Gerow, Lee Saunders

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Gerow, Lee Saunders, born 29-03-1891 in Petersburg, Virginia to Leonard Rogers Gerow and Annie Eloise Saunders. His brother Leonard was the later famous 4* U.S Lieutenant General, Commander of the V Corps on D-Day onn 06-06-1944, called after his father, Gerow Townsend Leonard.  He entered Virginia Military Institute , Class of 1913, on 01-09-1909, age 18 and graduated on 18-06-1913 ranking 22nd in a class of 34. During the first war he commissioned in the Regular Army and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 30-11-1916, assigned to the 36th Infantry Division at Del Rio, Texas and on border duty for three months. He went with the 36th Infantry as 1st Lieutenant of the Company G to Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He promoted to Captain on 26-07-1917 and was transferred with his Regiment to Camp Devens , Massachusetts. In August 1918, the 36th Infantry Division became part of the 12th Infantry division. He was promoted now to Major on 21-09-1918 and transferred to Camp Sherman, Ohio, to assist in the training of the 95th Infantry Division. After the Armistice, this organization was demolished and he was called to Washington to the Finance Department in January 1919 Gerow was placed in charge of the Soldiers “Bonus” payments and was highly commended for his meritorious and distinguished services in that Department continued on duty in the Finance Department until the spring of 1920 when he was sent overseas as Commanding Officer of the “Vistors” Bureau with the American Expeditionary Forces in Germany. Gerow served in Europe and awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the French Croix de Guerre and many other awards. In 1942 he became the Commanding Officer 338th Regiment. Activated in 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 338th Regiment was the core infantry regiment of the 85th Infantry Division and General Gerow in 1943 was assigned as assistant Commanding General of the 85th Division, nicknamed “Custer”  under Lieutenant General John Breitling Coulter, until the end of the war. Custer named after the famous cavalry commander George Amstrong Custer

  who died age 36 on 25-06-1876 in battle. It was at Mount Altuzzo that the 338th Infantry proved its mettle. A significant point of defense in the German Gothic Line, the 3.000 foot peak overlooked the eastern flank of the II Giogo Pass through the mountains north of Florence. The GothicLine formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring’s  last major line of defense in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the northern part of the Apennine Mountains during  the fighting retreat of the German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander. The 85th Infantry division relieved the British 1st Infantry Division under Major General Sir Charles Loewenn

    on 06-01-1945 and limited its activities to cautious patrols until 13 March. General Loewen died age 86, in 1986. After a brief training period, the 85th thrust southwest of Bologna, 14 April, pushing through Lucca and Pistoia into the Po Valley as enemy resistance collapsed. The Panaro River was crossed on the 23rd and the Po the next day. The Division mopped up fleeing Germans until their mass surrender, 02-05-1945, in the Belluno-Agordo area. Through the entire campaign, the Division suffered some 7.268 casualties with 1.717 killed In action. Three soldiers from this division earned the Medal of Honor.

Death and burial ground of Gerow, Lee Saunders.

Lee Gerow retired from the Army in 1949 and was assistant Commandant of Columbra Military Academy, Tennessy and professor of the Miltairy Science at Culver Military Academy. Lee Gerow died old age 91, on 19-05-1982 and is buried with his wife Margaret E, who died at the very old age of 96, on 11-01-1992 on Arlington National Cemetery in Section 30.  Close by the graves of Major General, Commander 116th and 29th Division, D-Day, Charles Canham, Deputy Chief Operation, Richard Edwards, Rear Admiral, Frank Akers, Admiral Robert Ghormley, Lieutenant General, Commanded the 5th Marine Division in the occupation of Japan, Thomas Bourke, Lieutenant General, Commander 2nd Armoured Division, Ted BrooksMajor General, Chief Signal Officer,  George Back, Lieutenant General, Commanded the 5th Marine Division, nickname “Spearhead”  in the occupation of Japan, Thomas Bourke. The 5th Marine Division had the next casualties, killed 2.416 and 6.860 wounded in action. Also buried here, Infantry Major General, Commander 24th Infantry Division, Kenneth CramerInfantry Major General, Commander 9th Infantry Division days   of combat 307, killed 4.581, wounded 16.961, missing 750 and captured 868, nickname ‘Old Reliables” Louis Craig, Air Force Lieutenant General. Commander 12th and 15th U.S. Air Force, Ira Eaker, Navy Admiral, Okinawa CampainLouis Denfeld, Secretary of the Navy in 1944, James Forrestal and Thomas Handy, and 1* General Lieutenant, Commanding Officer Artillery, 11th Airborne Division, casualties in 204 days of combat, 2.431, nickname “Angels”  , 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, Casualties of the 82nd, 1.619 killed in action, 6.560 wounded in action and 332 died of wounds.

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