Andrus, Clift “Mr. Chips”, born 12-10-1890 in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, one and a half year after Adolf Hitler (did you know). His father was Colonel Edwin Proctor Andrus, graduate of U.S.M.A, and his mother’s name was Marie Josephine Birdwell – of Fredericksville, Ilinois. Andrus was a close friend of Major General, Terry “Terrible Terry” Allen
while growing up, and both of them had promised that if they were to join the army, they would each branch opposite of their respective fathers – both of whom were in the military at the time. “Mr. Chips,” as he was nicknamed, was at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese surprise attack on December 7th, 1941, his two favorite songs were the “Field Artillery song” and “Colonel Bogey March,” and he often enjoyed playing chess, as well as reading Dickens and Mark Twain while in the field. After attending a Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in Fairbault, Minnasota, Andrus began to study a Civil Engineering at Cornell University. Entered the Army in spring of the year 1912, Andrus was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on 24-04-1912 in 4th Field Artillery Regiment. Then he served as a battery officer in his new regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and after three months was transferred to Fort Russel in Wyoming. In 1915, Andrus was assigned to the Army Field Artillery School at Fort Sill for additional training. General Andrus was designated an instructor at the School of Fire on during July 1917, which led to his promotion as director of the Department of Artillery on September 1919. Andrus married Eleanor Lightfoot on 15-02-1918; the couple had one daughter, born 1919 but later died shortly in 1929. General Andrus’ further assignments include: camp executive officer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, aswell as being designated as an instructor of national guard units at Seattle, Washington during April 1921.
General Andrus’ further assignments are highlighted by his graduation from the field artillery school at Fort Sill in June, 1928, and his graduation from the Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth in 1930. General Andrus’ command time was highlighted by his command of the 6th Division Artillery, nicknamed “Victory Division” during March and when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in 1941, General Andrus was commanding the 24th Infantry Division Artillery. During World War II, members of the 24th Infantry Division won 3 Medals of Honor, 15 Distinguished Service Crosses, 2 Distinguished Service Medals, 625 Silver Star Medals, 38 Soldier’s Medals, 2.197 Bronze Star Medals, and 50 Air Medals. The division itself was awarded eight Distinguished Unit Citations for actions during their participation in the Pacific Campaign. His units were credited with being the first to roll, being emplaced and ready to defend the beached within 35 minutes after the first bomb dropped. In combat General Andrus commanded the 1st Infantry Division, Division Artillery, during the division’s battles in North Africa, Sicily and Northern France. His cool demeanor and effective leadership of the Division Artillery meant victory for the division on many occasions. He was presented the Distinguished Service Cross, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with an Artillery Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces in July 1943. The 1st Infantry Division, first commander was, two stars General, Donald Cubbison, of the United states Army the oldest division in the United States Army. It has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917. It was officially nicknamed the “The Big Red One” after its shoulder patch and is also nicknamed “The Fighting First”. However, with typical soldier gallows humor, the division has also received troop monikers of The Big Dead One and The Bloody First as puns on the respective officially-sanctioned nicknames. It is currently based at Fort Rilley, Kansas. Casualties during their European campaign, 4.411 killed in action, 17.201 wounded in action, 1.056 missing or died of wounds. Andrus had a small moustache, greying, sandy hair and gray eyes and smoked a pipe, played chess and read Dickens and Mark Twain in the field.
Major General Clift Andrus, retired, commanding the First Infantry Division in its final campaigns of World War II. In 1946 he relinquished the command to Major General Frank William Millburn Milburn died 25-10-1962, age 70 in Missoula, Missoula County, Montana.
Andrus later went on to become the commandant of the Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1946, and later was appointed the deputy Commanding General of the 2nd Army at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland in March of 1950.
Death and burial ground of Andrus, Clift “Mr. Chips”.
“Mr. Chips” died 29-09-1968 in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center of a heart ailment, at the age of 77. He is buried with all honour, with his wife Marion, who died age 80 in 1979 and his daughter Magarete who was only 10 years old in 1929, on Arlington Cemetery, Virginia USA, Section 7 . Close by in Section 7, the Major General, Commander 35th Division, Paul Baade, First Allied Airborne Army, U.S. 2* Air Force Lieutenant General, Operation “Market Garden”, Louis Brereton, General, Chief of Staff of Sixth Army, George Decker, General, Commander of the 85th Infantry Division, nickname “Custer” Wade “Ham” Haislip, Brigadier General, Commander U.S. Marine Corps, Lemuel Shepherd Jr. and General, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, John Hull.