Devers, Jacob Loucks “Jamie”, born on 08-09-1887 in York. Pennsylvania,
a small industrial town in York County, which is located in the eastern south central area of the state. His parents were Philip Devers, a watchmaker and partner in a jewelry store, and Ella Kate Loucks, a homemaker. He was the first of the couple’s four children. He had two younger brothers, Frank and Phillip, and a younger sister, Catherine, known as Kitts. The Devers, of Irish and Alsatian ancestry, were strict, hardworking and religious. The family belonged to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which did not believe in smoking or drinking. While providing a comfortable middle-class life for their children, the couple taught them to value dependability, integrity and industriousness.
Growing up in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, young Jamie Devers (as he was called by his family) enjoyed the outdoors: camping, fishing and hunting. He played all the usual boyhood sports and made friends easily with his engaging smile and cheerful personality. In addition to his household chores, he did odd jobs around the neighborhood and worked on his maternal grandfather Jacob Loucks’ farm. Initially, he was educated at Garfield Elementary School in York. He entered York High School in September 1901. A popular student, he was elected class president. He had an excellent academic record, earning high marks in mathematics and science. Always competitive though slightly built, the 120-pound (54 kg) 5-foot-10-inch (178 cm) Devers captained the basketball team, played defensive quarterback in football and starred in baseball.
He graduated 39th out of 103 graduates from the United States Military Academy in 1909. Some of his classmates were Georg Smith Patton, Robert Lawrence Eichelberger and William Hood Simpson. Much of his energy between the world wars was spent in the tactical and technical improvement of his branch, the Field Artillery. At the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Devers was serving in Panama. He then commanded the 9th Infantry Division, nickname “Old Reliabes” at Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 15-11-1940 to 15-07-1941. The 9th Infantry Division had the next casualties during their Euopean campaign, killed 2.905, wounded 14.606, missing in action 792, captured 868 and battle casualties 18.631. The United States Army suffered 318.274 killed and missing in all theatres of the war. In May 1943, Devers was appointed overall commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, where, from his London headquarters, he organized and trained many divisions for the Operation Overlord. When the Allied landings in Southern France took place in August 1944, Operation Dragoon, Devers formed a special headquarters in Corsica to oversee the Franco-American forces commanded by Lieutenant General Alexander McCarell “Sandy” Patch
As the ground forces built up in southern France French Army B headquarters was activated alongside Patch’s 7th Army, “Seven Steps to Hell!” and Devers’ headquarters became that of an army group subordinated to Wilson’s theater H.Q. It was officially designated 6th Army Group once his forces had advanced to link with the Allied advance in northwest Europe and had become subordinate to Dwight Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, SHAEF, Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower. With his twelve American and eleven French divisions, Devers cleared Alsace, reduced the Colmar Pocket, crossed the Rhine River, against Walter Model and accepted the surrender of German forces in western Austria, on 06-05-1945. Promoted to General on 08-03-1945, Jacob Loucks Devers retired on 30-09-1949.
Death and burial ground of Devers, Jacob Loucks “Jamie”.
He died on 15-10-1979, at the very old age of 92, in Washington, D.C. and is buried with his wife Georgie, born Lyon, who died age 76 in 1967, in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 1. In Section 1 also buried, Major General, Commander Air Force, Follet Bradley, General, Commander VII Artillery Corps Normandy, Willistone Palmer, General, Chief of Staff of the 2nd Armoured Division “Hell on Wheels” , Charles Palmer, and Major General, Commander Twelfth Armoured Division, Roderick Allen.