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WWI - WWII

General Alfred M. Gruenther

Deputy Chief of Staff, Allied Force Headquarters, North Africa 42-43

Chief of Staff, Fifth Army, Italy 43-44

Chief of Staff, 15th Army Group, 44-45

Deputy Commanding General, US Forces Austria 45

Deputy Commandant, National War College 45-47

Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe 51-53

Supreme Allied Commander, Europe 53-56

 

 

Alfred Maximilian Gruenther was born in Platte Center, Neb., on March 3, 1899. He was one of six children. His mother was a school teacher, his father a local newspaper editor and publisher.

Gen. Gruenther graduated from the U.S. Military Academy on Nov. 1, 1918, fourth in a class of 277. He also was a graduate of the Chemical Warfare School, the Army War College, and the Command and Staff College. It was not until May 1935 that he reached the rank of captain. During those years, he served the usual tours of a lieutenant in the Army. The only thing unusual about those years was that he taught at West Point for eight years as an instructor in mathematics, electricity and chemistry.

It was during those years that Gen. Gruenther became an expert in bridge. He was to write three books on the subject, become honorary president of the World Bridge Federation and become one of the best-known bridge tournament referees in the country. He also became Eisenhower's favorite partner.

In 1932, he refereed the famous Culbertson-Lenz bridge championship in New York City. An instructor at West Point at the time, he would sleep in the back of his car while his wife drove between West Point and New York four days each week. He received $100 a night as a referee, and $167 a month as an Army officer.

One person complained to the Army, asking how a full-time officer could find the time to do this. The complaint was referred to the West Point superintendent, who spent the following week auditing his 8 a.m. class. His report to Washington said, "If I could be certain that being a bridge referee would have the same salutary effect on all the Military Academy's instructors as it has had on Lt. Gruenther, I would demand that they all become bridge referees in their spare time. I have never seen a finer chemistry instructor than Lt. Gruenther."

Gen. Gruenther's promotions beyond captain came rapidly. He participated in the Army's famed Louisiana maneuvers of September 1941, this country's first large-scale war games in years. The commander of Army Ground Forces, Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, marked the then-Maj. Gruenther for bigger things.

He was promoted to lieutenant colonel that same month and named deputy chief of staff of the Third Army, based in Texas. In December, he became Third Army chief of staff and was promoted to colonel. In August 1942, he became a brigadier general. When the Fifth Army was activated in January 1943, Clark announced that Gen. Gruenther was his first and only choice as its chief of staff. He became a major general a month later. He received his third star in 1949, and became a full general in August 1951.

After leaving the Army, Gen. Gruenther was president of the American Red Cross from 1957 to 1964. He had served on the boards of Dart Industries, New York Life Insurance, and Pan American World Airways. He had honorary degrees from 38 schools and decorations from 20 nations. He had served presidential commissions dealing with the draft, health and disarmament. He was a president of the English Speaking Union..

He earned his reputation as a wartime staff officer during World War II. He went to London in August 1942 as deputy chief of staff of the Allied Force Headquarters under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Later in the war, he served under Gen. Mark Clark, as chief of staff first of the Fifth Army and then the 15th Army Group, both in the Mediterranean theater.

Gen. Gruenther was the officer most responsible for planning the Allied invasion of North Africa in 1942, and planned the later invasions of Sicily and Salerno. He rode into Rome with Gen. Clark in June 1944 and remained with him until after the war.

After the war, he was deputy commander of Allied forces in Austria. In 1947, he became the first joint staff director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then served as deputy chief of staff of the Army for plans. In December 1950, he became chief of staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).

His first commander in this post was Eisenhower, who under this title was the first NATO commander. Gen. Gruenther was staff chief until July 1953, when he succeeded Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway as supreme commander, becoming the third military head of the alliance. He held that post until retiring from active duty on Dec. 31, 1956.

Gen. Clark once said that on every efficiency report he turned in on Gen. Gruenther he had written, "Highly qualified to be chief of staff of the Army at the appropriate time."

Gen. Gruenther's decorations include three Distinguished Service Crosses, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Lieutenant General Blackshear M. Bryan

Chief of the Aliens Division, Assistant Provost Marshal of the US Army 42-45

Provost Marshal of the US Army 45-48

Commanding General, 24th Infantry Division, Korea 51-52

Commanding General, XVI Corps 52-53

Commanding General, I Corps 53-54

Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, 54-56

Commanding General, US Army Pacific 56-57

Commanding General, First US Army 57-60

 

 

Lieutenant General Frank A. Armstrong

Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations & Training, 8th Bomber Command 42

Commanding Officer, 97th Bomb Group 42-43

Commanding Officer, 306th Bomb Group 43

Commanding General 101st Provisional Combat Wing 43

Commanding General 1st Bombardment Wing 43

Commanding General, 315th Bomb Wing 44-46

Commanding General, Alaskan Air Command 56-61

 

 

Frank Alton Armstrong Jr., was born at Hamilton, N.C., in 1902. He graduated from Wake Forest College in 1923 with a bachelor of laws degree. Two years later he received a bachelor of science degree from Wake Forest.

He began military service in February 1928 when he enlisted as a flying cadet at Nashville, N.C. He received primary training at Brooks Field, Texas and advanced training at Kelly Field, Texas. He received his pilot's wings in March 1929 and today is a command pilot with around 11,000 flying hours. He has flown the B-47 Stratojet in addition to many types of conventional aircraft. Lieutenant Armstrong's first assignment after Kelly Field was with the Second Bombardment Group at Langley Field, Va. The lieutenant returned to Kelly Field in 1930 to attend the Flying Instructors' School and then went to March Field, Calif., as a flying instructor. In 1931 he transferred to Randolph Field, Texas where he continued his flying instruction duties.

