Huebner, Clarence Ralph, born 28-07-1890 in Bushton, Kansas as a farm boy, who spent almost seven years serving from private to sergeant in the 18th Infantry, nicknamed “Vanguards” Huebner received a regular commission in November 1916. During World War I, he led a company, battalion, and regiment of the 1st Infantry Division, the “Big Red One”, under command of Major General Frank Winston Coe, from the first American regimental assault at Cantigny through Soissons, Saint-Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne. For his service in this war, he received two Distinguished Service Crosses, a Distinguished Service Medal, and a Silver Star. In 1924, he attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth and served on its faculty from 1929 to 1933. In 1943, General Huebner, here with Major General Lee Saunders Gerow relieved the popular commander of the 1st Infantry Division, General Terry Allen, in a move engineered by General Omar “Brad” Bradley.
While the 1st
Infantry Division, The Big Red One, casualties during the European campaign, 4.411 killed in action, 7.201 wounded in action, 1.056 missing or died of wounds. had enjoyed considerable combat success under Allen’s leadership, Bradley was highly critical of both Allen and Roosevelt’s wartime leadership style, which favored fighting ability over drill and discipline: “While the Allies were parading decorously through Tunis,” Bradley wrote, “Allen’s brawling 1st
Infantry Division was celebrating the Tunisian victory in a manner all its own. In towns from Tunisia all the way to Arzew, the division had left a trail of looted wine shops and outraged mayors. But it was in Oran…that the division really ran amuck. The trouble began when SOS, Services of Supply, troops, long stationed in Oran, closed their clubs and installations to our combat troops from the front. Irritated by this exclusion, the 1st
Division swarmed into town to ‘liberate’ it a second time.” Despite this, Bradley admitted that “none excelled the unpredictable Terry Allen in the leadership of troops.” Upon assuming command, General Huebner immediately ordered a series of close-order drills, parades, and weapons instruction for the 1st
ID, including its veterans, who had just finished a bloody series of engagements with German forces in Sicily. This did not endear him to the enlisted men of the division, who made no attempt to hide their preference for General Allen. As one of the men of the Big Red One said in disgust, “Hell’s bells! We’ve been killing Germans for months and now they are teaching us to shoot a rifle? It doesn’t make any sense.” Supported by Bradley and Eisenhower, Huebner
persisted, and the morale of the division gradually recovered. As the commander of the “Big Red One” in World War II, Huebner led the 1st
in the assault on Omaha Beach, followed by a successful infantry attack at Saint-Lô. The 1st
would later repel a German counteroffensive at Mortain, and pursue the German Army across France, culminating in the Battles of Aachen and the Huertgen Forest.
In January 1945 Huebner took command of the V Corps,
which he directed from the Rhine to the Elbe, where his troops made first contact with the Red Army. After World War II, Huebner was the last Military Governor of the American Zone in Germany from 15-05-1949 to 01-09-1949. He retired in 1950 and on 01-09-1951, he became director of New York State’s Civil Defense Commission, a post he held until January 1961.
A strong advocate of the building of fallout shelters, General Huebner believed the US population would eventually be forced to live full-time in underground shelters and “would see the sunshine only by taking a calculated risk”.
Death and burial ground of Huebner, Clarence Ralph.
Huebner died at the age of 76, on 05-09-1966 and is buried with his wife Florence, born Barrett, who died age 76 in 1966, and Anna I Matthews, on Arlington cemetery, Section 6. In Section 6 ae also buried the Major General, worked with Garand on the Development of the machinegun, Guy Drewry, Lieutenant General, Commander XIII Corps, Alvan Culom Gillem
, Major General, Chief Allied Military Government, Edgar Hume
, and Major General, Commander 44th Artillery Division, William Beiderlinden,