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World War II page 2


7:48 a.m. Hawaiian time, December 7, 1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor 

December 8, 1941: The US enters World War II on the side of the Allies.

We are going to stop here and take a brief look at some of the key American Military officials in Europe.


General William H. Simpson wascommander of the U.S. Ninth Army.  He led the 9th through some of the war’s bloodiest fighting.  After the Battle of the bulge, the 9th encircled the Ruhr from the north and linked up with LTG Gourtney Hodge’s 1st Army on ajpril 1, trapping 300,000 German soldiers.  Elements of the 9th were also the first U.S. Troops to cross the Elbe river on April 12.   Source:  The Army Historical Foundation.



General George S Patton led the U.S. 7th Army in it’s invasion of Sicily.  In the summer of 1944, he led the 34rd Army in aa sweep across northern France.  Patton played a key role in defeating the German counter attack in the Battle of the Bulge, capturing 10,000 miles of territory and liberating the country from the Nazis.



General Carl Spaatz was Chief of the Army Air Force Combat Command.  He was in command of the Eight Air Force.  He established American bases in Britain and flfew raids against the Germans.  He commanded the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa and organized the Northwest African Air Force.  He returned to England in January 1944 to command the U.S. strategic Air Forces in Europe which culminated with the utter defeat of Germany.  Source:  U.S. Air Force on line


dwight-d-eisenhower-1Dwight Delano Eisenhower with the general staff in Washington devised warplans for defeating Germany and Japan.  In the role of Supreme Allied Commander, he oversaw the Operation Torch landings in North Africa.  In May 1943, as aa general, he led the Tunisian Campaign to a successful conclusion.  In July 1943, Eisenhower directed the invasion of Sicily, and in September of 1943, he guided the initial stages of the advance up the peninsula.  As Supreme Allied commander of the Allied Expeditionary force, he was in charge of the planned landings in France.  He over saw the operational control of Allied forces and administrative control of US forces.  June 6, 1944, Eisenhower moved forward with the invasion of Normandy (Operation Overlord).  Successful, his forces broke out of the beach head in July and began driving across France.  He sealed the breach of the Battle of the Bulge and contained the enemy advancement.  The allied troops halted the enemy and drove them back to their original lines with heavy losses.  Eisenhower coordinated with his Soviet counterpart, Marshal Gregory Zhukov and Premier Joseph Stalin.



General Omar Bradley commanded the reactivated Airborne 82nd Division and the Airborne 28th Division.  He was Patton’s deputy and aided him in planning the invasion of Sicily.  Bradley served as part of Patton’s Seventh Army, II Corps spearheaded the attack on Cicily in July 1943.  Eisen hower selected Bradley to lead the first American army to land in France and to subsequently take over a full army group.  Source:  About Education Military History



Courtney H. Hodges was named Commander of the Third Army in 1943.  In England, January 1944 he was deputy to General Omar Bradley who was preparing to take part in the Normandy Invasion.  In August of 1944, Hodges succeeded Bradley as commander of the First Army to command the the 12th Army.  He also served under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower all the way through to Nazi Germany’s surrender in May 1945.  Hodge’s troops were the first ones to reach and liberate the French Capital of Paris.



Ralph Frances Stearley  was operations officer of the Allied Airborne Army April 1944.  In April 1945 he commanded the Air Section, 15th Army Theater General Board in the European theater.  Source:  Online Military Bios



Leonard Townsend Gerow was general of the 29th Infantry Division February 1942 – July 1943.  July 17, 1943 to September 17, 1944, he was commander of V Corps, the largest unit of troops in the European Theater of Operations.  Heplayed a major part in the planning of the invasion of continental Europe.  He was the first corps commander ashore on D-Day, June 6, 1944.  Source:  Wikipedia



Hoyt Vandenberg was assigned to the United Kingdom in June 1942.  There he assisted in the organization of the Air Forces in North Africa to organize and assume chief of staff of the Twelfth Air Force.  On February 18, 1943, jVandenberg became the chief of staff of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force which was under the command of Major General james Doolittle.   Vandenberg flew on numerous missions over Tunisia, Pantelleria, Sardinia, Sicily and Italy.  Source:  Wikipedia



Otto P Weyland was advanced to brigadier general in September 1943 and in November went toEurope as command general of the 84th Fighter Wing.  Four months later he became command general of the XIX Tactical Air command.  Hundr his this combat unit gained fame for its classic air support of GeneralGeorge Patton’s 3rd Army.  He participated in six major campaigns finishing the air war against Germany.  Source:  online U.S. Air Force



Walter Bedell Smith was General Dwight Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff.  He negotiated and signed the terms of surrender with Italy in 1943 and Germany in 1945.  Source:  Arlington National Cemetery on line and Encyclopeadia  Britannica.




Richard E Nugent was a lieutenant general in the United States Air Force who, among other posisions, commanded the XXIX Tactical jAir Command supporting the NinthArmy during World War II.  Source:  Wikipedia  Sorry no picture yet.

I really know nothing about this stuff.  If you think others should be included and why,  please let me know through the comment opportunity below.




President Roosevelt recalled Douglas MacArthur to active duty and named him commander of U.S. Army forces in the Far East.  His air force was destroyed on December 8, 1941 by a surprise attack by the Japanese.  His forces retreated to the Bataan Peninsula.  President Franklin Roosevelt ordered MacArthur, his staff and family to escape to Australia.  He famously said, “I shall return.”  U.S. Philippine forces fell to Japan on May 1942.

Then April 1942, MacArthur was appointed supreme commander of Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific and was awarded the Medal of for his defense of the Philippines.  He liberated the Philippines October 1944 announcine, “I have returned by the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil”.  December 1944 he was promoted to general and given command of al Army forces in the Pacific.  September 2, 1945 he accepted Japan’s surrener aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.  Sources: & Wikipedia.