Wahl, George Douglas.

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Wahl, George Douglas, born 15-10-1895, in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, the son of Major General Lutz Wahl born 02-11-1869, in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and who served as Adjutant General of the U.S. Army from 1927 to 1928, Wahl Sr died 30-12-1928 (age 59) in Washington, District of Columbia. His mother was Emma, born Joubert Wahl, on 07-08-1871 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, She passed away on 16-05-1923 (age 51) in District of Columbia, USA. Lutz married a second time, now with Fenella Olivier Hero Wahl, born 14-06-1891 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, she passed away on 28-01-1976 (age 84). They had also two daughters,Gretchen Marie Wahl (1894–1983) and Barbara-Fenelle Wahl Roberts (1927–2017).

Following the high school. he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York,  from which he graduated with Bachelor of Science degree on 20-04-1917, just few days after the United States entry into World War I.

Wahl’s West Point class produced more than 55 future general officers, including two Army Chiefs of Staff – Joseph Lawton “Lightning Joe” Collins and Matthew Bunker, “Old Iron Tits” Ridgway.  Other classmates include: Clare Hibbs. Armstrong,    Aaron Bradshaw Jr. Mark Wayne “Contraband” Clark, John Tupper Cole, Norman Daniel “Dutch” Cota, John Matthew Devine, William Willis. Eagles, Theodore Leslie Futch, Charles Hunter Gerhardt, Augustus Milton Gurney,  Ernest Nason Harmon, William Kelly Harrison Jr.,

Robert Wilson “Bob”. Hasbrouck,   Frederick Augustus Irving,

  Laurence B. Keiser,  Kilburn, Charles Solomon “Rattlesnake Pete”, “Pete Kilburn”.  Bryant Edward Moore, Daniel Noce, Onslow Stearns Rolfe, Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Albert Cowper Smith,   Williamson, Raymond Ecclestone Serveira and George Hatton Weems.

George Wahl was commissioned second lieutenant in Field Artillery Branch and attached to the 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Division. Wahl promptly reached the ranks of first lieutenant and captain and embarked for France in fall 1917. He participated in the battles of Saint-Mihiel, Blanc Mont Ridge and Argonne forest and received three Silver Star citations for bravery, Purple Heart for wounds and French Croix de guerre 1914–1918 with Guilt Star.

Following the Armistice, Wahl participated in the Rhineland occupation in Coblenz until July 1919, when he returned to the United States. He then served in various Field Artillery command and staff assignments, including postings to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Wahl successfully completed the courses at the Army Command and General Staff (1930); Army Industrial College (1939), and the Naval War College (1940).

Upon his graduation from the Naval War College, Wahl was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 01-06-1940, and ordered to the headquarters of Seventh Corps Area in Omaha, Nebraska, and served under Major General George Veazey Strong as Assistant chief of staff for operations (G-3) until November 1941. He then assumed command of 191st Field Artillery Regiment and was promoted to the temporary rank of Colonel on 11-12-1941, only four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In February 1943, XV Corps was activated under Major General Wade Hampton “Ham” Haislip at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. Wahl was attached to the Corps Artillery Section under Brigadier General Edward Stanly. Ott and appointed his executive officer.

Wahl was ordered to Camp Philips, Kansas, in February 1944 and succeeded his West Point Classmate, Augustus Milton Gurney   as Artillery Commanding officer of 79th Infantry Division (Cross of Lorraine) under Major General Ira Thomas. Wyche. For his new billet, he was promoted to the temporary rank of Brigadier General on 25-058-1944.

He embarked for England in mid-April 1944 and participated in the intensive training, prior the Invasion of Normandy on June 6 that year. The 79th Division finally landed in France on D-Day+6 and participated as the part of Major General James. Lawton Collins’ VII Corps in the Battle of Cherbourg and captured Fort du Roule.

Wahl commanded division’s artillery during the rest of combats in the Northern France and participated in the Seine River Crossing at Mantes-Gassicourt, the first allied bridgehead across the Seine River in the aftermath of Operation Overlord, which allowed the Allies to engage in the Liberation of Paris. During the combats on the Siegfried Line in late 1944 and early 1945, Wahl assumed duty as Assistant Division Commander, 79th Infantry Division by the end of January 1945 and led Task Force Wahl, which consisted of the Third Battalion, of the 313th Infantry Regiment, the 315th Regiment, the 222nd Regiment, Combat Command A of the 14th Armored Division and the 827th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

He led his command during the defensive combats along the Moder until the beginning of February 1945 and during February and March 1945, the division mopped up German resistance, returned to offensive combat by the end of March that year, crossed the Rhine, drove across the Rhine-Herne Canal, April 7, secured the north bank of the Ruhr and took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket until 13-04-1945.

Following the surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945, 79th Division participated in the occupation duty in the area of Dortmund and later in Bavaria and Wahl was ordered back to the United States for new assignment in June 1945. For his service with 79th Infantry Division, he was recommended twice by Major general Ira T. Wyche for award of Army Distinguished Service Medal , but it was downgraded in both cases to Legion of Merit. He also received two Bronze Star Medals, another Purple Heart and was made Knight of the Legion of Honour and received Croix de Guerre 1939–1945 with Palm by the Government of France.

Upon his return to the United States, Wahl assumed duty as Commanding General, Fort Indiantown Gap Separation and Discharge Center, where he was responsible for the demobilization site for many units returning home from the European Theater of Operations after the war ended until August 1945, when he was sent to the Fort Knox, Kentucky, for duty as Commanding General of that post.

Wahl was reverted to the peacetime rank of Colonel on 28-02-1946, and ordered to San Francisco, California, where he joined the headquarters of 9th Service Command under Major General William E. Shedd. After a four months in this capacity, Wahl was appointed a Senior Instructor to Oregon Officers Reserve Corps and remained in that assignment until May 1948, when he was appointed Deputy Commanding Officer Northern Military District under Major general Albert E. Brown.

Death and burial ground of Wahl, George Douglas.

Wahl retired from active duty on 30-06-1949, with his wartime rank of Brigadier General after 32 years of active service and settled in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. He was active in the American Legion and died at his home in Carmel on 24-03-1981, aged 73. Wahl was buried with full military honors, along with his father, at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, Section 1 Site 1269, also beside his wife, Emma D. Wahl (1903–1975). They had together three children: two sons, Robert and John, and a daughter, Patricia.

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