NOTE: Ruth didn't write in her diary today.
|General Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) |
Born in Randolph County, Missouri, Bradley graduated from the U.S. Military
Academy at West Point, New York, in 1915, when he was commissioned into
the infantry. He served along the U.S.-Mexico border and, between World War I
and World War II taught mathematics at West Point.
In February 1941, he was promoted to (wartime) temporary rank of brigadier general
(bypassing the rank of colonel - this rank was made permanent in September, 1943). The
temporary rank was confered to allow him to command Fort Benning (he was the first from
his class to become even a temporary general officer). In February 1942, he was made a
temporary major general (a rank made permanent in September 1944) and took command of
the 82nd Infantry Division before being switched to the 28th Infantry Division in June.
Bradley did not receive a front-line command until early 1943, after Operation Torch. He had been
given VII Corps, but instead was sent to North Africa to be Eisenhower's front-line trouble-
shooter. He moved to London as commander in chief of the American ground forces
preparing to invade France in 1944. For D-Day (6 June 1944), Bradley was chosen to command
the US 1st Army, which alongside the British Second Army made up General Montgomery's 21st Army Group.
President Truman appointed Bradley to head the Veteran's Administration for two years after
the war. He is credited with doing much to improve its health care system and with helping
veterans receive their educational benefits under the G.I. Bill of Rights. Bradley became the
Army Chief of Staff in 1948. In 1949 he became the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
and served in that position throughout the Korean War.
In retirement, Bradley wrote his memoirs (A Soldier's Story), served on several corporate
boards, enjoyed attending horse races, and was a consultant for the film Patton.
General Omar Nelson Bradley is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.