DeWitt, John Lesesne, born on 09-01-1880 in Fort Sidney, Nebraska. His father, Brigadier General Calvin DeWitt (1840-1908), served with the United States Army and was an 1863 graduate of Princeton University. His mother, Josephine (Lesesne) DeWitt, was a native of Charleston, South Carolina, and he was named for his maternal grandfather, John F. Lesesne. He had an older brother, Wallace, a younger sister, Mary Wallace, and a younger brother, Calvin Jr. they were of Dutch descent.
John on 10-10-1898, was appointed as a Second Lieutenant with the U.S. Army infantry. He would go on to serve nearly fifty years within the U.S. Army in various posts. He was a General in the United States Army, best known for his vocal support of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In the course of carrying out policy, he issued military proclamations that applied to American men, women and children of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens, restricting their civi rights and directing that they be moved from their homes to government created and operated internment camps
. In 1918, he set out with the 42nd Infantry Division “Rainbow” to the battlefields of World War I. From 05-12-1939 to 15-06-1943, DeWitt was assigned the Western Defense Command. In September 1943, he organized the Army-Navy Staff College, predecessor to the National War College. In August 1944, when General Leslie James McNair
was killed in action, he went briefly to France as part of a deception plan to convince the Germans that the Allies intended to land in Pas de Calais area as well as in Normandy. He retired as a Lieutenant General in 1946. On 19-07-1954, DeWitt became a full General by special act of Congress for his services in World War II.
Death and burial ground of DeWitt, John Lesesne.
General DeWitt died of a heart attack at the old age of 82 in Washington, D.C., on 20-06-1962 and is buried with his wife Martha, born Estes, who die age 85 in 1968, on Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2. His son John Lesesne Jr. DeWitt died in 1982 and also buried with his wife Anne Sue, on Arlington.
Close by in Section 2, the graves of General, Commander 92nd “ Negro Division”, Edwar Almond, Major General, Commander 8th Bomber Command Europe , Frederick Anderson. Half of the U.S. Army Air Force’s casualties in World War II were suffered by Eighth Air Force (more than 47.000 casualties, with more than 26.000 dead). Seventeen Medals of Honor went to Eighth Air Force personnel during the war. By war’s end, they had been awarded a number of other medals to include 220 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 442.000 Air Medals. Many more awards were made to Eighth Air Force veterans after the war that remain uncounted. There were 261 fighter aces in the Eighth Air Force during World War II. Thirty-one of these aces had 15 or more aircraft kills apiece. Another 305 enlisted gunners were also recognized as aces. Some aces were Francis “Gabby” Gabreski, Walker Melvin “Bud” Mahudin and flyer ace Duane William Beeson.
Also buried here, Rear Admiral, Commander Destroyer Greyson, Frederic Bell, Navy Admiral, “Operation Crossroads”, William Blandy, General, Commander 32nd Infantry Division, Clovis Byers, Navy Admiral. Battle of the Leyte Gulf, Robert Carney, Air Force General Lieutenant, Claire Chennault, Lieutenant General, Commander 4th Corps, Italy Campaign, Willis Crittenberger, Brigadier General, First African-American General, Benjamin Davis, Major General and Head OSS, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, Brigadier General, Speck Easley, Marine Corps Major General, Commander 1st Raider Battalion , Merrit “Red Mike” Edson, Lieutenant General, VIII Army, Robert Eichelberger, Navy Admiral, Commander Nord Pacific Fleet, Frank Fletscher and Navy Admiral, Commander VII Forces, William Fechteler, Major General and commander of the 5th Infantry Division, Joseph Michael Cummins, Admiral, U.S. Chief of Naval Material, John Gingrich and U.S. Brigadier General, “ Merrills Marauders “ in Burma, Frank Down Merrill, U.S. 4* Navy Vice Admiral, Commander U.S.S. Hornet, Doolittle Raid, Marc Mitscher, General Lieutenant and commander of the 80th Infantry Division, Horrace Logan “Mac” McBride.