Chaffee, Adna Romanza Jr., “Father of the Armored Force”, born on 23-09-1884 in Junction City, Kansas, was the only son of a distinguished soldier, Lieutenant General Adna Romanza Chaffee, Sr. , who would rise to the rank of Major General. Major General Chaffee graduated from West Point in 1906, 31st in his class of 78 graduates. In World War I, he was an infantry major with the IV Corps during the St. Mihiel offensive and as a colonel, he later served with the III Corps throughout the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Following the war, he returned to his Regular Army rank of Captain of Cavalry and became an instructor at the General Staff School and the Army School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth. During the 1920s, he helped develop the armor concepts and doctrine of the future. He predicted in 1927 that mechanized armies would dominate the next war and assisted in the first program for the development of a U.S. Army armored force . Assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in 1931, he continued to develop and experiment with armored forces, thus becoming the leading American advocate of mechanized warfare.
In 1938, he assumed command of the reorganized 7th Cavalry Brigade , the Army’s only armored force. Chaffee battled continuously during the prewar years for suitable equipment and for establishment of armored divisions. With the collapse of the French Army in June 1940, Chaffee’s 1927 predictions of the importance of armored forces in modern warfare were confirmed. Chaffee was named commander of the Armoured Force on 10-06-1940, with responsibility for all infantry tank and mechanized cavalry units, as well as supporting artillery, motorized infantry and engineer units. The 1st Division’s casualties during the European campaign included: KIA, killed in action: 1.194, WIA, wounded in action: 5.168, DOW, died of wounds: 234. Chaffee also created 2nd Armoured Division and was promoted to Major General on 02-10-1940. In 238 battle days the 2nd Armored suffered 7.348 casualties, including 1.160 killed in action. The division was recognized for distinguished service and bravery with 9.369 individual awards, including two Medals of Honor , twenty-three Distinguished Service Crosses, and 2.302 Silver Stars as well as nearly 6.000 Purple Hearts ; among those receiving the silver star was Douglas MacArthur. The division was twice cited by the Belgian Government and division soldiers for the next 50 years proudly wore the fourragere of the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Death and burial ground of Chaffee, Adna Romanza Jr.
However, at the height of his career and on the eve of war, Chaffee succumbed to cancer, dying the summer before Pearl Harbour , at the age of 56, on 22-08-1941.
He is buried with his wife Ethel, born Hufe, who died age 57 in 1945, on Arlington Cemetery in Section 3. Close by the graves of the Lieutenant General, Commander, G1 (Personnel) Section, Headquarters SHAEF, Charles Bonesteel, Commander of the 25th Infantry Division “Tropic Lightning” , Maxwell Murray, Major General. Commander, 7th Armoured Division , during its service during World War II, the division captured and destroyed a disproportionate number of enemy vehicles and took more than 100.000 prisoners, Truman Boudinot and Major General, adviser MacArthur, Corps Engineers, Hugh Casey, the Major General, Commander, G1 (Personnel) Section, Headquarters SHAEF, Charles Beebe, Charles Bonesteel, 101st Airborne Division, “Screaming Eagles” General, Anthony McAuliffe
the Bastogne defender, with opponent the German General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur XXXXVII Panzer Division, Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz. Major General, Commander 7th Armoured Division , Truman Boudinot, Lieutenant General, Chief of Staff, Hugh Drum, Lieutenant General, 3rd Service Command and Deputy, Manton Eddy, 1* Brigadier General, Assistant Commanding General 78th Division “Lightning” , John Kirkland Rice, General Lieutenant, Frank Cadle Mahin, commander of the 45th Division. During World War II, the 45th Division fought in 511 days of combat. Eight soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during their service with the 45th Infantry Division: Van T. Barfoot,
, he died old age 92, on 02-03-2012,
Ernest Childers, he died old age 87, on 17-03-2005, Almond E. Fisher, he died age 68, on 07-01-1982, William James Johnston, he died age 71, on 29-05-1971
Jack Cleveland Montgomery, he died age 84 on 11-06-2002,
James D. Slaton, he died age 50, on 25-02-1961,
Edward G. Wilkin. he was killed in action age 27, on 18-04-1945. Soldiers of the division also received 61 Distinguished Service Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, 1.848 Silver Star Medals, 38 Legion of Merit medals, 59 Soldier’s Medals, 5.744 Bronze Star Medals, and 52 Air Medals. The division received seven distinguished unit citations and eight campaign streamers during the conflict. The division suffered 3.650 killed in action, 13.729 wounded in action, 3.615 missing in action, 266 captured, and 41.647 non-battle casualties for a total of 62.907 casualties during the war. Also buried in this section, Rear Admiral, U Boot 505, Daniel Gallery, Lieutenant General, Quartermaster U.S. Army, Thomas Larkin and Marine Corps General, Iwo Jima-Guadalcanal-Okinawa, Randolph Pate .