Craig, Louis Aleck

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Craig, Louis, born on 29-07-1894 in West Point, New York, was Battery Commander in the 5th Field Artillery, then Assistant Plans and Training Officer at I Corps and 4th Division in World War I. During World War II he was Commanding Officer of 18th Field Artillery from 1941-1942. Brigadier General in February 1942. Commanding General of 72nd Field Artillery Brigade from 1942-1943. Major General in February 1943. Commanding General of 97th Infantry Division then XXIII Corps 1943-1944. The 97th Infantry Division, nickname “Trident”  landed at Le Havre, France,  on 02-03-1945 and moved to Camp Lucky Strike. On 28 March, the division crossed the German border west of Aachen and took up a defensive position along the west bank of the Rhine River opposite Düsseldorf, engaging in patrolling. The 97th entered the battle of the Ruhr pocket, crossing the Rhine near Bonn, 3 April and taking up a position on the southern bank of the Sieg River. It crossed that river, 7 April, with the troops suffering 80% casualties in wounded and dead. There was a building marked by a red cross which the 97th assumed was a hospital and therefore, did not attack it. In fact, it was a factory that made German 88’s.  The Germans had tunnels dug there and after the troops got up on land, past the river, the Germans came up behind them. They then shot at the Americans from both directions. It fought a street-to-street engagement in Siegburg on the 10th. Casualties during the European campaign of the 97th Infantry Division, killed 178, wounded 669, Mia 87, battle casualties 934, non battle casualties 384 in total 1.318. The German Generalfeldmarschall der Infanterie, Walter Model

 committed suicide after the defeat there, on the age of 54, on 21-04-1945. Craig was Commanding General of 9th Infantry Division, nickname “Old Reliables”  , the division 304 days of combat with killed 4.581, wounded 16.961, missed 750 and captured 868. Then Commander of the XX Corps , succeeded by General Horace Logan McBride, finally Third Army August 1944-October 1945. Assignments after the war included Deputy Commanding General of Fifth Army 1946-1947 and Inspector General of U.S. Army 1948-1952. He retired in May 1952. Decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. He was a son of Malin Craig  Malin Craig was appointed Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1935, succeeding General Douglas MacArthur, and relinquished the position to General George Catlett Marshall in his retirement in 1939. Malin Craig died in Washington, D.C. on 25-07-1945, age 69 and was buried among other family members in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Death and burial ground of Craig, Louis Aleck.

Louis Craig died at the very old age of 92, on 01-03-1984 and is buried with his wife Marian, born Blount, who died also old age 93, on 22-12-1987, on the Arlington Cemetery, Section 30. Close by in Section 30 the graves of the Generals Willard Paul, George Back, Frank Akers, Ted Brooks, Charles Canham, Thomas Bourke, Kenneth Cramer, and Admiral Robert Ghormey and 1* General Lieutenant, Commanding Officer Artillery, 11th Airborne Division  Francis William Farrell. Also a remembrance stone for the, age 44, missing in action Brigadier General, Charles Keerans the assistant commander of the 82nd Airborne Division under General Matthew Bunker Ridgway.

 

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