr. He graduated from Anacostia High School and attended the Virginia Military Institute where he graduated in 1951 with a degree in Chemistry. He earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration with Distinction from Harvard University in 1957, and attended the US Army Chemical School, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.

In addition to numerous service and campaign medals, his decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, three Legion of Merits, three Air Medals, and five Army Commendation Medals.

MG Bass served in the Infantry during the Korean War and in Japan prior to transferring to the Chemical Corps in 1954. His duty assignments included the Office of the Chief Chemical Officer at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Operations Planner, Headquarters, US Army Pacific, Hawaii, and Program Manager, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

He served in various assignments at the Army Chemical Center, Md. including Deputy Commander of Edgewood Arsenal and became the Director of Weapons Development and Engineering Laboratories where he was involved with the US Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program in 1969. MG Bass has been referred to as a world authority on chemical weapons destruction and is considered the “Grandfather” of the Chemical Demilitarization Program that started with Task Force Eagle. As a result of the foundation laid by MG Bass, the US Army Chemical Materials Agency was able to complete its mission of destroying stockpiled chemical agents and munitions.

MG Bass served as Commanding Officer of Pine Bluff Arsenal, Ark., Commanding General of the 3rd Support Command, V Corps, Frankfurt, Germany, and Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, USAREUR and Seventh Army, Heidelberg, Germany.

Assigned to the Pentagon as Director, Supply and Maintenance for the US Army, he retired in 1981 and accepted a position with Ethyl Corporation, Richmond, Va., as Corporate Vice President, retiring in 1996.

A man of faith, MG Bass preferred the “good ole hymns.” He held particular interest in art and memorabilia from his many travels and enjoyed Civil War history and writings on General George Marshall. He was an avid golfer and a gardener. In younger years, he played the guitar and sang with his children. He loved a quiet game of Solitaire.

In addition to his wife and parents, MG Bass was preceded in death by his brother, Charles A. Bass, Sr. and sister, Elizabeth A. Reich. He is survived by five children, Susan Torres (Carlos) of Locust Hill, Va., Linda Pfeiffer (Larry) of Bel Air, Md., Martha Bass of Gulf Shores, Ala., Nancy Mitchell (Jim) of Auburndale, Fla., and David Bass (Kathryn) of Gulf Shores, Ala.; eight grandchildren, Tanner Bass, Kyle Pfeiffer (Jennifer), Grant Pfeiffer (Angela), Allison Manning (Bryant), Madison Howe (Cory), Sarah Burger (Andrew), Sam Bass (Ashleigh), and Charlotte Bass; eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson; many nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Edna Jo Donovan, brother-in-law, James C. Wells, Jr.; and dear family friend, Debra Jackowski.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Deltaville, Va., the VMI Foundation, Inc., Lexington, Va., and the USSOCOM Warrior Care Program.

Arrangements by Faulkner Funeral Homes, Bristow-Faulkner Chapel, Saluda, VA.
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