In 1934, Lieutenant Armstrong received special navigation and instrument flying training at Rockwell Field, Calif., before he became a chief pilot with the Air Corps mail operations at Salt Lake City, Utah. His first overseas tour was with the 78th Pursuit Squadron at Albrook Field, Canal Zone. Other pre-World War II assignments were: commander of the 13th Bombardment Squadron at Barksdale Field, La; a student at the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala; a military observer in England; with the 90th Bombardment Squadron at Savannah, Ga., Air Base; and duty at Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Early in 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong went to England to become the operations officer for the Eighth Bomber Command. After promotion to colonel during the same year, he became a bombardment group commander and a wing commander. Colonel Armstrong led the first daylight raid ever made by the U.S. Army Air Force over Axis territory. This raid over Rouen-Sotteville, France blasted the target without loss of life or aircraft. For this operation Colonel Armstrong received the Silver Star and an oak leaf cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross. (He had received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1936 for the landing of a twin-engine amphibian after one engine had exploded). He was also awarded the British Flying Cross for the Rouen-Sotteville raid, the first United States officer to be so honored.

Early in 1943, Brigadier General Armstrong led the group over Wilhelmshaven in the first heavy bomber raid over Germany proper. The B-17 experiences during this time became the basis of Bierne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett's book and movie "Twelve O'Clock High". He returned to the United States in August 1943 and commanded bombardment training wings at Dalhart, Texas, Ardmore, Okla., and Colorado Springs, Colo. He then headed the 315th Bomb Wing at Peterson Field, Colo. Brigadier General Armstrong's stay in the United States was of short duration. By mid-year 1945 he went to the Pacific where he took command of the same bomb wing that he trained at Peterson Field.

During the summer of 1945 he flew numerous missions over oil targets in Japan. In August he flew from Guam to Honshu, the longest and last very heavy bombing raid in the war, without bomb-bay tanks and with an extremely heavy bomb load. In November 1945, he led the first non-stop flight from Hokkaido, Japan, to Washington, D.C., in a Boeing B-29 bomber. He was awarded an oak leaf cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross for each of the above achievements. With World War II ended, Brigadier General Armstrong could look back on many significant achievements he had made during this worldwide conflict. He had served in both theaters. He personally led the first and last heavy bombing raids of World War II.

Early in 1946, he became the Pacific Air Command chief of staff for operations and later that year he returned to the United States to become senior air instructor at the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va. Early in 1949, Brigadier General Armstrong began the first of two tours in Alaska. He headed the Alaskan Air Command. In addition to increasing the combat capabilities of the Air Forces in Alaska, he pioneered (with other members of the Alaskan Air Command) an air route non-stop from Alaska to Norway, and from Norway to New York. Following the flight to Norway, he received the Gold Medal of the Aero Club of Norway, the highest civil award of that country.

Early in 1950, Armstrong was promoted to major general and a year later returned to the United States to command Sampson Air Force Base, N.Y. He was commended for the harmonious relationship established between the base and surrounding civil communities in the trying period of base activation.
Later in 1951, Major General Armstrong became commanding general of the Sixth Air Division at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., trained and equipped the Air Force's first B-47 Stratojet Wing. The general in late 1952 commanded Strategic Air Command's Second Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He held this position for almost four years. In July 1956, Major General Armstrong returned to Alaska to again head the Alaskan Air Command. Two months later, he became commander in chief, Alaska, was promoted to lieutenant general and now heads the unified Alaskan Command with headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

 

His awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, British Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm, Occupation Ribbon - Japan, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with star,  American Defense Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Independence Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and the Norwegian Gold Medal.

 

 

UNUSUAL EXPERIENCES
General Armstrong personally led first and last heavy bomber raids of World War II. The first raid was over Rouen-Sotteville, France. The last raid was over Honshu, Japan. He also led his group over Wilhelmshaven in the first heavy bomber raid over Germany proper. His mission in the Pacific was "destroy ten different oil refineries," a mission he carried out effectively.

 

Brigadier General Frank Savage from the movie "Twelve O'Clock High was based on the persona and service of Lieutenant General Armstrong.

In 1936 while a captain stationed at Albrook Field, Canal Zone, General Armstrong was piloting a Douglas amphibian (OA-4A). During the flight an engine exploded, but by skillful handling he landed the aircraft safely on a small strip located on the Mala peninsula.

 

This group consists of his Air Force blue backed custom sewn on ribbon bar, and a mini set of his British Distinguished Flying Cross and Croix de Guerre. These were obtained from the former Harry Block Aviation Collection.

Major General William Livesay 

Commanding General, 91st Infantry Division 43-45

Commanding General, Military Advisory Group to Greece 47-48

Commandant, Armored Center & School 48-50

William G. Livesay was born in Illinois, March 2, 1895. He began his military career as a private when he enlisted in the Regular Army on May 3, 1915.

He served as a private and a corporal with the 19th Infantry, and as a corporal and sergeant clerk, Quartermaster Corps, 1915 to 1916. He received his commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry, November 26, 1916 and, on the same date, was promoted to first lieutenant.

As an enlisted man he served with the 19th Infantry on the Mexican border and later with the Quartermaster Corps at Brownsville, Texas. After receiving his commission, he attended the First Officers Class, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from January to March 1917, and was then assigned to and served with the 30th Infantry until June 1917.

Landing with the fist contingent in France in June 1917 - now assigned to the 28th Infantry, 1st Division - he served continuously with that division in France and in the occupation of Germany until August 1, 1919. He participated in the following engagements: Sommerville, Ansuaville, Cantigny, Soissons, Saizerais, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Sedan.

