Hodges, Courtney Hicks, born 01-05-1887 in Perry, Georgia, where his father published a small-town newspaper. He attended West Point but dropped out after a year because of poor test scores, “found deficient” in mathematics. He would have graduated with the Class of 1909. In 1906 Hodges enlisted in the United States Army as a private, and became a commissioned officer three years later. He served with George Catlett Marshall in the Philippines and Georg Smith Patton in Mexico.
He earned the Distinguished Service Cross, during the closing days of World War I while leading an attack across the Marne River. After the war he was sufficiently well thought of that he became an instructor at West Point , even though he had not graduated from that institution. In 1938, he became an Assistant Commandant of the United States Army Infantry School, and in 1941, he became full Commandant. In May 1941, he was promoted to Major General and was given various assignments, including Chief of Infantry until he finally received a frontline command, that of the X Corps, in 1942. In 1943, while commanding both X Corps and then Third Army, he was sent to Britain, where he served under General Omar N. Bradley. During Operation Overlord, he was subordinate to Omar “Brad” Bradley as Deputy Commander of the First Army, but in August 1944, he succeeded Bradley, as the latter went to command 12th Army Group and took command of the Army. Hodges’s troops were the first to reach Paris, France, and he led them through Germany. His troops fought the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and had a major role in the Ardennes Offensive, otherwise known as the Battle of the Bulge. Warner Wili Holzinger, born in Germany, a sergeant from the Troop B of the 85th Reconnaissance Squadron, 5th Army was the first GI to cross the German border throught the Siegfried line, since 1814. The First Army was the first unit to cross the Rhine River, by using the still standing Ludendorffbridge at Remagen
and to meet with the Soviet Red Army near Torgau, on the river Elbe. The first American Soldier to cross the Rhine River into Germany over the bridge at Remagen during WWII, on 07-03-1945, was Alexander Drabik, U.S. Sergeant of the 9th Army .
Casualties of the 9th Army in 304 days of combat were 23.277. Hodges was promoted to General on 15-04-1945 making him only the second man, after General, and of the Commander Sixth Army Walter Krueger, to rise to full General from enlisted private. In May 1945, after the German surrender, Hodges and his troops were ordered to prepare for the invasion of Japan; that became unnecessary, however, when the atomic bomb caused Japan’s surrender later that year. Hodges was present at the surrenders of both Germany and Japan.
Death and burial ground of Hodges, Courtney Hicks.
After World War II, Hodges continued command of First Army at Fort Jay at Governors Island, New York until his retirement in March 1949. Hodges died in San Antonio, Texas on 16-01-1966, age 78 and is buried with his wife Mildred, born Lee, who died at the very old age of 96, in 1991, on the Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2. Close by in Section 2, the graves of General, Commander 92nd “ Negro Division”, Edward “Ned” Almond , Major General, Commander 8th Bomber Command Europe, Fredrick Anderson,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, Brigade General, Assistant Commanding General 45th Division.John Huston Church, Lieutenant General, Commander 4th Corps, Italy Campaign, Willis Crittenberger