Oliver, Lunsford Errett.

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Oliver, Lunsford Erret “Bug” born 17-03-1889 in Nemaha, Nemaha County, Nebraska, United States  the son of Thomas Jefferson Oliver and Mary Lorraine Evans. In 1909 he attended the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York,

and graduated on 12-06-1913. Subsequently he was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army as a second lieutenant. Like he, many of his West Point classmates later became General Officers, including General Alexander “Sandy” Patch, Major General Paul “Pistol Paul” Newgarden, Major General William R. Schmidt, Major General Robert Lily Spragins

  Major General Louis Alec. Craig, General Geoffrey Keyes, Brigadier General Selby Harney Frank,

Brigadier General Henry Balding Lewis, John E. McMahon, Jr., Major General Carlos Brewer, Brigadier General Richard Ullyses. Nicholas,    Major General Douglass Taft “Doug” Greene, Brigadier General Robert Heber Van Volkenburgh, Willis Dale “Crit”. Crittenberger, Robert Meredet. Perkins, Howard Calhoun Davidson, Dennis E. McCunniff, William A. McCulloch, Francis K. Newcomer, Charles H. Corlett, Henry B. Cheadle, Lawrence B. Weeks, Junius Wallace Jones and William L. Roberts.

Oliver’s first assignment was at Fort Brown, Texas, on border patrol duty as a supply officer during the Pancho Villa Expedition. He was appointed to the U.S. Army Engineer School in Washington, D.C., for further military education and graduated on 31-03-1916. He then served with the 1st Engineer Battalion at Washington Barracks, before he was transferred to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.  Oliver stayed on active service during World War I, organizing and training railway engineer battalions. He did not, however, serve overseas during the war and remained in the United States, where he briefly commanded the 2nd Engineer Battalion.

After the war, he contributed to the Mississippi River Flood Control Project  and then between years 1924–1927 served as an engineer in Alaska Road Commission, which was responsible for the construction of many important Alaska highways. In 1928, he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for further military education.

During the years 1933–1937, Oliver served as an District Engineer in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and in 1938, he attended the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After his War College studies, Oliver was assigned as an instructor to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  He served in this capacity until 1940, when he was assigned as the Armored Force Engineer at Fort Knox, Kentucky. While there, Oliver, now promoted to colonel, initiated the research that led to the development of the steel treadway bridge.

Oliver was assigned to the 1st Armored Division   under command of Major General  Bruce Magruder  in January 1942, a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent American entry into World War II, to assume command of Combat Command ‘B’ (CCB), then promoted to the one-star General officer rank of Brigadier General on 16-02-1942. The division deployed to Northern Ireland on 06-05-1942, to train for eventual operations in French North Africa.

In September, Oliver went to London, England to assist in the planning for Operation Torch (Allied invasion of North Africa). Oliver was promoted to the two-star rank of Major General on 20-11-1942, then CCB under his command landed successfully near the city of Oran on 08-11-1942, and started to advance toward the Tafaraoui airfield, occupying it with little resistance that same day. He was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal. CCB encountered its first major enemy resistance at Medjez-el-bab, Tunisia where they fought for fours days starting on 06-12-1942..

Oliver returned to the United States and was appointed commander of the 5th Armored Division, where he succeeded Brigadier General Sereno Elmore Brett “Jim”

at Camp Cooke in early 1943. Oliver led the division throughout the remainder of the war, including training in the Mojave Desert near Needles, California, through March 1943, the Tennessee Maneuvers through the Summer, and final validation and reorganization of the division at Pine Camp (Now Fort Drum, New York) through the winter into early 1944.

Oliver led the division on two ships to England, arriving on 24-02-1944, in preparation for the Allied invasion of Normandy. The division served on the Western Front starting with landing on Utah Beach on 26-06-1944, until Victory in Europe Day on 08-05-1945, and after. The 5th Armored Division, under Major General Oliver’s command, was the first division to reach the Seine River, the first division to reach Luxembourg, the first division to fight in Germany, and when halted by orders from the U.S. Ninth Army,  under command of General William Hood “Bill” Simpson, the division sat 45 miles from Berlin, closer than any other American division.

Death and burial ground of Oliver, Lunsford Errett.

A street in Luxembourg City is named in honour of Major General Lunsford Errett Oliver. Lunsdord died in Newington, Connecticut, on 13-10-1978, age 89 and was buried at West Point Cemetery.

Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:    robhopmans@outlook.com

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