He returned to the United States in August 1919 and assigned to the 2nd Infantry he served at Camp Dadge, Iowa and Camp Sherman, Ohio. In 1920 he was assigned as an instructor at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1922 he attended the advanced class of the Infantry School. In July 1923 he was assigned to the 17th Infantry at Fort Crook, Nebraska. He attended the 1925-26 the Command and General Staff School at Fort Levenworth, Kansas. Upon graduating from this course he was then returned to the Infantry School as an instructor in June 1926.

Four years later - in June 1930 - he was assigned to the 7th Infantry, Vancouver Barracks. During 1932-33 he attended the Army War College, and in June 1933 was assigned to the Infantry Board, Fort Benning, Georgia.

In the fall of 1936, assigned to the Office, Chief of Infantry, he served one year in the training section and three years as Chief of the Training Section, Office, Chief of Infantry. In July 1940 he was assigned to command the First Battalion, 38th Infantry, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Infantry Demonstration Battalion, at the Field Artillery School.  

January 1, 1941 to July 27, 1941 he was a member of the General Staff Corps as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 2nd Division.

In July 1941 he was transferred to Puerto Rico as Chief of Staff of the Puerto Rican Department. When Congress confirmed his nomination to brigadier general, April 1942, he returned to the continental United States as Assistant Division Commander, 35th Division. In July 1942 he returned to Puerto Rico as Commander of the Puerto Rican Mobile Force.

In July 1943 he was assigned to command the 91st Infantry Division, known as the "Powder River Division" at Camp Adair, Oregon. He went overseas with that division in May 1944. The first elements of the division entered combat in the Anzio beachhead in Italy.

The division fought 160 offensive miles across mountains, rivers and plains playing a leading role in the final destruction of the German armies in Italy. In 271 combat days the division scored several "firsts" -the Arno River, Leghorn and Oisa; it secured Futa Pass, the toughest single position in the Gothic Line, Monticelli and Mt. Adone and many other enemy strongholds. The division spearheaded the drive into Bologna. The 3rd Battalion, 36th Infantry, and the 363rd Infantry Regiment, received the Distinguished Unit Citations for heroic battle achievements at Levergnano and Monticelli respectively.

General Livesay returned to the United States with the 91st Division and remained with that organization until its deactivation on December 1, 1945. He was then assigned as a member of the Military Education Board, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On February 7, 1946 he assumed command of the Seventh Service Command with the headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska.

Upon the deactivation of the Seventh Service Command Headquarters in May 1947, General Livesay was ordered to fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he became Commanding General of the Replacement Training Center.

In early June 1947, General Livesay was assigned as Chief of the United States Advisory Group to Greece in connection with the aid program for that country. H arrived in Greece June 19, 1947. His assignment was a Commanding General of the United States Army Group Greece (USAGG). He was appointed Director of Joint U.S. Military Advisory and Planning Group, in addition to other duties, on December 30, 1947. He headed the Army, Navy, and Air Force Officers in furnishing operational advice to the Greek Armed Forces. He was appointed as a permanent Major General on January 24, 1948. He was assigned to AGO casuals Washington, D.C. on March 5, 1948. He became Commanding General of the Armored Center and Commandant of the Armored School, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on June 14, 1948.

Major General Edwin F. Harding 

Commanding General, 32nd Infantry Division 42-43

Commanding General, Panama Canal Department 43-44

Commanding General, Antilles Department 44-45

Edwin Forrest Harding was born on September 18, 1886, in Franklin, Ohio. Forrest was educated at Franklin High School and Phillips Exeter Academy. He also spent a year at Charles Braden Preparatory Academy, a special preparatory school for the United States Military Academy at West Point. He passed the entrance examination and was appointed to West Point by then Secretary of WarWilliam Howard Taft. He graduated from West Point in the class of 1909, which also included future generals George S. PattonJacob L. DeversJohn C. H. LeeRobert L. Eichelberger, and William H. Simpson.

 

Prior to World War II, he was in 1938 a Colonel in command of 27th Infantry Regiment. In 1941 he was promoted to Brigadier General and Assistant commander of the 9th Infantry Division.

 

Harding had an agile mind. He could quote T. S. Eliot or Tennyson or Kipling, and discuss history or astronomy like an Ivy League professor. Harding understood the modern military and had literally written the book on it. During 1934, Col. George Catlett Marshall was assistant commandant at Fort Benning and selected Harding as an instructor and put him in charge of the Infantry School's publications. He edited Infantry in Battle, a book that codified new ideas on how to organize infantry in battle. Harding was responsible for planning the book and supervising preparation and editing of the manuscript.

 

In February 1942, Harding took command of the 32nd Infantry Division. The 32nd Infantry Division had been scheduled to receive a year of training before it left the United States. It was authorized to have a peacetime strength of about 11,600 soldiers, but like almost all units in the National Guard and the Regular Army prior to World War II, was not at full strength nor was it assigned all of the equipment it was authorized. Training for many soldiers was incomplete. Harding was a leader who exuded confidence. The 2nd Battalion of the 126th Infantry Regiment was deployed on an extremely arduous flanking maneuver on the Kapa Kapa Trail on Papua New Guinea over a 9,100 feet (2,800 m) divide toward Jaure. The total distance over the mountains to the Japanese positions was over 130 miles (209 km), and most of the trail was barely a goat path. The Kapa Kapa trail across the Owen Stanley divide was a "dank and eerie place, rougher and more precipitous" than the Kokoda Track on which the Australians were then fighting the Japanese. It was "one of the most harrowing marches in American military history."

