McNamara, Andrew Thomas

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McNamara, Andrew Thomas, born 14-05-1905 in East Providence, Rhode Island, where he was an accomplished high school athlete. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1928 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. After eight years in the infantry, he transferred to the Quartermaster Corps in 1937 and served in various quartermaster positions in the continental United States.At the beginning of World War II, he went to England to help organize the main supply line in North Africa. He received the Legion of Merit for providing food, gasoline and other supplies to fast-moving U.S. forces in Tunisia. He received the Bronze Star for his part in planning quartermaster support for the invasion of Normandy. As Allied forces pushed across Western Europe, General McNamara’s units were responsible for supplying 12 divisions, which swelled to 22 by war’s end. He also was credited with personally directing the evacuation of a huge supply dump before German soldiers could reach it during the Battle of the Bulge. The Battle of the Bulge involved about 610.000 American men, of whom some 89.000 were casualties, including 19.000 killed.  It was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the United States in World War II. During World War II, most U.S. black soldiers still served only as truck drivers and as stevedores (except for some separate tank, tank destroyer, and artillery battalions as well as in Army Air Force fighter units). In the midst of the Battle of the Bulge, General Eisenhower was severely short of replacement troops for existing military units which were totally white in composition. Consequently, he made the decision to allow African American soldiers to pick up a weapon and join the white military units to fight in combat for the first time. More than 2.000 black soldiers had volunteered to go to the front. This was an important step toward a desegregated United States military. A total of 708 African Americans were killed in combat during World War II.  After the war, General McNamara served briefly as quartermaster of the First Army and later as chief of the subsistence branch of the office of the Quartermaster General in Washington. He retired in 1964, a year after he was awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Service Medal for “significant savings” made through the rapid standardization of items managed by the Defence Supply Agency. Andrew Thomas McNamara, very old age 96, a retired Army Lieutenant General who rose through the Quartermaster Corps to serve as the first director of what is now the Defence Logistics Agency, died of pneumonia on 06-04-2002 at the Fairfax retirement home at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Death and burial ground of McNamara, Andrew Thomas.

 

 

McNamar is buried with his wife Margaret, born Tripp, who died old age 89, on 16-10-1997, on Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2, A son, Andrew T. McNamara, died in 1985. Survivors include a son, retired Army Lt. Col. William T. McNamara of Alameda, Calif., and four grandchildren.

 

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