Frederick, Robert Tryon

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Frederick, Robert Tryon, born 14-03-1907 in San Francisco, California, graduated from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas  in 1939. In 1942, as a staff officer serving in the War Department, then-Lieutenant Colonel Frederick was tasked with raising the joint U.S.-Canadian force which became the 1st Special Service Force . The unit, activated on July 09-07-942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana, was originally intended for commando operations in Norway, and trained extensively in winter and mountain warfare, as well as hand-to-hand combat and other infantry skills. The Norway mission was cancelled, however, and the 1st Special Service Force was sent instead to the Aleutian Islands in July 1943. It returned to the continental United States in September, and then left in October for the European theater. Landing at Naples on 19-11-1943, the 1st Special Service Force went into the line. In December 1943 and January 1944, the 1st Special Service Force conducted a series of operations at Monte la Difensa, Monte la Remetanea, Monte Sammucro (Hill 720) and Monte Vischiataro. After the 1st Special Service Force, or Devil’s Brigade,   attacked and captured the enemy forces at the impregnable Monte la Difensa, the victory prompted Winston Churchill   to declare that Robert Frederick was “the greatest fighting general of all time” and “if we had had a dozen more like him we would have smashed Hitler in 1942”. Frederick was promoted to Brigadier General in January 1944. Frederick was promoted to Brigadier General in January 1944. On 02-02-1944, Frederick’s men landed at Anzio and went into action along the Benito Mussolini  Canal. They were the first Allied troops to enter Rome on 04-06-1944. For valor with the 1st Special Service Force in Italy, Brigadier General Frederick was twice decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross , the United States Army’s second highest valor award. The first award was for actions on January 10–13, 1944 and the second for actions on June 4, 1944. While at Anzio he was wounded a number of times, as a grenade fragment in his knee including two separate wounds on a single day. He received eight Purple hearts. On 23-06-1944, Brigadier General Frederick, shortly after D-Day, announced he was leaving the unit. He was to be promoted to Major General and given command of an ad hoc division-sized airborne formation, the 1st Airborne Task Force , for the invasion of Southern France, Operation Dragoon. The joining units were the U.S. 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion , nickname Geronimo”
    under William Pelham Yarboroug, nickname “Father of the Modern Green Berets” , the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team
, nickname “Battling Buzzards” under Lieutenant Colonel Louis A Walsh Jr and the British 2nd (Independent) Parachute Brigade, under Lieutenant-General Sir Ernest Edward Down
 he died age 78, in 1980. Added to them were the 550th Glider Infantry Battalion and the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion
 , nickname GOYA (Get Off Your Ass) under command of Lieutenant Colonel Wood Joerg Major, He was killed, age 30, during the unit’s assault on Rochelinval on 07-01-1945. General Frederick was given command of the 45th Infantry Division in December 1944, becoming, with James Maurice  “Slim Jim” Gavin at the age of 37, the youngest divisional commander in Eur and led the division through the end of the war. The 45th saw heavy combat in French Alsace from December 1944 through February 1945 and was pulled from the line to rehabilitate on February 17. In mid-March, it was assigned to XV Corps for Operation Undertone, from 15 until 24-03-1945), the drive into Germany. Operation Undertone  was a large assault by the U.S. 7th under the command of Lieutenant General George Smith Patton and French 1st Armies, under General Jean Lattre de Tassigny  as part of the Allied invasion of Germany in March 1945 during World War II. Opposing commanders were U.S. General Jacob Loucks Devers, commanding U.S. 6th Army Group and German SS General Paul “Papa” Hausser, commanding German Army Group G. Significantly assisted by operations of the U.S. 3rd Army that overran German lines of communication, Operation Undertone cleared the German defenses and pushed to the Rhine River in the area of Karlsruhe within 10 days. Field Marshal Erwin Model defeated, committed suicide in the woods. General Devers′ victory—along with a rapid advance by the U.S. 3rd Army—completed the advance of Allied armies to the west bank of the Rhine along its entire length within Germany. The division crossed the Rhine  and advanced to the Main.  the 3rd Division, a battalion of the 103rd Infantry Division, under Major General Anthonie McAuliffe ,
     the later hero of Bastogne, ran into a counterattack, but the reaction it prompted was more precautionary than forced. Moving along the Main into Bavaria, the division participated in heavy fighting in Aschaffenburg from March 28 to April 3 and then drove to Nuremberg, taken in heavy fighting from April 16–20. Moving south, the division crossed the Danube on April 26, and opened up the path for the 20th Armored Division  , under General Roderick “Terrible Terry” Allen to drive on Munich. Reaching Munich on April 29, the division shifted from combat to occupation, the war was over. Shortly after the war, General Frederick was approached by a civilian police officer, who demanded identification. The police officer did not believe that the youthful Frederick was really a Major General. Frederick produced his identification card, which the police officer read and then deliberately dropped on the ground. When he declined to pick it up, Frederick knocked him out with a single punch.

Death and burial ground of Frederick, Robert Tryon.

   He retired on disability in March 1952  and died on 29-11-1970, age 63, in Stanford, California and is buried with his wife Ruth, born Adelaide, who died age 66 in 1972, on San Francisco National Cemetery.

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