 

In a first for World War II, General Douglas MacArthur ordered the 128th Infantry Regiment to be flown from Australia to New Guinea, the greatest distance the Air Force had airlifted men up to that time. When he learned how the trek across the 9,100 feet mountain divide was so debilitating and lengthy, Harding requested that the remainder of the division be flown to the Buna area, to join Australian units in an assault on the main Japanese beachheads in eastern New Guinea. A local priest informed the Allies that there was a landing field on the western slopes and MacArthur ordered the rest of the 32nd flown across the Owen Stanley Range, becoming the first U.S. Army artillery flown into combat in the Pacific in WWII.


With no roads through the jungle, the only way to keep the troops furnished with the food, ammunition and other goods necessary to operate against the Japanese was via airborne supply. This proved to be very problematic in the deep razorback ridges of the Owen Stanley Mountains. Because of a lack of parachutes, material was shoved off airplanes at a height of 40 or more feet, and were often damaged or completely lost due to mis-drops.

 

Harding's division was tasked with attacking Buna on November 19, 1942. General Douglas MacArthur received intelligence from Brigadier General Charles Willoughby, who told MacArthur before the operation that there was "little indication of an attempt to make a strong stand against the Allied advance.” The intelligence led him to believe that Buna was held by about 1000 sick and malnourished soldiers. Harding was nearly killed before the attack began. He was on board a coastal trawler with his headquarters company when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft. Harding saved himself by diving overboard and swimming to shore. The attack destroyed many of the supplies Harding was relying on for the upcoming attack.

 

Harding accepted MacArthur's decision to rely on direct air support in place of tanks or heavy artillery, and his troops were stopped cold by formidable Japanese field fortifications. With the only artillery support provided by a single 25-pounder battery with limited ammunition, the division was unable to make further progress against these positions. A stalemate ensued. When the 32nd Division failed to advance, MacArthur became so concerned about the lack of progress that he sent General Robert Eichelberger, commander of I Corp, to report on the situation. MacArthur famously said to Eichelberger: “Bob, I'm putting you in command at Buna. Relieve Harding ... I want you to remove all officers who won't fight. Relieve regimental and battalion commanders; if necessary, put sergeants in charge of battalions and corporals in charge of companies ... Bob, I want you to take Buna, or not come back alive ... And that goes for your chief of staff, too.”

 

Eichelberger and his staff flew into Buna, and on December 2, he inspected the left or westward-lying U.S. front, the Urbana Force. Two of his staff officers, Colonels Martin and Rogers, inspected the right flank, which was designated the Warren Force. They found the troops were ill with malaria, dengue fever, tropical dysentery, and other ailments. They discovered the men had few rations, causing them to lose weight, and lacked hot meals, vitamins, and cigarettes. Some were unshaven, their uniforms and boots were dirty and in tatters, and they showed "little discipline or military courtesy." Having been on the front at Buna for two weeks with virtually no progress to show for it except for hundreds of casualties, their morale was very poor. Eichelberger relieved Harding on December 2, 1942.  Eichelberger also sacked the regimental commanders and most battalion commanders. He replaced Harding with the division's artillery commander, Brigadier General Albert W. Waldron. "Some of the 32nd's officers privately denounced Eichelberger as ruthless, Prussian."

 

Eichelberger later noted that after he relieved Harding he "ordered the medicos to take the temperature of an entire company of hollow-eyed men near the front. Every member, I repeat, every member of that company was running a fever." Eichelberger found the men lacked even the oil and patches required to keep their guns free of rust. He put an officer in charge of supply who ignored all protocols to obtain whatever the men needed. Eichelberger conspicuously wore his three stars on his shoulders among the front-line troops, ignoring the rule that officers remove their insignia at the front because they would attract enemy fire. He lost thirty pounds in thirty days at the front. Martin later admitted, after some experience with the Japanese defenses, that had attacks been continued on the day he conducted his inspection, they would not have been successful.

 

MacArthur had initially promised Harding a new assignment elsewhere in the Southwest Pacific, but Harding was recalled to the United States a few weeks later. In 1943, he was made Commander of the Mobile Force in the Panama Canal Zone, and in 1944 Commander of the Antilles Department in the Caribbean, an unimportant assignment comprising 20 forts, camps and fields in the lesser islands from Cuba, Haiti, Costa Rica to Aruba, and portions of northern South America. In 1945, he was made Director of the Historical Division at the War Department for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There he oversaw the planning of the Army's comprehensive history of World War II. He submitted a plan on December 18, 1945, in which he estimated that the full historical series would contain about 120 volumes, although only 101 of them were described.

 

Harding retired after 37 years of military service in 1946.

Major General Guy B. Denit

Chief Surgeon, Southwest Pacific Command 43-46

Chief Surgeon, US European Command 48-53

Major General Guy Blair Denit was born on September 28th, 1891 in Salem Virginia. He attended Virginia Polytechnic  Institute and received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Virginia in 1914. He was appointed a First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps in the Virginia National Guard in 1915, and made a First Lieutenant in the Regular Army Medical Corps on February 26, 1918. He served on the Mexican Border in Federal service from June 1916 to April 1917. That summer, he was ordered to duty with the 29th Division and accompanied them to France with the American Expeditionary Force as the Assistant Division Surgeon.

Following the War, he was assigned as a student at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and then as the War Surgeon stationed at Fort Sam Houston, TX.  From then until 1929 he attended various military schools, and then worked in the Office of the Surgeon General. In 1932, he was ordered to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii to become the Assistant to the Chief of Surgical Service ad Plans and Training Officer, 11th Medical Regiment. In 1933, he became the Division Medical Inspector, Hawaiian Division, until 1935. He completed the Army War College in 1936 and then served as a Medical Instructor in the Fourth Corps Area, where he also served as the Assistant Surgeon of the Third Army. He transferred to VIII Corps Headquarters in 1942, as Surgeon.

