Fredendall, Lloyd Ralston, born 28-12-1883 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. to Ira Livingston Fredendall (1846-1935) and his wife Evelyn, born Mccluster Fredendall (1856–1930). His father, Ira was on active duty in the United States Army when Fredendall was born. Ira became sheriff of Laramie County before receiving a commission in the Quartermaster Corps during the Spanish–American War. The elder Fredendall retired as a major in 1914, returned to active duty during World War I to supervise construction at several bases in the western United States, and retired again as a lieutenant colonel. As a result of his father’s connections in the service and with local and state politicians, Fredendall secured an appointment from Wyoming Senator Francis E. Warren to enter the class of 1905 at the United States Military Academy (USMA). Described by a classmate as “a very soldierly little fellow, but extremely goaty in mathematics,” Fredendall performed poorly in math as well as in general deportment, and was dismissed after just one semester. His mother persuaded Senator Warren to re-appoint Fredendall the next year, but he dropped out again. Although the senator was willing to nominate him for a third attempt, the academy declined to readmit him. Instead, Fredendall attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1903 to 1904 as a member of the class of 1907. He took the officer’s qualifying exam in 1906, and scored first out of 70 applicants. On 13-02-1907, he received his commission in the United States Army as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Branch. After service in the Philippines and other overseas and stateside assignments, Fredendall shipped out to the Western Front with the 28th Infantry Regiment in August 1917, four months after the American entry into World War I. He held a succession of instructor assignments in the army’s schools in France, and commanded one of its training centers. He built a record as an excellent teacher, trainer, and administrator, and ended the war as a temporary lieutenant colonel.
The Armistice of 11-11-1918, saw Fredendall assigned, like many other officers, to a variety of staff and training duties. He was both student and instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School; was a 1923 distinguished graduate (placing 31 out of 151) of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School; and in 1925, he graduated from the U.S. Army War College. He also completed tours of duty in Washington at the Statistics Branch, the Inspector General’s Department (September 1934 to March 1936) and as executive officer (XO), Office of the Chief of Infantry. These postings led to important contacts that later furthered his military career.
In December 1939, during World War II (although the United States was still neutral at this stage), Fredendall was promoted to the one-star rank of Brigadier General, serving with the 5th Infantry Division. In October 1940, he was promoted to the two-star rank of major general, and given command of the 4th Infantry Division until July 1941.