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Major General Jens A. Doe (20 June 1891-25 February 1971) was an American soldier and General in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his command of the 41st Infantry Division in the South West Pacific Area during World War II.
Education and Early Life
Jens Anderson Doe was born on 20 June 1891 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 11th Infantry on 12 June 1914. He was stationed with the 11th Infantry successively at Texas City, Texas, Naco, Arizona, and Douglas, Arizona.
Doe was promoted to first lieutenant on 1 July 1916 and captain on 15 May 1917. From May to August 1917 he was stationed with the 11th Infantry Fort Oglethorpe. He attended a machine gun training course at Fort Sill before assuming command of the 15th Machine Gun Battalion in December 1917. In April 1918, he sailed for France.
Promoted to major on 7 June 1918, Doe served as 5th Infantry Division before assuming command of the 14th Machine Gun Battalion in July. As such, he participated in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensive, where he was wounded. His gallantry earned him the Silver Star.
In November 1918, Doe organised and became an instructor at the Army Machine Gun School at Langres. He was an instructor at the II Corps Schools, and a student at the Artillery Center. In June 1919 he joined the 61st Infantry, returning to the United States with it in June 1919.
In September 1919 he became an instructor at the Infantry School at Fort Benning. He attended the Field Officers' Course in 1921-1922, after which he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, as a machine gun officer at Fort Custer, and to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Doe attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth from 1925 to 1926 and on graduation was posted to the 15th Infantry at Tientsin, China. He did not return to the United States until 1930, when he joined the 16th Infantry at Fort Jay. He then commanded the machine gun school at Fort Dix until 1932, when he left to attend the U.S. Army War College. After nearly 18 years as a major, he was finally promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 January 1936. He was an instructor at the Command and General Staff College and Professor of Military Science and Tactics at University of California, Berkeley.
World War II
Doe joined the newly-reformed 7th Division at Fort Ord in September 1940 and assumed command of its 17th Infantry in November. He was promoted to colonel on 26 June 1941. In June 1942 he was sent to Australia to command the 163rd Infantry.
The 163rd Infantry was selected as the first regiment of the 41st Infantry Division to enter combat, at Sanananda in January 1943. For his leadership, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
Jens A. Doe
His citation read:
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer of the 163d Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 21 and 22 January, near Sanananda, New Guinea. As commander of an infantry regiment which was engaged in wiping out the remaining points of enemy resistance, Colonel Doe distinguished himself with his coolness and gallantry under fire. In the reduction of these strongly fortified areas his outstanding leadership and courageous conduct were a continuous inspiration to his troops. Colonel Doe's presence in the most forward areas and his disregard of personal danger were largely responsible for the high morale of his troops and the successful outcome of these operations. Colonel Doe's inspiring leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 41st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
This action also resulted in Doe becoming Assistant Division Commander and being promoted to Brigadier General on 2 February 1943.
Doe led the Persecution Task Force that landed at Aitape, and the Tornado Task Force that landed at Wakde, both of which were built around the 163rd Infantry. For these actions he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
His task force was absorbed back into the 41st Infantry Division for the Battle of Biak. In this battle he earned an oak leaf cluster to the Silver Star he had won in the Great War. His citation read:
In the Southwest Pacific in June 1944, he displayed outstanding leadership and devotion to duty under Japanese machine gun, rifle and mortar fire, and in personally moving among forward assault troops. By his calm manner and courageous actions, he greatly assisted the advance.
At Biak the commander of the 41st Infantry Division, Major General Horace H. Fuller asked to be relieved of his command. Both Fuller and Eichelberger had recommended Doe for the next available divisional command, so Doe assumed command of the 41st Infantry Division and was promoted to major general on 1 August 1944. For his leadership at Biak he was also awarded an oak leaf cluster to his Distinguished Service Medal.
In February and March 1945, Doe led 41st Infantry Division at Palawan and Zamboanga, where he earned a second oak leaf cluster to his Silver Star. His citation read:
For gallantry in action at Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippine Islands from 10 March 1945 to 23 April 1945. During this time in the capacity of division commander General Doe directed the initial assault and the consequent capture of Zamboanga. His outstanding leadership, indomitable courage and skilful tactical knowledge resulted in his division scoring a firm foothold on Mindanao Island. On many occasions without regard to his personal safety, he went forward to units engaged in heavy fighting in order to gain first hand information bout the tactical situation.
Doe also received the Air Medal for his numerous flights over Japanese held areas.
Doe remained in command of the 41st Infantry Division until it was inactivated in Japan at midnight on 31 December 1945. He returned to the United States for a brief tour of duty at the War Department before assuming command of the 5th Infantry Division at Fort Campbell on 9 August 1946. On 29 September 1946 he assumed command of 3rd Infantry Division, and the 4th Infantry Division from 15 July 1947 – 28 February 1949.
Doe was promoted to the permanent rank of major general in 1948, backdated to 6 September 1944.
He retired from the Army in February 1949.