In July 1942, he became the Chief Surgeon of a section in the North Africa Theater of Operations. In July 1943, he became Special Adviser to the Commanding General of the Medical Field Service School at Carlisle Barracks. In November, 1943, he transferred to the Southwest Pacific to serve as the Chief Surgeon. In August 1945, he became Chief Surgeon on General MacArthur's staff of the US Army Forces in the Pacific, where he remained until 1946. From then until 1948, he served as the Chief of Plans and Operations in the Surgeon General's Office. In August, 1948, General Denit was appointed Chief Surgeon of the US European Command, based in Germany.  He remained in this capacity until his retirement in 1953.

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and Army Commendation Ribbon.

Major General Ewart G. Plank

Commanding General, Advance Section, Communication Zone, European Theater, 44-45

Commanding General, Philippine Base Section, 45-56

Commanding General, NY Port of Embarkation, 46-49

General Ewart G. Plank enlisted in the Kansas National Guard in 1916 and was mustered into Federal service shortly thereafter.  He was discharged in 1918 to enter the U.S. Military Academy and upon graduation was commissioned in the Coast Artillery before transferring to the Corps of Engineers.  Plank became chief of the Aerial Mapping Branch of the Air Service Engineering Division in 1924.  He was then sent to the Panama Canal Zone in 1927 for duty with the 11th Engineers followed by service in Nicaragua.  By 1940 Plank became the Assistant Chief of the Construction Section in the Office of the Chief of Engineers.  He would then serve as Deputy Chief of Staff of Headquarters, Services of Supply, in the European theater.  In 1944 Plank assumed command of the Advance Section, Communications Zone, European theater.  In June of 1945 he was transferred to the Pacific and placed in command of the Philippine Base Section.  Plank retired in 1949 but was recalled to active duty in 1951 as Director of Management Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  

Major General Frank R. McCoy

Commanding General, 165th Infantry Brigade, 18

Director of Transportation, Allied Expeditionary Force, 18-19

Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Brigade, 26-27

Commanding General, 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 27-29

Commanding General, 4th Corps, 29-32

Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division, 1933

Commanding General, 7th Corps, 33-35

Commanding General, 2nd Army, 35-36

Commanding General, 2nd Corps, 36-38

Member, Roberts Commission, 41-42

Chairman, Far East Commission, 45-49

An 1897 graduate of USMA, Major General Frank. R. McCoy was wounded once and twice cited for gallantry during the Spanish American War (Later 2 Silver Stars and Purple Heart). In WWI, as a Brigadier General, he served on Gen. Pershing's GHQ Staff, and was also the commander of the 63rd Infantry Brigade at the end of the war. He was notable as the Army's "Soldier Diplomat" between the wars, traveling the world on various advisory and investigatory commissions. He retired in 1938 as the Commanding General of the First US Army, but was recalled during WWII to serve on the Roberts Commision to investigate the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and again at the end of the war to head the Far Eastern Commission to determine the fate of Post-War Japan.

Major General Robert W. Crawford

Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G-3), War Department 42

Commanding General, Combat Command A, 8th Armored Division, 42

Commanding General, Services of Supply, US Forces Middle East, 42-43

Assistant Chief of Staff (G-4), European Theater of Operations, 43-45

 

 

BIOGRAPHY COMING SOON!

Major General Robert McClure

Assistant Chief of Staff (G-2), US European Theater of Operations, 43

Chief of Psychological Warfare Division, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force 43-45

Director of Information Control, Office of Military Government, Germany 45-47

Chief of Office of Psychological Warfare, US Army, 51-53

Chief of US Military Mission to Iran, 53-56

 

 

Robert Alexis McClure was born March 4, 1897 in Mattoon, Illinois, a town that only existed because of and was sustained by a railroad line. Its size and history, though not as long, coincides with that of Madison. Built during a boom time and then suffering financial hardships, the town has stabilized and endured.

Robert McClure’s parents were George Hurlburt and Harriet Julia Rudy McClure. For a time they lived in Mattoon and reared a family which included Robert and his sisters, Persis Elizabeth and Mary Susan but sometime around 1907 George and Harriet divorced. Harriet soon remarried to Frank Eckert, a traveling salesman and, after residing for a short time in Mattoon, and adding another son, William, the family moved to Madison, Indiana in the spring of 1911. In Madison Robert attended school until 1913, when he transferred to the Kentucky Military Institute. Here he passed his exams and graduated in 1916 and was sent to the Philippines as a Second Lieutenant for the Philippine Constabulary. In 1917 he joined the regular army and was sent to China with the 15th Infantry. During 1917 he was promoted to 1st lieutenant.

On November 11, 1918, he married Marjorie Crandall Leitch in Kobe, Japan and to them would be born two sons, Robert Dugald and Richard Alexis. In 1920 Robert Returned to the U. S. and was stationed at Camp Sherman, Ohio from 1920 to 1923. He was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia in 1923 as an instructor. During this time he vacationed and visited Madison and even did some recruiting in his hometown from time to time. On November 23, 1923, he placed in the Madison Courier the following, “Dear Sir, Since my last vacation spent in Madison, I have had a change in assignment. I now command the regimental headquarters company, 29th infantry, and find it the most desirable assignment I have had. I have a few vacancies in the company which I am desirous of filling with (the) right sort of young men and naturally I turn at once to Madison. Through your medium I believe I can place the prospects offered by this company before the class of ambitious young men who are the ones we most desire to number in our organization. I have something to ‘sell’ these young men. Benefits for which they would be required to spend considerable money. In addition to these, which I shall enumerate below, they can earn while they learn….”

