Wright, Jerauld “Jerry”

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Wright, Jerauld “Jerry”, born 04-06-1898 in Amherst, Massachusetts, the second son of Major General William M. Wright, United States Army, (1863–1943) and the former Marjorie R. Jerauld (1867–1954), who also had another son, William Mason Wright, Jr. (1893–1977), and a daughter, Marjorie Wright (1900–1985). Life for young Jerry Wright was a succession of U.S. Army posts, such as Fort Porter, Fort Omaha, the Presidio, and the Jefferson Barracks, as well as overseas tours of duty in Cuba and the Philippines. Keeping the family together while his father pursued an active military career was his mother, nicknamed “The Field Marshal” by her husband. Jerry remembered his mother fondly: “She was a tiger with her young.” Jerry’s father was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion Execution_of_a_Boxer_by_the_French,_Teintsin, and World War I, during which he commanded the 89th Division in the St. Mihiel offensive and the Third Corps. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal. In July 1917, Lieutenant. Jerauld Wright joined the gunboat USS Castine, which set sail for Gibraltar on 05-08-1917 for anti-submarine patrol and convoy duty, operating as a unit of the Patrol Force through 21-12-1918. Wright also served as the staff aide to the Commander Atlantic Squadron during the Midshipman’s Practice Cruise in June–August 1940. The USS Mississippi completed its overhaul in three weeks and transited the Panama Canal to re-join the U.S. Pacific Fleet, visiting San Francisco, California to re-assure its citizens in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. D-Day for Operation Torch, 08-11-1942, saw over 73,000 American and British troops landed at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers. However, the most significant development was on the diplomatic and political front when U.S. consul general Robert D. Murphy, a diplomat, he died age 83, on 09-01-1978, alerted the Allied high command about unexpected presence of Admiral de la flotte Jean Darlan, the head of the Vichy French military, who was visiting his ill son in Algiers. Darlan’s presence complicated the pre-invasion arrangements with Général Henri Giraud.Henri_Giraud_1943Jan19 Giraud died age 70, on 11-03-1949 in Dyon. Darlan pointed out to Murphy that he out-ranked Giraud whom Darlan maintained had little influence within the French military. After a ceasefire was reached in Algiers, General Dwight Eisenhower sent a delegation to resolve the situation and broker a ceasefire with all French North African forces.  Captain Jerauld Wright accompanied General Clark who concluded that Darlan could, with certain conditions, deliver the general ceasefire and oversee the post-invasion occupation, and that Giraud lacked the political ability to accomplish these goals. Eisenhower endorsed Mark Clark’s recommendation, which caused a political firestorm within the Allied governments because of Darlan’s connection to Vichy. Rear Admiral Jerauld Wright was awarded a Bronze Star, with a combat “V” devise, for his leadership as the commander of Task Group 51.2 during Operation Iceberg.

Death and burial ground of Wright, Jerauld “Jerry”.

Rear admiral Wright died at the very old age of 96, on 27-04-1995  and is buried with his wife Phyllis T, who died old age 96, on 20-10-2002, on Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2.
  

 

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