In rapid succession he was then assigned to military installations in Utah, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia and Fort Riley, Kansas. All this time he was attending diverse military classes and training courses. His dedication and obvious ability gained him a place at the Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia and later he was sent to the Army War College at Washington.

McClure was an expert horseman and, for a time, instructor in horsemanship at Fort Benning He performed a feat that caught national attention. In Madison, on the evening of May 14, 1924, it was announced that, “The fox news service tonight at the Grand Opera House will show as on of its items a movie of Captain Robert A. McClure, 29th Infantry, Ft. Benning, Ga. in his feat of leaping his horse over a dining table at which a number of soldiers are seated. A picture of the jump was recently used in the illustrated sections of Sunday papers. Captain McClure…. is one of the able young officers of the U. S. army of today.”

Then, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he was Executive Officer under General John DeWitt and General Phillip Peyton. By 1942 he had advanced to Military Attaché in London. Soon after the country’s entry into World War II he was made Chief of Intelligence of the European Theater for the General Staff. In September of 1942 Dwight D. Eisenhower personally appointed McClure to his Allied Forces Headquarters as Chief Intelligence Officer for the European Theater of Operations. In December of 1942 he moved to the North African Theater of Operations where Ike put him in charge of Information and Censorship (INC) of the Allied Forces Headquarters. Here he was to pull together the various functions of public relations, censorship and psychological warfare, a relatively new concept that McClure was literally and virtually creating as he went along. It was a conglomeration of military and civilian personnel encompassing the U. S. Office of War Information (OWI), the U. S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which would evolve into the CIA, and the British Political Warfare Executive (PWE) among others. It was, in the beginning, an incohesive and cumbersome group of diverse departments. McClure used his ability to assess a situation and apply trial and error techniques, using what worked and discarding what did not.

 

He was recalled to Europe in 1943 and was assigned to COSSAC (Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander).

By the end of the North African and Sicilian campaigns, McClure, himself, began to believe he had found his “niche”. He had managed to pull together a group of various offices and turn them into an effective, working department. Considering the diversity of the department and the various egos involved, this was no small feat and in early 1944 General Eisenhower authorized the establishment of the Psychological Warfare Division of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force to support the European campaign in Nazi Germany with McClure at the head.

At the end of the war Eisenhower again turned to McClure to direct the planning for the occupation of Germany. Among other things, he was to take over the “reorientation of German” by use of radio, newspaper and other communications. It was not enough to win the War; Eisenhower now intended to win the hearts, or at least the cooperation, of the German people. With the go-ahead from Ike and with the blessing of President Truman, McClure advanced Psychological Warfare, setting up what we now would find recognizable as the format that is still in place today. At the end of the war

 

President Truman dissolved the OSS but from it came the nucleus of men and techniques that would form today’s CIA.

McClure’s contributions and innovations are too varied and monumental to all be chronicled here but it must be mentioned that in 1952 the Green Berets, also known as “United States Army Special Forces”, were formally established by now Brigadier General Robert McClure with Col. Aaron Bank and Col. Russell Volckman in charge. He anticipated the dangers that would be encountered with the Russians in the future and understood the U. S. would need a new and different arsenal to combat it. He established a Psychological Warfare Center at Fort Bragg to provide formal instruction to Army personnel. The new unit was placed in a set of abandonedWWII wooden barracks in the back corner of the fort called Smoke Bomb Hill. From this humble beginning grew the important wing of the military known as Special Forces and Psychological Warfare that we know today.

During his career Major General Robert A. McClure garnered many honors and accolades. He received, among others, the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Legion of Merit from his own country and many from foreign countries including Great Britain, France, Poland, the Netherlands, and Italy.

By early 1953 most of McClure’s major programs had been implemented and he was assigned to Iran as Chief of the U. S. Military Mission. Here he was promoted to Major General. In 1956 he retired from the service after 39 years. While on a cross-country trip with Marjorie to San Clemente where they were to enjoy retired life, he became ill. On January 1, 1957, he died of a heart ailment in Arizona. 

Major General Aaron Bradshaw, Jr

Commanding General Anti-Aircraft Artillery, 7th Army 43

Commanding Officer 34th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade 43

Commanding Officer 35th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade 43-44

Commanding General Anti-Aircraft Artillery 5th Army 44-45

Chief of Plans & Operations, Army Service Forces 45-46

Major General Aaron Bradshaw, Jr. was born in Washington, DC in 1894 and was a 1817 graduate of the United States Military Academy, earning a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.  In WWI, he was in the 3rd Anti Aircraft Battalion participating in the defense of Paris and then joined the 2nd Anti Aircraft Battalion for the Argonne Forest Offensive. General Bradshaw served in Germany during the occupation until he left for Oxford for a post-graduate course. After the war, he served in a variety of Coast Artillery commands, to include the 59th Coast Artillery Command in the Philippine Islands in 1925.

 

During WWII, he served as Commanding General Anti-Aircraft Artillery, 7th Army,Commanding Officer 34th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade , Commanding Officer 35th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade, Commanding General Anti-Aircraft Artillery 5th Army  in Italy under General Mark Clark. When hostilities ended, he took command of the 71st AA Brigade, tasked with disarming the German 14th Army and placing them into Prisoner of War Camps. He then served as Chief of Plans & Operations, Army Service Forces in Berlin in 1945. He became the assistant to the Chief of Staff, European Command in 1950 at Heidelberg, Germany. That year he was named Chief of Logistics for the European Command. 

 

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Commendation Ribbon, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Italian Silver Medal of Valor, Order of the British Empire, Commander Grade, Cross of Merit, First Class, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Order of the Crown of Italy, Commander Grade, Italian Patriot's Medal, Order of St. Maurice and Lazarus, Commander Grade, Papal Lateran Cross, and the Legion D'Honneur, Officer Grade

 

These uniforms date to 1946 after he received his Bronze Star Medal and before his second Legion of Merit and Commendation Ribbon and feature bullion rank insignia, Fifth Army patches, and custom sew on ribbon bars. 

Brigadier General Sidney Hinds

Commander, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment 42-45

Commanding General, Combat Command B 2nd Armored Division 45

Commanding General, Commanding General Armored Replacement Training Center 45-47

Sidney Rae Hinds was born May 14, 1900 in Newton IL, the son of Daniel C. and Elizabeth Hinds, the eldest brother of Sybil, Bruce, Helene, Frances and Dan Hinds. During high school in Wahpeton, ND, Sid, always the athlete, played foot­ball and baseball, and, always loving music, played coronet in school and with the Sioux Indian bands. Money always a problem, so Sid started work at 16 as a railroad brake- man for two dollars a week and was pro­moted to guard, fending off strikers with a rifle and threatening to shoot them if they tried anything.

Few in Wahpeton had heard of West Point, so Sid had no trouble getting an appointment in 1918 from 27-year-old Congressman John M. Baer, who remained his friend for 30 years, although they nev­er met. A direct quote from Sid’s journal: “WWI years were hectic at the Academy. Pandemonium broke out in the mess hall when the order was read that the two up­per classes would graduate on Nov 1st and be sent immediately to France, and the yearlings would graduate in the spring of 1919 and follow. The unexpected Armistice intervened, the plebes became second classmen and the yearlings graduated in 1919.” GEN Douglas MacArthur was the Superintendent, GEN John J. Pershing gave the graduation address, and Sid was commissioned into the infantry in June. The class of 1920 produced 49 general of­ficers, perhaps because most of them, like Sid, were lieutenants for 15 years.

 

During assignments at Ft. Benning, GA, Ft. Russell, WY, and Ft. Snelling, MN, Sid became an expert marksman and went to Peru with GEN Pershing and the Army Rifle team in 1924; he held the Pan-American Rifle Championship for 18 years. His next stop was the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. The day before competing, a Belgian dropped his gun and shot Dad in the foot, which caused enormous conster­nation diplomatically and caused Dad to doubt he could compete the next day. But the coach said, “You’re up first, Sid. Dad shot a perfect score, the team won the gold medal, and the coach said, “Sid, the next time we compete, I’m going to shoot you in the other foot.” During many years on the Army Rifle team, Sid won President’s 100 tab, Distinguished Pistol and Rifle badges and scores of other medals, several hundred of which are in the Museum at Ft. Benning.

An assignment in Hawaii began a long association with and love of the islands, principally with his lovely wife Regina Christoffersen, whom he married in 1928. Gina was the women’s champion tennis player of the Territory, and he always said he married her to keep her around un­til he could beat her at tennis. An inter­lude followed at Ft. Meade, where Sidney Hinds, Jr. ’50 was born and then it was back to Honolulu as Professor of Military Science & Tactics at Kamehameha Boy’s School. Sid and Baine Beauchamp took 15 Hawaiian boys to the Canadian Arctic, fol­lowing the McKenzie and Rat Rivers on flat boats, to explore unmapped territory. They got lost on the tributaries and were AWOL for two months, surviving on caribou and fish. Another favorite story involved taking small tanks across the Kole Kole Pass, us­ing a broomstick on a lead motorcycle to see if it could go through without falling over the precipice. During this time, Martha Leilani was born, who later married “Skip” MacDonald ’55.

 

After assignments at Vancouver Barracks, Ft. Leavenworth, and Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Sid and family went to Ft. Benning to join GEN Patton’s 2nd Armored Division. With Sid commanding the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, the division invaded Africa in August, 1942, continued through Sicily, sailed to England to await the invasion of France, and fought all the way to Berlin, becoming the first troops to enter the city. There were several interesting stories. The 41st led a pincer movement in accord with COL (later MG) John C. Macdonald (whose son married Sid’s daughter) in the Battle of the Bulge. Sid was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Stars and two Bronze Stars, was wounded, patched up, awarded the Purple Heart and many foreign med­als, and promoted to brigadier general leading a combat command. Sid’s German-American aide talked the town of Ahlen into surrendering, and they later dedicated a park to GEN Hinds. The 2nd Armored crossed the Elbe, were ordered back to al­low the Russians to enter Berlin first, and re-crossed the Elbe to make their official entry into Berlin.

 

After retiring in 1947, Sid worked for 20 years, most notability with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, resettling displaced persons in Europe, then restoring war-torn South Korea with UNKRA. He then went to India for Colt to present the M-16 to the Indian Army, also doing work for the CIA

Brigadier General Elliot D. Cooke

Assistant Inspector-General 9th Corps Area 39-41

Chief Overseas Inspection Division, Office of the Inspector-General 42-46

Commanding General, Caribbean Command 48-50

Brigadier General Elliot D. Cooke was born on August 15, 1891 on Staten Island, NY. At the age of 14, he and his buddy ran away from home and hopped a banana boat to Honduras, where the United Fruit Company hired him, taught him to use a machine gun and paid him to protect plantations against Anti-American agitators and displaced Campesinos. He was wounded in Tegucigalpa and returned to the US. Staying in Goldfield, Nevada, he was becoming an amateur boxer and skilled marksman, so he lied about his age again and was hired by a local sheriff's private militia to intimidate striking miners. In 1910, he crossed the Mexican border to join up with soldiers of fortune from around the world in support of the Mexican Revolution. Thrilled with his life as a mercenary, he joined the foreign legion in Nicaragua, working his way to Panama just as WWI began. As a result,  he enlisted in the US Army in 1914, earning the rank of First Lieutenant by 1917, and arriving in France. Although a member of the Army, he was assigned to a Marine Corps Battalion as a company commander.

On July 18, 1918, German troops engaged the Marines in a fierce firefight in the fields neat the village of Vierzy, just east of Paris. With every other officer in his unit either killed or wounded, Cooke led his men in battle for two hours, despite a serious leg wound of his own. For his heroism, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm, Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star, and the French Fourragere. He prominently wore these citations on his dress uniform for years to come as he was the only US Army officer during WWI to earn all three.

By WWII, he was promoted to Brigadier General and made Chief of the Overseas Inspection Division of the Office of the Inspector General. He was tasked with, among other efforts, studying the treatment of negro soldiers in the Army, understanding desertion among troops, and pioneered an initial look into Post Traumatic Distress Disorder, publishing his 1946 book "All But Me and Three: Psychiatry at the Foxhole level." He took command of the Atlantic Sector of the Caribbean Command in 1948, and retired in 1950. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Croix de Guerre with Palm, Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star, French Legion of Honor, and the French Fourragere.

Brigadier General Ned Schramm

Commanding General, 71st Fighter Wing (UK-France-Germany) 43-45

Commanding General, 64th Fighter Wing, 45-46

Deputy Commanding General, 4th Air Force, 46-47

Commanding General, 4th Air Force, 47-48

Ned Schramm was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1896. He enlisted in the Quartermaster Reserve Corps as a sergeant on Sept. 28, 1917, and was assigned to Camp Lewis, Wash. He later transferred to the Aviation Section of the Signal Reserve Corps, and was sent to Berkeley, Calif., in March 1918 for flight instruction. 

On Oct. 25, 1918, he was appointed a second lieutenant (temporary), in the Air Service. He served at Mather and Rockwell fields, Calif., successively, until November l9l9, when he went to March Field, Calif., as a flying instructor. 

On July 1, 1920, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Service of the Regular Army. He returned to Mather Field in August 1921 and served there as supply Officer of the Ninth Squadron and personnel adjutant. In July 1922 he was transferred to Camp Lewis, Wash., as instructor and supply officer with the Air Service detachment there. He was again sent to Mather Field in September 1922 and served there as engineering and police officer. 

In February l923 he went to Luke Field, Hawaii, and joined the 3rd Bombardment Squadron as operations officer. In July 1924 he was designated operations and engineering officer of the Sixth Pursuit Squadron at Luke Field. He returned to the United States in January 1926 and was assigned to the Rockwell Air Intermediate Depot at Coronado, Calif., as depot supply officer. 

Kelly Field, Texas, was his next assignment, and he reported for duty there as assistant engineering officer of the 41st School Squadron in November 1926. He became an instructor at Kelly Field in February 1927, serving until September of that year when he was sent to March Field, Calif., as squadron engineering officer of the 53rd School Squadron. 

He became a flying instructor at March Field in October 1927, and returned to Kelly Field as a flying instructor in November 1929. He was designated operations officer of the 40th School Squadron there in July 1930. He was transferred to Randolph Field, Texas, in August 1931 as a flying instructor and became flight commander in July 1933. 

He was assigned to the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell, Field, Ala., in August 1934 and graduated in June 1935. The following month he reported to Langley Field, Va., as commanding officer of the 37th Attack Squadron. In June 1936 he was detailed to the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., and graduated the following month. 

He returned to the United States in May 1943 and became wing commander of the San Francisco Defense Wing, later redesignated San Francisco Fighter Wing, at San Francisco, Calif. In November 1943 he was assigned to the 7lst Fighter Wing at March Field, Calif., and later accompanied that wing to the European theater of operations. 

In July 1944 he became commanding general of the Ninth Air Defense Command, with station in England. The following November he was announced as commanding the 71st Fighter Wing and deputy commander for operations of the First Tactical Air Force at that same station. 

In September 1945 he was appointed commanding general of the 64th Fighter Wing, and returned to the United States in May l946, when he was assigned to Army Air Force headquarters. On July 31, 1946, he was named deputy commander and chief of staff of the Fourth Air Force at Hamilton Field, Calif., and in January l949 became vice commander of the Fourth Air Force. 

General Schramm has been awarded the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal. He is rated a command pilot, combat observer and aircraft observer.

Born in Alexandria, La., Gen. Bryan attended Virginia Military Institue before his appointment to West Point. He played football at the Military Academy and was commissioned in the field artillary upon graduation.

After serving at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas, in Baltimore and at Ft. Sill, Okla., he returned to the Military Academy in 1925 as assistant provost marshall.Gen. Bryan's assignments took him back and forth between Ft. Sill and West Point, where he again was assistant football coach in 1934.

He later graduate from the Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth and the Army War College here.

Gen. Bryan served on the general staff corps of the Department of the Army here during World War II and was a combat leader in Korea during the conflict there.

He was named provost marshall general at the end of World War II, in 1948, he was assigned to the Canal Zone as chief of staff of the Caribbean Command. Gen. Bryan assumed command of the 24th Infantry Division in Korea in 1951, and led it through heavy fighting. That same year, he became deputy chief of staff, Far East Command and United Nations Command in Japan.

 

He was named senior member of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission in 1953 and directed control of the prisoner-of-war exchange and the activities of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Committee. Gen. Bryan assumed command of the U.S. 1st Corps in Korea at the end of 1963.

 

He was commanding general of the U.S. Army, Pacific in 1956-57, and of the 1st Army from 1957 until retirement.

He then became president of Nassau County College in New York until retiring for a second time in 1965, when he moved to Fairfax.